The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis

Book Review: The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis

The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis

The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis

In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis plots a course for the church as it navigates the changing culture brought on by urbanization and globalization. As these forces have grown in strength, the church has been faced with challenges of evangelization in these new paradigms. Pope Francis lays out a fresh plan for the work of the people to bring the Gospel to the whole world.

Pope Francis urges his readers—and the church at large—to walk out their faith in divine love. Allowing the love of God to guide and direct them to transform the world around them. He urges all of us to live as if heaven is both a now and a not yet place.

We are reminded in this volume that “missions” is a task assigned to all believers. No one is exempt from the Great Commission. We all have a part to play in bringing the gospel to every corner of the world. Everyone who calls themselves “Christian” has been commissioned by Christ to “go” and “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) No one has been excluded from the going or the making.

Pope Francis also gives us a new way to think about evangelization. He begins Chapter Four by defining “to evangelize.” He defines it as making “the Kingdom of God present in our world.” He goes on to discuss practical ways how we are to be bringing the Kingdom into each corner of the world wherein we live and work. Later in Chapter Four, he reminds us that the Kingdom is “already present and growing in our midst” and that it “engages us at every level of our being.”

The Joy of the Gospel is a great read for persons of any faith tradition. All will benefit from the truths presented by Pope Francis. This volume will provide fresh ways of viewing the task of the Great Commission to which all Christ-Followers are called.

Page 128 of The Joy of the Gospel

Page 128 of The Joy of the Gospel

You can read the first chapter of The Joy of the Gospel by clicking here.

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FTC (16 CFR, Part 255) Disclaimer: I received my copy of The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis from Blogging for Books for this review.

419537: The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii GaudiumBy Pope Francis / ImageThis special edition of Pope Francis’s popular message of hope explores themes that are important for believers in the twenty-first century. Examining the many obstacles to faith and what can be done to overcome those hurdles, he emphasizes the importance of service to God and all his creation. Profound in its insight, The Joy of the Gospel is a call to action to live a life motivated by divine love and, in turn, to experience heaven on earth. Foreword by Robert Barron; Afterword by James Martin, SJ.

#Lent14 — 10/40

As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts.  In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom.  We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.

A reading from the Gospel According to John.

Jesus said:

My food is to do what God wants!  He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.  You may say that there are still four months until harvest time.  But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.

John 4:34-35 (CEV)

This is the Word of The Lord.

Today, I want to introduce you to a part of the world we love.  It’s the part of the world that has captured our imagination and dreams.  It’s a part of the world that we know is heavy on God’s heart, and, unfortunately, is not always so heavy on the hearts of His followers.  It’s the part of the world that we call the 10/40 Window.

Instead of adding more words to those that have already been written about this part of the world, we thought we’d share with you a couple of videos and urge you to allow them to spark your prayers for this part of the world.

First, a video shared by our friends at Within Reach Global:

Second, a video from our fiends at Rise Campaign:

Finally, our own video from the time we spent in Azerbaijan last year:

Our prayer is that these videos have given you a larger view of the 10/40 Window and the unreached peoples of the world.  That they have sparked your prayers.

If you would like to help us reach this amazing part of the world, then we’d love to have you partner with us.  You can visit our PARTNER WITH US page, or click HERE to be taken to Get The Word Out! which handles our financial support.

10/40 Window (Photo from Apple Maps)

10/40 Window (Photo from Apple Maps)

 

Quiet(ly Working) Weekend

We had a reasonably quiet weekend.  Steph and Emily are both sick, so we basically locked ourselves in our room and “vegged”.  I was able to get caught up on a bunch of reading, which was nice.  Here are some things I read and learned:

Finished Lucky: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People by Glenn Packiam.  You should read this book.  Not just because Glenn pastors the church we attend here in Colorado Springs, but rather because it presents a beautiful (and easily understandable) look at the Beatitudes and the Kingdom of God.  It is well-written and packed with truth.

I read about a third of The Sermon on the Mount by John Wesley.  This volume is a collection of Wesley’s sermons and commentaries on Matthew 5, 6 and 7 (aka The Sermon on the Mount).  As with most of Wesley’s sermons, these aren’t for the faint of heart.  Sermons in Wesley’s era were much deeper than a lot of the sermons we hear today.  Yet, these are loaded with deep truth of God’s Word and His Kingdom.  Well worth the read (keep a dictionary handy).

