Posts Tagged hope

Ashley & Mike – The Rest of the Story (Sometimes there IS a Bow!)

This past Sunday we shared Louie Giglio’s powerful message, “Anchor of Hope” from his series, “Hope When Life Hurts Most” (you can watch it here or buy the DVD here). One of the most memorable parts of the message was when Louie was sharing about Ashley, the college student who became a Christian after a friend attended the Passion 2007 conference and then died a few months later, just before her graduation (Louie’s talk, “Fruitcake and Ice Cream” tells more of Ashley’s story as well).

Louie also shared about his subsequent interactions with Ashley’s atheist dad, Mike. He said they were in dialogue about Jesus and pursuing a friendship but that there wasn’t a “bow” to wrap around the story — no obviously happy ending.

Well, I was informed yesterday that there is more to the story, which Louie shared with his church last January. In his message, “God is For Us” (about Romans 8), Louie concludes by telling what has happened with Mike in the last few years.

We’ve cut the audio down to about 18 minutes here. You don’t want to miss this!

Click here to listen.

P.S. Sometimes there IS a bow! It just takes longer than we might hope or expect.

 

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A Song of Hope

In Sunday’s sermon, Matthew mentioned the value of hoping in God and the joy that life is with him now and in the future. Meditating on the solid hope of what’s to come gives us great strength here and now to trust God in the midst of a variety of circumstances.

A song that communicates this idea well is called “You Hold Me Now” by Hillsong. It’s part of their newly released album, “Faith + Hope + Love” (you can listen to it one time free online here). I love the lyrics:

On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace

All my fears swept away
In the light of your embrace
When Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let these songs of heaven rise to you alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suff’ring You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness no sickening
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now

In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there’s a greater day
There’s a hope that never fails

When You’re name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I’m believing for the day

When the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let these songs of heaven rise to you alone

Check out a video of the song below.

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Don’t-Miss Resource: Hope When Life Hurts Most

Louie Giglio has been a key leader in helping college students and twenty-somethings develop a passion for the glory of God. As the founder of the Passion movement, he has invested his life in helping people see the grandeur of God in all of life. Now, as the lead pastor of the new Passion City Church, he’s continuing this vision in the city of Atlanta.

In these two messages, Giglio shares how we can have hope when life hurts most, and he shares a very real and personal story about how he’s seeing this work out in the life of a student that became very important to him. These messages were first shared with me by my cousin Zach, who lives in Atlanta and was deeply moved by these messages. I hope you’ll take the time to watch and learn from these moving talks.

Click here to watch part 1.

Click here to watch part 2.

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Best Advent Ever

For me, this season leading up to Christmas (what’s called “Advent”) has been more exciting than ever. I think this is for two reasons:

1) I learned for the first time that the church has historically looked at Advent as a time to anticipate Jesus’ second coming. I always thought that Advent was designed to remember Jesus’ birth–and that is definitely part of it. But the earlier generations of the church looked at Advent as a chance to anticipate his coming. They thought to themselves, “What if Jesus came back again on Christmas day? Would I be ready?” This approach has made this Advent season much more reverent and Christ-centered.

2) This past year I’ve done quite a bit of study on the big-picture story of redemption. Through books like The Drama of Scripture and Salvation Belongs to Our God, I’ve discovered that God’s ultimate design is not just to save individuals, but to redeem and restore all things to the way he originally created them. This means that the Kingdom of God that Jesus announced will culminate in his return and in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

These two things have added a real richness to Christmas and an anticipation for the Age to Come. This is summarized well in a few lines from “Glory Be” a Christmas song put out by Sojourn Community Church in Louisville (click here for other free songs from their “Advent Songs” album).

Hallelujah, the Lord of Life has come,
To reconcile the nations to their God!
Hallelujah, He’s coming back again,
To finish what began in Bethlehem!

May our hearts sing for joy not only that the child has come to set us free, but that he’s coming back again to renew and restore his world!

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Where is Your Hope on Election Day?

I am very excited to see what happens with today’s election. It’s hard to believe (and quite nice) that it’s finally coming to an end. I think it’s important to remember that, no matter what happens or whether your candidate wins, God is on the throne and our hope is in him.

On this election day, let me recommend this “Sermon Jam” clip by Alistair Begg: The Kingdom.

I think it will help remind you that God’s Kingdom is not of this world.

Happy voting!

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