Monday, December 31, 2007
12 Days of Christmas Remix
This Is How We Do It (inspired by Montel Jordan)
Stand By Me (live at Burger King)
The groups is called Straight No Chaser. Does anyone know where I can find a cd?
Saturday, December 29, 2007
21. Christ is our security.
John 10:11 = I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
22. Christ is our access to God.
1 Peter 3:18 = For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
23. Christ is at the place of highest honor.
Philippians 2:9-11 = Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
24. Christ is the center of heavenly worship.
Revelation 5:12 = ...saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
25. Christ is our soon returning King!
John 14:3 = And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
This year, for the first time that I can remember, we went to the Christmas Eve service at our church. I think that this must become a regular thing in our family.
I spent time throughout this month reading the Scriptures that focus upon who Christ is as well as the passages that describe his birth and the events leading up to it.
At our tutoring program's final night (before Christmas break), we watched the "Nativity Story" with the kids. It is a powerful movie. It does a great job in creating a sense of anticipation for the birth of our Messiah.
As a ministry staff this past month we have read about the historical and theological significance of the various symbols of advent. This was very new to me, and is definitely something I want to further research and celebrate in future years.
One thing that I have thought about this Christmas season is how the life of Christ was such a life of sacrifice. Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial gift - He gave His life. I think this is where we got the tradition of giving gifts on Christmas. But I wonder how much sacrifice is involved in the gifts that we give (and credit card debt is not considered sacrificial giving). Is giving gifts to only those that we are related to or have a relationship with what it is all about? Should we instead focus on sacrificial gifts (could be of love and service) to those whom we expect nothing in return from? Isn't that what Jesus encouraged/exhorted us to do when we host a "dinner party?" Maybe our Christmas parties should look more like this? Maybe we should invite those who don't have a family to celebrate with, maybe those who can't afford to buy gifts, maybe those who are going through a tough time? Wouldn't Christ be more exalted if this was how we celebrated Christmas?
Does anyone else have an idea (or ideas) of how we can better exalt and exemplify Christ during the Christmas season? Please share them if you have them. I am definitely learning and looking for ideas.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
(16) Christ is the SOURCE of eternal salvation
Hebrews 5:9 = And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation.
(17) Christ is the mediator of a new covenant
Hebrews 9:15 = Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
(18) Christ is the founder and perfecter of our faith
Hebrews 12:2 = looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(19) Christ is our advocate.
1 John 2:1 = ...But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
(20) Christ is our sanctification.
Hebrews 10:10 = And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
11) Christ is the light of the world.
John 8:12 = ...I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
12) Christ has all authority.
Matthew 28:18 = ...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
13) Christ is full of grace & truth.
John 1:14 = And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
14) Christ is the Lamb of God.
John 1:29 = The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
15) Christ is our sufficiency.
John 4:14 = But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
At the end of last month a young woman's body was found (about 8 blocks west of where I live). She had been raped and killed and her body had been burned. She was also pregnant. Again, it was a crazy story and sad to think of not only her life, but also the child that was in her womb.
Earlier this fall, a 14 year old 8th Grade student was shot and killed across the street from my condo. (I blogged about this a couple of months back). Everyone said he was a young leader, full of potential. I watched as family and friends mourned his loss.
All three of these situations are tragic. My heart goes out to everyone that knew them and that miss them. However, one thing is glaring about these 3 deaths is the media coverage that was given to each of the losses. I think you can probably guess which of the 3 made national news. I am not trying to juxtapose these tragedies against one another. I believe that each life is just as valuable in God's eyes, and that each loss is just as tragic. Therefore, it is interesting why one story is a "metro brief" on page 21 of the paper, and one is a story on CNN.
A reporter for the Tribune recently did an article on the top two events and how the neighborhood is responding given the dynamic between the neighborhood and the University. You can check it out here...
Shortly after that, the Executive Director of Sunshine blogged about it. Here is his perspective...
One of our neighbors left me a message last week saying “Hi Joel, a reporter from the Chicago Tribune would like to visit with us at the ministry center about the recent murders in the community and the rift they evidence.” I knew what she was talking about, we had discussed it at a staff meeting the previous day. The whole thing had me thinking about the parable of the good Samaritan and Micah 6:8. Let me first tell you what happened.The most recent murder in the neighborhood was a tragic scene (as they all are) that occurred midway between our ministry center and my home. Amadou Cisse was a young Senegalese student at the University of Chicago. He was killed by a few young men looking for some money. 3 weeks previously he had successfully defended his dissertation for his PhD, but with one gunshot wound to the chest his brilliant life was brought to an end.People of reputation responded. The police, local politicians, and media (local and national) responded strongly. We have a new police station set up with 24 hour monitoring as a result just a few blocks from here. It was covered nationally and locally. Community bulletins were circulated. Money was raised for the family in Senegal. The case was pursued and the culprits were apprehended. A well attended memorial was held and the doctoral degree awarded posthumously. A good overall response to a serious calamity.What stings about the whole thing, however, is that Mr. Cisse’s murder wasn’t the first one this summer. It was just the first one that “counted”. A few weeks ago the body of Theresa Bunn (21 and pregnant) was found burnt and stuffed in a dumpster 4 blocks from here. A few weeks before that 2 people were shot and killed. A month or so before that a 14 year old young man was murdered a block from the home of one of our staff members. But none of these were students at a prestigious university. None of them bore a reputation. Therefore none of them garnered comparable attention or proactive response.In Luke 10 Jesus tells about a man of no reputation, beaten and left for dead. Those who came along had means to respond but didn’t. Then a Samaritan man (a man of ill-repute!) came along and saw the beaten man as a neighbor worthy of response, worthy of love, worthy of attention. The Good Samaritian responded in a personally costly way to someone no one else wanted to help and in a way that was virtually invisible to the outside world.It is interesting to me that in this story Jesus was not primarily asking his disciples to come up with a crime prevention strategy (there is a place for that and people to do it!) but rather to be Micah 6:8 people. To LOVE MERCY and give it in abundance, especially to those of no reputation, those who are outcasts, those who you never hear about or from. Our neighbors.As we pursue our calling to live out the principles of Micah 6:8 and Jeremiah 29:7 here in the city we needn’t become hardened toward those of reputation who respond vigorously to others of reputation in need. Instead we must thrive at responding to those of no-reputation with loving-kindness and even those of ill-repute with great mercy.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
“In My World”
In my world, you got to stay strong
In my world, a lot of things are going on
Killing, murdering, I hear it all the time.