I read the Psalms.  I can’t even begin to tell you the beauty that I find in these chapters.  Wow.  I am convinced that it is impossible to walk away from a reading of the Psalms and say, “That was a waste of time.”

I read Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.  This quartet of books by the Apostle Paul make up my second favorite book in the Bible (Job is first).  While the overall thematic ideas are the same between the four, Paul tweaks each one just enough to give you the nuggets of truth in different ways.  At the heart, though, is a recognition that grace supersedes all else.  And through that grace we are made to be the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  In Ephesians, we get this incredible cosmic view of God followed by a “this is then how we should live” section.  Finally, Paul says, “You can’t do that on your own, so let me tell you how to walk in the Spirit.”  Even though God is BIG, He is still relational and wants to walk through your day with you.  Beautiful.

I read First, Second and Third John in five translations.  I love John’s epistles.  John gives us a view of the love of God unlike any other view in the Scripture.  Written toward the end of John’s life, he has come to understand what Jesus was trying to teach back in the Sermon on the Mount.  Love must be central.  All else is noise unless there is love (1 Corinthians 13).  John came to a deep understanding of this revelation and then said, “Here, church, live this.”   Throughout his letters to the four churches (Ephesus, Galatia, Philippi, and Colosse), Paul prays that they may have a deeper revelation of that love.  To Ephesus he writes, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and huh and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).  The Love of God.

Finally, I caught up on the news from around the world (by specifically reading media out of about 7 geographical regions, 4 other areas with socio-political situations currently percolating, 2 other areas that God is talking to us about).  The world is a hurting and broken place.  It’s chaotic.  It’s confusion.  It’s darkness.  Yet, we know the Light!  We know the Bringer of Orderly Order!  And we look for Kingdom to come in those situations.  We pray.  We hope.  We give.  We work.

So, how do I sum up what I learned this weekend?

  • God is a big God with big plans, dreams, goals, and visions.
  • God is not just “some god” who chooses to take an inactive role in the universe.  Rather, He is constantly working (ofttimes quietly) to set up His Kingdom.  Yet, He needs His people (you know, “those called by His name…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)) to be active through prayer, giving, and service in order to bring that Kingdom to pass.
  • Jesus came to show the world that the law wasn’t just a set of rules to follow.  Rather, at the heart was a Heart.  A big Heart.  A Father’s Heart.  The law was written because people didn’t love, honor, and serve one another.  So, Jesus sits on a mountainside and tells a multitude that there’s more than just not murdering, or not seeking vengeance, or worrying about tomorrow.  That more, as Paul and John teach us, is that there is a Father.  That Father loves us beyond our comprehension.  And, as a response to that love, we should love others beyond comprehension.
  • No matter how dark a particular situation may be (I’m thinking of North Korea and some things I learned about it earlier in the week), God is at work in the background.  He’s preparing.  Piece by piece.  Poco y poco.  Bringing it all together.  The darkest hour is just before dawn.
  • Finally, keep praying.  Prayer unlocks things.  Prayer changes things.  Prayer positions things.  As Karl Barth said, “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”  (Acts 2 prayer class, that should sound a lot like John 1.)

Lent 2012: 1.1 – Prayer Response to Isaiah 58:1-12

Throughout Advent, we posted blogs each week based on the Lectionary Readings for the previous Sunday. It was truly an awesome experience to travel through Advent with the universal church by praying, meditating, and responding to those texts. We loved it so much, we thought we’d do it again throughout Lent.

“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! — Isaiah 58:1 (NLT)

Lord, sanctify my mind, my will, and my emotions. Help me to keep guard at the gates of my heart, taking care to be intentional about what I allow myself to see and to hear, to keep my heart from being polluted by sin. Please help me not to love sin or tolerate sin, but to stand firm against it. May I not be ashamed of the way You have called me to be set apart. May Your light come into places of darkness and through Your power, drive the darkness out, releasing more of Your light. May I be faithful to You in being the “light of the world” as you have called me (Matthew 5:14).

Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. — Isaiah 58:2 (NLT)

Father, expose any hypocrisy in my heart that I may repent. Help me to keep an authentic relationship with You at the core of my desires, and if I ever fall into a place of just pretending and acting like I know who You are rather than truly knowing You personally, I ask that You open my eyes to the deception I’m hiding behind and teach me again what it is to know You.

‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ — Isaiah 58:3a (NLT)

Lord, sometimes in my sinful pride and arrogance, I expect some sort of recognition for the things I’ve done in the name of religion. Father, forgive me. I renounce the sin of pride from my life and ask that You fill me with Your Sprit of humility. I offer my body to You as a living and holy sacrifice as my spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1).

“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD? — Isaiah 58:3b-5 (NLT)

Jesus, I’m reminded of your warning against hypocrisy to the teachers of the law and Pharisees in Matthew 23. I ask you to wash me from the inside out. I want to pure through and through. Please teach me the discipline that it takes to continually be allowing You to make me holy by cleansing me by the washing with water through the Word (Ephesians 5:22).

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. — Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)

Father, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in myself and to fall into the lie that it’s all about me. But I will not settle for the illusion that I was simply saved from darkness to light without being saved for making Your name great. I ask You to reveal to me Your heart for the imprisoned, burdened, oppressed, bound, hungry, homeless, and needy. I want to see them through Your eyes. I want to represent You to them. Please increase my faith, and may my faith and deeds go together hand in hand. In James 2, Your Word says, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17). Increase my faith. Fill me with your spirit of compassion, grace, and love.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. — Isaiah 58:8-9a (NLT)

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You (Psalm 86:5). Thank you for saving me, healing me, leading me, protecting me, and answering me when I call. I praise Your glorious name.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. — Isaiah 58:9b-10a (NLT)

Jesus, may I continually be spreading Your gospel and Your kingdom and not vicious rumors. May I point others to You where they can find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28-29). Father, just as is said about Jesus in John 5, I want to do only what I see you doing. As your beloved child, I want to imitate You, Father (Ephesians 5:1). Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey you (Psalm 51:12).

Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. — Isaiah 58:10b-12 (NLT)

Lord, I trust You. I trust that the entirety of Your Word is truth (Psalm 119:160). I trust You as my Shepherd, my Father, and my God. Lord, I know that I can trust you more. Help me to do that. Help me to trust You wholeheartedly and always. I want to grow and mature and for Your kingdom to become more fully established within me. Thank you for being faithful to me as You transform me into Your likeness.

Amen.

 

In Memoriam: John and Wanda Casias

We learned late last night of the murder of John and Wanda Casias.  The Casias’ were a missionary couple in Monterrey, Mexico.  We did not know the Casias, or even know of them before hearing of their tragic passing, yet we wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to them, and remember their sacrifice.

According to their website, they had been missionaries in Monterrey since 1982.  They had a heart for discipling the people of this city, and for seeing God’s name made great.

Please remember the Casias family, their home church (Liberty Baptist Church, Lewisville, Texas), and their church in Mexico.  Also, and perhaps most importantly, remember in prayer those whom they were discipling in Monterrey.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot loose. — Jim Elliot

A Meditation on Psalm 46:10

In my prayer time this morning, God kept parking me at Psalm 46:10:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

So, as my prayer soundtrack (Sean Feucht’s song “Hallelujah”) played in the background, I pondered.  The following was the outcome of that meditation.

In the stillness, I see

All around the throne

Angles crying out,

HALLELUJAH!

Nations rising up

Nations crying out

HALLELUJAH!

Children from around the world

Can’t keep silent

HALLELUJAH!

Old men dreaming dreams

Young men seeing visions

Sons and daughters speaking prophecy

All crying out

HALLELUJAH!

Light being brought to dark lands

Brightly beaming out

Calling out

HALLELUJAH!

And around the Throne

Countless millions join in

The song rings out

The Voice cries:

“be still.”

And from the nations

Every land

Every tribe

Every tongue

Comes the cry

Comes the roar

Comes the shout

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!


