Monday, December 08, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- The Mountain of Distinction (11-16-2008)
- Coming Soon
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
"Would God really want to take my pain away miraculously right now? This seems like a cop out prayer. When would you learn endurance. This isn't going to last all day long. I need God to help me through the pain. Don't ask to take it away. This is drawing on God's strength, not yours."
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
"In silence and stillness the devout soul advances and learns the hidden truths of Scripture. There it finds the salutary tears that wash away the guilt of sin, so that it grows more intimate with God as it severs itself from the clamor of the world."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love ... Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge .... Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice."
Monday, September 08, 2008
So I finish my sermon (which I thought went pretty well), and we sing the invitation song. After this song, the song leader stops and informs me as to why people were laughing: I had just preached a sermon using the exact same text as the preacher in the morning.
They knew I didn't have a clue what was going to be preached on Sunday morning, so God must have been at work! I couldn't believe it! They assured me that the sermons were amazingly pretty different. God's hand is very interesting. I still can't get over something like that happening without any communication ahead of time.
Here is the kicker: there was someone who listened to both sermons that needed those messages. Struggling through many things, this person heard loud and clear that something needed to happen; no longer is sitting idly an option.
I praise God that stuff like this continues to happen! He is active. He does prompt us to do things of which we don't know the implications. As faithful servants we respond to these promptings and get to watch God work.
What are you going to do today, God? May we have the courage to lose ourselves in your movements.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Consider one verse (Psalm 147:1): "Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"
It is good. Let me encourage you to sing praises to God today. It might be one song; it might be twenty. Whatever it is, I pray that you experience the good and pleasant feeling of singing praises to our God.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
“What right do I have, a person called by God, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, and spurred on by divine love…what right do I have to expect something out of any of you in regards to living God’s way of life?
My answer is threefold:
One…I have NO RIGHT.
I have no right to expect something out of you. I have no meaningful relationship with you. I don’t really know you. I might know of you, but I don’t know you. I don’t go with you to work or to have fun. I haven’t been in your home. I see you here in the building occasionally. But, I don’t have your trust. I am not an influential person in your life. So, I have no right to speak any expectations into your life.
Two…I have SOME RIGHT.
I have some right to expect something out of you. As a fellow human being I understand the struggles you have, the temptations to turn away from God. I do know you more than you think. I also know what God intended for his creation. I know it is good and beautiful and full. I know God’s love for us. I know how God desires to mend the broken relationship. So, I have some right to speak some expectations into your life.
Three…I have EVERY RIGHT.
I have every right to expect something out of you. I am your example. I am your minister. I am your servant. I am your leader. I am your pastor. I am your shepherd. When you listen to my words it is as if God is speaking. His spirit directs my spirit. His movements are my movements; there is no difference between us. Everything that has been created, has been created through me. So, I have every right to speak expectations into your life.
I expect you to give up your rights and follow me. Or do you not understand when I said, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ Yes, I am Jesus…the one who died…for you.”
I, Chris, ask this: are you spending time with our Lord and letting him speak expectations into your life?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
In years past we have been called "The Bible Chair" (some still call us that) or "The Church of Christ Bible Chair" or "The Church of Christ Student Center."
We need to point others to Jesus rather than to a particular denomination. This is shaped mostly by my meditation on the stories of Jesus. I hear Jesus' words burning in my heart. "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." "...any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
The students on campus are starving for the heavenly feast of Jesus. They need a safe place to come where they can encounter our Lord without any strings attached. And unfortunately (right now anyway) our church buildings are unsafe. Innocently, as students come to our church buildings we exalt the church building or being a part of our denomination rather than Jesus. We invite them to potlucks, to worship services, to whatever other events we can create. These are good! Hear me! At the same time, we force them to fill out this card so we can contact them later, we lock them in to hear our little spiel, or we stigmatize them as outsiders in the way that we talk about belonging to our group.
It seems like Jesus allowed people to belong to him publicly without forcing himself into their "space." He fed thousands and seemed to be okay with this. Even those who come looking for him afterwards in John 6:25ff. (presumably at their own initiative) are met with more admonitions to work for eternal life kind of food. In Luke 7:1-10 Jesus could have easily forced himself into the centurion's house; he was even on the way. Yet, when he hears this, he stops and reveals the surprising example of faith (rampant in Luke) to the crowds following him!
Jesus never told the centurion to fill out a card if he wants to really belong to the faithful. Jesus never admonished the centurion that he needs to have more faith. He simply and safely meets people where they are and allows them to belong without any pharisaical strings.
Interestingly enough, simply changing the name on our building from "Church of Christ Student Center" to "Kats for Christ" will tremendously help us create a safe place for those looking simply to belong to Jesus.
We have to change our initial conversations to focus more on Jesus! We must spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go! We must stop creating a hurdle for students in their search for Jesus! Our name has been creating that hurdle!
Consider the hypothetical (yet incredibly normal) conversation below. Notice the trajectory of the conversation, even if we say the exact same thing after their first question.
In today's campus environment all kinds of red flags go up for students when they sense exclusiveness from anyone...even if they are part of a particular denomination. It makes them incredibly uncomfortable to know that someone would reject another believer's beliefs based solely on their denomination. And they will avoid any Christian group that even "seems" to give that impression with their name.
Change the name, change the conversation! Change the name, change the fragrance!
Consider these new conversations that I anticipate becoming normal:
Sure, if someone wanted to know, they will eventually ask. We have no reason to hide that we are supported by Huntsville Church of Christ and carry many of its traditions. What is important in today's campus culture is the center of the conversation: Jesus! The fragrance of Christ is spread more readily with something as simple as a new name.
