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Showing posts from January, 2013

Check Yes or No

I am preparing to preach in February with a sermon titled, "Check Yes or No."  It reminds me of a country song by George Strait.  Check it out on youtube.  But it also reminds me of a specific passage of Scripture as well.  I will share more about this passage after I preach on Feb. 17th.  The point is this: we must choose yes or no.

In the Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn, he shares several instances of when Christ says yes to our no's.  Here are a few quotes to think about today:

"In the resurrection Christ brought into reality all the promises God had given to his people." "The resurrection means Jesus doesn't leave us to figure out life on our own.  He is here to help us find another way to live." "we serve a God who is making all things new, starting with the brokenness in our lives, homes, communities, and nations." "When people are aware that true change is beyond their power and they call out to God, they find that he works in th…

Final Chapters of Greater

Last week, I finished Greater by Steven Furtick. I highly recommend the book if you wanting something greater in your life. Are you tired of the status quo? Are you tired of settling for an average faith? Have you given up on the dreams and passions you had? Do you avoid taking risk because you doubt God can use you? If you answer yes to any of the questions, you need to pick up this book. Here are some quotes from the final chapters:

Scriptures to read: 2 Kings 6:16-17, 1 John 4:4, Ephesians 1:18-21

"Satan is the maestro of mediocrity."

"If you want to live surrounded by God's miracles, you have to come to terms with the fact that you'll always be surrounded by enemies."

"What matters is what my Father sees in me and what He says about me."

"He (Paul) prays that the Ephesians would know how the power of God is accessible and available to them as ordinary, average, common believers."

"whenever you do what God has called you t…

#USMB Study Conference

In a week, I will be headed to Phoenix for a study conference with the USMB (United States Mennonite Brethren) churches. In preparation for that conference, attendees were asked to read two books from different perspectives on the topics of society and state and love and nonresistance from our confession of faith.

I am excited and interested about what will occur in Phoenix.  First of all, I want to commend the USMB conference for their willingness to study and discuss difficult theological topics.  In previous denominations, those decisions were made by the "scholars" (typically academic institutions) and those in power on high (typically those who represent the denomination in their respective headquarters).  Churches were told to get on board and follow along because "we have done the study and if you were intelligent like us, you would agree." For this and many other reasons, I am thankful to be a part of the USMB family.

I thought I would share the books I rea…

Do not fear!

Here is a verse that has been shared often in our home lately.  I hope it will be a reminder to you that you don't need to be afraid about whatever you are facing. 


10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthenyou and helpyou;
I will uphold youwith my righteous right hand.
 This passage from Isaiah 41:10 gives us several promises:
God is with usGod is our GodHe will strengthen and help usHe will uphold us  Trust in these promises of God as you go through your day today!

Achieving vs. Receiving by Steven Furtick

Check out this great video by Steven Furtick on achieving vs. receiving.  I hope it is a reminder about your identity in Christ and the gospel.


Working Hard for God

What happens when you work hard for God and lose your passion? Steven Furtick has a few thoughts in his book, Greater:

"Greater isn't an automatic, permanent position; it's an intentional daily decision."

"But I find encouragement here. God isn't present only for my epic showdowns and life-altering crises. He's also superintending my everyday struggles. No detail or circumstance in my life falls outside His concern. He cares about little frustrations that can cause me to come unhinged. And since most of our spiritual momentum is gained or lost in the everyday affairs of life, it's good to know that God is actively involved in them."

"The next time you sense yourself getting spiritually dull, don't try to regain your momentum by doubling down on your self-effort. Instead, go to God."

"But I've learned that the greater life isn't about living the perfect life. It's about keeping your passion intact, no matter what.&…

Humility

Greater is not a book about the prosperity gospel, but instead has a great chapter on humility. Here are some quotes from Steven Furtick:

Scriptures to read: James 4:6, Philippians 2:6-7, Matthew 20:28, Luke 12:37, John 3:30

"The greater we become in God, the less about us our lives become."

"Because the key to walking in freedom is often connected to obedience in the areas of our lives where we're locked into patterns of resisting God's Spirit."

"Thinking it's all about us is kryptonite to the greater life."

"The only path to greater heights in the things of God is to get lower. The lower you get, the higher God can take you."

"Because Jesus's identity was secure, there was no reason for Him to be offended."

