Thursday, January 19, 2017

Better: Week Two


BETTER week two
BETTER IS ONE DAY

· All make resolutions. Why? We want some area of our life to be better that it was last year.
· Who wouldn’t like to have a better year this year than last?
· Why don’t we?
· We settle for a good life, why? Because good is normal.
· We love normal but long for better.
· Not just us, God wants us to be better, better than normal.
· Normal is the enemy of better, normal is easy, normal isn’t getting it done.
· Beth’s questions: What’s your normal and what can you do today?
· Financially, Relationally, Physically, Spiritually
· Let go of the good and normal and grab hold of the better.
· Pray

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God….10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere: I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. Ps 84:1-2, 10

· Courts symbolize the presence of God.
· Survey 1 day in God’s presence or 1000 living the way you want to but away from Him?
· Is 1 day >3 years?
· Before you answer, remember what we all just sung.
· Many don’t believe this is true or possible.
· Look at the choices we make everyday based on how we feel right now, in the short term
· Ex. Jobs, church, relationships, purchases
· We say His ways are better than our ways but we live as though our ways are.
· We say in the presence of God we find Forgiveness * Hope * Joy * Power * Purpose * Provision
· We manufacture our own Forgiveness * Hope * Joy * Power           * Purpose * Provision
· Because that is what normal people do.

HOW DO YOU HAVE A DAY WITH GOD?

· It’s not: Bible study, pray, worship. Those help but not only way.
· We’ve been led to believe that those things are “spiritual” and there for lead us to the presence of the “spiritual one”.
· Ask Jesus how is your spiritual life—what?
· Hebrew language there is no word for spiritual.
· Spiritual life—normal life.
· Label one area as spiritual is to label other areas not spiritual.
· Everything is spiritual
· Every conversation, interaction, choice, etc.
· Everywhere you look, there is God
· Ex. Buy a new car, see car everywhere—more aware.
· You don’t get more Jesus by coming to church, you get more church by coming to Jesus.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Col 3:17

DEVELOP THE HABIT OF…

1) CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH GOD.
· Be joyful always; 17 pray continually. 1 Thess 5:16-17
Every adult I know is always available by phone / constant connectivity 

2) INSTANT OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:25
· Live with regret of not acting on prompting

3) A DAILY DESPERATION FOR GOD.
· My soul yearns, even faints. My heart and flesh cry out!
· Why don’t we desperately need God?
· We haven’t developed a taste.
Taste and see that the Lord is good… Ps 34:8

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. Ps 63:1-3

· Once you’ve had a day with God—never want to do one without him.
· Indescribably better
· Not day but EVERYDAY

Friday, January 06, 2017

Better (Sermon Series week one)


Better week one—Intro

· Video - https://skitguys.com/videos/item/new-years-confessions
· All make resolutions. Why? We want some area of our life to be better than it was last year.
· “Good to great” quote

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” ― Jim CollinsGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

· We settle for a good life, why? Because good is normal.
· We love normal but long for better.
· Not just us, God wants us to be better
· God cares about you. Fathers care about their kids
· Normal keeps us from better
· Little habits, behaviors that keep you stuck in normal
· Normal—always being late, always blaming them, not being able to say I’m sorry, silent treatment, blowing up, having extra piece of cake, putting it on a credit card when you don’t have money, normal is not spending quality time with spouse, kids, friends.
· Normal is invisible to us.

Things to know about normal
1) Normal is the enemy of better
· Just because you’ve always done it a certain way doesn't mean it’s best.
· Ex. Just because you've been an auto mechanic 20 years doesn't make you a good one
· Never solve a problem you are not willing to admit you have.
· Ex. Bungee cord game.
· We try to run toward better but normal keeps pulling us back.
· We say, "Devil you know better than the devil you don’t know." But not true.
2) Normal is easy
· Normal just seems to happen. No effort.
· Ex. Kids normal is fighting, manners not.
· Ex. Friend doesn’t want to change because it’s easy.
3) Normal isn’t working
· Until you’re willing to admit normal isn’t working, and put forth the effort to change, you will stay in the same place you are now


Jesus isn’t normal, he’s better
· Jesus doesn't do things the way I do things.
· That’s what made Him so radical.
· Love your enemies, pray for those you can’t stand.
· Last shall be first,.
· Gain your life, you have to lose it.
· Peter even tried to tame Jesus
· If Jesus is really God, wouldn’t he know how to do things better?

Matthew 10:17-21
· Most of us we want Jesus to give us a boost, make our life better without us changing a thing.
· Jesus isn’t here to help you carry it any longer, he here to help you put it down.
· Enemy wants to convince us that better is really worse.
· Study any person in the bible and you will see most had to go back before they moved forward.
· Why? Because God wants a relationship of trust.
· Step away, step back, trust God.
· Jesus modeled this I the garden. He was life, but stepped back to death.
· You will always have to go through worse to get to better.
· Matthew 10:22
· He went back to normal, what he knew, what’s comfortable.