 

Advent 2011: 2.2 — An Advent Psalm

Throughout this Advent season, my goal is to take each of the four Lectionary readings for each week and write a meditation about each one. Largely my motivation for this is simply that I love the season of Advent, yet there’s also a little bit of hoping that by blogging through this season, I can use it as a means to grieve the recent passing of my Dad.

WEEK 2: A reading from the Psalms

Lord, You showed favor to Your land; You restored Jacob’s property.  You took away Your people’s guilt; You covered all their sin.

Selah

I will listen to what God will say; surely the Lord will declare peace to His people, His godly ones, and not let them go back to foolish ways.

His salvation is very near those who fear Him, so that glory may dwell in our land.

Faithful love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace.  Truth will spring up from the earth, and righteousness will look down from heaven.  Also, the Lord will provide what is good, and our land will yield its crops.

Righteousness will go before Him to prepare the way for His steps.

— Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

Favor.

Restoration.

Redemption.

Peace has been declared to those who are willing to stop and listen.

Listening.

If we stopped long enough to listen to the words that God had to say to us, then what would we be able to accomplish in the world?

Peace.

Salvation.

Near to those who fear Him.

Why?

For our fame? So we can be uplifted? So we can feel good about our abilities? So we can show how big our auditorium is? So we can broadcast on cable television?

For HIS FAME.

For HIS REPUTATION.

It’s not about our fame. It’s not about our reputation.

It’s about a broken and dying world that needs to know the Peace of a Savior.

A world that stays broken and dying as long as we sit still on our comfortable pews.

Love and truth.

Righteousness and Peace.

Embracing.

Love embracing the truth of the Gospel. Love embracing the ones in need of the truth.

Righteousness. A right-standing legally and relationally with the God of the Universe. Righteousness bringing peace.

Truth springing up in places where truth is not yet know.

Burma.

China.

North Korea.

Cuba.

Maldives.

Yemen.

Iran.

Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan.

Peace bringing truth. Peace bringing love.

Yet, the need exists. The need for someone to prepare the way.

The fields are ready for harvesting.

“Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” — Psalm 126:6 (NIV)

Advent 2011: 2.1 — One to Rescue

Throughout this Advent season, my goal is to take each of the four Lectionary readings for each week and write a meditation about each one. Largely my motivation for this is simply that I love the season of Advent, yet there’s also a little bit of hoping that by blogging through this season, I can use it as a means to grieve the recent passing of my Dad.

WEEK 2: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places plain.  And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”  And I said, “What shall I cry?”  All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”  Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are young.

— Isaiah 40:1-11 (ESV)

Last week, we lit the candle of hope.  This week, along with hope, we light the candle of peace.

Our first reading this week takes us back to the Prophet Isaiah.  By this point in Israel’s history, neither hope nor peace are in play.  Israel is in captivity.  Their land is being occupied by foreign forces.  God is speaking through the Prophets, yet the words are not always all that hopeful or peaceful.

Then we come to today’s passage.

Isaiah speaks words of comfort to Jerusalem.  The Lord is coming, so prepare the way.

The Lord is coming.  Make the highway straight.

In the latter part of the reading, we find words of peace.  “Fear not.”  “He will tend his flock like a shepherd.”  “He will gently lead the young.”

Gentle leading.

We see this theme of Shepherd again.

Fast forward a few hundred years to the life and ministry of the Messiah.

Jesus comes.

He’s hanging around with some shady characters.  Characters who, like us, need rescued.  The religious folk of the day are critical of Jesus’ methods.

“He hangs around with sinners.”

“He hangs out with our enemies.”

“He says to go into the highways and hedges and bring in the homeless.”

“He says to love the orphans.”

“He says to heal the sick.”

“He says to take care of the immigrant.”

“He says to love all as brothers and sisters no matter their social standing.”

And Jesus responds with a story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one.  Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?  When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me!  I’ve found my lost sheep!”  Count on it–there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.” — Luke 15:4-7 (The Message)

Jesus tells them, in essence, that He would leave them in their cushioned pews to go get the one who is dirty, hungry, homeless, and sick.  The one who needs rescued is more important than the ninety-nine who have been rescued and are comfortable in their rescue.

What would you do?

Would you sit in the fold with the ninety-nine and say, “Forget the one.  They have nothing to offer anyway.  They have no money.  They have sickness.  They’ll just want a hand-out.”  Or, would you leave the comfort and head into the woods to find that one who needs rescued.

