Archive for the ‘Weekend Update’ Category

We wrapped up the Money series last week (still blown away by the response and can’t wait to see what God creates in us and through us over the next few weeks, months, years, decades…) and we don’t start the Love and Marriage series until next Sunday.


I’m going to teach on a fairly well-known text that I’ve never taught before.

And you won’t ever read this text the same way again.

Which means that your mind is going to be blown, your heart is going to melt and your life is going to change.

Matthew 28:16-20.

Read it. Journal about it. Pray over it. Invite friends to come with you on Sunday as we experience it together.


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Hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas and New Years’ weekends – excited about having everyone home for this weekend’s gathering!

We’re starting a new teaching series called ‘Money.’ Surprisingly, it’s about money.

For those of you that don’t like churches that talk about money, get over it. I love you – chances are that money gets in the way of your life with Jesus. I don’t care what we get from you – I’m willing for risk you not liking me so you can see what Jesus wants for you.

Now that you’re scared, I think you’ll be surprised at how un-scary this series is going to be. Basically, we’re going to walk through the Scriptures and see that because God owns everything and gives us money to create wealth, we can become people who give generously by living clearly.

In a word, this series is all about freedom. This could be life-changing for you and the people who you work with and live around.

A couple other notes:

  • Not only will we be teaching on money, we’re also providing world-class training in personal finances. Sign up for one of our free preview nights for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – 7-8pm at WCA on either Tuesday, January 12 or Tuesday, January 19. Look for the sign-up table after Sunday’s worship gathering or contact Todd Harrison at toddharrison@mindspring.com.
  • Summer and fall internships are available in our family, student, finance and administrative teams. For more information, contact the church office (office@c2pca.org).
  • We’re launching a two-year program next fall for anyone considering church planting and/or graduate-level theological training. For more information, contact the church office (office@c2pca.org).

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Gearing up for Sunday:

  • Wrapping up Advent connecting the Old Testament stories of Chronicles and Esther to our pursuit and experience of joy. Thinking about titling the message ‘IF’ – as in, ‘I’d be happy IF…’
  • Contrary to what you might have heard growing up, happiness and joy are the same thing.
  • We are obligated to pursue joy; we were made to be happy – and all of that takes place in the midst of the frustrations and heartaches of life.
  • Wrapping up Advent Conspiracy – if you haven’t had a chance to invest in our effort to make a greater impact in the community and world, then here’s your last chance.

Few other things coming up:

  • Christmas Eve gathering on…well, Christmas Eve. 5pm at WCA.
  • Year-end giving. The office will be closed December 28-January 1 so make sure if you send something through the mail that it’s postmarked by December 31. We need $10K to finish the year in the black – can’t wait to see how God continues to work through your generosity to further his kingdom.

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Been a great week around here – lots of conversations and stories about people living on mission together – not even the toppling over of our Christmas tree (twice!) can ruin the vibe a couple of weeks out from Christmas.

  • Speaking of Christmas and the Advent season leading up to it, this week’s message from the story of 2 Kings reminds us that the love of God (two weeks ago) and the hope he ignites (last week) creates a world of peace – a place where all of life flourishes in every avenue and arena.
  • One of the interesting notes in 2 Kings is that while Advent is a season of longing and anticipation, this isn’t just a story for people whose lives are a mess. This is both a challenge and a comfort for all of us who have a great life and are successful in the eyes of the world.
  • We’re receiving 15 new members into our Christ Church family. Because of our convictions about the critical nature of community in the life of both the individual Christian and the church, membership is something beautiful that we take very seriously.
  • Thanks again for the investment you made in Advent Conspiracy last week. If you weren’t able to pitch in last week, make that happen this week, giving generously because God has been generous to you.
  • Another great set list from the band – I love singing songs of Advent and Christmas with all of you!

Couple other things:

  • Christmas Eve gathering – you and your family need to be there. 5:00 at WCA – we’ll be out before 6:00.
  • We need a few people to love on our kids in the nursery during the Christmas Eve gathering. Why can’t that be you? Let Jared (jbryant@c2pca.org) know that you want to serve.
  • We’ve got some news on internships coming before the end of the year.
  • We’ll be hosting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University after the first of the year.
  • Hey, dads – the quality of Christmas for your family rests firmly on your shoulders. Here are some ideas on how to lead well.

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Looking over the set list and my notes for Sunday’s message from 1 Samuel – I’m a bit stunned by how our God can be ruthlessly passionate about justice while bending over backwards to put grace into our hands.

