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Archive for September, 2009

expectationOn October 24th 7pm we will have another night of music and art. You do not want to miss this night. 

It will be a night focused around celebrating the person and work of Jesus. We will spend time praying together and singing together.

Revelation 22:20 “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 

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As you read the Scriptures with your Fight Club, ask the question: what is this exposing in my life (most likely a good thing) that robs my affections for Jesus?

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Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Matt Chandler:

In this short video Matt highlights two main elements of a personal walk with God:

1. Answer the questions “how will I do this?” and “when will I do this?” when it comes to Bible reading, prayer, & solitude. Most men never get that far, never make a plan, and their walk with Jesus is sporadic at best.

2. Keep a watch on what stirs or stifles your affections for Jesus. Matt carefully watches his heart to see what increases his affection for Jesus – and he makes more room for these things (for example, getting up early and going to bed early are personally important for him). He also looks for those things that steal his affection from Christ or deaden it, and intentionally removes those from his life (his example was that he has to not follow sports closely because he starts caring too much).

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From a note I sent to our group leaders but applies to all of us at Christ Church:

Your group should be on mission together.

But do you know what it means for us to be a missional church? Could you explain that to someone in your group in a sentence or over an hour-long conversation?

Tim Keller’s three-page article on the missional church will help you immensely in both your self-understanding of corporate mission and your ability to articulate it to others.

From the article:

…what makes a small group ‘missional’? A ‘missional’ small group is not necessarily one which is doing some kind of specific ‘evangelism’ program (though that is to be recommended) Rather, 1) if its members love and talk positively about the city/neighborhood, 2) if they speak in language that is not filled with pious tribal or technical terms and phrases, nor disdainful and embattled language, 3) if in their Bible study they apply the gospel to the core concerns and stories of the people of the culture, 4) if they are obviously interested in and engaged with the literature and art and thought of the surrounding culture and can discuss it both appreciatively and yet critically, 5) if they exhibit deep concern for the poor and generosity with their money and purity and respect with regard to opposite sex, and show humility toward people of other races and cultures, 6) they do not bash other Christians and churches–then seekers and non-believing people from the city A) will be invited and B) will come and will stay as they explore spiritual issues. If these marks are not there it will only be able to include believers or traditional, “Christianized” people.

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Your life should be saturated and fueled by the gospel.

One reason this doesn’t happen is because we are unclear about what the gospel is and how it applies to our lives. For instance, a common refrain we hear is that a regular gospel emphasis becomes repetitive – the reality is that the gospel is repetitive only when we fail to grasp the subtle nuances of the gospel and remove it from the center of life.

So to help us grow in our understanding of the centrality and sufficiency of the gospel, I’d encourage you to read through Tim Keller’s ten-page article on The Centrality of the Gospel – and make sure to take good notes by asking good questions.

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JD Greear lays out a very helpful path for college students trying to figure out whether to focus their time and energy on campus ministry or the local church:

Some students will, from the beginning, know they want to minister to kids, seniors, the poor, etc., and that being involved in the ministries of their church will be a better fit for that. That should not be discouraged or looked down upon! On the other hand, some students are designed and called by God to focus more of their ministry on their peers. They may always keep their Bible study and ministry focus on campus and this is fine as well. This is how i was: not only for all my years of college, but several years afterward as well, I led Bible studies and ministry on campus. Students should be given freedom to explore their ministry callings and plug into the ministries that best fit them.

Read the rest of the post here.

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Is your desire for marriage too strong or too weak? Alex Chediak looks into that question:

We must simultaneously hold several truths in tension: An essential aspect of loving singles is being open to helping them in the process toward marriage, while recognizing:

  • our relationship with Christ is more important than our marital state
  • some singles are uniquely gifted to remain single for greater kingdom effectiveness
  • many singles struggle profoundly with loneliness, lust, fornication, and the like, and welcome (or should welcome) loving, gracious, and balanced input on the process toward marriage from Christians who care about their souls and their bodies
  • for most, marriage will be a means of profound sanctification, and they ought to responsibly (and diligently) move in this direction even as they embrace other adult responsibilities
  • just as God ordains the ends, He ordains the means. The means may include overcoming your fear and telling a girl how you feel.7 They may include giving a guy a chance, even though you grew up seeing your parents go through a divorce, and you’ve closed your heart like a shell.

In community with God’s people, singles can discern their calling and (where appropriate) pursue marriage honorably.

Read the entire article here.

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