There is always one to rescue.

What are you doing in this Advent season to bring Christ’s peace to the one who needs rescued?

Peace in the midst of suffering.

Peace in the midst of hunger.

Peace in the midst of war.

Peace in the midst of illness.

Peace in the midst of death.

Peace has come.  He came unassumingly.  He came without fanfare.  He came without a gift.

A child — Peace embodied — in a humble stable.

Peace came to rescue the world.

Would you leave the ninety-nine for the one to rescue?

Why Blessings? Why Missions?

A couple of days each week, I take an hour or so and do a topical study in the Word. Right now, these studies are focused on passages that deal with the Fear of the Lord. Even more specifically, the past couple of days the study has been from Psalm 67.

This is a beautiful Psalm. It talks about the blessings of God on a nation of people who serve Him. Yet, there’s something even deeper (and obvious) in the chapter.

Here is the chapter from the NIV:

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth and your salvation among all nations.

May the people praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.

Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Wow! This Psalm is packed with awesomeness!!

A couple of things that jumped out at me as I studied it were:

  • God’s blessing on the harvest is conditional on our praise for Him. As a result of our praise, God’s blessing increases. It’s cyclical, and it is that way for a reason.
  • The emphasis that the Psalmist has on nations beyond Israel (God’s people) praising God (whom they don’t serve).

So, to answer the questions posed in the title, why?

God blesses His people because God has a global heart.

God cares about the entire world.

The whole thing.

Even those countries that arrest people for speaking His name.

God loves.

God blesses His people, so that His people can/will go and bless others. God gives, so that we can give.

Fundamental to this is the understanding that nothing you have is yours. It’s all God’s. It was merely given to you for you to give away. And as you give, more is given to you to give away.

As we — who are blessed — take the message of God and His desire to enlarge the harvest to the world, the world begins to learn the Fear of the Lord. The world begins to worship the Lord. And the Lord begins to bless them. So, that they can take the message to others.

God’s heart is global.

We praise.

He blesses.

We share blessing.

People fear Him.

People praise.

He blesses.

They share blessing.

In my study I came across this video of Psalm 67 set to music by a group called The Sons of Korah.  Enjoy.

Update from Colorado

Wanted to toss a quick update your way.

We have had a fantastic last couple of days here!

Saturday

We attended the second day of the Missions Intensive with Northern Hills Christian Church and Get The Word Out. God revealed several things to us during the training that we either didn’t know or that we needed to be reminded of. While, I’m not sure how successful this will be, I’ll try to sum up a couple of the key things:

> The Chinese word for BUSY is two pictures: Heart and Killing.
> The Chinese written word for BUSY is four pictures: Heart, Killing, Stone Roller, and Mediocre.
> “We must be GLOBAL Christians with GLOBAL vision because we have a GLOBAL God.”
> God’s global heart (and His desire for missions) begins in Genesis 12:1-4, and can be found in every book of the Bible.
> God doesn’t send someone else to do your calling. So, if you say “No”, then God doesn’t have a contingency plan.
> Are we (as Christians) trying harder to be culturally relevant, or Kingdom relevant.

Sunday

We were blessed to attend Sunday morning service at Northern Hills Christian Church where our friends Dave and Tara Powers (Worship and the Word Movement) were leading worship. Rob Kelly brought an awesome message that tied in phenomenally with some of the material from the Missions Intensive.

Pastor Rob discussed prejudices and how they interfere with the message of Christ. He pointed out that prejudices are broken in the belief that God is God to ALL people. If that is your central belief, then prejudice reveals a resistance to the work of the Holy Spirit.

He also discussed traditions, and how we can’t allow our traditions (cultural/religious/educational) trump what Jesus said. Tradition is NOT on an equal footing with Jesus, and when left alone tradition mutates into legalism.

Great stuff.

We then meet with Get The Word Out and had a phenomenal time of connecting with a group of like-minded people. It was a fantastic meeting!

After all of that, we were blessed to be able to take some time and visit with some of Michael’s family here on the Front Range.

All-in-all, it was an exhausting, but very fulfilling day!

Even shorter….

GOD ROCKS!