Jan 272010
 

Big Idea:
Worship is our mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God, thanking Him and praising Him for who he is and what He has done, expressed in and by what we say and how we live.

A genuine encounter with Jesus leads to a radical response with your life.

Worship is a verb.

Scripture Memory:
John 4:23 (ESV)
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

Action Step: Do something pragmatic and practical this week as an act of worship that takes you out of your comfort zone.  Respond in corporate worship and in your private worship.
Random Thoughts:

  • Sunday was without a doubt one of the most powerful worship times we have ever had at Church at the Grove!  Awesome!
  • This has been a great series!  I love talking about God’s “Crazy Love”! 
  • Man, we are having a lot of babies born into families of Church at the Grove!  We have had 2 babies born in the last 2 weeks!  Its crazy but I love it!
  • I am looking forward to the CATG mission trip to Romania in late July.  This is the last week to sign up or commit to the trip.  See Nathan.  Jill and I are trying to decide which one of us is going to go.  Help!
  • We have Thankful Thursdayscoming up at Youth Middle School in February!  We set up the stage in the cafeteria/auditorium as a cafe and serve coffee and food to the teachers all day during their planning periods.  They get to relax, play Wii, hang out and talk without thinking about work.  We need your help with food, and just hanging out loving on teachers.  We will also do this in March at Walnut Grove High School.
  • COMMUNITY GROUPS!  Groups begin this week!  Don’t miss out on building relationships with people in CATG!  Our journey as followers of Jesus is best experienced in the context of relationships!  Life is too hard to journey alone!
  • I am having a blast helping Nathan with our middle and high school students!  Since my son Josiah is in 6th grade I am back involved in youth ministry.  Come and join us!  We need some more adults that will hang out and love on students.  Disciple Now weekend is coming up Feb. 19th and 20th.  It is a great in home retreat where youth have fun and grow spiritually. 
  • We have a new teaching series that begins Sunday February 7.  It will be titled “Staying in Love” and will focus on marriage and relationships.  Don’t miss this practical series that offers wise guidance on doing marriage right and making it last!  There are a lot of marriages struggling and people hurting.  This is an awesome series to invite some friends and neighbors.
  • I just renewed my homeowner and auto insurance and saved a ton!  I also have an incredible source on roof and gutter work that will save a ton of $$$.  Let me know and I will pass on the contacts to you.
  • I am praying for David and Gracy Bondy in South Asia, Pat and Joy Hardin in Romania and Josh and Rebekah Holt preparing for England.  I am also praying for the church plants we support and other ministries we partner with.  So many!
  • I am praying for the people and relief efforts in Haiti and about future opportunities we may have to invest in people’s lives there.  Please join in praying.
  • I am so thankful for our leaders at CATG.  I had the opportunity to hang out with Leo Shababy yesterday evening and he is such an encourager and so practical in helping me think through steps for CATG to continue reaching people for Jesus.

Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 9:35 am
Jan 202010
 

Big Idea:
Lukewarm, indifferent Christian living does not honor God and makes Him sick. 
Lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron. 

Scripture memory:
1 Timothy 6:17-18
17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,

Action Step:
Spiritually take your temperature this week!  Prayerfully answer this question: Am I a lukewarm Christian?  Be honest and be ready to respond as God leads you to become either hot or cold for Jesus!

Random thoughts:

This past weekend was packed with good stuff! 

  • We had a packed C-3 class on Friday night at the home of Craig and Tonya Calhoun!  It was awesome.  It is so exciting to see so many people considering joining Church at the Grove and being a part of what God is doing in our community.  Thank you to Craig and Tonya!  If you haven’t been a part of a C-3 gathering we have another one next month.  It is a great opportunity to learn about Church at the Grove and our mission for the community and world.
  • Sunday was a great Sunday!  I am so thankful for Gabe, Austin and the  band.  Gabe and Austin were both sick this past week but they came through to make this a great Sunday morning.  Make sure you hug or high-five these guys and Shelley when you see them.  Our worship continues to get better and better!
  • Question: Are you a lukewarm Christian?  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  Are you taking your spiritual temperature this week?  Take a look at this “Profile of the Lukewarm” I put as a blog post and use it as a tool to take your temperature!  Let me go ahead and say “Ouch!” for you!  oh yeah, it is going to sting!
  • Community Groups!  Where you going to connect?  Take a look at the program and decide where it will be.  You can’t grow ALONE!  You don’t grow by sitting in rows looking at the back of someone’s head!  Spiritual growth happens best in the context of Community! 
  • Thankful Thursdays are coming up in February for Youth Middle School and March at Walnut Grove High School!  We need your help to BE THERE and to bring food etc.  Come hangout and help us love on teachers in Feb. and March! 
  • We made the news again!   Check out CBS Atlanta and see the report on the AUM Christmas project.
  • I am praying about Haiti!  Its so bad and so overwhelming.  I identify with so many people that want to do something but just don’t know what to do.  I am thinking about making a donation from our church or taking up an offering or something.  I would love your input! 
  • Don’t miss this Sunday for Part 4 of “Crazy Love”.  Make sure you listen online if you have missed any previous weeks. 
  • I am looking forward to the new series in February called, “Staying in Love”.  It will a great series on marriage. 

Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 12:57 pm
Jan 202010
 

This “profile of the Lukewarm” comes from chapter 4 of “Crazy Love” written by Frances Chan.

PROFILE OF THE LUKEWARM

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe ‘good Christians’ do, so they go. (Isaiah 29:13)

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right? (1 Chron 21:24, Luke 21:1-4)

Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. (Luke 6:26, Rev 3:1, Matt 23:5-7)

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one. (John 10:10, Rom 6:1-2)

Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for ‘extreme’ Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call ‘radical’ what Jesus expected of all his followers. (James 1:22, James 4:17, Matt 21:28-31)

Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbours, co-workers or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion. (Matt 10:32-33)

Lukewarm people gauge their morality or ‘goodness’ by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren’t as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street. (Luke 18:11-12)

Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives. (Luke 9:57-62)

Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors, missionaries and radicals. (Matt 22:37-38)

Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focussed on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached. (Matt 5:43-47, Luke 14:13-14)

Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go, or how much time, money and energy they are willing to give. (Luke 18:21-25)

Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focussed on today’s to-do list, this week’s schedule and next month’s vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they consider the life to come. Regarding this, C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.’ (Phil 3:18-20, Col 3:2)

Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, ‘Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only the love of money is.’ Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel ‘called’ to minister to the rich; very few feel ‘called’ to minister to the poor. (Matt 25: 34, 40, Isaiah 58:6-7)

Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the base minimum, to be ‘good enough’ without it requiring too much of them. They ask, ‘How far can I go before it’s considered a sin?’ instead of ‘How can I keep myself pure as a temple of the Holy Spirit?’ They ask,….’ (1 Chron 29:14, Matt 13:44-46)

Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and taking risks for God. (1 Tim 6:17-18, Matt 10:28)

Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens – they have their saving account. They don’t need God to help them – they have their retirement plan in place. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live – they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis – their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God. (Luke 12:16-21, Amos 6:1)

Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitised lives with holiness, but that couldn’t be more wrong. (Matt 23:25-28, Matt 7:21)

 Posted by at 10:46 am
Jan 142010
 

Big Idea:
We are most satisfied when God is glorified in and through us.

Key Verse:
Philippians 3:10 (ESV)
10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Action Step:
Every morning this week, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, read Psalm or Psalm 27 and pray back to God Philippians 3:10!

Random Thoughts:

  • I love what is happening in and through Church at the Grove right now!  Great spirit, great momentum, great times!
  • We are still getting the hang of setting up, doing church, and breaking down at a new place!  I am so thankful for all the work and efforts that so many are putting into making it happen!  Thank You!!!!
  • I love our band and worship team!  They get better and lead better each and every week.  I am so thankful for those guys.
  • We were loaded with kids this past Sunday! Wow!  You could hear them screaming from their KidzGrove rooms.  I love it!  I am so excited about our new KidzGrove environment for 3-5 graders.  I am hearing they love it.  I am so thankful for all of those that serve and make our children’s ministry great!  Pat Rosemary on the back and tell her how much you appreciate her.
  • I am loving this series “Crazy Love” and I am talking to a lot of people who have bought the book and are reading it at the same time we are going through the series.  Awesome stuff.  You can order the book here if you like. 
  • I am so excited about what God is doing!  Let’s stay focused in our efforts on prayer and fasting and on our efforts to see 100 salvations by Easter of this year!  ACCESS prayer on Tuesday night was awesome this week and we continue to pray for those 100 salvations!
  • Don’t forget to be praying and inviting for your 10 for 2010!  Pray for 10 people in your circle of friends, family, co-workers, neighbors etc. that you can share Jesus with and/or invite to CATGrove!  God is up to something!
  • I am so burdened by the suffering of the people in Haiti right now.  I am praying about the most effective way we as a church can support relief efforts there.  I am open to your ideas and suggestions. 
  • I am excited about our Student Ministry and what God is going to do in and through it this year!  We would love to have you jump in and help us with our Students.  Contact Nathan and let him know you want to serve.
  • We have a lot going on!  Please jump in and serve with us as we impact our community and the world! 

Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 

 

 

 Posted by at 9:46 am