When we first started having meetings about the new fresh life website, several months ago, one thing that was very important to our team was the content for the “Know God” page. The purpose of the page is to share the gospel with a person who doesn’t have a relationship with Christ. To be honest, when we were looking at the old site in our creative sessions, I felt like that particular page seemed like it was an after thought. The facts of the gospel were presented in written form and the sinner’s prayer was spelled out but there was no passion, no creativity, no life. It was sterile and uninviting–like a generic brand of cola at the grocery store. Continue reading…
In addition to launching the new fresh life website; we also began our new series called NUCLEUS, going thru the book of Colossians, this weekend at fresh life. We took our time in the first study, paying attention to all the background info about the book, and then we made it through the two-verse introduction that Paul wrote. I especially love the series artwork and setup piece that our creative team came up with for the series. Their mission was to somehow convey the idea that with Christ in His rightful place–at the center–everything comes together. I love what they came up with. Continue reading…
I am super excited to let you know that last night, after our Saturday night service, the new fresh life website went live. Our creative dept. has been working tirelessly on it for many, many moons and we are psyched that it is (finally) up. Obviously, with the launch of any new site there are going to be bugs and tweaks that needed to be made in first few weeks but I think they did a killer job on the design and I am super proud of them.
In addition to an over all clean up and redesign, we have also added some content and features that weren’t available on the old site. My favorite is the “staff page” where, more than before, you can now get to know some of the rad peeps that work at the church. I also am excited about the new “know God” page that is much more intentional in how it shares the gospel with someone who stumbles on the site.
I had a killer conversation with my girls as we were standing outside looking at the stars last night. I asked my daughter, who is almost four, “How many stars do you think there are?” And she goes, “So many. Maybe eleven or twelve.” Then I asked my two-year old, “Who made the stars?” and she responded, “Me.”
Although I’d give the whole interaction an off the charts rating on the cuteness scale they were both wrong. And even though I don’t know the exact number of stars, (and nobody else does either) I do know there are more than twelve–a lot more. I am also reasonably certain that my youngest daughter was not the one who made them. Her older sister, apparently spotted that outrageous claim as well and was quick to correct her saying, “Jesus made them, and He made me too.”
Bingo. As we stood there gazing at the night sky that thought swirled through my mind. Jesus made them. Colossians 1:16 says, Everything was created through him and for him. That is just one of the mind-blowing verses from Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse. And I am so super, stinking, ultra, fully, pumped to begin studying Colossians this weekend at fresh life.
The name of the series is, NUCLEUS and the big idea we are going to see in Colossians is that Jesus is the center of everything. Colossians 1:17 says, And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And if there is an area in our lives that is out of whack, chances are we have put something else in the center.
Warren Wiersbe once said, “I have a feeling that we would have revival in our churches if all true believers dared to live what Colossians teaches.” I can’t wait to watch God move and I hope you will take part.
Super excited about the door that the Lord has opened–especially since Apple just released this new iPod with FM radio built into it. Radio has definitely not been a big part of my life outside of my car the past few years because I don’t have a radio in my house or own a portable radio. But now I will have an easy way to listen to radio while running, biking and around the house–and a killer station to listen to![vimeo width=”475″ height=”267″]http://vimeo.com/6593949[/vimeo]
This blog definitely gets filed under random, but I was so impressed by these german chicks I had to post this video. I can hardly balance for more than 10 seconds on my bike at a stoplight…on the pedals, much less on the handlebars. It’s like bike du soleil.
In December of 1982, (the year I was born) Pastor John MacArthur gave a message where he taught the entire book of Revelation in one hour. It is one of my favorite studies of all time. In such a condensed format you can really see the panorama of this often misunderstood book. I had the opportunity to meet John at a conference last year, just as I was beginning to teach through it. I told him how much I appreciated his commentary on Revelation in general and the overview message in particular.
Another pastor, who was apart of the conversation, asked John if he would come and give that message at his church and John said, no, he didn’t think he could. He said that when he gave that sermon he had just finished an exhaustive study of the book and that it was out of the overflow of the many hundreds of hours that had been applied in verse-by-verse study. He remarked that it would be nearly impossible to recreate it on-demand. That resonated with me and I decided then and there that when I finished the book I would attempt to leverage all the preparation from the series into one final message while the material was fresh in my mind.
I gave that message this weekend at all the fresh life services and I don’t think I have ever preached so fast in my life! But we made it through the big picture of all 22 chapters in just over an hour. If you only have time to listen to one Revelation recap, listen to John’s. But if you listen to two, listen to his again!
Here is my study, I called it Rocketing through Revelation and had a lot of fun preparing for and giving it.
This past weekend I taught on the final verses of Revelation twenty-two. In all, it took me eleven months (41 messages) to go through this killer book. Back when I was teaching in California I taught survey-style through the Old Testament prophets, one a week, and it lasted a little over four months. At Worlds End is, by far, the longest end-times series I have ever done.
Honestly, I am a little bit bummed to have finished. I have never been more challenged or rewarded by any messages as I have been in this study. It makes sense though, Revelation is the only book in the Bible that promises a blessing for those who will read, hear and keep the things that are in it. (Revelation 1:3) I have definitely found that promise to be true–to the max.
Here are a few of the ways I have been blessed this past year:
1. Jesus has become bigger to me
The image of the glorified Christ has been burned into my soul and when I think of Jesus, I don’t just think of the humble incarnate Christ who came but the punk-rock version who is coming.
We kicked skull church off with a series called, the bloody death of Jesus Christ. With a macro-lens we focused on the events of skull hill. For ten weeks we considered the cross and paid careful attention to what Jesus did for us. It was powerful and moving to study His sufferings. It was also wonderful each week to see people responding to the message of the cross and make decisions for Christ–95 in all!
This week we started a new series in the book of Jonah called God Rocks the Punk! Because when we act like punks He is willing to rock our worlds. Last week we looked at the first 3 verses of chapter 1 and saw Jonah run from God. Tonight we will see that he didn’t run far or fast enough…and we will see God hurl a gnarly storm Jonah’s way in a message I am calling, the takedown.
Here is the vid from the first message in case you missed it:
I hope you are enjoying this day without labor. I know I am. Family breakfast, devotions, coffee, and then a few back-logged podcasts, brought into our living room courtesy of apple tv–all in all, a very chill day so far. I had planned on getting a bike ride in had the weather been less cold and rainy…but I am convinced that every once in a while days like this are good for the soul.
1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Enjoy the rest!