Choose What is Better

27 07 2009

“Mary has chosen what is better.” Those are some of the most haunting words in scripture. (if you don’t know the story…read Luke 10).

This Saturday, we’ve blocked out a morning with the simple goal to be with Jesus. It’s a time to come out of the ministry fields and sit at the feet of your Savior. There is NOTHING more important, NOTHING more worthwhile, NOTHING more critical for your life than this. NOTHING. And there is nothing better than listening to Christ both speak into and lead your life.

DETAILS: August 1, Rochester Park, 8:30-12 AM,
SCHEDULE: 1. I’ll lead in some “how to’s” of solitude 2. you will have some alone time with Christ and his word. 3. We’ll come back together and share.
DIRECTIONS: Park at Pine Street Lot (off Walton, 2 blocks west of downtown Rochester

Thirteen years ago John Ortberg mentored me in this area of my life. Here’s a quote from an article by him.

“Jesus urged his disciples to take time out. Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. If we want to follow someone, we can’t go faster than the one who is leading…Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus went to the wilderness for an extended period of fasting and prayer…He ended his ministry, as he began it, with the practice of solitude. Jesus taught his followers to do the same. And as he said to them, “Come away to a deserted place,” he says to us still. Wise followers of Christ’s way have always understood the necessity and benefit of solitude”


New Series@Epic: So You’re Dead…Now What?

22 07 2009

so youre dead now what

The afterlife is cloaked in mystery. What happens moments after we die? What is Heaven really like? What about Hell? And does what we do in this world really matter in the next? Join us as we uncover the life-altering answers to these questions in So You’re Dead…Now What?

July 26  Death
August 2  Hell
August 9  Heaven

Vacation Unplug: 5 Things I Didn’t Miss

22 07 2009

I was on vacation with the family the last two weeks in DC and WV. I had a fantastic time camping and hanging out. To plug in more with the family, I unplugged from technology. I limited my twitter and phone time to a few minutes a day, and went completely without a number items that are regularly part of my life.

Here’s the Top 5 Things I Went Without on Vacation

  1. Computer
  2. Television.
  3. Headphones.
  4. Coffee.
  5. Socks.

To be 100% honest , I did not miss any one of them. Which was very strange, but surprisingly true. I was reflecting last night how I need to unplug technology in order to really plug in more to life. I realize it’s ironic that I’m saying I need to unplug, while I’m typing on a computer, but that is what Christ was saying to me. I’m not sure where it will go or how that will effect my life, but these are questions I’m asking right now. I’ll keep you posted on what I’m learning…

U Asked 4 It: What About Masturbation?

2 07 2009

You asked for it screen02This was one question you asked at Epic in our “You Asked For It” series I did NOT want to answer. But it’s the real deal of what people struggling with. I believe the home is the best place to talk about this, but seriously “how many of us had parents who talked about it and led us in Biblical truth?”If we say nothing, we are really saying we want the media, friends and experimentation to teach our kids their values about sex, lust and the infamous M Word. That is not acceptable and why I answered your question last Sunday.

Here Are Five Thoughts On the M Word…

1. Guard Your Eyes and Mind at Any Cost

In talking about sex, Jesus said sex was a mental battle long before it was a physical battle. Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28.

In years of working with people, I have seen more lives destroyed by sexual sin than probably all other sins combined. Destroyed marriages. Devastated kids. Broken relationships. Spouses withdrawing from the real person they love to an Internet fantasy world. Do you really want that for your life? If not do what Job did. I made a covenant with my eyes, not to look with lust at a young woman. Job 31:1

How do you practically do that? Bounce your thoughts from the object of lust to something else. If you are married, take that thought captive and bounce it planning something romantic for your wife. With God’s help, grab the thought….We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 and bounce it to… Whatever is pure…lovely…excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

2.Determine Your Body is Not Your Own

I used to say, “It’s my body, I can do whatever I want with it.” Working with people, I have found the #1 regret people have something sexual. Let’s be honest, we’ve all made some mistakes in this area. So the next step is to determine who’s body is this? My body belongs first to God and then to my Spouse. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. I Corinthians 7:4 God is saying you can have “me sex” or you can have “we sex.” So often we settle for second best, when God has so much more for us in marriage.

3. Be Radical in Your Commitment to Sexual Purity

Anyone who’s struggled with the M Word, knows that well is dry and leaves you feeling hollow and empty inside. Jesus wants you to have a full life, not an empty one, so get serious...If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away… if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. Matthew 28:28-30 Was Jesus being literal? If so, there would be a lot of “one-armed cyclops” out there. What He was saying was get radical and get radical in dealing with this! Get an internet filter, cancel those cable channels and do whatever it takes to deal with this serious.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It

Everyone I know who has gone from struggling with the M Word to freedom from it is open and honest with someone about their struggles. People want to get serious and can help hold them accountable to their commitment. Maybe it’s your spouse or another person. If you’re a guy, be open with men. You just may be surprised to hear they are struggling in this area. You are not alone. I love the way James says it. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16 We confess our sins to God for forgiveness, but we confess our sins to one another to experience help and healing to become the people God wants to be.

5. If You Compromise, Confess Your Sin and Move On

If you mess up…stop condemning yourself, confess it to God and live out of the forgiveness that Christ gives you. Jesus went to the cross, because we NEEDED forgiveness as sinful people…So receive it. He forgives completely. Begin a new life forgiven by Him. Forgive yourself, live out of that and… Forget the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13

You Asked For It: Week 2

2 07 2009

You asked for it screen02What About Dinosaurs?
Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you. Job 40:15-18
Leviathan…Job 3:8, Job 41:1, Psalm 104:26, Isaiah 27:1

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

How Do I Know God is With Me When I Face Tough Decisions?

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

How Do You Forgive Those Who Betray You?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32

  1. Identify who you are angry with
  2. Determine what they owe you
  3. Cancel their debt
  4. Shift your focus from the source of hurt, to the source of forgiveness

Also Psalms 71:20, Matt. 18:21-35, Luke 6:35, Job 11:13-18