· Why are resolutions so hard to keep? Because they’re not normal.
· Change is not normal.
· You know what’s normal? Your divorce, your debt, your sin.
· But it’s not better.
· Don’t you long for better.

· What’s your normal?
· What can you do TODAY?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Movie List 2016



Each year I keep a running list of the movies I've watched from that particular year. As I watch more and more films, the list will grow. On average I see about 20 movies a year in the theater. I've also got three kids under the age of thirteen, so yeah we see a lot of kids flicks.  

My 5-star ratings system is pretty straight forward...
***** I would own this movie

**** I would watch again
*** A good and enjoyable movie but not worth seeing again
** Waste of time
* I'm dumber for having watched it

So with that being said, here's my list for 2016:

1) Captain America: Civil War *****

2) Doctor Strange*****
3) Hell or Highwater****
4) Deadpool ****
5) Rouge One ****
6) The Magnificent Seven ***
7) Eddie the Eagle ***
8) Hail, Caesar! ***
9) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children ***
10) Sing ***
11) Pete's Dragon ***
12) The Jungle Book ***
13) The Secret Life of Pets ***
14) Zootopia***
15) The Brothers Grimsby***
16) X-Men Apocalypse***
17) Suicide Squad ***
18) The Angry Birds Movie ***
19) Finding Dory ***
20) Storks***
21) Batman vs Superman **
22) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot **
23) Barbershop: The Next Cut * (Don't judge me, I watched it on an airplane and it was the only free movie they had)


Thursday, January 07, 2016

ELISHA: A TALE OF RIDICULOUS FAITH (week one)


ELISHA: A TALE OF RIDICULOUS FAITH (week one)
RIDICULOUS COMMITMENT

· John 14:12
· Jesus isn’t calling us to be greater than Him, but greater WITH Him through the Holy Spirit
· Same God that was born in the manger and died on the cross is the same God that lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit
· Why do we ignore that or think the HS is only for others?
· Believers aren’t in danger of ruining theirs lives, they face a danger far greater: wasting them.
· That’s what this series is about: developing a faith so ridiculous that you can die knowing nothing was wasted.

· Words w/opposite meanings: Bad, Sick, Ridiculous!
· Ridiculous - worthy of ridicule = Now - unbelievably good
· Life Elisha: OT prophet—ridiculous!
· Prophets were literally voice of God, one main prophet at a time, many others including false
· List includes Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Elijah
· Lived during 9th c BC.
· Israel divided nation: Full of idolatry: Baal.
· Elijah’s times was coming to an end, needed to find a successor, led by God
· Elisha becomes an incredible prophet
· Ask for a double portion and gets it: More recorded miracles.
· Divided Jordan, Raised dead, Ax head float, Purified poisoned stew, Bones resurrects dead man.
· Favorite: 2 Kings 2:23-24 I LOVE THIS GUY!
· Easy to see ending and assume He was born that way
· 1 Kings 19

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” 21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:19-21

· Wasn’t son of a priest. Seminary. Monk.
· Living at home w/parents working on his dad’s farm.
· God called ordinary man to be a prophet
· Ridiculous responsibility: Counsel kings. Perform miracles. Speak on behalf of God.
· What is the future prophet doing? Staring at the back side of 12 oxen
· Not a great job - Hard, boring, monotonous work. Smell oxen. Staring at oxen rears.
· Every day. Same thing. Day after day.
· Same job, Student study/work, Parent (kids, laundry)
· Lose your passion staring at oxen rears.

· Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
· Symbolic: Under my care.
· At this moment in time Elisha had a choice...
· Keep doing what he was doing or step out and step away.
· One path was safe, the other would take ridiculous faith and ridiculous commitment.

TWO PRINCIPLES OF RIDICULOUS COMMITMENT

1) YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY TO OBEY IMMEDIATELY.

20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” 1 Kings 19:20

· Didn’t have to pray about it. Pros & cons. Therapist. Details. Salary.
· So in tune with God I trust you! I’m in—instantly.
· 13 years ago, first church plant, told I needed a plan. “What are your 5 year plans?” 80% fail before 2 years
· Guess what? Nothing ever turned out how I planned it.
· Why? Life is unpredictable.
· This time, a new approach - Don’t plan for the future—respond in the present.
· Ex. Save money in case something goes wrong.
· Now we save in case something goes right.
· God’s directions are often intentionally vague.
· Moses: Go to the land I’ll show you. Peter: Come.

Marriage:          Stay                    Church:             Commit
Health:              Trust                   Children:           Adopt
Idea:                 Start                   

· Some of you today—Ridiculous!
· YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY TO OBEY IMMEDIATELY.

2) THOSE GOD USES THE MOST ARE THE ONES WHO HOLD ON TO THE LEAST. 

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

· Slaughtered oxen—ceremonial sacrifice to celebrate.
· Doesn’t just make some steak—Burns the plows.
· Irresponsible. Disciples left everything. (Luke 5)
· Plow burning faith.
· Have to know God is leading you—don’t just walk in—quit my job! Wait a month.
· Step away from your plow and step toward your destiny

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62