Learning to be Miserable (c/o Acts29)

07/21/2010   |      |       |    0 Comment

This is a great follow-up to my sermon this past Sunday – “Trials & Maturity” from James 1:1-4.  Click Here
Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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community, Featured, growth, Sermon Series

Gospel Centered Life Community Group

09/09/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

Excerpt taken from:  http://theologica.blogspot.com/

The Gospel-Centered Life: Small Group Curriculum

Here’s a new small-group curriculum that looks very helpful: The Gospel-Centered Life: A Nine Lesson Study, published by World Harvest Mission. You can sign-up for a free full-length review copy by email; or download a sample lesson, the table of contents, and/or the introduction.

Here are some endorsements:

“This is a rich gospel-centered small group curriculum that I am really excited to see published.”
–Mark Driscoll

“I have not seen a better resource for training people in the implications of the gospel. It communicates both to the new Christian and to the seasoned pastor, much like the gospel itself.”
–Darrin Patrick

“With simple and direct language, The Gospel-Centered Life helps people understand and effectively apply the gospel to their lives, regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. It’s one of the few resources out there that explicitly challenges others to reach out with the gospel, even as it is growing deeper into their own lives. I highly recommend it!
–Steve Childers

“The phrase ‘gospel-centered’ has become a popular buzzword in Christianity. But just because you talk about the gospel doesn’t mean you’re being transformed by it. I’m familiar with both the publisher and the authors of The Gospel-Centered Life, and I know they are profoundly aware, first and foremost, of their own need for gospel renewal. That’s why I’m so excited to recommend this material to pastors, leaders, and Christians everywhere who long to see gospel transformation in themselves and in their churches.”
–Daniel Montgomery

HT: Michael Johnson

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Lies Woman Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free

09/08/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

In Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss exposes the areas of deception most commonly believed by Christian women. She not only deals with the lies that women believe about God, themselves and sin but also the lies they believe about their marriages, their emotions and their circumstances. Nancy sheds light on how women can be delivered from bondage and set free to walk in God’s grace, forgiveness, abundant life and peace. Lies Women Believe offers the most effective weapon to counter and overcome Satan’s deceptions—God’s truth.  Community Group starts on 9/14 at 7:30pm.  If you are interested please email Leslie at lesliebond1@gmail.com.

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Questions… Questions… Questions…

03/08/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

Well we are about a week away from starting our new series “Ask Any Question.”  The questions keep coming in and I’m asking myself, “What was the Lord thinking when He gave me this idea?”  It’s going to take me months to answer all these questions… But guess what?  That’s what I want.

Who is answering your questions about life, God, marriage, sexuality, abortion, gambling, the Trinity, suffering, etc?  Oftentimes, we never ask that one question that if answered would catapult our faith in God.

I know when I was new to the faith or even like now, “semi-old” in the faith, I didn’t have a forum in which to ask what I felt were legitimate questions.  You see, many of us have questions but no one to turn to that can answer them…

Can you imagine a person going to church for 10-15 years and never know that Jesus is God?  Well, that’s why we are presenting this opportunity.  People are responding and we are organizing the questions.

Do you have questions that you need answers to?  Then submit them to us if you live in Charlotte or don’t live in Charlotte… We’ll answer them.  But here’s the caviate – you must live out the answer.  Don’t ask us a question that if answered won’t cause you to love Jesus more.  We aren’t seeking to be a “Bible Answer Man.”  We are seeking to give you Biblical and theological answers that would assist you in falling deeper in love with Jesus.

Ask your questions, I’ll answer them with the truth… If you don’t mind truth then we’ll have a blast.  Relax, it won’t be like this…

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church life, community, family living, growth

What's up with the church?

03/03/2009   |      |       |    1 Comment

After twenty eight chapters of Acts I’m scratching my head saying, “How in the world did we get so off track from what the church is all about?”  I don’t say this in a way that calibrates me and “my church” as having arrived… But I’m saying to myself, “Where did we miss it?”

