Monday, May 31, 2010


The word endeavor means: a purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness).

I just got back from spending a good portion of nine days with 50 plus teenagers/youth at our yearly camp meeting. We had an incredible time doing all sorts of fun things yet the most important was the spiritual blessing they (we) received.

We invited as a special speaker/singer Maria Long to come and minister to these teenagers/youth and the Spirit of God truly blessed!

We saw kids come forward that were addicted to pornography a young women who's mom was a prostitute and is struggling with insecurities give her testimony along with several others that were anointed for ministry and had a desire to be baptized. God truly was working touching the lives of these teenagers/youth, letting them know that even though they may have a lot of 'junk' in their lives. Jesus is calling them to 'endeavor' after Him.

Maria wrote a song for this special time called of course 'Endeavor' Please take the time to listen to it here. You can also download the song for free here

Friends this Millennial generation is the largest generation alive and some have said it's also the one that we must re-enforce our efforts to reach. Last week that is exactly what we 'Endeavored' to do, and it certainly is one that requires effort and boldness.

The 'Endeavor' though is just beginning. Are you in?

Maria Long will also be coming to my church on June 18th-19th. 


image by [powerpointsermons]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are you taking the middle Road?

In this video that I saw on a blog. Pastor Francis Chan who I often podcast his sermons hits an interesting point, yet not necessarily a new point. Watch the video and then read on...

(if you can't see the video click here)

Why is it that often we want to take the middle road? It seems we want to live good moral lives that obviously the ways of Jesus provides, we will do church, as opposed to being the church everywhere we go, and we will simply go through the motions instead of being in motion for Jesus. Yet I believe that Jesus is calling His followers to a deeper (Bathos) more radical discipleship. One that may call us out of our comfort zone, one that may have us walking on a narrow road. Jesus famously said, 

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 
(Matt. 7:13-14)

Perhaps the problem is that we've never "enter(ed) through the narrow gate." in order to walk down the narrow road. Maybe in the past we did enter that 'narrow gate' but in time we saw a fork in the road and decided either consciously or subconsciously to take the broad road.

Let's take up Jesus' challenge and walk that narrow road, hey he promised that He'd walk it with us!

Are you ready to enter the narrow gate?


image by [powerpointsermons]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

It has won the 2010 Christian book of the year award by the Evangelical Christians Publishing Association. After reading it myself I can see why The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns deserves the award.
In The Hole in Our Gospel the author essentially takes us into a discussion that calls for us not simply to be transformed on the inside by the gospel of Jesus Christ but this transformation should lead us to a public display and passion in helping fight poverty and injustice.
Stearns writes in the introduction:
“The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple. It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.” (p.2)
Truth be told I’m not sure that any book review including this one can provide or fully explain the impact this book can have in ones life. Richard Stearns who begins by detailing his story from corporate CEO to non-profit president of World Vision makes an incredible, compelling case both biblically and practically about our fundamental moral obligation as a Christian (or anyone with a heart) to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
One of the great things about The Hole in Our Gospel is the bountiful statistics that he gives and then is able to put them in perspective. Such as:
“In the United States and Europe, only about 2 out of every 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday. In Africa, on the other hand, 165 (16.5 percent) of each 1,000 are dead by age five. And in Sierra Leone, the worst country in the world for child mortality, 28.2 percent of all children are dead by age much of Africa a teenager is already what we would call “middle-aged.” (p.140)
In full disclosure I get free books from Thomas Nelson who published the book and write book reviews for them. Those that know me though, and read this blog understand that if this book of nearly 300 pages stunk, I would have made it clear! 
With that stated without hesitation I not only recommend this book, but challenge all (including myself) to then go and do something, as Richard Stearns finishes his book:
“You, Me, let’s go. We have work to do, and it’s urgent. Join Me...

image  was taken from the book's website, I highly suggest you click here and check it out!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Come Home! Please!

Watch this powerful video from revivalist Paul Washer....let me know what you think!
NOTE: (if you get my blog via email or RSS feed click here to watch the video)

If you're reading this I beg you Come Home! Jesus loves you!


Monday, May 10, 2010

A Message to the church: Most Millennials don't go to church

Millennials are those born between 1980-2000. It has been widely documented that this is the largest generation. In August of 2009 LifeWay conducted a survey of 1,200 adults born during this time, the findings are the " basis for the upcoming book "The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation" by Dr. Thom Rainer and his son Jess Rainer." as the article on LifeWay's website states.

