Saturday, July 23, 2011

Peter Rollins Video

Interesting twist on the resurrection:

I Deny the Resurrection from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

I like how he puts a nice twist on our part in the resurrection. If Jesus conquered sin, evil and death in the resurrection and we are called to join him in bringing the kingdom of God to earth before he makes all things new, then it makes sense theologically that when we fail to do what God has called us to do (feed the hungry, serve the poor, take care of orphans and widows, stand up against injustice, etc.) then we do in a sense deny the resurrection.

I pray we would move towards having more moments of affirming the resurrection than we do of denying it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Proud Daddy

My oldest daughter just had her 7th birthday.  On birthdays we usually try to get something small for the daughter who is not having a birthday so she doesn't feel left out.  This year we bought each of them a Disney Fairy Doll. 

It turns out they would fight over who gets a certain doll.  So our oldest daughter took some of her birthday money and bought the doll her sister wanted so that they would not fight over the dolls.

I was so proud of her for being willing to buy her sister a doll she wanted instead of buying something for herself. 

It's so nice to see one of your children make a decision out of generosity and not out of selfishness. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Answer

I have dwelled and dwelled and dwelled and dwelled and dwelled (you the get the idea) on the perfect answer to the question I was asked from the Call and Disciplined Life Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry earlier this year. 

The answer came as I was ironing on Saturday night. The question was: "How would you describe yourself in one word?" Obviously the answer I gave the first time around was not sufficient. So this time around I have the perfect answer.

But first, I want to give you some answers I've played with. When I got home that night I asked my wife how she would describe me in one word and she said "discerning." I thought that was a good answer, but I'm not always discerning so that doesn't define me in totality. Another answer I've played with is more humorous. I thought "tall" would be a good answer.

The final answer, however, the answer that I think is better than any other answer is this:


I am loved by God. I am loved by my wife. I am loved by my children. I am loved by my parents. I am loved by my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and other family members. I am loved by my friends. I am loved by people in my congregation. It's an answer they couldn't argue with and that defines me in totality.


A true definition for me and a true definition for anyone who understands the grace of God in Jesus Christ poured out by the Holy Spirit.


It's also the title of a two part message series starting July 17th that you will not want to miss.


It's all about God's love for us. You will be blessed. And if you miss it live, check back here at the bottom of the blog is a sermon player where the messages will be posted.

Loved. That's my final answer.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Death is Life

This Sunday will conclude our Paradox series.  I think it has been one of the best at Catawba UMC.

The title for the last one is Sleep is Death is Life.  The paradox is that in the kingdom of God death always leads to life.  Lazarus's death led to life.  Jesus' death led to life.  When we "die" to ourselves we find life.  When loved ones pass away who knew Jesus they enter into eternal life.

Our text will be John 11:1-16 and we will discuss different types of deaths and how ultimately God is so powerful that each of them ultimatlely lead to life.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy 4th of July!  As important it is for us to celebrate our country's independence day, I think it is even more important to celebrate our spiritual independence day. 

The 4th of July always reminds me that Jesus has freed us from being a slave to sin, evil and death. 

And while we are ridiculously blessed to live in the United States of America I believe we are even more blessed to have a God who loves us and offers us a way to live in freedom regardless of the circumstances of our lives.

So lets be thankful to God today for the blessing of living in this wonderful country and for the blessing of living in the freedom of Christ.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't Force It

Earlier this year I faced a personal situation that evoked some strong emotions.  I asked a few friends of mine whether or not I should turn the situation and emotions and my personal struggles into a sermon or two.  The advice I received was basically to seek the Spirit and to ask myself the qeustion "is this message that comes out of these emotions for me personally or for all of us corporately."

I decided at the time that it was God working on me.  I was not in a place that could share about the situation without feeling resentment and bitter anger.  So I decided not to force it.  I decided to stick with the messages that I had alread planned.

It wasn't until last Sunday that I shared a small part of the situation and I was surprised and how good it felt to share it.  It seemed natural and not forced.  People actually laughed about what had happened and when they laughed it really helped me see that I had made more of it than was really there.

I'm so glad I didn't force the issue and that I was able to share what happened to me naturally and with a sense of objectivity and not anger and resentment. 

Had I forced the issue earlier this year, I think I could've just added to my own anger and resentment.  I thank my friends for their advice and I'm so glad I reached out and that I actually listened this time. 

I guess that just goes to show the value of seeking wisdom from others.  Which reminds me of the proverb that says "plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisers they succeed" (15:22) .

I just hope I will remember to seek counsel more often and not just try to force something when it's not the right time.