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Posts Tagged ‘tom hypes’

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This is the start of a new message series called “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” that goes through 2 Corinthians. This opening message talks about the importance of bringing 100% truth and 100% love into any relationship, conversation, and our outreach. Our pastor dives into the extremes of several of the sides of the “Chick-fil-a” debate which covers homosexuality and same gender marriage. His views tends to make those on the extreme views of both the GLBT community and conservative Christians frustrated at times so please bring a healthy dose of love, patience, and understanding to this study.

(The videos used in this video are from You Version and already open to the public. The original addresses of the videos are included for reference and credit.)


 

 

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This is the first message in the message series…..

 

 

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Welcome to all those who are stopping by because they are checking out the “big” announcement from church yesterday. There’s a decent amount of info involved so I decided to go blog style so here it is….

When we started The Shepherd’s Fellowship, I felt led not to be part of a denomination. There were many benefits to this but also some downfalls including a lack of financial and resource support. However, the toughest part for me was not having the relational support. Not having other pastors and churches around our ministry to work together, have accountability, and to encourage one another. I looked at church networks and pastor coaching possibilities and could not find anything that seemed to be a match to the relational ministry we felt called to. I also looked for years for sister churches and pastors that I felt a close connection to. While I found many that I love and cherish, I found only one church and only a couple of pastors that I felt a partnership with even close to what I was looking for.

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“The Map” by David Murrow is a two-part book for men concerning their growth in their spiritual lives. The first part is fiction in how the author came across “The Map” (think a Christian version of the DaVinci Code style) and the second half is the life application in people’s life from “The Map” as observed in the book of Matthew.

In all honesty, I thought it was going to be a little lame. Not just because of the two styles but I get leery of anything that someone claims they found that was “secret” in the Bible. To my surprise, this is one of the best books I have read in a while and decided to buy a handful more to give to friends.

The fiction part was written very well in the area of pulling men in. Men are not known for being the biggest reading fans but the style the author uses hooks you quickly and builds a trust with the reader to continue once the format switches.

The Christian living part at first glance kinda basic. As the author discusses the three journeys though, the details of each really hit home. Some very real challenges are felt for the modern-day church at what we teach men (or better yet, what drives many men away from church). The encouragement within the steps can be scary for some at first but I find more empowerment in the life of Christ than restraint.

I would highly recommend this book which is a 360 turn from what I expected my experience to be.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

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Hi all….

I just got done with lunch with a buddy of mine that reminded me of what really matters. He is a Christian too and he was saved from a life that was rough, hard, and heading no where fast. When He came to the Lord there was a HUGE turnaround in his life and his joy and passion really reminded me of what matters.

With this in mind, I wanted to drop here something I wrote for our youth group’s Facebook page. This is what it is really all about…..

What is the good news? Let me share with you a few verses from a letter that an early follower of Jesus, named Paul, wrote to the church in Rome. It’s in the New Testament….

To get to the good news, we have to know the bad news. While God created us to have a relationship with us, it doesn’t take a genius to see that something went wrong. Due to what the Bible calls sin (or anything that rebels against God), we were separated from Him. This is true for all of us….

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Everyone has messed up. Everyone. While we are not alone in rebellion, it does have dire results.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Did you catch that? While we deserve death, God’s gift is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ!

In other words, while we walked away from God and He had every right to say “OK, fine! If that’s what you want, see ya!” But he didn’t! Even though He can’t ignore the justice of the result of sin, He decided to pay the price by giving His Son, Jesus Christ. Check this out….

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Unreal! We rebel, we walk away, and He gives His Son! That’s love! He made the sacrifice….He did the work….He made it easy and clear….

“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

Can it be any easier? People try to make it hard and mysterious but God makes it clear; to accept Him as Leader and Forgiver in our lives is a simple of speaking it and believing it!

But maybe you feel you don’t deserve it (none of us do). Or maybe you think it’s true for everyone but you. Look at this…

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10: 13

Let’s say for the sake of argument that you make the decision to accept this great gift from God through His Son. You follow the instructions above in Romans 10:9-10 and are saved. Then listen to these verses and think about what they mean….

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39

Talk about good news! Now there are a couple things that we can’t skip over….

– It’s up to you. No one else can make the decision for you. Not your mom, your dad, your spouse, your friend, or anyone else. Now that you know, what will you do with it?

– It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun nor is it boring or disappointing. Accepting Christ is not the end. It’s not just getting into heaven. It’s the beginning! It’s a relationship!

We encourage getting more information on how to learn from the Bible. There’s a lot of stuff people believe the Bible says that is just not there. Dig deeper to know the Bible and not what others portray.

We recommend you find friends and others who will be a support community for you. If you need help with this, contact us and we would love to help out anyway we can!

If you made this decision today, please let us know! We want to celebrate with you! You and those in Heaven as well! In Heaven? Yes!

Look at what Jesus says in Luke 15:7…

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

AWESOME!

If you want to accept Jesus as Leader and Forgiver in your life or have any questions about it, feel free to contact me. I’d love to talk more!

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Our eldership team is heading to Atlanta on Tuesday to attend the Catalyst convention. This is my second year heading down to this 2 day gathering of over 11,000 church leaders and I am getting more and more pumped.

Most blogs will tell you about the great speakers, worship, and fun that is available there and they are right. The line up of speakers is (again) impressive: Andy Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, Louie Guglio, Tony Dungy, Matt Chandler, Dave Ramsey, Francis Chan, Josh Hamilton, and many others. There are so many great ideas, instruction, and encouragement and I continue to be challenged while watching the teachings on DVD from last year and even the year before. The worship is incredible as well! The Worship leading of Aaron Keyes and Fee were instant classics for Josh and I last year. Not to mention the intensity of worshiping the living God of all creation with so many church leaders from around the country! As for the fun, there’s plenty to be had through the creativity and hospitality of our hosts.

I have decided to blog my way through Catalyst this year with what little internet time I will get. One added feature for this event will include video blogging as well as text. This is thanks to flip video camera that I won from Catalyst this year. Thanks guys! (Also, you can get more info by following me on Twitter at @tsfGodguy)

However, this blog will be a tad different from many of the other blogs. While I will surely cover some of these same details as the experience rolls on, there is something even more exciting to me that I want to document and share.

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I’ll be back to normal posting soon. Until then, here is the year end wrap up video for The Shepherd’s Fellowship (our church) for 2008. Enjoy!

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