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Archive for September, 2010

Recently, I received some information about a couple who are doing missions in Costa Rica that got my attention for several reasons. First they are not only from the Marion, Ohio area but Luke’s family are old friend’s of my wife’s family. Also, I understand how financially and emotionally challenging being in missions can be. It is not a life you choose but a life that chooses you by God’s calling. Their ministry is currently under a huge strain of lack of financial support and I can’t imagine how that pressure must feel.

At the time I heard about them, I was doing a message on missions at our church on missions and contacted them to put together a video about what they have going on. As I watched the video and saw first hand the work they are doing, I was really taken by the multiple areas God is using them. One thing that really excited me was seeing them pull up in a SUV, open the back gate, and start feeding the people lining up from the streets for free food. While this is going on, Luke is standing and reading the Bible out loud as they minister to the spiritual and physical needs of those they serve.

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I have read and discussed a lot over the years about watered down theology in the postmodern church but this is not one of those posts. This is a post from a pastor of a contemporary church who enjoys going to powerful conferences (Catalyst, Willow Creek GLS), reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and thumbing the latest books on church leadership. This is a post from a guy who has tapped into the teachings of many of the cutting edge church leaders that have solid theology and engage culture without watering it down. This is a post from someone in the mix who has to say that while there are many wonderful new things happening in the modern church in the area of leadership, there are some concerns as well. Quite frankly, the same old concerns done in an all new style. Here are just a few….

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First, an apology. I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review. While most books you have an open amount of time to review, this one was due on 9/7/10. However, I lost the book. Last night, my wonderful wife found it for me and so now here it is, though a little tardy.

This version of the book is a gift book and a decent one at that. The basic concept is digging more into some testimonies concerning the “butterfly effect”. The butterfly effect is the theory that everything affects everything else so the smallest of actions you have multiple outcomes as it affects other things.

In this book, it shares a few stories and then traces how those things affect us even today. It is well researched and inspirational. I wouldn’t run out for a copy for myself but maybe a good gift for someone who is struggling feeling of worth or someone entering a new start in life.

Blessings!

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You can’t judge a book by its cover but when it comes to Max Lucado, you can tell a book by its title.

I respect Max Lucado’s ministry but must admit up front that I have not been a big fan of his books personally. It’s not the content, the content is tight…. It’s the style. I feel like I am reading a sermon series and that’s not the style of writing that clicks for me. Generally there is a neat, powerful center thought and the rest of the book tends to be supporting thoughts to drive the point.

This book fits that bill. The concept? You can (and we are called to) “out live you life” with the effect of your actions. That we are called to love and let God use us as we spend our life into others. The concepts, thoughts, and writings are well done on a very important topic that many people are not tapping into enough today.

Maybe the best way to sum up the need for this book is on the first few pages. Max Lucado notes that he was once asked three questions within the same month. If he was a Christian in Germany during the WW2, would he have made a stand against Hitler? If he was a Christian in the south during the Civil War, would he have made a stand against slavery? When your grand children realize you were alive when there were 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungary, how will you justify your actions of today?

If you love Max Lucado book, you will love this book. If you’re not into his writing style, it might not be a smooth read. Either way, the topic at hand is too important not to take the time to read it and let the Holy Spirit challenge you in your life.

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On this anniversary of one of the worse events in our history, I am reminded of all the lives that were changed in so many ways. So many stories have emerged over the years that have brought tears, comfort, and our admiration of the fallen hereos.

Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. A few years back, a young woman named Yvette Gonzalez came to our church and shared her story. She was in the World Trade Centers when they were attacked. She was kind enough to let us record her talk and it was placed on our church website for any to hear. If you would like to hear her incrediable story and her thoughts on “Where was God when this happened?”, just click here, scroll down till you see “Testimony from Yvette Gonzalez”, and click download or stream to listen.

Prayers for our nation and for those touched in the most personal of ways…….

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