New Year, New Series: Unstoppable

29 12 2008

unstoppable-smallWhat would happen if we truly embraced our mission to dared to become the church God imagined? We could become an unstoppable force. Join us as we look forward to what God has in store for us in 2009.

Jan 4     Unstoppable Vision
Jan 11    Unstoppable Partners


Merry Christmas!

25 12 2008

I pray everyone has a wonderful celebration of the birth of Christ. Enjoy the moments and memories with family and friends.

30/30: Christmas. Joseph. An Extraordinary Life.

19 12 2008

My favorite character in the Christmas story is Joseph. His experience two thousand years ago is the most like our spiritual experience today. Joe was trying to do everything right, but everything in his life went wrong. He’s in love with this girl, but she doesn’t seem to be in love with him. He’s committed to her, but now she’s doesn’t seem to be committed to him. She’s pregnant. At best she cheated on him or at worst she’s delusional thinking God did this. His hopes and his dreams for his marriage where completely messed up. Both his friends and his heart said “dump the girl.”

But an angel of God shows up and says continue the relationship with Mary. The interesting thing is God called Joe to a life that no one would have demanded him…no one would have expected of him…no one would have even desired of him. When God steps into our life, He always He calls always calls us to a higher level of righteousness. And Joe steps into that divine moment with God and does the unexpected. He continues the relationship with Mary.

The interesting thing is that Joe could have had a good life without Mary, but it wouldn’t have been the extraordinary life that he was invited into by God. This is the same for you and I. We often are not choosing between a sinful life and godly life. But we are choosing between an ordinary life and an extraordinary life. Between a common life and an uncommon one. Between an everyday life and an eternal life. If Joe had followed through and let go of Mary, his life would have been normal, ordinary and most likely easier.

But God is inviting all of us to step into a divine moment. When we follow Christ our lives become more complicated, not simpler. They get more disturbed, not more comfortable. The journey of life with Mary led Joseph to experience to less stability, less predictably, and less respect from others. Surely people talked. His future was unclear and uncertain which is not the way you want to begin your marriage.

At some point must of thought, “God this is your mess. You clean it up. You got her pregnant. That baby is not mine. ” He could have walked way, but He stepped into that divine moment. Matthew 1:24 says”When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” The only thing Joe received in return was God with him and that was enough. Instead of an ordinary life, he stepped into a extraordinary moment with God and his life was never the same again.

What extraordinary moment is God inviting you into? It will definitely be more difficult than choosing the ordinary path, but God will be there with you.

BTW…the song, “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas, always reminds me of Joseph. It’s often the smallest moments and decisions that move us from an ordinary life to an extraordinary life for God.

Do Chick Flicks Ruin Your Love Life?

17 12 2008

flm90005the-notebook-postersWe talk a lot about relationships at Epic and I’ve counseled tons of couples about love and relationships. Often I help people separate fantasy from reality…the crazy idea that love should be easy and the reality that is love and marriage takes a lot of work and sacrifice. This new study from Watt University was thought provoking:

LINK: Rom-Coms “Spoil Your Love Life”?

At times I’ve joked those movies are like “chic porn.” Just as pornography gives men completely unrealistic expectations of women, I think Chic Flicks / Romantic Comedies have the ability to give women completely unrealistic expectations of men. In the study they questioned people and their opinions about relationships through movies from 1995-2005. Dr Bjarne Holmes writes:

“Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it….We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people’s minds….The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise.”

What do you think?

Christmas Party: Detroit Edition

15 12 2008

Thanks to all the volunteers who shared the love of Christ and served the community in Detroit last Saturday. Over 100 children from the community around Temple of Faith received multiple Christmas gifts you purchased for them. For most of the kids these were the only gifts they will receive this year. From the Epic youth who put on the drama…to the volunteers who organized the gifts…to the those who helped with the crafts or food…to those handing out the gifts. Thank you for Your Role in God’s Story!

“I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Matthew 25:40

Chistmas in Ur House: Video 2

15 12 2008

Rochester Christmas Parade ’08

11 12 2008

Thanks t0 everyone at Epic who help with the Epic Float in the Rochester Christmas Parade. From the Float builders…to the costume makers…to the band…to the kids on the float…to those who passed out invite cards. Thanks for sharing the love of Jesus and reaching out to the community! You all Rocked the parade Epic style!