Distracted

This past Sunday was a special one for us to celebrate our great men and the work they are doing to advance God’s kingdom. With this in mind, here is a special reflection on how we can stay focused on the mission God has given us to accomplish. This reflection comes from the life of Nehemiah. Enjoy.

Distracted

I want to try something with you this morning. I want for us to do a little prayer exercise together. It’s going to require that we all be really quiet and focus our attention entirely in one direction for a few moments. Think we can do it? It’s at least worth a try, right? Okay, let’s see if we can do this for one minute. I’ll keep tabs on the time for us. For one minute I want all of us to pray together, and seek what God has to share with us this morning. Are you ready? Let’s go. 

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Abundance

Remember that time you clicked on the wrong date when scheduling your post to go live. I do. This was supposed to go up on Monday. Rather than taking it down and reposting it, enjoy a sneak peak of this Sunday’s sermon. Given that there’s a chance we might be snowed out, this may wind up being your best chance to hear it. I was going to write up a review of Disney’s fantastic new animated featured, Encanto, this morning, but I’ll save that one for Monday instead. Have a great weekend.

This week we kick off a brand-new teaching series called, Live Big. The world calls us to a big life. It offers us many pathways to that life. But when we follow these paths, they keep taking us somewhere other than advertised. Still, though, there is this desire in us to live big. So, we keep searching. In this series, we are going to explore one important way we can live big. Before we get to that, though, we need to understand something that often gets overlooked: As much as we want to live big, Jesus wants it for us even more. Let’s start this conversation off here, then, by talking about the big life Jesus offers and how we can have it.

Abundance

Let me take you back this morning to a TV series that was truly a trendsetter. It was the first of its kind, and the first of a wave of shows like it that has yet to ebb today. In fact, we’ll make this a bit of a trivia question (but don’t worry—I don’t have any emojis for you to decipher in order to figure this one out). The show’s host ended each episode offering you “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Any guesses? It was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” hosted by Robin Leach. Each week, the iconic host would take viewers inside the lives of the wealthiest and most well-known celebrities around the world. It was a glimpse inside a world the vast majority of viewers would never enter on their own. It was a look at what we were confidently told was the good life. And from the look of things through Leach’s eyes, the good life consisted of abundance. Now, an abundance of what exactly depended a bit on the particular celebrity in question, but the one thing they all had in common was an abundance of money. The more money you have, the more things you can have; and when you can have more things than everyone else around you, you are living an abundant life. You are living the kind of life that is going to be featured on some media descendant of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” 

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Fueled by Boldness

As we prepare to enter into the new year together, many of us are thinking toward the future. What does it hold? Will we be able to handle what is coming at us? Those are big questions, but as followers of Jesus, all of them must necessarily fall subject to what His plans for us are. In the New Year’s sermon, we took some time together to talk about how to move into the future with the kind of attitude that will see the most Gospel advances happen in the world around us. Enjoy.

Fueled by Boldness

Have you ever made a really bold ask before? A woman named Demi Skipper did and she wound up with a house for her efforts. After watching a Ted Talk by Kyle MacDonald, a Canadian man who started with a paperclip and traded his way up to a house, Demi decided she was going to try the same thing. She started with a single bobby pin and began trading. After offering to trade that bobby pin for pretty much whatever anyone was interested in trading for it, she eventually found a woman willing to trade her a pair of earrings for it. These earrings became a couple of margarita glasses, and the race was on. Demi traded her way through a snowboard, a MacBook laptop computer, various other pieces of jewelry, a Peloton stationary exercise bike, three tractors, a celebrity card at Chipotle, which entitles the holder to free food, a solar-powered trailer home, and finally a small house in Clarkston, TN where she and her husband will relocate to from San Francisco. Not a bad deal. Sure, the taxes are a little higher on a house than a bobby pin, but it’ll serve them a few more purposes including giving Demi a home base from which to attempt the whole thing again with the goal in mind of giving the house away to a family in need. She documented her entire adventure on TikTok.

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Big Things from Small Places

This week we finally wrap up our Advent – and now Christmas – teaching series, The World Turned Upside Down. All this month we have been taking a journey through Luke’s telling of the story of the birth of Jesus. It has been a powerful journey, and there have been several new things to learn from these old and familiar stories. This week is no different. While the stories of Jesus’ birth and other heroes of the faith are flashy and impressive, we live most of our lives in the mundane. The trick is: so did they. Their ability to have the giant impact they had came out of their faithfulness in these mundane moments. Let’s dig in and talk about it together. As one more note, this will be the only post for this week. I’m taking this week off to spend extra time with my family. I look forward to being back together with you again in the New Year.

Big Things from Small Places

Have you noticed lately how few truly new television shows there are? The same thing goes with movies. Now, don’t get me wrong, many of the remakes and relaunches and revivals they have done have been terrific. Nostalgia is a terrible god to worship, but it makes for some really fun media content to enjoy. Season 4 of Cobra Kai comes out this week on Netflix and I am about as excited as I can be for that one. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a modern day continuation of the Karate Kid story from the super popular 1980s film franchise. Now, as a bit of a warning before you go check it out if you haven’t, the language of the series is pretty awful, but the redemption element of the story and the way the writers keep weaving in Gospel concepts has been pretty cool to see. 

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Designed to Provoke

What are you going to do with the news of Jesus’ birth? As we take another step forward in our Advent series, we are finally talking about how Jesus’ birth unfolded. The news of His birth rang throughout the world. It was and has become something no one can ignore. Let’s dig into it together.

Designed to Provoke

Have you ever tried to ignore a toddler who has something to tell you? It may not seem all that significant to you, but when a toddler has something to say, as far as he is concerned, it is the most important thing in the world. And, if you happen to be the person he has deemed most worthy of hearing this information, there’s really not much you can do about the matter. You can try to ignore it if you want, but…well…good luck with that. 

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