30/30: Don’t Go on a Spiritual Vacation

30 06 2008

Five Ways to Not Go On Vacation Spiritually This Summer.

1. Commit to WEEKLY Worship. When at the cottage, find a church to worship at.

2. Plug into God’s WORD Block out some daily “Deck Time” to read the Bible. I’ll be reading John in July. One chapter a day, five chapters a week (M-F). Join Me.

3. PRAY in New Ways Here’s some ideas…1. Prayer walk though your neighborhood and silently pray for your neighbors 2. Take a nature hike, reflect on God’s creation and thank Him for His marvelous ways.

4. SERVE in New Area. Volunteer at Epic in a new area of ministry. Try Epic Explorers, 1st Impressions or the Set Up Team for a couple Sundays.

5. PROPEL Forward. Stay consistent and go deep with your propel partner at Epic. Put your meeting time together ON THE TOP of your weekly priority list. Challenge each other to grow.

BONUS: Read “I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt” by Vince Antonucci. Book Review. Available Sunday at the Resource Table

We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might” Colossians 1:10-11.


Book Review: I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

30 06 2008

Most Christian books I’ve read on spiritual growth are either filled with trite Christianese touchy feel good stuff or heady intellectual approaches that leaves me rereading pages. This is neither….it’s a book even a guy will read. Vince Antonucci’s conversational and humorous approach to the adventure of following Christ will have you laughing one moment and challenged the next. Numerous times, I literally laughed out loud in public. People, it’s THATS funny! I couldn’t put this book down (which is not normal for me).

Raised by a Jewish mother and a professional gambler father, Vince didn’t hear about Jesus until college. Through his numerous vulnerable and transparent personal stories, he exposes some of the commons pitfalls and misconceptions of Christianity and returns us to a life of honestly following Christ that is intimate, authentic and life changing.

“Little Emily looks cute in her souvenir shirt that proclaims, “My parents went to Florida and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” But there’s something sad about it too. She missed the journey. She didn’t get to take part in the adventure. While others broke out of their dull routine, Emily missed the excitement of doing something different. She didn’t get to play in the waves or hug Mickey. She didn’t get to experience the joy. Even the horrifying incident when the tire blew out and Stan, the self-proclaimed “Good Samaritan Redneck,” rescued the family in his Sanford and Son pickup truck has quickly become a fond memory for everybody. Everyone except Emily. She missed the journey.

As I’ve gone to church and met Christians and lived as one myself, I’ve realized something. We are Emily.

When I read about the lives of the first Christians in the pages of the New Testament I see people who actually went “on vacation to Florida,” who truly experienced the ups and downs of the trip. But when I look around at Christians today, I see people who just wear a T-shirt for an adventure they’ve missed out on. We’re missing the journey. We’re stuck in the same dull routine. We’re missing out on the joy and fear and laughter and doubt and mystery and confusion of following Jesus, of taking great risks for God, of praying dangerous prayers, even of being spiritually attacked…

So why are so many Christians disappointed? Is it possible that we, like Emily, are missing out on the journey? Is Jesus calling us to live life with authentic spiritual passion, but we’re just wearing the T-shirt, practicing a souvenir religion?

If your content with a plastic, bored and unengaged approach to Christ, DON’T READ THE BOOK. But if you want to lose the T-Shirt and discover the adventure of a life with Jesus, pick it up. It’s a great summer read to ignite your walk with Christ.

New Series at Epic: God@the Box Office

30 06 2008

Everybody likes a great movie. In this teaching series we’ll go behind the scenes to examine practical life messages from the summer’s biggest films, including: Indiana Jones, The Incredible Hulk, and more! From finding the purpose of life to managing anger, this popular teaching series will change the way you view movies and life.

Starting July 5

Church Planting Sucks

27 06 2008

Actually it doesn’t, but sometimes it feels like it. I came across this post from a church planter in Edmonton a couple nights ago…Church Planting Sucks. Every couple of months I have one of those restless and sleepless nights where I contemplate everything about my life…where I am, where I want to be, where’s God. In those moments it’s seems the default setting in your mind is “all the negative thoughts and insecurities you have ever felt about yourself and everything that you wish was different about your life.” I’ve learned to embrace those moments with Christ…and actually I am feeling quite good about life right now and I’m at peace in ways I’ve never been before. Being part of church plant is the greatest and most challenging thing that I’ve ever done for Christ and Daniel Taylors list was spot on what you go through.

1. It’s harder than you think – but not in that ways you expect. I expected it to be a lot of work and I expected there to be discouraging times and I expected there would be times I would want to quit, but I didn’t expect that I would spend most of my time doing stuff that I don’t love and doesn’t excite me….

2. It’s more fun than you think it’s going to be. Strap on your helmet, but it is fun. You’re building something from scratch and fighting and winning and failing. It tough, but it’s not boring…

3. There are people who don’t want you to succeed…Identify these people and ignore them.

4. There are people who desperately want to you to succeed…Identify these people and seek them out.

5. It is not easy to figure out who are #3 people and who are #4 people.

6. Weather will kick your ass…

Read the rest of this entry »

LoveFest08: Lunch Lady Land

27 06 2008

I can’t wait to share some of the pics from last Saturday’s Event in Detroit. Great ministry by everyone who attended. Way to share the love of Christ. The hair nets on Sandy and Macair in the Hot Dog Line had me singing a song we sing in our house every time we serve Sloppy Joes…”Lunch Lady Land.” Enjoy!

30/30: Summer. Cruise Control. Stay Recharged.

25 06 2008

To plan our summer together, our family went to Rainforest Cafe on Monday for a meeting to plan the summer activities in the Kade house. As we plowed though our Volcano dessert, we made a list of our family activities for the next three months…wave pools, Acadia, tennis lessons. There’s so many things you can’t do in Michigan most of the year. Here’s my Fav Five of summer

  1. Wearing Sandals
  2. Vacation (we always take a crazy one)
  3. Eating Outside
  4. Playing Tennis
  5. Eastern Market in Detroit

I love summer! But often as Christ followers, we put our spiritual lives on Cruise Control for the summer months. It’s really easy to glide along in your faith over the summer. The only problem is you can’t take three months off in your relationship with Jesus.

It’s like this. When it comes to your spiritual life, you are either powering up or powering down. Read the rest of this entry »

One Prayer Challenge

25 06 2008

Jesus prayed,“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

Prayer Challenge: This week as you drive around, pray for every Christian Church you pass by. Thank God for what He is doing in that place and ask Christ to bless them.