Dr. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has written a document entitled "Great Commission Resurgence". Let me encourage you to carefully read Dr. Akin's document and then if you are in agreement to affix your signature.
You can find Dr. Akin's, "Great Commission Resurgence" here.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
There are a great many scriptures that we don't really believe! (at least in practice). And I've come to understand that mental assent without practical application is fairly worthless.
The setting?--a vacation in Capernaum. The friends of Jesus had been arguing in the car about who would be the greatest in the coming kindom. After all, it would be very important for them to discover who Jesus' favorite disciple was...right?
Here's the part that we don't really believe: "Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else" (Mark 9:35). How does that make sense? It doesn't--at least not in this world. It makes great sense, however, in the next world--the one that counts. Apparently one of the highest virtues in heaven is humility--the ability to step aside and promote another over your own personal ambitions.
Let's see if I...you...or any of us can do this just once today...
Saturday, April 25, 2009
"Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God--the source of all my joy" (Psalm 43:3-4).
This is one of the verses that God used to confirm that He wanted me in Colorado eight years ago. The promise is that I will be led to the altar of God--to the source of ALL my joy. The altar of God (the place of sacrifice) is the place where joy dwells. I guess that I am especially moved by this passage today in that I am in the mountains with fresh-fallen snow. What is it that guides me to this place of sacrifice and joy? I am led by the LIGHT of God and I am led by the TRUTH of God. Both of these were used by Jesus to describe himself. He said, "I am the light of the world" and "I am the way, the truth, and the life". May I be led by Jesus himself today and I continue to look for His guidance. I will look for his light and for his truth.
The deacons at Cornerstone have represented both brokeness and blessing. The struggle that I went through a few years a go with several of them allowed me to come to a place of sacrifice where God was able to transform me once again. They have been the altar of God for me and they have been the joy of God for me. I think of Jesus who went to the cross for the joy that was before him. Perhaps true authentic joy only grows in the shadow of the altar. I am thankful that at least for today I have nothing but joy through these relationships.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday begins one of my favorite weekends of the year--our deacons' retreat.
This is an unusual year to say the least. We have successfully transformed the way that we do deacon ministry to build on the many individuals in our church who are phenomenal caregivers yet would not qualify to be deacons for whatever reason. At the same time that we are decentralizing the way that we care for our members at Cornerstone, we are also attempting to build the strongest possible team of pastors and deacons. Cornerstone is blessed to have many of both available. I say all of that to share that we will begin this new process of CARE (chaplaincy, accountability, resources, encouragement) with the smallest number of deacons that we have had in eight years. We also begin with the largest number of pastors that we have ever had.
We begin on Friday morning with eighteen holes of golf at Mountain Vista. I intend to surprise everyone and finish slightly above last place. Friday afternoon at 3:00, we will head up to Estes Park where we have a cabin awaiting us.
The primary goal of the retreat is for our deacons to identify the primary caregivers that they will lead throughout the coming year. We're looking for five characteristics in these caregivers: #1--The deacon must already be in relationship with them, #2--They must be sacrificial servants, #3--They must be spiritually mature, #4--They must be filled with grace, and #5--They must have a shepherd's heart. These caregivers will in turn select 5-6 families that they will provide CARE for over the next twelve months under their individual deacon's guidance. We will accomplish some other things on the retreat to make it worthwhile including: prayer, training, fun, and unity.
I am very excited to spend some time with these men. In fact, I may not sleep well tonight--I'm that excited! Look for glory on our faces when we return on Saturday afternoon.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sometimes the promises of God are just too simple...
Let me ask: Are you ever sick? Are you ever under attack by enemies? Are you ever overwhelmed by problems? Do you ever have financial needs?
If so, then God says this:
"Oh, the joy of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He give them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort" (Psalm 41:1-3).
In this brief passage, God makes some stunning promises. He will rescue! He will protect! He will prosper! He will nurse! He will ease pain! Now like most of God's promises, this is all conditional. So what is the condition? Who is it that will receive these things? "Those who are kind to the poor".
Today is a day in which I will be looking for someone to bless. Specifically, I will be looking for the poor. Recently, my wife and I were blessed with some finances that were unexpected and quite needed. We have determined to give a portion of this blessing to whomever God might put in front of us. I'll be looking for someone today to whom I can be kind...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Today we held our very first satellite service at Ohana Coffee and T. Owners, Martin and Joanna Castro have graciously allowed us to use their karate/coffee facility for this new service--our fourth each weekend at Cornerstone. There were 28 of us present. The best news is that our Counseling Pastor, Dan Judge, was able to lead a young 20-something lady to the Lord this past week at the coffee shop. Today was a good start and next week will be even better...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
I just finished reading an excellent book that describes itself as, "The Discovery of the True Mount Sinai". The book is titled "The Gold of Exodus" by author Howard Blum". Though historical non-fiction, the book reads like an adventure novel. It’s the kind of book that I have a hard time putting down. I was fascinated with the book’s revelation of the actual site of Mount Sinai as being in Saudi Arabia rather than at the traditional site. The evidence given by the books lead characters, Larry Williams and Bob Carnuke, is supported by the biblical narrative. There is much available on the internet to support the books claims as well. I guess my interest began when I rented a documentary at the video store entitled, “Mountain of Fire”, that includes interviews with Williams and Carnuke. "The Gold of Exodus" is a good and enjoyable read that will perhaps cause your heart, like mine, to become thrilled with the possibilities and the historical evidence that remains at Jabal al Lawz.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
I have some very exciting news to share in regards to my son Jaren's trip overseas this summer. As you may know, Jaren auditioned for and received acceptance into a worship ministry band that will either be going to Hong Kong, Thailand, or Honduras this summer. The ministry is called CTI (Carpenter's Tools International). Their website is here. Acceptance into the group requires that Jaren raise his own support prior to leaving home. Total cost: almost $4,500! That's a lot of cash for an unemployed sixteen year old. Jaren's first deadline is less than ten days away when he will need to have paid $2,000. Cash in bank: a little over $1,000.
However....this morning someone at church gave Jaren a check for $1,000!
What an amazing gift!