People who do it, they get away by lying
Drinking and smoking, some people think its cool.
That stuff is not really good for you.
Don’t take drugs, that will mess up your life.
Being on the streets, you might lose your life.
This is all I’m sayin…
Get an education or you’ll be on your knees prayin’.
(6) Christ is the head of the body of Christ
Colossians 1:18 = And he is the head of the body, the church.
(7) Christ is the hope of Jews & Gentiles
(8) Christ is our liberator
(9) Christ is our way to peace
Romans 5:1 = Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(10) Christ is THE WAY
John 14:6 = Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
1) Christ is God
John 1:1 = In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2) Christ is preeminent.
Colossians 1:18 = He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.
3) Christ created all things.
Colossians 1:16 = For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
4) Christ is the Wonderful Counselor.
Isaiah 9:6 = For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,...
5) Christ is the divine one.
Isaiah 7:14 = Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).
Friday, November 23, 2007
I thought I would share one other quote that might encourage my fellow "support raisers" out there. He wrote, "Let us see that we keep God before our eyes; that we walk in His ways and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supplies."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I think this is what faith is really all about...."pushing through until duty becomes delight."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thank God for insurance. I was able to purchase a new lap top yesterday. Therefore, I hope to get back into blogging on a more regular basis...
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday morning I was off to Ann Arbor for a football game, but the reality of what had happened hit me again on Sunday when I returned from church and saw young people (some of who I recognized from Sexton school) gathered near a memorial they had created for the young man. His name was Dalvin Miller. He was 14 years old, and in the 8th grade at Sexton School. This past week - Thursday - I attended his funeral. I had never seen so many young people at a funeral as probably 75% of the attendees were kids. It was hard to listen to his siblings share poems about how they were going to miss their big brother. It was hard listening to several community leaders (principal, coach, etc.) talk about the potential that this young man had.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We recently co-sponsored a discipleship conference called the Legacy Discipleship Conference. The focus of all of the workshops and general sessions was to grow as and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. More specifically, conference attendees were able to choose from four different workshop tracts: Basic Doctrines, Hermeneutics, Evangelism, and Community Impact. All of the general session speakers focused on what it means to “make disciples.” We were reminded that the command within the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is to “make disciples.” We are instructed to “go,” but this is not a command. As Herb Hodges puts it in his book entitled “Tally Ho The Fox,” “The verb means ‘as you are going’ or even ‘since you are going (pg. 39).’” What that means is that we don’t have to “go on a trip” in order to fulfill the Great Commission. We should be fulfilling the Great Commission “as we go” to work, to school, to the store, etc. “As we go,” we are commanded to make disciples. The question then becomes, “what is a disciple?” A disciple is a student, a pupil, a learner, a follower. In other words our command is to make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ with a vision for impacting the world. The Great Commission reminds us that God has “the nations” on his heart. It is truly an amazing mission and vision. Hodges later asks, "Christian, is your vision God-big for his glory? Where are the plans, the dreams, the visions, the strategies for total world impact that truly tax the miracle resources of God? Where is the strategy that requires ongoing miracles for its sustenance? Where is the vision that is so big that human resources (whatever the kind or amount) cannot possibly sponsor it? The only eternity-sized vision any of us will ever need is in the Great Commission given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ (17).”
At the Legacy Conference it was evident that God is doing a work within the urban centers of our nation, raising up world changers for his Name’s sake, who are committed to the Great Commission and who have the neighborhood and the nations on their hearts. I was humbled and challenged over the course of the 3 days there. There were approximately 350 youth and young adults in attendance at this multi-site Chicago based conference. Please pray for all that were in attendance as we continue to build on the momentum that the work of the conference created. For more information you can check out http://www.legacyconference.homestead.com/home.html. The conference is scheduled for August 14-16 in 2008.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Do I know what I believe and why I believe? I'm not questioning my faith. This is not a doubt session. I'm challenged when I consider how well I could articulate what and why I believe. I say that the Word of God is the foundation of my faith, right? Well then, why does my passion for the word waiver? Why is my discipline in it weak at times? Am I thirsty for it? Do I long to share it with others?
My Biblical negligence should spark a sense of urgency, and a greater desire to be in the Word and really soak it up. God help me on this journey.