Tomorrow we are going to be talking about attraction, specifically what to look for in a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. In the first 8 verses of Song of Solomon chapter 1 we see what things initially drew Solomon to his lover. There was a physical chemistry, which is definitely important, but that wasn't the only thing that attracted them to each other. They took the time in their relationship to discover things that went much deeper than the skin. For her it was his character, and for him it was her beautiful heart and her purity. I have already received so much positive feedback from this Sex and the Scripture series after only one week, and I am excited to continue. After a few days in San Diego with a large group of teenagers I am more convinced than ever that these are vital issues to talk about and above all areas where we need God's perspective and healing hand.
I am also super stoked about next weekend, because in addition to speaking after the two showings of LOST BOY: The Documentary, Pastor Greg Laurie is going to be speaking at both the 9 and 11am services at Fresh Life on July 6th. He is such a godly man and a gifted speaker. Whether you can show up or watch online at freshlifechurchdotcom make sure to check it out. Blessings!
Today I returned to the waves for the first time since I broke my leg. It is getting better everyday but definitely still so weak. Every time I would catch a wave I found it extremely difficult to pop up to my feet. My poor little chicken leg shook under the pressure being exerted as I tried to leap to my feet as I rode down the face of the wave, either I would lose my balance and bail or just ride it out like it was a boogie board. In all I managed to make it to my feet only once and it was avery sweet ride all the way in. I should have gotten out then and ended happy, but I was hungry for more waves and stayed in the water another hour. Sadly I was too worn out and never stood again. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get my front foot enough strength to go from the lying down position to standing, I was powerless.
Reminds me of the text I am teaching tonight: John 15:5 where Jesus says that apart from Him we can do nothing. We are weak and unable to bear fruit on our own spiritually. Alot of times at camps students make emotional decisions to live for Christ and go home and live differently. But sadly, many times they try to in their own strength and fail. (I’ve been there myself!) It is horrible, and feels like an ocean of condemnation dumps on your head. The secret, Jesus said, is to abide. I am going to challenge them to go home and stay intimately connected to Christ, then they can hang 10, spiritually speaking! Today, after surfing, many students who came were baptized right in the ocean as many curious onlookers and surfers watched. Very cool!
Hello from San Diego, Ca. Have been here since Monday and have been enjoying the ministry. I have been speaking to students who surf during the day and listen to Bible studies at night. I loved the time God had me spend in student ministry and really enjoy love how real young people are. One night there was this super late night time of worship around these huge bonfires at the beach. There were these drunk people around staggering and barely able to stand but all the young people were glorifying their creator, quite a contrast. As I stood there worshipping and listening to the roar of the waves and watched the fire crackle I was overcome by the prayer that God would powerfully use these young people as He sends these teenagers back to their homes stoked on Him. God never sees a young believer and thinks how He wants to use them when they grow up, but right now! You can’t be too young or too old for God to use–just too busy.
Yesterday’s baptism was awesome. Tons of people came and enjoyed burgers and a beautiful day at Whitefish Lake and then 30 people were baptized. The water was still a little chilly but it was rad. A couple people had come forward to receive Christ at second service and then were baptized that same day, very cool! The most touching to me was a woman who told me that she had been raised as a mormon and in large part to her husbands prayers she had been saved. She said, I have always known about Jesus, now I know who He really is!
The church services were rad too, packed to the gills for the launch of “Sex and the Scriptures.” We looked at God’s call for the church to be sexually pure. It was definitely a challenging message to deliver and I am sure to hear as well, but God’s will is clear, 1 Thes. 4:3 “This is God’s will, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality.” We looked at the lies our culture tells us, how sexuality has been hijacked by lust and as a result what we see as being normal sexual behavior today is actually deviant in that it is a departure from God’s plan for sex. Many people came up to the pastors expressing how they have struggled in this area and are grateful it is being addressed head on. If the world isn’t afraid to talk about it, why should we be? Afterall, we have the truth, and we know the one who invented sex.