Within the past few weeks, I’ve been repenting over getting off track as a church.  After searching my own heart, I can see where we can miss it.  Guru books, what this church is doing, felt-needs, idols, everyone’s desires, spoiled people, lack of submission, busy schedules, fear, and consumerism, etc… etc… can cause a church to miss the whole purpose for which we gather.   Now don’t get me wrong, we get that JESUS is our central focus and preaching the gospel is our message but what about how the gospel inspires us to constantly pray for one another and  experience “one heart” community life?  And better yet, what about understanding the expectation that as a church we need to prepare to endure persecution?

It’s crazy… Has, “I’m going to pray for you” become something that we just say or is it really something we take time to do?  Are IPhones and Facebook accounts meeting felt needs so much that we’ve lost our fervor to just fall on our faces for one another?  Stuff is happening all around us that needs our fervent prayers.  What are we really devoted to?

What about gathering together for community life?  Has church been reduced to Sunday morning only?  What about doing life as the body of Christ?  What about getting into someone else’s life and being there for them?  What about having fun, eating food, studying the Word, asking questions and getting to know people?  Our church communities around the world should be drawing “thirsty”, hungry and malnourished people who are starving because they don’t know Jesus.  Our communities should be blessed because there’s a group of Christians gather in a house in a particular neighborhood… Man, that’s what I want.  I want to see the church living out loud for Jesus.

Don’t get me started talking about “enduring persecution.”  No one likes persecution.  But what a blessing – Acts is loaded with testimonies of the providence of God in the midst of suffering.  Listen to me, if suffering is being the church then we can’t deny that’s it’s coming.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  In the meantime, listen to the message on 3/1/09, it comes with a PPT that we followed during our time together.  Dig into Acts, find the church and let me know what you discover.

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What’s up with the church?

03/03/2009   |      |       |    1 Comment

After twenty eight chapters of Acts I’m scratching my head saying, “How in the world did we get so off track from what the church is all about?”  I don’t say this in a way that calibrates me and “my church” as having arrived… But I’m saying to myself, “Where did we miss it?”

Within the past few weeks, I’ve been repenting over getting off track as a church.  After searching my own heart, I can see where we can miss it.  Guru books, what this church is doing, felt-needs, idols, everyone’s desires, spoiled people, lack of submission, busy schedules, fear, and consumerism, etc… etc… can cause a church to miss the whole purpose for which we gather.   Now don’t get me wrong, we get that JESUS is our central focus and preaching the gospel is our message but what about how the gospel inspires us to constantly pray for one another and  experience “one heart” community life?  And better yet, what about understanding the expectation that as a church we need to prepare to endure persecution?

It’s crazy… Has, “I’m going to pray for you” become something that we just say or is it really something we take time to do?  Are IPhones and Facebook accounts meeting felt needs so much that we’ve lost our fervor to just fall on our faces for one another?  Stuff is happening all around us that needs our fervent prayers.  What are we really devoted to?

What about gathering together for community life?  Has church been reduced to Sunday morning only?  What about doing life as the body of Christ?  What about getting into someone else’s life and being there for them?  What about having fun, eating food, studying the Word, asking questions and getting to know people?  Our church communities around the world should be drawing “thirsty”, hungry and malnourished people who are starving because they don’t know Jesus.  Our communities should be blessed because there’s a group of Christians gather in a house in a particular neighborhood… Man, that’s what I want.  I want to see the church living out loud for Jesus.

Don’t get me started talking about “enduring persecution.”  No one likes persecution.  But what a blessing – Acts is loaded with testimonies of the providence of God in the midst of suffering.  Listen to me, if suffering is being the church then we can’t deny that’s it’s coming.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  In the meantime, listen to the message on 3/1/09, it comes with a PPT that we followed during our time together.  Dig into Acts, find the church and let me know what you discover.