Trust Fund Baby

Some more thoughts from Greater by Steven Furtick:

Scriptures to read: 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Romans 8:28

"You have your own trust fund set up too. When you pray for something and that particular thing doesn't happen, who's to say God isn't taking your faith and the prayers you prayed about that situation and posting them to another account in your life that you're going to see at a future time?"

"He's a reliable manager of anything that is entrusted to Him. Including our very lives."

"Everyone experiences what seem to be unanswered prayers. But in God's economy, no one's faith is ever wasted."

"That's how you send your situation upstairs for further review--by drawing near to God and focusing on His faithfulness."

"Most of us give up too soon on the greater life God has for us. Don't lost hope. With God, nothing in your life is ever beyond resuscitation."

"God is too faithful to waste…

Wasted Faith

Here are a few thoughts about faith and suffering from the book, Greater, by Steven Furtick:

Scriptures to read: 2 Kings 4, John 11:33-36

"And where God is silent, the power of His presence is most profound in how He grieves with us."

"Even when it seemed as if He was deaf to their prayers, He was collecting their faith and making a plan to use it in a greater way."

Wednesday Night Begins Again!

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Our Wednesday night ministries begin again tonight after the Christmas Break.  Hesston MB seeks to provide opportunities for children and youth to grow in their relationships with God and with one another.  If you do not have a church and would like a good ministry for your 4 year olds through high school students, check us out. 

Here are the details:
Hide N Seek-4 year olds through 4th grade at Hesston MB Church (610 W. Randall)fuzion-5th/6th graders at Hesston Middle School (across from bus barn)LIFE-7th/8th graders at Hesston Middle School gymHesston Youth-High School students meet at Northlawn at Hesston College




Creature of the Word

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I started the first chapter of Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger this week. The subtitle is "The Jesus-Centered Church." Here are a few quotes from the first chapter:

"It's one thing to see the gospel as an important facet of one's ministry. It's quite another to hold firmly to it as the centerpiece for all a church is and does, to completely orbit around it."

"For just as an individual must continually return to the grace of Jesus for satisfaction and sanctification, a local church must continually return to the gospel as well."

"Without a proper understanding of the gospel, people will miss the big biblical picture and all the joyful freedom that comes from living in it. They will run from God in shame at their failures instead of running toward Him because of His mercy and grace."

"The gospel. What is it, really? In its simplest form, the gospel is God's reconciling work in Christ--t…

Steven Furtick & Greater

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I am continuing to read Greater by Steven Furtick. I read several chapters this week about the greater life God has for us. He even shared a story about Lysa TerKeurst that I had never heard. These chapters were an encouragement to understand who we are and how God can use whatever we have. Here are some quotes:

"That's because you can't step into your new life until you first set fire to whatever is tethering you to your old life."

"God does not necessarily tell you how He will do it, only that He will do it."

"There's a good reason He doesn't feel the need to give you a navigational system. It's because He is offering to be your navigational system."

"Just because God doesn't show you the details doesn't mean He doesn't know them."

D.L. Moody said, "If God is your partner, make your plans big."

"Only God can send the rain. But He expects you to dig the ditches."

"Greater things are po…

The Gospel of Yes

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On Thursday, I continued reading The Gospel of Yes by Mike Glenn. I am only a third through the book. Glenn definitely shares some great thoughts about the "yes" of God. Here are a few quotes from my reading:

"We are on earth to fulfill the dreams God had for his masterpiece: creation."

"And because we don't know the stories of God, we don't know God, which leads to our misunderstanding his intentions."

"In every no, God finds a way to say yes."

"even when there is good reason for God to say no, he chooses yes. Then he finds a way-working with highly flawed people-to accomplish his plans."

"God has decided to overcome every no of humanity with his powerful and persistent yes."

"But God is more than just a Divine Judge of Right and Wrong."

"How does God temper his justice with mercy? The answer is Jesus, the God-Man."

"Jesus took into himself the no of our sin and died in God's mercy to…

My early morning reading

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As many of you know, I have recommended and given away several copies of Jesus Calling over the last few years.  I have enjoyed reading it each morning.  Recently, I discovered a new book that I am using as early morning reading.  I have to be honest I downloaded it because it was free on kindle.  But it has already been a blessing to me.  I encourage you to check it out too. It is called Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith by Scotty Smith. I have posted a few quotes on my Facebook page if interested in finding out more about the content.

Happy New Year!

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I am looking forward to a great year in 2013.  Blessings from my family to yours in the coming year!