Converge Ignite

I’m in the Phoenix area right now for a church plant conference called Ignite 2011 put on by a group called Converge Worldwide. My friend Darryn Scheske, who pastors Heartland Church in Indianapolis invited me to this event.  It’s been great to learn, train and meet new people who have a heart for church planting.

Being in this environment is encouraging me to re-dream all that God has called The Church at Indian Lake to be a part of!  It’s amazing to consider that God’s dream for our church is even greater than we can imagine!

Weekend Re-Cap

1.  It was great to see such a good crowd in our second service, considering it was time-change Sunday and it was Spring Break Sunday.  A vicious combination.
2.  I loved the new song with the verse, “I sing because you are good, I dance because you are good . . . ”
3. Our “Stay-cation” give away was neat.  Our Prayer Team prayed that God would have the right families get the gifts, and I think the two families whose name was drawn were well deserving of a boost this Spring Break.
4. It was really nice to have my Mom, my sister Shelby and her two twin sons Austin and Denton visit for a few days.  I did miss my brother-in-law Scott. 5. Some great basketball this weekend.  I was disappointed Vanderbilt lost, but happy Kentucky won the SEC again.
6. Our 242 was packed tonight, and it was a fulfilling and enjoyable time.  The food was so good – too good.
7. I think my sermon today was an important.  Hopefully, those who listened to it will be prepared to not be taken “captive” (Colossians 2:6-8).
8. Pastor David needs to stop bringing Dunkin Donuts.   I’m all for youth fund-raisers, but this is not good for me – :).

Love Batterson’s Soul Print

I have read a lot of Christian growth books over the years, so when I picked up Soul Print by Mark Batterson, I didn’t expect anything fresh or original.   Was I wrong!

Soul Print is an inspirational book about our individual originality, and its writing style was refreshing, informative and enjoyable.   Batterson does a great job using personal stories and theories from psychology, while remaining anchored in God’s Word by paralleling the story of David.  There are many great one-line quotes by Batterson through this book.  My highlighter was used on almost every page!

I found myself amused, inspired and reflective as I read through this fast-paced book.   I hope to take a small group through this book in the future, and the questions provided at the end of the book will make that very easy.

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I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

 

CIL’s Immediate Response to Tragedy in Japan

On this beautiful Saturday in Tennessee, our hearts our heavy when we are reminded of the suffering in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami.

CIL is going to funnel our financial gifts towards Japan through Convoy of Hope.

You can give towards relief to Japan in three ways:

1. Any financial gift given Sunday that is designated “Japan”, “Earthquake”, “Tsunami”, etc. will be given 100% directly to Convoy of Hope.

2. You can directly give to Convoy of  Hope on-line by clicking here.

3. You can text “TSUNAMI” to 50555 to donate $10 to Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response efforts.  This donation will appear on your wireless bill.

A Woman’s Struggle with the Eyes

There is an old misconception that lust is a male problem, especially since men are visually driven.  While it may be true that men are more driven visually, women are also susceptible for lust to enter their lives through the doorway of the eyes.

I made a passing comment in my message Sunday on the Eyes that, “Potiphar’s wife was the first cougar.”  (Assuming she was much older than Joseph).  We were looking at the story of Joseph resisting the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 8But he refused . . . Genesis 39:6-8 (ESV)

In recent years it has become accepted, and even celebrated, that women should engage sexually with much younger men.  This is not referring to covenant marriage, as I know many Christian couples in which the wife is older than the husband, and their marriage is healthy and Christ-honoring.

The term “cougar” is a contemporary nick-name that refers to ladies who make sexual advancements on much younger men, who often are young enough to be their child.   According to this story in Genesis, this is not a new phenomenon, but an ancient temptation.   Like most sinful behavior, nothing is new under the sun.  Unfortunately, there are numerous stories in the media of female educators who have engaged sexually with male minors.

I’m not trying to be judgmental towards women in this area, as my gender has more frequently used sex in oppressive ways through the centuries.  I am just pointing out that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).”

In the doorway of the eyes, both men and women are vulnerable to lust.

“Staycation” Giveaway at CIL

In my sermon series, “God and Money,” I challenged us as believers to use Godly wisdom in approaching our finances. One idea for your family may be staying at home this Spring Break and doing things together here. This Sunday we will draw a name from our Children’s Check In System to choose a family from each service to receive a package with some great family outings for a stay at home vacation. Come early and register your family for this giveaway.  Also, tell someone you know who hasn’t been to church in a while about this “Staycation Giveaway.”

 

What You Look at You Become

What we gaze upon creates our desires.  In our series Doorways, I taught on the doorway of the Eyes on Sunday.   Temptation through our eyes happened at the beginning of humanity, as Satan tempted Eve through her eyes (Genesis 3:1-7).

The eyes are the entry point to your desire.   The eyes create.  They create ideas, desires, suspicions, justification, opportunities, excuses, options, jealousies, offenses, belief systems, lust, opportunities to steal, opportunities to cheat and opportunities to bless.

The eyes are the window to the soul.

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world . . .I John 2:15-16 (ESV)

This is especially true in the area of lust.  We live in a generation where lust is not just accepted, it’s celebrated.  Pornography is not just an option, it’s readily accessible.

That’s why I am excited about the first steps we are taking to help our men.  We are trying to cultivate relationships that will spring into more accountability.

How are we doing this for men?

– Men’s Bible study every Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.
– A monthly men’s fellowship the fourth Saturday of the month (7:00 a.m.)
– The next Men’s Night on Saturday, April 16th (6:00 p.m.) will deal directly with the issue of pornography.

However, lust is not just a male problem.  How do I know?  I’ll write about that later this week.