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Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How to Trust Jesus

How do you trust Jesus? It is a matter of choosing to believe and trust that God has done in Jesus what He has promised to do. And then it is a matter of acting on that trust in the way we live.

It’s like the chairs you sit on (but much better). You and I believe that they will support us. Trust, or faith, is acting on that belief… actually sitting on them. And you don't have to understand how chairs are built to do this. They are for sitting and that's what we do with them. You've done it before; others are sitting all around you; the chairs actually appear to be for sitting. So you sit without compromising your thinking mind.

The details of how to believe and trust God are spelled out in the teachings of Jesus – and in the rest of the Bible. The encouragement and support are around you, in the Church – the family of God. And the power to make it so is in the Almighty God and Father, who loves you and offers you His peace.

God invites us to come and see, to know peace personally through belief and trust in Jesus Christ. And God challenges us to go out and share that peace with others.

If the Bible is true, then we are surrounded by people who live in darkness and who are at war with God. And we have the news about Jesus. This is why we have used the analogy of a lighthouse and searchlight to describe our church and our mission. It is imperative that we show Jesus to those around us.

Come and see; go and tell. That is our call and response.

This is a snipit from the longer sermon HERE.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas Gift

Why does it matter that God has given you the gift of His Son?

It matters in the dark when the world is closing in. It matters at the graveside when death seems to have won the day. It matters when a guilty conscience has us bound up tighter than chains. It matters because even in those dark places, God has come all the way down to where we are to shine His face on us and gift us with the one True gift – the one gift that really matters – Jesus, His Son.

I'm including (below) a song I wrote a long time ago. The track is instrumental, but there is a sung version (just don't have it to upload now). I was 24 and struggling with a two year period of darkness and longing for God’s face to once again break upon my life like the sun rising after a long night. The song tells the simple story of God’s true gift, and I hope it reminds you that God loves you and has given you the one gift that really matters.

Whether you feel like you are struggling in the night or walking in the brightness of day, I pray that God will continue to remind you of who Jesus is – God’s “Sunrise” from on high (Luke 1:78).

“Sunrise” - Instrumental Version
(You may have to click twice for it to play)

Robert Austell, 1992

Sunrise, the precious light of life
God’s love shines in the giving of the light
Day finds darkness giving in to the sunrise again

Darkness claims the human soul; none escape its night
Without the Son of God no light would ever touch a life

Sunrise, the precious light of life
God’s love shines in the giving of the light
Day finds darkness giving in to the sunrise again

Christ is the Life; the Life is the Light of Men
The Light shines in the darkness - a victory night cannot win

Sunrise, the precious light of life
God’s love shines in the giving of the light
Day finds darkness giving in to the sunrise again

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jazzy Good News

Play Sermon Audio (may need to click twice)
mp3 Download

I'm double posting this from the GSPC Sermon Site. You can read the manuscript there (a little different from the audio). Our choir was doing their Christmas Cantata with a jazz trio, and I ended up playing off an illustration in the front of the Donald Miller book, "Blue Like Jazz" - about how sometimes to understand something you have to see someone who loves it. All that to say - listen to the audio!

Here's a snipit of the jazz trio!
Play (may need to click twice)

Good News

In this morning’s reading, we heard about angels bringing a message of “Good News” to some shepherds living 2000 years ago. Using the message they presented, I’d like to talk to you this morning about THE story of salvation in Jesus Christ, as described in the Bible. Following that I’d like to invite you to consider your own faith story and what you will do with the Good News God has spoken this morning. ... more HERE...

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