Family Force 5

Last week we had family force 5 at skull church. They did a few songs before the message and then did a full hour long concert at the end of the night. Normally we ask bands to do a half-hour bonus after the invitation as a sort of after party, but they asked if they could do a full set instead. What would you say? Yeah, that’s pretty much what we said.

These guys are awesome and insane at the same time. I had the chance to do a little interview with them before the night got underway, check it out:

You can check out their new site here.

Preaching off the Kindle

In the last nine months I have preached approximately one hundred and forty-four times and for all but one of them I spoke using Amazon’s Kindle DX for my message notes. The one time I didn’t was a fluke, the screen on my Kindle broke and Amazon had a new one (for free I might add) to me in 24 hours, but I actually had to speak at Skull Church using paper notes one night. I totally felt like a cave man.

I have been meaning to blog about the pros/cons of the Kindle for public speaking for a while. I regularly get emails from other communicators who have seen me using it and are wondering: whether I like it and is it hard to get used to? and which size they should get? and how to get their word docs onto it et cetera. So here goes… Continue reading…

Is it a sin to smoke?

Am I the only one with the “You don’t always die from tobacco, sometimes you just lose a long” song stuck in my head? Those ads were gnarly, and so are the cigarette packs in the United Kingdom. Across the pond they dedicate half the space on each pack of smokes to bold statements like, “Smoking Kills” and “Smoking can cause a slow and painful death” In spite of these deterrents, you will still see people puffing away.

Last time I was in London I saw a guy on a street corner taking a long drag while staring intently at the bold type that sentenced him to certain cancer. Amazing. Although I read recently that in America obesity now kills as many people as smoking does each year–so maybe french fries should come with a similar warning.

Medical risks aside, is it a sin to smoke ciggs? That was a question I was texted and answered @ Skull Church.

Rocking the Shamrock

When I used to work in a restaurant I hated St. Patrick’s day. I have very distinct (and unpleasant) memories of mopping up beer that had been dyed green and thrown up on the floor of the bar area. But getting pinched for not wearin green and throwing back toxic amounts of Guinness are a far cry from anything resembling a head nod to the life of the historical St. Patrick.

He was a lot more like the Apostle Paul than a leprechaun. He was a pastor/missionary with a passion to make Jesus famous. One historian wrote, “He found Ireland heathen and left it Christian.” In his lifetime He planted hundreds of churches, and baptized over a hundred thousand people. He loved God’s Word and quoted it extensively in his writings.

Legend has it that he used the iconic three-leaf clover to explain the mystery of the trinity to those he ministered to. And even though the whole banishing snakes off the island thing probably isn’t true I am comforted by the idea of it. I am with Indiana Jones–I hate snakes!

A much better celebration of his life would be to share your faith with someone who doesn’t know Christ! And I am stoked to preach a gospel message at Skull Church on St. Patrick’s day because his life was all about the gospel. (And as an added bonus I won’t smell like beer puke at the end of the night!) And don’t get sideways with the whole “saint” thing, in God’s eyes all his kids are saints! (Ephesians 2:19)

For more reading on the life of this killer guy–check out this article.

a man after God’s own heart

I am in the Tucson airport headed home from a cactus filled few days in Arizona where I spoke at a pastors conference. The lineup of speakers was great and included: Skip Heitzig, James MacDonald, Pedro Garcia, Gayle Erwin, Don McClure, and Alistair Begg. We all spoke on different segments of the life of David and it was awesome. Not only because of what a privilege it was speak to 1,000 pastors and leaders from all over the country but also because of the opportunity to listen and be ministered to myself.

My favorite was hearing from Alistair Begg last night. He is one awesome Scotsman! His passionate and genuine conviction that the Bible is the actual word of God shows on his face as he speaks and you can’t help but feel like you are almost getting to go back in time and listen to Robert Murray McCheyne who preached, “with eternity stamped upon his brow.” Alistair is also a full on wordsmith and busted out yoda-esque pearls of wisdom like, “even the best of men are men at best.”

Getting to spend time backstage, between sessions, with guys like Alistair is worth more than gold. And you can be sure I worked on getting him to bring his radio show, Truth for life, onto fresh life radio. James MacDonald’s show, Walk in the Word, will be coming on later this year and I hope to hear some sweet scottish preaching soon too.

with Alistair Begg

My message was on David’s time hiding from Saul in the caves (I called it Beverly Caves 90210) and how he had to trust God’s promises even when they seemed super unlikely. I love preaching on David. He was just a punk kid who God used in major ways because he had a special heart. Normally in life having a heart condition disqualifies you from certain things, but it was David’s heart condition that qualified him to be used. Not that he was perfect (far from it) but he was a man after God’s own heart.

I am headed home for skull church and will be prepping my message on the flight–praying for God to move!

Your mission = fruit production

The meaning of life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Ok, but how do you do that?

In John 15:8 Jesus said, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

God is glorified to the max through our fruit production. He is a vinedresser, and so the more fruit we bear the more His fame spreads. But we can’t grow anything on our own, we must abide in Christ and enjoy Him to grow good fruit.

So today the focus should be to remain in Christ so we can bear much fruit and bring glory to God. Everything else is secondary.

A Rodent of Unusual Size

After a great weekend of ministry at Harvest Christian Fellowship my family and I ran into a mouse wearing a tuxedo while on an excursion to Disneyland. Alivia and I decided to say hello but Lenya, my younger daughter, was a little sketched out and kept her distance.
As much fun as the magic kingdom is I can’t help but think how much better Messiah’s Kingdom will be at worlds end. When Christ rules with a rod of iron the whole earth will be the happiest place! Lions and lambs will be high-fiving, crooked places will be made straight, and I bet churro’s won’t cost 5 bucks either, it’s going to be epic.

Are tattoos bad?

Anybody can appreciate great art. But what if that art ends up on your skin? Sinner. J/K But seriously, is it okay to get a tattoo?

Text-msg question about tattoos answered @ Skull Church.