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Showing posts from November, 2010

Gratitude and the Gospel (part 1)

I meet with a lot of young dudes.  Many of them show real leadership potential.  But more than anything else, one of the first things I look for is a deep and real gratitude to God.  I am convinced that one of the first signs that someone really "gets" the gospel (and by "gets," I simply mean "believe") is a deep sense of thankfulness.

In fact, probably the most accurate prayer someone could utter after hearing the gospel is not, "Lord, please forgive me" but "Thank you."

Why?  Because the gospel is the message that Jesus has won for us peace with God.  It's a done deal.  The payment is complete.  When Jesus came as our High Priest and offered himself as the substitutionary sacrificial lamb, he fully paid our sin-debt to God and completely satisfied God's anger toward our sin.  He took the cup of God's wrath and drank it to the dregs.  So, when he rose from the grave, that was proof that the payment was absolutely complete.…

Parenting: Sometimes Success is Failure

So, here is a familiar scenario:  You are standing in line at the grocery store and your little angel has been teetering on the dark side of angelic all morning.  The tipping point comes when you hit the check out line and your child sees that bright and colorful something that was perfectly places to create a crisis for parents.
It happens.  Your child reaches out and grunts - or worse, actually swipes it as you walk by.  And you take a deep breath and say the magic word: No.  And in that moment, your little angel crosses completely over to the dark side and becomes a midget demon.  The thrashing and wailing begin.  Other parents move slowly away.  The security guard talks quietly on his walkie-talkie as he moves where he can watch your every move.  The clerk stares at you with her blank stare and saucer eyes.
And in that moment, you wish you had the silver bullet that would kill that tantrum and restore your child to "angelic" status and you to "respectable parent"…

The Trailhead Transition: FAQ

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have been answering a lot of the same questions in different conversations about our transition from The Journey Metro East to Trailhead Church.  So, in an attempt to continue to shed light on what is seen (understandably) as an unusual situation, I am going to post this FAQ.

I hope it is helpful.

So, here we go:

Why do this?

The first and best answer to "why" is this: God is leading us to this.

This shouldn't be surprising since The Journey has made it clear that it is a church-planting church.  We believe in church planting for a number of good reasons.  Local, autonomous churches contextualize the gospel to and lead best in their communities.  People in a church plant feel more pressure to take ownership of the church's life - which is a good pressure that encourages the development and use of the gifts of the Spirit in the church.  In addition, teaching content - not just illustrations - can be focused on and plan…

Time for Transition - trying to do it right

I knew when I announced that The Journey: Metro East would transition toward becoming an independent, autonomous church that I was in for a lot of conversations.  I was prepared to work hard to cast vision clearly, honestly, and compellingly.  So, I haven't be surprised by the need to cast vision - and then to do it again in short time.  It isn't surprising - we are getting ready to do something that just isn't done very often.  Healthy hives are rare enough, but the transition of a video venue to an autonomous church is as rare as finding a snipe on a snipe hunt.

I have come to see that church splits are actually quite easy at least in the beginning.  All you have to do is rally people around a "common enemy."  Just gather people together by what you all don't like or are angry about - and that gives momentum to the vision.  (This can only last for awhile, though.  Eventually all that sinful negativity will sap all the energy out of the church and the malcon…

Marriage: Fight the Good Fight

Conflict in marriage is inevitable.  People are different - and when to you take two people as different as a man and a women (as much as they might love each other) and put them around each other for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week - they are going to fight.

Most married couples are not well equipped to fight well because they simply don't understand how they should fight and what they should be fighting for.  The Bible gives us remarkable (and challenging) insight into how we are wired and why we end up in conflict - and when we understand that, we will be better prepared to fight well.

The bottom line is that God gave us marriage to make us holy first and make us happy second.  Holiness can be an intimidating word - but it simply means that we are what God has made us to be.  When we are becoming more holy, we are becoming more of the person God has designed us to be.

And as we become holier, we are in a better position to experience and share God's best in our lives.  As …