Monday, November 24, 2014


No real message today, just after a week of rest I hope all my American friends can do the same over the next few days. Safe travels!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fresh Eyes

Have you ever done something or heard something so many times that you're almost immune to the message?

This past year I've been challenged by this in two ways. First my soon to be one-year-old. Everything she sees is for the first time. How is she seeing it? What does she think? Does she like it/hate it?

The other is the story of Jesus. In II Timothy 2:8 Paul reminds Timothy to remember Christ risen from the dead. Why on earth would Paul need to remind a young man who has grown up knowing Jesus and is now the pastor of a church of such a basic concept, the crux of the story, of his faith? Because we forget. even this season that's coming, Christmas, do we just glance through the story or do we see it with fresh eyes and all the craziness and miraculousness that ensues inside our culture's number one holiday?

And soon, those two start to converge. How will I tell the story of Jesus to my daughter for the first time...

Here's a challenge, look at the Christmas story with fresh eyes. You may be astounded with what you missed (or just accepted as truth without thinking about it).


Monday, November 10, 2014

Convenient Jesus

This past weekend at our annual Real World Retreat we focused on one thing. Music. Kinda.

We took a look at how music has changed in the last 15 years. Not the style of music, but the quality. The music we listen to now has been changed so much to make files smaller that the music is actually distorted and compressed with piece of musical information missing. And there's only one reason why the general population has put up with it. It's more convenient.

The music industry (and other industries have followed suit) have learned that people will sacrifice almost anything for convenience. Make it smaller, lighter, crappier, whatever you need to do to make it more convenient for me. If I really wanted to hear better music I would need to find a stereo system and get some actual physical recordings, but that's really hard to jog with. So instead I'll listen to 2 hours of music, the files shrunk down to fit on my iPod through the horrible little earbuds I got for free with my phone. The quality of the music is horrible, but it's convenient for me to listen to wherever I am, right?

So, the question we led this to was this: How do we shrink down the symphony of Jesus to make Him more convenient for our lives? What are we trading out to have a convenient Jesus? I'll probably have a better quality relationship with Jesus if I take some time to spend alone with Him, reading His Word and talking with Him, but how convenient is that? What if I just listen to the podcast of a sermon while driving and call it a day?

The interesting part of this whole thing to me while researching this was seeing some of the interview of musicians and how they feel about this (I wasn't able to show it at the retreat, just a slight bit of bad language from musicians). It makes me wonder how Jesus feels about it, Him trying His best to have a relationship with the one He loves and getting a "when it's convenient for me" answer.

The real question is when it comes to knowing Jesus Christ, is it about quality or convenience?