Archive for February, 2009

Preaching Christ vs. Self-help

At Second Mile Church, we’re committed to preaching the gospel — “Christ and him crucified” — as the answer for our problems, rather than a bunch of moralistic, self-help ideas. Here’s a great example from fellow Acts29 Network pastor Matt Chandler on the difference.

For more of Matt Chandler’s sermons go here, or subscribe to his podcast.

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Learning Contentment

Having a two-year old does wonderful things for your soul. It’s often a lesson in patience, consistency, and a host of other things, but recently it was a lesson in contentment.

We just returned from a brief family getaway to San Diego, where we had received a few free nights as a result of a timeshare presentation we endured a few months back. Though we were happy to have a free trip, the hotel room we stayed in was one of the smaller ones I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t long before Molly and I were rolling our eyes and quietly griping. But Abby, our two year old, quickly scampered onto one of the beds and exclaimed, “This hotel is awesome!”

You see, she was in a new place, experiencing a new thing with the three people she loves most in the world — and that was all a girl could hope for. It was a great lesson for me that I should be content with the amazing things God has given me rather than be a whiner who dishonors the Lord with my complaining (click here for a related video).

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Nothing Else But Him

Check out this great post from my friend Kristie Braselton, “Nothing Else But Him.” It’s a great post and very encouraging.

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One-Sentence Life Summary

What would your life look like if it was summarized with just one sentence?

I’ve been reading 1-2 Kings and it strikes me that each of the kings of Judah and Israel often have their whole lives summarized in just a sentence. And the sentence is usually one of these two things:

1. “Did evil in the sight of the Lord” (see 1 Kings 15:34, 16:19, 16:30, etc)

2. “Did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (see 1 Kings 15:11, 2 Kings 15:3, 18:3, etc)

Now, what is the determining factor? Is this simply taking all the good and bad things of the person’s life and weighing them on a scale (which is how many people think eternal life is determined)?

As you read the stories, what you realize is that the issue had everything to do with the heart. The kings did evil in the sight of the Lord by turning away from God in their hearts, trusting idols, and leading people to do the same. On the other hand, some kings did what was right in the eyes of the Lord by having an undivided heart for the the Lord and leading others to be faithful to God.

It’s good to think about the details of your life, but if it had to be summarized with just a sentence how would your life be described? Do you have an undivided heart for Jesus or are you really living for other things?

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Encounter With Jesus

One of the most exciting things about our series in Mark is that each week we are confronted with the reality of who Jesus is. For me, the preparation and study time has been rich and challenging – it’s always a new encounter with Jesus. This week we’ll be looking at “Kingdom Wholeness” and how Jesus is always working to restore people. A great example of this is the story of his encounter with the Demoniac in Mark 5:1-20. Below is an Anime video that tells this story, as put out by the folks who do the Jesus Film. I think it’s a powerful visual image of the story, especially when you read the passage first.

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Sunday Preview

Take a look at Mark 4:1-34 as created by wordle.net, which creates “word clouds” that give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the text you type in. This is the text we’ll study on Sunday. Can you guess what the main point is?

mk41-34-wordle

See it big at wordle’s site.

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For all the Young Moms

I saw this clip from Saturday Night Live and couldn’t wait to show Molly. Enjoy!

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