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church life, community, growth, meaning of life

John Piper Sends a Message to Our President

01/27/2009   |      |       |    0 Comment

In the spirit of “Facing the Truth Before Our Righteous Judge” I have attached a riveting message from my friend to our longed for president.  Please pray for repentance and courage to stand for truth!  Be Courageous, Mr. President

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Undeniable History – 1st African American President

11/05/2008   |      |       |    2 Comments

Personally throughout this rigorous, cynical and divisive presidential campaign, I’ve been silent regarding my political preference, whether it be Democrat or Republican.  I see my role in this era of endless and even circular arguments as a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m not a political science major, politician, media guru, activist, humanitarian leader, religious/political preacher, nor deceived into believing that Jesus champions one political party.  My life has been made alive and redeemed by an effective calling from God and predestined to proclaim the only news that can offer forgiveness of sins, liberate and transform the human heart – the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We must respect the voice of America that was heard on November 4, 2008.  As an African American man, I celebrate Barak Obama on becoming the 1st African American President in this countries history.  I only wished my deceased father and mother were alive to see this historic moment.  Call it what you will, this man has had America engaged in a conversation of diversity, justice, hope and dreams that hasn’t happened at this magnitude since the foundation of this country.  Regardless of his views of inclusion and tolerance, we must all give him credit for his tenacity, consistency, call for unity and racial reconciliation, oratorical eloquence, technological savvy, intelligence and strategic exegesis of the perceived desires, needs and aspirations of so many in America. 

As Christians, we must allow the conversations of hope, dreams, equality and opportunity to lead people to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ not in an “atoning king” for the sins of America.  My challenge to American Christians is to not spend our time “hating”, “criticizing” and arrogantly politicizing what cannot be altered from the history books but to preach the gospel to a thirsty culture that is ripe for the truth of Jesus Christ.

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The Distraction of Celebrated Breasts

08/05/2008   |      |       |    1 Comment

Are women leveraging the power of their influence over men?  In a recent article, ABC News reports on the appropriate way for women to celebrate their breasts for their own benefit, even in the workplace.  Could our Christian sisters be subtly buying into the “dressed up” and unspoken messages of the drivers of fashion in our culture?  Are we allowing our body images to become our means of advancing ourselves or being perceived as striking and worthy of notice?  Has tight become right because it displays your competitive edge? 

Regardless of the reason, at this point our men are pleading for our sisters in Christ to be sensitive to our visual makeup.  We anticipate the onslaught from unbelieving women but not from blood-washed believers in Christ.  In my discussions with men, all they are asking for is that you pull your shirts up, put on a camisole (which is a sophisticated undershirt), and keep your body to yourself and your husband.  We are pursuing holiness for the King and we have “made a covenant with our eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman (Job 31:1)?” We are attempting to respect and honor you, while we guard our hearts.  We bounce our eyes, we pray, we avoid certain sights, we bury ourselves in God’s Word and we make ourselves accountable to other men to honestly talk about the struggle. 

Please don’t celebrate your breasts to our detriment.  We as men have too much wickedness in our own hearts to be enticed by things that could be avoided.  We love our sisters but really need them to understand the impact of their choices.  Let’s avoid unnecessary distractions to furthering God’s kingdom.

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Cleavage is in but not with Jesus

08/01/2008   |      |       |    0 Comment

Why aren’t Christians and Christian leaders publicly educating people about the suggestive impact that visible breast cleavage is having on our women, men, young boys and young girls?  Let’s send an APB out that alerts our sisters that it’s destroying the body of Christ.  Sensual fashion designers have duped Christian women into believing that clothes and “showing a little” doesn’t hurt anyone…  In a brief search, I realized that there were websites that teach women how to show cleavage with small breasts.  I would provide the URL but it’s so ridiculous, I wouldn’t dare do it.  Why are Christian women following the seductive, money hungry, pervert fashion designers and not Jesus.  I know Middle Eastern cultures covered their whole bodies when they got dressed in the morning but can you imagine Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus coming to our worship gatherings with three-quarters of their breast showing?  Here’s a call to the husbands:  wake up and check your wife and her heart before she leaves the house.  If you don’t, you are as much to blame as she is… What’s the deal?  Is it a matter of ignorance, preference, naivete, insecurity, fashion, turning the eyes of men, attention addiction, spiritual immaturity or plain ole’ carnality, etc?  Let me know what you think.

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church life, community, growth, masculinity