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Archive for June, 2009

over-the-grave-album-cover-300x271Our friends at Sojourn Church (part of the Acts 29 Network with us) in Louisville Kentucky have put out a new record that is a must have. We have been playing it before the worship gatherings the past two weeks. It is called ‘Over The Grave: The Hymns Of Isaac Watts, volume one’. We played an acoustic version of the opening song ‘Warrior’ for our gathering song about a month ago. You can buy it here. It is not on itunes yet but when it is I will let you know.

We do some stuff off of one of their other records as well. Here is a link to their record ‘Before The Throne’

I hope you get this record, its a great one. 

Here is a review by Ed Stetzer. Click here.

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads at Christ Church. We’re cooking up a few things for you – including Fight Club 09 in Atlanta that you need to be at on August 1st.

Two ways you can get ready for our gathering on Sunday – read John 14-16 and figure out what Jesus says about prayer…and then go and do it. If you take what he says seriously, it will turn prayer upside down for you!

Congratulations to Jonathan Mayo and Emily Floyd on their wedding this weekend – I just wrapped up the (short) sermon on Colossians 1:15-22 and it should be a fun night.

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Hope everyone’s well – good to get my feet wet back in the pool of blogging after a two-week study leave and then our staff advance down in Destin. I’ve been working on what it looks like for us as a church to live and lead as missionaries here in our own backyard – looking forward to rolling some things out in front of you in the next month or so. I really think you’ll like it.

Last Sunday, we started a teaching series called Breathe, reminding us that the life we need is one where we breathe in who God is as he reveals himself to us and breathe out through prayer our needs, concerns and joys. We talked about the fact that God is our Father and as his children, we should pray by asking for anything and everything and trusting that he will always bring about what is best.

That picture of prayer – asking and trusting – is generating some great discussion. The next two weeks we’re going to talk about why we struggle to live this out: this Sunday we’ll be talking about why we don’t trust God to always be there for us and to alwasy work for our good. Remember that we pray together at 9:30 before the worship gathering begins at 10:00.

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Books on Prayer

While my first suggestion during this teaching series on prayer is to pray – these two books have been extremely helpful in influencing the shape of what we’re talking about on Sundays.

A Call to Spiritual Reformation – D.A. Carson

A Praying Life – Paul Miller

Read Miller first, then Carson.

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One obvious thing about our church is that we are a church that uses liturgy. Often folks don’t understand why we do or the purpose it serves. This a a good video that hits some of the heart behind us using liturgy on Sunday mornings when we gather.  

Click here to watch.

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The Scriptures are deadly serious about money – take the same approach.

There’s a reason Jesus talks so much about money in the gospels. In my estimation, the most comprehensive resource on what the Scriptures teach about money is Randy Alcorn’s Money, Possessions and Eternity.

What you do is driven by who you are.

Your identity shapes your activity. For us as a church, that means we make decisions about money in the light of our identity as missionaries in community empowered by the gospel.

What you do with money is a community project.

Because we are so easily deceived about what constitutes what we need versus what we want, we need other people who know us and love us enough to listen to us and ask good clarifying questions.

Pursue simplicity and generosity.

The biblical pattern when finances get tight is not to maintain and save. Without dismissing the issue of savings, the pattern throughout the Scriptures is to live simply and generously.

Take one more step.

Biblical simplicity and generosity pushes the envelope of what culture considers to be normal. If the gospel creates a people who cut against the grain of societal standards, that means that the followers of Jesus will be more rigorous in their pursuit of simplicity and more lavish in their generosity than their friends and neighbors who don’t know Jesus.

Depend on the grace of God in the gospel.

Rigorous simplicity and lavish generosity is impossible apart from God powerfully rewiring how we think and feel about money. And the issue seems to come down to this – money exists as currency that purchases our greatest security, comfort and satisfaction. The question is whether we find those things in a life that is centered on God or some other source of hope and delight.

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