I am at the airport right now, headed to San Diego. I will be speaking for the next couple days at a surf camp. Surfing during the day and then Bible Studies at night–that’s my kind of camp! My first message is at 7pm tonight, so pray that God would move! I might paddle out tomorrow, I brought my wetsuit, but we will see how my leg is feeling.
I talked about my undying love for Tabasco sauce during my message today. Well I am practicing what I preached at dinner right now. Just wanted to let you know. Service was killer and so was the baptism today. I will blog about both later. Blessings.
The longest day of the year is definitely an experience in Montana where the sun doesn’t fully set in the summer until eleven. Tough place to put your kids to bed on time. Makes me think of the longest day in history when God made the sun stand still while Joshua and the children of Israel fought a round the clock battle.
I am stoked for Sunday because we are kicking off a new series: SEX AND THE SCRIPTURES. Our verse by verse study of the Song of Solomon will begin next week, this week I am teaching a message called, Purity in a Sexual Smog. It will be a call to embrace Gods plan for us to flee from sexual immorality and enjoy lives of freedom thru sexual purity. You won’t want to miss it and maybe pray about someone to invite with you or to email a link to the archive. Enjoy the super long day!
Last night’s service was a ton of fun. As I previous mentioned, we picked one Wednesday for each summer month and moved our midweek Bible study to a park a few blocks from the Strand. There was a barbecue then then the study. The weather was great and so was the food and the fellowship. Our building doesn’t really lend itself to extended hangout time being that it used to be a movie theater. So we purposely made sure to pack the summer full of events like these so people can get to know each other. We had guys in the body sign up to show off their grill skills and I was pretty impressed seeing their handiwork. Worshiping under the open sky with the lush green of the trees and the grass was great. And so was studying the Bible publicly. It was however a little distracting whenever a harley would ride by and would make sure we all could hear how loud their pipes were. Usually I love that sound, but not in the middle of a Bible study. We went through 1 Samuel 3-4 which includes the passage where the Lord gets ahold of Samuel at a young age. We gave a public invitation for anyone who wanted to give their hearts to Jesus Christ and everyone who responded was young. Very cool. I am already looking forward to the next one.
Last year, to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather, we had church in a local park one Sunday. Our church was about 1/5 the size it is now and it was a blast. We wanted to do it again this year but our Sunday morning would be too big so we rented the park out for one Wednesday of each summer month. Tonight is our first one. Starting at 5:30pm we will all enjoy a barbecue dinner and then at 7pm have a worship service and Bible study. There is a gazebo that makes a great little stage and it is so sweet to worship and study God’s Word outdoors publicly. I was in a grocery store the other day and a lady in line said, “you’re levi” I responded, that is true. She said she went to fresh life and when I asked her how she heard about the church she said last summer her and her boyfriend had been walking down the street and saw our church service going on at the park and cruised up. Pretty cool story. I hope we attract more people just like that tonight. We will be continuing our study of 1 Samuel, going through chapters 3-4. Although we won’t be able to webcast live from the park we will be posting the audio and video later on.
I am so stoked to see what the Lord will do through the O2 Experience this year. It is a majorly cool evangelistic outreach and purity conference. The heart of the event is to show how, just like our bodies need oxygen, our souls need God. At the event young people are presented with the gospel and given the chance to give their lives to Jesus Christ. It is not your typical, “say no to sex” abstinence deal but we are saying, “say yes to sex” as God has planned it. There will be music from killer bands and we are expecting thousands to show up and hopefully many will give their lives to Christ. In 2004 the first o2 event was held in New Mexico, in 2006 we had one in Orange County, and this summer it’s round two in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can check out the website: www.o2experience.comand I hope you’ll pray for the event and if you’re in the Abq area, make sure to go!
Gotta love an 80 degree fathers day! Especially since it snowed on Tuesday. Alivia wished me a “habby fodders day daddy!” We had a great family barbecue and went swimming. Summer in Montana here we come. Hope you enjoyed a day all about dad, and don’t forget to thank your Heavenly Father today!