Our name is an expression of our character, our values, and our focus. We seek to train and mature disciples of Jesus.
We are Kats for Christ.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Sometimes one feels that there is a discord between the cross and beauty. But there really cannot be, for God is found best through those two doorways. This grey-blue rolling water tinged with whitecaps, hemmed with distant green hills and crowned with colored clouds and baby-blue sky reveals God's love of beauty--and God is so lavish with his paintbrush in the tropics. He is lavish everywhere if one only has eyes to see Him at work.
But when one comes to personality, one demands more than a pretty face or even a soul that sings for joy. There is in the universe a higher kind of beauty. It is the beauty of sacrifice, of giving up for others, of suffering for others. A woman has not reached her highest beauty until she lays down her ease and chooses pain for bearing and nursing her child. A man has not found his highest beauty until his brow is tinged with care for some cause he loves more than himself. The beauty of sacrifice is the final word in beauty."
I am amazed at how transformed his eyes are. Frank sees God everywhere he looks. How can you be beautiful today in sacrifice?
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This small (and for some awkward) offering had Jesus written all over it. Our little 30 minutes of time meant the world to these people whose routine consists of mainly hanging out in a common area waiting for someone to come talk to them.
I had a thought as I was wheeling one lady (ninety something years old...she couldn't remember) back to the common area. If the Lord blesses me with as many years, I pray that people come to see me to sing praises to God. What a blessing it was tonight.
- Ask God to show you how good he is
- Meditate on how beautiful his creation is
- Smell the flowers and thank God for them.
- Have a personal worship retreat.
- Sing songs of praise and thanksgiving.
- Pray the scripture, pausing to meditate when the Spirit leads
- Pray together
- Thank each other regularly (write it down every day: record of rights)
- Hold each other closely without selfish agendas…just for the sake of affirming the other
- Don’t take things so personally (most of the time its not a big deal)
- Offer forgiveness
- Ask for forgiveness. Admit when you are wrong quickly.
- Smile and laugh at each other.
- Don’t get historical. Remember the time you chose to forget how you've been wronged.
- Watch the sun go down together. Just enjoy the beauty of God.
- Tell others that you won't (not "can't") do something because you want to spend good time with your spouse.
- Ask them what you can pray for (actually pray for them there)
- Ask God to show you their strengths
- Begin thanking them for things they’ve done (“I overheard your conversation with so-and-so and that really encouraged me”)
- Free attention give-away: seriously listen attentively; don’t talk about you
- Spend 30 full minutes imagining yourself as another person with whom it is difficult to be kind or good (God will hopefully open your heart toward her or him)
- Indirection – stand in longest line at the grocery store
- Indirection – go the speed limit (tell yourself…I’m cultivating my heart)
- Work with children
- Initiate a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak English well
- Put yourself in situations where you can cultivate a selfless heart (trust that in time, God will produce his fruit in you)
- Confess regularly your own faults (who of us is perfect?)
- Ask God to teach you to say no to yourself in small things
- Indirection – practice fasting (learn to say no to your own body in eating [a basic need], and you will begin to see self-control in other temptations)
- Inconvenience yourself regularly, and take it not as an inconvenience but an wonderful opportunity to learn self-control that you weren’t expecting (act of service)
- When someone does something horrible to you, don’t tell anyone about it…ever!!
- When you do something good, don’t tell anyone about it…ever!!
- Limit your speaking for a day...see what you learn about others and yourself
- Don't eat your normal snack or dessert or whatever for a day
- Spend time with God just listening…ask him to show you his love
- Spend personal time worshipping God in song.
- Read about how God loves horrible people
- His love is something hard to understand
- No conditions…on his love?
- Begin to experiment with how you can practice this love too
- Do all these things
Word of Caution: You could easily turn these suggestions into rules and regulations to be performed, but that again doesn’t work on the heart. You would be doing the very thing that you are trying to avoid. Richard Foster: “The Disciplines of the spiritual life are a means not an end. The end is ‘to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.’ The end is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).” (Foster, Streams of Living Water, 55)
Friday, July 25, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
The first worked on a word find with many of the words from our Luke workbook they'd been working on.
Tyler's just chillin' with his balloon thinking about something!!
Courtney and Kayla are having fun as we wait for the readers to show up. She couldn't wait to eat ice cream a little later on!
The human first human knot went well. In the end there were two circles they couldn't get untangled.
The "fish" game. No one really listened to the story. They were just listening for some form of the word fish before trying to not let their finger get caught by the person next to them. I almost won both times!!
This is the other preacher, Elio, who works with Raul and Betty at the church. He teaches the Bible class on Sunday mornings.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
This is our dirt. Really it was a pudding recipe with Oreo cookies on top.
Our Texas Pictionary was a hit with our very own Vanna White. Kayla loved erasing what was drawn after each contestant came to draw their masterpiece. One time, she accidently erased the score!! Everyone at the party rightly thought that it was so cute.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Here are a couple of pictures of our family. I thought I would share them today. We are near the Bridge of the Americas at the end (or beginning) of the Panama Canal. There were several big cargo ships leaving the canal and cranking up their engines. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
INTP - The "Engineer"
INTPs are logical, individualistic, reserved, and very curious individuals. They focus on ideas, theories and the explanation of how things work. They are especially adept at discussions and debate. They have the ability to focus intently on a subject. They appreciate and respect intelligence in others.