Thursday, September 26, 2013

That One Video...

For all of you random-video-lovers and i-loved-that-Wednesday-night-opener fans out there; here is that one video from Wednesday night:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As we continue to go through the series "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE", tonight we talked about the statement "I AM AFFLICTED".

Once again borrowing from material of Mark Driscoll's, here is a run down of some of the common types of affliction that we face:

1. ADAMIC - We all are born with the common affliction of being a sinner living in a fallen world. Our own natural tendency towards sin and our world's tendency towards chaos and decay all stem from Adam and Eve's original sin and separation from God (Read Genesis 3).

2. CONSEQUENTIAL - These types of afflictions stem from someone's actions. It could be our own refusal to accept God and so our affliction is our separation from him. It could be poor choices causing consequences. Things like eating bad leading to sickness. Sleeping through class leading to flunking. Being lazy leading to unemployment. Or it might be someone else's sin or poor choices affecting you. Things like family poverty, abuse, and relational hurts all fall into this category.

3. DEMONIC - Yes, I know this one sounds scary and IT IS! The Bible teaches over and over again about the reality of evil spiritual beings waging war against God's people. Sometimes our affliction may be one of those attacks. Job is a perfect example of this type of affliction.

4. COLLECTIVE - Sometimes our affliction comes from our connection to a group of people. Maybe it's your family. Maybe it's your community. Maybe it's your country. When they are afflicted you are afflicted.

5. DISCIPLINARY - Another fun sounding one. This is actually one of the most positive types of affliction. This is God's working through adversity to help you to grow. You need patience; God gives you a situation to make you wait. You need to deal with anger; God gives you frustrations.

6. EMPATHETIC - This category is when we aren't actually afflicted ourselves but someone we care about is. We are afflicted because we care for the afflicted. This is when loved ones are sick or abused or abandoned. We hurt with them.

7. TESTIMONIAL - This type of affliction comes when we are afflicted because we follow Jesus. This type of affliction leads to us living in a way that glorifies God and shares true faith with others.

8. PREVENTATIVE - This is a common grace given to people to help them avoid further affliction. It's when we go to the doctor because of a pain and find out we were a heart attack waiting to happen.

9. MYSTERIOUS - This is the catch-everything-else category. So much affliction falls in this section. We just don't know. We're afflicted but we don't know the reason. God knows but we won't ever know the full mind of God. We have to learn to trust him in this type of affliction.

10. APOCALYPTIC - And then there is of course the affliction that will occur as we get closer to Christ's return for his people.

Remember, your affliction is NOT your IDENTITY; your IDENTITY in Christ gets you through your affliction. So try to figure out how to allow your affliction to be for others GOOD, your GROWTH, and God's GLORY.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The End of the Matter....

As I was perusing the endless stream of consciousness that is Facebook the other day, this image grabbed my attention:

Over the last month we have actually touched twice on this verse in a sermon. So I thought others of you might like it. Here's a link to the full-sized image.

I find such refreshment in this verse. We are pulled in so many directions. Told so many things are important. Challenged to find significance in many tasks.

But only one thing is truly necessary. I pray you find rest in that today.

(I found that link from LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE - a great bible study tool and very uplifting Facebook feed.)

Friday, September 20, 2013


I am so thankful for the work of grace that Christ did on my behalf on the cross.

Without His sacrifice and subsequent resurrection, I would be without hope - lost and separated from God. But God...

(Don't you love it when God butts in to your life?)

in His love for us and His infinite power, He saw fit to take the punishment that I deserved for my shortcomings, so that - if I trusted in Him - His death would be a substitute for mine and I would receive eternal life because He ultimately defeated that death by coming back to life.

So why do I still have sin in my life?

Good question.

Borrowing from some material by Mark Driscoll, I'd like to share something that has changed my life.

Just before Jesus died on the cross, He declared "It is finished!" This was a declaration of the completion of His blood being spilled as an atonement for the wrath of God towards ALL our sin.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. -1 John 2:2 ESV

Therefore - in the PAST - Jesus took care of the PENALTY for our sin.

