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Archive for August, 2010

Awhile back, we watch a presentation of “indescribable” by Louie Giglio where he does a presentation exploring the heavens. He does a great job of building and building how vast, powerful, and overwhelming God is and then brings it to the life changing reality of how in spite of this, He is mindful os us and desires a personal relationship with each of us. It is one of the favorite videos we have seen for many of those within our church.

This books does not quite you to tears concerning that reality, it does come close. The images are gorgeous and the thoughts and comments of the contributors match the theme well while adding to the experience of the book. Another aspect of the book that I admire is that it is an easy book to hand off to an unsaved friend as an outreach tool. If you have a friend who is into astronomy, this is a good find. If you have a friend who loves the whole creation vs evolution debate, this is a good find. If you have a friend who just likes to look at pictures of the stars…. well, you get the point.

I will close with my favorite quote from the book …. “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze.com program in exchange for an honest review.

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I haven’t said much on the whole Gov. Blagojevich thing since I do believe in the presumption of innocence and that anyone can look guilty or innocent depending on how the media wants to paint it. Now that his first trial is over and he was found not guilty on most of the charges but guilty on one, he is back on the interview trail and I’m a little more willing to chat.

This morning, I watched him being interviewed on the Today show and I saw more of the same that I have seen from him before. He appears to be the stereotypical politician with a gift for spin, repeating pre-practiced answers, and ignoring the interviewer’s questions to just spew what ever message he is bent on portraying. At the same time, I realized he was also just a guy who made some mistakes and is dancing so he doesn’t have to accept responsiblity for it. I would have so much more respect for him if he just said “The truth is I made some mistakes and I am sorry. You can get caught up in this game and the junk that happens in politics but when it comes down to it, I only had control over what I did or did not do and I could have done it better.”  Then follow it up with a tangible change in life and make a difference instead of years of being on the defense.

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About eight years ago, I was a youth pastor with a group of about 30 kids. One night, as we were talking about salvation, one of the kids talked about his view of salvation. Once he came to the Lord, he was ready for heaven. However, when we you sin (tell a white lie), you lose the salvation until you ask for forgivness and get it back. What a stressful and unBiblical way to live and I felt for him as he spoke about the back and forth relationship. Being a reader, I gave him Brennan Manning’s book “Ragamuffin Gospel” and as we talked more, he had a more complete view of God’s grace. I wish I had this book at that time as well.

Dr. Jeremiah offers a tapestry of stories from the life of John Newton (author of the hymn Amazing Grace), the apostle Paul, and the Scriptures to paint a picture of the grace that God offers us. It beautifuly inspires us to dive into His love while being people of grace ourselves.

If you have struggled with a picture of a troubled, mean, and judgmental God that you can not relate to, may I suggest you may not have yet met the God who offered His Son due to His love for you? Maybe it would be worth taking the price of a meal at Applebees and get a new vantage point. It would be worth the read….

I recieved a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10: 9

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About a week ago, I was at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit at a satellite location. I enjoyed listening to the multiple speakers on issues concerning church leadership.  

The opening speaker was Bill Hybels, the lead pastor at Willow Creek and he spoke on the topic that is also the subject of his new book, Whispers. While I am not big on preaching other people’s series or going through programs, I have decided to use Hybels’ sermon series as a skeleton for a current series. Quite simple, I have been asked a lot lately on this topic and wanted to dive in more.  

Today, we covered what I think is one of the most important parts of this topic. How do I know what I am thinking God might be telling me is God and not just my imagination?  

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Emily is our four year old daughter and she tends to say some pretty funny things… sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. These are a few of my favorite ones over VBS the last couple days.

As part of our VBS, there are different scenes of interactive dramas the kids come to. I was playing the part of Brutus, a roman guard chained to Paul who was under house arrest. Paul liked to asked the kids questions.

Paul: “Your parents like to give you gifts sometimes. What kind of gifts do your parents give you?”

Emily: “A doghouse”

Nice…..

Another day….

Paul: “Where do your parents take you guys on trips?”

Emily: “My mommy and daddy take me to jail.”

Alrighty…….

The third one was at home today before we went to the church. My wife, Jenni was in charge of putting VBS together and has been working hard on it almost nightly the last couple weeks. I wanted to make sure Emily got the connection that while mommy has been doing extra work lately, that it was so Emily could enjoy and learn from VBS. As we got done talking about it, I told Emily she should go tell mommy thank you for VBS.

Emily walked over to Jenni, got her attention, and said “Mommy, I want to thank you for all the BS.”

These are the memories of a lifetime……

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