Thursday, August 27, 2009


Last night was our annual Back 2 School Event for 180 Youth Ministries. In case you missed it, it was a inspiring time with food and free prizes and crazy mixer games. We also shared vision for our ministry and upcoming events.

Oh & we had some crazy good worship! I love that song "Take It All" by Hillsong United and the 180 Worship Team did an excellent version of it to close us out!

For those of you who came, we hope you were excited and challenged by what we do. For those who didn't, come next week and check things out. We will be starting ournew series on our IDENTITY. Hope to see you there.

Below are the two videos we showed last night. Enjoy!

IDENTITY PROMO VIDEO (without audio - working on this issue! Sorry!)


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Risky Business

So I watched a really interesting movie this week, The Visitor. It's one that I had originally passed over when it first came out. To be honest the plot synopsis sounded pretty dull: "A widowed college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple, who turn out to be illegal immigrants, living in his apartment." I know, I know; sounds like excitement a plenty. Watch out G.I. Joe!

But it kept coming up in discussions of challenging, though-provoking film for the last year (I think Netflix's genre description for it was something like "modern-day surrealist mind-bending thought-provoking film with little known foreign actors"; I love Netflix;) So I finally gave in to Netflix's continual suggestion to add it to my queue and watched it last week.

And I am so glad I did. Not only was it well filmed and written with excellent acting, but it left me with all these questions. Without giving away too much of the plot - in case you are inspired to watch it this week as well - let me share with you some of those questions:

Why was the main character willing to risk his job, his money, his well-being, his reputation for people he barely knew - law-breakers at that!?!?

What was the point of the movie since the outcome wasn't really that much different for the immigrants than if they had never met the main character?

When we choose to "help" people in need, what is our motivation? Is it more for them or more for us?

Who is more changed by a person offering to help: the receiver or the giver?

Such good questions for me as I try to figure out what it looks like to follow Christ in meeting people's needs. Let me know your thoughts and questions - with or without this film. God bless!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

...Upon Popular Request

Here is our Trailer for Sunday morning services (180 Creative Worship Team style;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

After a Long Hiatus....

So God shows grace in funny ways sometimes. I was reading Psalm 69 out loud yesterday with my wife and we were shaking our heads at some of the irony in the words of this Scripture. First of all it is to be sung to the tune of “Lilies”, which is not a tune we may know but definitely brings to mind some sort of slow, lilting string music with flowery words. Which is why the first words “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck” may seem a little out of place. But the part that was most interesting to us was as we got to all these curses that David was calling down on his enemies (vs. 22-28).

Let their eyes be darkened.

Let your burning anger overtake them.

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living.

I mean can you really say these things about people. And to think this was a song to be sung in church! Can you imagine if one of the people he wrote this Psalm about came to that service and heard that song? I can’t imagine that bringing much harmony.

But then I started looking over the notes in the ESV Study Bible (check out a review of this really neat Bible from my buddy Nathan here), and it began to paint a different picture. First of all, it points out that the writer of this Psalm is not claiming to be perfect. In verse 5 he says, “O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you.” (NLT) It goes on to point out how many times this Psalm is used in reference to Jesus:
Those who hate me without cause” (Ps 69:4 & John 15:25); “For zeal for your house has consumed me” (Ps 69:9 & John 2:17); “for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink” (Ps 69:21 & John 19:28-29).

Now, if these words are used according to Jesus, does that mean that He also wants to bring these curses down on sinners, of which I am one? The notes go on to show how the apostle Paul used many verses from this Psalm as well, by which he shows how many of his fellow Israelites have rejected Christ and had their hearts hardened (Romans 11:9-10). But then Paul says this most interesting thing. In Romans 11:25, he says: “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

And suddenly it all came rushing to me. We are those with hard hearts. We are the sinners. I was immediately convicted of ways that I had been disobedient to God this week – through ways I had spent money foolishly that God had blessed me with after praying for Him to help with my finances; through having a whiny, selfish attitude rather than recognizing how God is working; through being critical of others rather than being obedient to who God is calling me to be. So I prayed and repented and found God’s mercy and refreshing through a better understanding of these curses in Psalm 69.

I was reminded of words of one of the speakers at our CIY conference a couple weeks ago. He said that when we read the Bible we usually associate ourselves with the voice of God’s chosen, but he said if we are not being obedient to God then we are the other side – the oppressors, the hard of heart, the evildoers. The writers of the ESV Study Bible notes summed it up for me this way: “These words could prove to be a mercy to the evildoers, should any of them be present at worship when the congregation sings them, and they heed the warning.” So, let us continue to sing of God’s mercy, even if it comes in the form of curses.