Fastforward. You as a sinful person, become aware of your sin. You realize you need a Savior. You make a conscious choice to accept Christ as such and repent of your sin. You are personally saved.

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. -Romans 10:9-10 ESV

So - in the PRESENT - Jesus takes care of the POWER of sin. Thus beginning a work of helping us to stop making selfish choices and start making godly choices.

Then - one day - when time ends and Christ comes back for all of His followers, there will suddenly be no more sin.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:3-4 ESV

So - in the FUTURE - Jesus removes the PRESENCE of sin.

I hope that helps you like it helps me. Let us rest in the payment made for our penalty - trust in the power for victory - and hold on to the hope for ultimate freedom in the future.

Let me know your thoughts and questions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spoken Word

I love spoken word stuff.

Here's the video I used tonight from Pastor Phil Allen.

Visit Pastor Phil's YOUTUBE channel for more spoken word videos.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Which Are You....?

So this past Monday was my son Isaac's fifth birthday. We asked him what he'd like to do.

He said, "Go to Krispy Kreme."

(Actually he says, "Christmas Kreme." We haven't been able to convince him otherwise.)

My five-year-old wants doughnuts for his birthday, so off we went. The whole fam.

And it was glorious. Isaac had a blue-iced, blueberry filled doughnut. A couple of the other kids had chocolate with rainbow sprinkles. Hannah had white-powered filled with strawberry. I had the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Doughnut. (It was heavenly!)

But as we were leaving I saw the most amazing thing:

Now this is fantastic, except for the fact that my thrift-shop-finding self recently purchased this fine t-shirt:

which, of course, puts me at odds with all pirates.

So, while I sort out this moral dilemma, I thought we'd find out this all-important identity piece about all of you:


Friday, September 6, 2013


One of my favorite scenes from my favorite movies is the gas station fight from Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo+Juliet.

In it members of the Capulet and Montague families get into a heated debate. As it escalates, Tybalt - Juliet's short-tempered cousin - makes this ominous statement:

"Peace? Peace. I hate the word."

Most of us probably wouldn't say we hate peace; but we might say we have none.

Oh. We may pretend to have peace. Or we are striving to have peace. Maybe we have a ten-step plan to how we are going to get peace into our life. But we haven't attained it yet.

So when we read things in the Bible like Ephesians 1:2:

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

we struggle.

We struggle because we feel like somehow we've missed out on something everyone else has. But our real problem is that we have mistook PEACE as something we can obtain.

Peace isn't something you obtain; it's something God has already given.

So why don't we have peace?

One of two things. Maybe we don't have peace because we are still allowing our sin to define us. We are a believer. We've trusted Christ as our Savior. We even love Him. But we can't shake that feeling that we aren't good enough.

Because of that one thing. That one night. That one thought. That one mistake.

So we continue to identify ourself as a sinner. But Paul in the verse right before what we just read tells us a different picture:

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the SAINTS who are in Ephesus, and are faithful IN CHRIST JESUS" (Ephesians 1:1 ESV)

See, if we are a believer of Christ, if our hope is IN CHRIST, then our identity is that of a SAINT in God's eyes. He already paid our debt, appeased His wrath and washed us clean. So we need to stop rejecting God's peace and accept His grace.

The other possibility on our peace-lessness, is maybe we don't have peace. If you aren't a believer in Christ. If you haven't asked Him to be your Savior. If you are still trusting in your own ability to be a good person, then you won't have peace because you are still an object of God's wrath. The ONLY remedy is for you to humble yourself, admit your sins and accept Christ's sacrifice on the cross as a substitution for your debt. It is only then that you will find peace.

If you have any questions about any of this, please post in the comments or send an email to

Also if you are local to us in Buffalo, MO, join us on Sunday as we look at a man who tried everything before he found peace.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Here's the intro video from tonight:

This week we looked at the first couple of verses from Ephesians 1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the questions:

Are you a SINNER or a SAINT?
What does it mean to be IN CHRIST?
What does it mean when I say "WHO YOU ARE DETERMINES WHAT YOU DO"

Next week we will look at Ephesians 1:3-14 if you want to read ahead!