Wrestling With What?

Wrestling With What?

“What do I want most?” This past week I had a chance to speak with a group of parents. We walked through a number of topics, but one that I have been really working into my own life is the idea of wrestling with God. We have all heard the story of Jacob, who wrestled with God throughout the night seeking a blessing. I am inspired by his relentless pursuit of a blessing. God touched his hip and caused it to be put out of joint. At this point I imagine a man hurt and unable to push against his opponent. So when he is unable to push what does he do? Then God asked Jacob to let him go as the morning had come. He was simply holding on to God and seeking a blessing. There are many times in my life when I simply push through circumstances. There are other times when we are unable to push through and we do run to God in prayer. However, I have been asking myself a different question. Previously, I would ask myself what do I need God’s help with and so I would pray for those things. As I get older I am realizing that the “Need God’s help” list is growing as I am becoming more aware that I am very limited in what I can do. I want to see God in my work, in my home, and in my friendships. I want to see him do great things and deep things. My desires are growing and I am quite unable to achieve them. This begs the...
Young Adults Vision Dinner Summary

Young Adults Vision Dinner Summary

If you weren’t able to attend the Young Families and Young Adults Vision Dinner on September 18th, here is short summary of what was presented…   The Vision for our Young Adult and Young Family Ministries: To be a people who are redeeming our homes, neighborhoods, and communities through the transforming power of the Gospel.   We aim to see this happen through 4 primary values: That we would keep Christ as supreme and His gospel at the center of all that we do That we would be faithful in creating a culture of vulnerability and honesty That we would be a resource rich ministry, helping our people easily engage with gospel-centered resources as they grow, develop, and lead others That we would be a safe place to land and launch (helicopter pad illustration)   Further Explanation: In everything we do we want to exalt Jesus and make Him known. Whether it is through events, small groups, connect groups, conversations, retreats, etc. our goal is to show Christ, His life, death, resurrection, and reign, as the greatest and most important message of hope to those in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities.   We desire to create a community where people feel comfortable to share their faults and struggles. Church is so often a place where broken people feel like they need to clean themselves up in order to fit in and belong. We want our ministries to be a safe place for the Gospel to meet people where they are rather than where they pretend to be. Real people with real struggles encountering a real Savior who gives real...
It’s December!

It’s December!

It’s December! The Advent Season is upon us once again! The busy nature of this time of year, the shopping, the cooking, the pressure can all be very distracting from our incredible reason to celebrate at Christmas time. Our awesome Ministry Associate, Christy, uses a really cool plan to help focus herself and her family during Advent (some of you may have seen her post on social media already). It’s a reading plan through the Jesus Storybook Bible that you can find (and print) here: http://www.faithgateway.com/jesus-storybook-bible-advent-calendar-printable/ If you happen not to have the Jesus Storybook Bible, you can read more about it, and find links to purchase it...
Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Sometimes blogs focusing on holidays get complicated and overthought.  Sometimes we try too hard to pull out a little nuance and miss the obvious.  Thanksgiving is this week, and the theme is simple: Give thanks.  The Puritans set aside a day to thank God for His provision in the harvest.  The title of the holiday has, in some ways, helped protect the simplicity of the day.  Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks.  Some people thank God, some don’t.  But most everyone gives thanks to someone for something. Thanksgiving Day is a great day to gather with family and friends and tell God how grateful we are for His provision.  While there are many things I am thankful for: family, friends, work, health, food, shelter, and clothing, to name a few; this year I truly am most thankful for God, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  They have done for us what we could never have done for ourselves.  The Godhead provided for our ultimate need… redemption.  The Father planned it, The Son accomplished it, and The Holy Spirit applied it to all children of God. Rather than elaborating, just let the words of Caedmon’s Call (one of the all-time great bands) song, Thankful, sink in: You know I ran across an old box of letters While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill But you know I had to laugh at the same old struggles That plagued me then are plaguing me still I know the road is long from the ground to glory But a boy can hope he’s getting some place But you see, I’m...
Anger

Anger

Anger strikes up all kind of images in our minds. Some of those images are painful.  Maybe because of what someone has done to us in anger, or maybe because of what we have done to others in anger.  Likely it’s a little of both. Anger is a confusing emotion.  Deep down inside we know it’s appropriate and yet we feel guilty when we experience it.  Today our goal is not to equip you in a blog but rather to point you to some resources we think can be of great value to you.  But before pointing you to those resources just a brief word about anger. Anger is not sin.  Anger is an emotion.  Anger can become sinful, but anger, in and of itself, is not sinful.  Anger without just cause is unnecessary.  Anger with just cause is actually necessary.  God gets angry.  God gets angry when sin is committed.  When His creation (people, places, things, etc.) is not valued and honored it is an assault on Him.  He gets ticked off at that.  It is called righteous anger.  God knows how to unleash His anger in an appropriate way.  Anger is not sin. Anger is an emotion. Anger can become sinful, but anger, in and of itself, is not sinful. Click To Tweet It is good and right for humans to experience anger over sin.  It is not good and right for humans to unleash anger in a way that is damaging, harmful, and dishonoring to God and His creation.  Here’s what we all need help with: appropriately directing anger in the right place, with the right...
The Gospel

The Gospel

Everyone Needs the Gospel Each year we focus on a particular aspect of faith. Year 1 we focused on prayer. Year 2 was on the Word. Last year we looked at the church. This year (year 4) we will hone in on the gospel. What are the implications of the gospel in our marriage and parenting? Both believers and unbelievers need the gospel. Dr. Russell Moore is one of my modern day heroes. He is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Previously, he served faithfully at The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has authored numerous books including the most recent Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. We get a taste of the book when Focus on the Family interviews him in a two-part series. These two podcasts are well worth your time.  Engaging Today’s Culture With the Gospel – Part One and Engaging Today’s Culture With the Gospel – Part Two each run about 28.5...