I wont go through all the findings since you can click here and read what they have posted yourself. Yet there are at least two main points that stood out to me. Although 65% of Millennials consider themselves Christian:

  • 67% of them say they rarely or never read the Bible (or any other sacred text).
  • 66% (2 out of 3) never visit a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.
Yet with the above two points the article does mention that 70% of Millennials (strongly or somewhat) agree that "Christian churches are still relevant in America today."

No doubt that reaching this generation is a challenge, they are very diverse in their understanding of spirituality/religion and as Ed Stetzer president of LifeWay Research puts it, " the poll shows the so-called "Oprah effect" on religion, where faith becomes another technique for self-improvement."

It's difficult though when people (of any generation for that matter) aren't reading their Bibles or attending church regularly (at least 1x per week). When these two happen (or don't happen) usually people's rationale seems to diverge into different arenas and all roads don't lead to Rome.

It's becoming clear that the greatest mission field isn't necessarily overseas but right here in America. Just as I wrote this post (i came back, edited and re-posted in case you may get this twice:-), I read this blog post by Dr. Rainer himself on the 5 major trends in the churches of America, it's worth the short read. 

So what say you? How do we reach this 'Millennial' generation?


image by [powerpointsermons]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Craving an ipad?

Yesterday Apple confirmed that it has sold its one millionth ipad in just 28 days. They reached the milestone in less than half the time it took them to sell one million iphones (one reason is that you can buy an ipad with no monthly contract with AT&T!).

If by some chance you have no idea what an ipad is, well it's something between an Apple laptop and an iphone. It can do many things that a regular laptop does and an iphone, but having a larger screen one of it's major uses (and even this depends on the user) is reading books, magazines, and the like. Over 1.5 million ebooks have already been downloaded from the ibookstore (ibookstore is like going to amazon and buying a book).

It seems once again that Apple is perhaps well on its way to changing how we do life, just as itunes changed the way we listen to music and the music industry as a whole.

It's amazing the crave that our society has for technology (yes I certainly enjoy it also). I just wonder what it's going to take for Christians to really crave Jesus. I know this is not a new question, but one nonetheless that deserves a good answer.

A few days ago I was channel surfing and for whatever reason stopped on the Disney channel to see thousands upon thousands of little tweens crave the Jonas Brothers! Our society, culture loves when we crave for many things, without craving for the Main Thing!

Is it wrong to crave (want) an ipad? I would say no, as long as we crave Jesus more!

Again though I ask when are we, who are called Christians going to really crave for Jesus? To follow His ways? To live a 21st century life in the way that he perhaps would've lived it. What would that look like? Hey maybe others will see us and crave what we have...


image [from the Apple website:}

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Phone calls: Old School?

Yesterday I preached a sermon about fellowship/community which at times seems to be lacking in our busy filled world. Interestingly enough this was one of the ingredients that the early church devoted itself to as Acts 2:42 tells us.

In part of the sermon I dealt with true fellowship, making strong friendships like that of David and Jonathan in the bible (see 1 Sam. 18:1 & 2 Sam. 1:26). Not like the ones that we perhaps make on Facebook, in which we may see a few pics and update on what's happening in a 'friends' life, without really ever speaking to many of them.

Then this morning I read an article (could've used it before my sermon:) in the NY Times regarding the effects technology may be having on young people being able to make true friendships. The article states:

"The question on researchers’ minds is whether all that texting, instant messaging and online social networking allows children to become more connected and supportive of their friends — or whether the quality of their interactions is being diminished without the intimacy and emotional give and take of regular, extended face-to-face time."
Having a generation that is growing up with social media such as facebook, twitter, IM, texting, and video chatting. Researchers are trying to see what kind of effects this is having on people really connecting with each other face to face.

Hilary Stout who wrote the article quotes Hannah a 15y/o girl saying;
“I definitely have conversations but I think the new form of actually talking to someone is video chat because you’re actually seeing them,” she said. “I’ve definitely done phone calls at one time or another but it is considered, maybe, old school.”
Old school? Well Hannah may not be far off, since it has been said, though not confirmed, that when Apple which is set to release their new upgraded iphone this summer.  It will have video conferencing! Once again changing the way we communicate on a daily basis to some degree.

The word is still out on whether  social media is helping or hindering teens/youth in their social development when it comes to engaging people face to face in order to have true 'friends/fellowship'. To be fair I believe this is not just for teens/youth but even adults.

We live in an ever changing world, in which simply calling someone is well...getting to be old school. Ultimately though there is something that will never grow old, never be passe, never change. That is of course our biblical need for true friends/fellowship!

So what do you think? How important is it to have true friends/fellowship? Do you feel that this is something that is lacking in our churches?


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