  • Only two weeks until Advent Conspiracy on December 6th. Look for more information on the blog early next week on how your investment will be used in Oconee County, across the state of Georgia and around the world. $10K for the Kingdom! All we want is for you to do your part – pray, plan, pitch in!
  • To help you nail down your financial investment in the church in 2010, we’ll be providing cards that allow you to indicate the percentage or dollar amount you’re asking God to provide through you to the church from January-March.
  • We’ll have a good number of people on the road because of the Thanksgiving holidays. If you’re gone this weekend, please know that we love you and will miss you.
  • Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas present some wrinkles to our lives as we travel and uproot our natural rhythms of daily activity. Don’t let off the gas pedal in your pursuit of God – this season of the year should draw us deeply to God’s pursuit of us through the life and death of Jesus.
  • Let me say this a different way – regardless of where we are and what we’re doing for the holidays, there are people around us who are dying and going to hell. Please, please, please – let’s never get that off the radar screen and lose our God-given sense of urgency. We might dress casually but there is absolutely nothing casual about what we do.

Quick Hits

  • As we grow in our understanding and practice of missional community, posts like this one by Jonathan Dodson on how NOT to be missional are critical. If you’ve equated mission with social action, evangelism or events – this one’s for you.
  • The audio from last week’s Acts 29 bootcamp in Louisville is up. If you’re on the road for Thanksgiving, download these sessions on your iPod or a CD and soak this in.


  • If I had to choose only one book to help me prepare for Christmas during Advent, I’d go with Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, a series of meditations from John Piper, Tim Keller, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, etc. You can pick up a copy for less than $10 here.


“I pray, O God, that I may know thee, that I may love thee, so that I may rejoice in thee. And if I cannot do this to the full in this life, at least let me go forward from day to day until that joy comes to fullness.”

Anselm, Proslogion, LCC edition, page 92. (via Ray Ortlund)

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Thanks for praying for me while I was in Louisville this week for the Acts 29 Boot Camp. Aaron and I took six of the men from the church and we had a blast. Learned a lot, maybe taught a thing or two and really enjoyed catching up with some friends and assessing two church planters here in Georgia.

Let’s talk about what’s going on around Christ Church:

  • Our next Community Lunch is this Sunday after the worship gathering. We are having a potluck lunch and are asking last names A-H bring an extra large main dish, side dish & drink and last names I-Z bring an extra large main dish, dessert & drink. If you’re part of our church – regardless of your life stage – we’d love for you to pitch in with food and help us serve our family and friends from outside the church well.
  • Speaking of friends, the Sundays we host a Community Lunch are great days to invite people who aren’t following Christ to come with you to the worship gathering. Just sayin’…
  • We’ll be digging around in the book of Judges this week. If the message had a theme song, I’d go with ‘My Hero‘ by Foo Fighters. Their greatest hits album – by the way – is phenomenal.
  • Here’s a question to be asking before you show up on Sunday – what do you need most in life? And don’t get super-spiritual on me – some of you want to say Jesus but let’s shuck the corn down the cob and ask what your life says you need the most.
  • Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity last Sunday. We needed $6K and you invested almost $11K in our church. Let’s keep it going by asking God to provide $6K again this week to help us get ahead as we head towards the end of 2009.
  • We’re going to keep talking this Sunday about Advent Conspiracy and have some more news about how you can help us plan and prepare for 2010.

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Just finished looking over this Sunday’s message on the book of Joshua. Some of us know some of the stories in the book – a million people crossing an impassible river, the destruction of an entire city by a marching band – but what this story comes down to is a deep desire for land…a place…a home. This is a great story – a story that describes the story of our journey with Christ. Can’t wait to unpack this with you and your friends tomorrow!

We’ll talk some more about Advent Conspiracy – an opportunity God’s opening up for you and me and us to make a greater impact in our community, state and world. We’re asking God to move us to invest $10K towards local needs, worldwide church planting, and one-time expenses we have to keep us rockin’ along in 2010. You need to be in on this – what an incredible way to watch God work. Start by figuring out how much money you’ll spend on gifts this Christmas and talk with your family about using half of that money for Advent Conspiracy – it will help you be more creative and intentional in giving gifts and free up financial resources for God’s kingdom. That’s a win all the way around!

Don’t forget the Hayride this Sunday at 4:30 at Bill and Joanne Bath’s place – check out the blog post below for more details. But seriously – s’mores, hay, square dancing and bluegrass music. So get your hillbilly redneck on and bring a friend or three.

Quick Hits:

  • Our next Community Lunch is Sunday, November 15th. I’m hearing rumors of a Thanksgiving-themed meal…look for more details early next week.
  • Two big financial weeks in front of us – because of some annual one-time expenses we need to bring in $6,000 this Sunday AND next Sunday. Your part is simple: pray, assess what you need to give, and let’s take care of business.
  • Great job by some of our high school students at last Thursday’s ‘Faith on the Field’ event in Oconee County.
  • I’ll be speaking at the Acts 29 boot camp in Louisville next week. Would love for you to pray for me, Aaron and the six other men who are going with us on Monday.


  • Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods is one of my favorite books of the year.
  • As we make our way through the Old Testament, Mark Dever’s book Promises Made will give you a great overview of the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi.


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