This weekend we will be in both Colorado Springs and Denver with the O2 Experience! We are praying that we will see many thousands of lives rocked by the gospel and that unnecessary heartache and misery would be avoided as people tap into God’s plan for their sex lives.
Proverbs 29:18 says that, “Without vision people cast off restraint.” That is exactly what we are trying to do through these events; not just give a legalistic, binding list of rules, but cast a vision of what could happen if God’s people lived as He called us to. Spoiler alert, not only would we be unstoppable but we would find our greatest happiness is actually attached to our holiness.
If you know anyone in Colorado–let them know about the O2! Both events are free and feature music from The Almost and the Skull Church Band. And please pray!
Today is a day to remember. That doesn’t happen on its own. You have to work hard not to forget. The default mode of our memories is to gradually let things fade away with time. But if something is important you must fight that entropy and actively work at recollection. That’s why Jesus gave us communion so that we would have a regular reminder of the most important thing there is, His death for us on the cross. He knew that forgetfulness is the enemy of faith.
Though we tend to take it for granted, a price has been paid for the freedom that we enjoy everyday. Memorial day is a day to be thankful for the men, women and families that have sacrificed greatly to defend and protect our freedom of speech and freedom of religion–things that have set aside America as the greatest nation on earth.I like to display my flag, watch war movies and read in the news about those who have recently laid down their lives on the battlefield.These things jog my memory and snap me out of the bubble of everyday life, forcing me to stay mindful about what it’s all about.
And we must be careful to impart the significance of this day to our children. It must not just become a killer three-day weekend and another excuse to overeat. Because, to quote Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
If you are reading this and you are or were a part of the armed forces of this great nation, or are a family member of one, I want to say thank you for the heavy burden you bear. I am grateful.
When should you have sex for the first time? There has been quite a buzz in the news about the topic of virginity lately. The New York Post and Fox News reported that MTV was recently working on and recruiting talent for a new reality tv concept called “My First” that has apparently been abandoned. The show was going to chronicle young adult virgins on their journey towards “giving away their v-card.” With the whole process, except for the actual act of having sex for the first time, unfolding on camera for a voyeuristic audience to watch at home.
Far more impressively, USAToday ran an article about Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. Lolo competed in Beijing in 2008 and is expected to qualify to compete in London this summer. She is 29 years old, a Christian, and she recently announced on Twitter that she is a virgin. In an HBO special that followed, she explained that her virginity is a gift that she wants to give to her husband someday. She admitted that waiting to have sex is the hardest thing she has ever done. In her own words it’s been, “harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college.” She talked of enormous temptation, and that she has had guys tell her that sex will make her run faster, but she hasn’t given in.
The contrast between these two articles and the different world-views contained within them is striking but even more impressive to me is what they have in common. Both articles demonstrate the clear value of purity.
Lolo on the one hand views her virginity as a gift, a special treasure. Something that she can only give away one time and so when she gives it to her husband it will be meaningful because she didn’t give it to any one else. She is saving it for him. On the other you have MTV moving towards building a real life sexual version of the Hunger Games. Whether the show ever gets made or not the message is clear: Virginity is a commodity. A new product to sell commercials and boost ratings. Snooki and the gang are old hat, this is untracked snow. A fresh libation of virgins is now being called for to appease our insatiable cultural thirst for sexuality. The fact that they would even contemplate the idea shows they realize there is an implicit value to a person’s first sexual experience. And it is not just a commodity, it is a scarce commodity. It can only be sold once so it is in extremely short supply.
C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote, “Chastity is the most unpopular of all the virtues.” And yet it is clearly precious. Being a virgin is wonderful. Sexual intimacy is a gift that is meant to be enjoyed in marriage. God never intended the first time you have sex to be something that would generate views on YouTube, or increase shareholder value in a company. Nor did he intend for it to be a rushed experience in a guest bedroom at a party, or in the backseat of a car. Furthermore, having sex on your wedding night and honeymoon was meant to be a brand new, completely awesome thing; not just business as usual. He also knows that sex is not only pleasurable it’s also powerful. It binds two hearts together irreversibly and changes who you are on the deepest level. We turn from the manufacturers guidelines at the expense of our own happiness.
Proverbs 20:17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
Though it’s a little late to the party, this weekend we officially rolled out the first version of fresh life the mobile app! In addition to live worship experiences, including skull church events and archived messages (that we will continue to expand) we also bundled in a fresh life radio player. Now, no matter where you live, you can enjoy the unique cocktail of indie, worship, rock and Bible teaching that we enjoy in the Flathead Valley & Billings everyday–right from within the app. Trust me when I say you have never heard a Christian radio station like it.
There are Droid and iPhone/iPad versions and it looks especially phenomenal on the retina display. Click here for more info or grab it from the iTunes app store or Android Marketplace. if you like it let someone else know about it w/ a tweet or shout out on Instagram!
We are thrilled to have Thousand Foot Krutch and The Afters joining us in Billings this July. The Babcock is a killer venue and will make a great place for Skull Church. Please join with us in praying that many would come to know Christ through this weekend that is quickly approaching!
Today is my thirtieth birthday. Wow. A whole new decade. I am a rather introspective person and have been spending some time thinking back on my roaring twenties today, and they were packed! In the last ten years: I got married, had four kids, planted fresh life church, snapped my femur in half, launched both the O2 Experience & Skull Church and experienced Christ’s love in major ways. God is good.
I am genuinely thrilled to enter this new season of life. As I read the Bible this morning I saw a thread of major events that took place when people reached this pivotal age.
At 30 Joseph was appointed Prime Minister of Egypt.
David finally ascended the throne of Israel at age 30.
God called Ezekiel to begin his prophetic ministry at 30.
Moses was told that all the priests, from the tribe of Levi, couldn’t begin ministering until age 30.
And finally Jesus Christ, According to Luke, about age 30 was baptized and began His public ministry.
Seems like a pretty significant age to reach. I have been in pastoral ministry now for over eleven and a half years but I am invigorated to approach this next chapter of life and my calling as though it were day one. I have never been more committed, with my whole soul, to Jesus, to His Word, and to the preaching of the gospel as I am today. I love my family fiercely. And both the team of people I get to serve the Lord with, and the church I have the pleasure of leading are absolutely stellar. I believe the best is yet to come and I will approach each day He gives me as though it were my last.
It felt a whole lot like we were experiencing Skull Church Seattle last night. So far May has steadily continued April’s shower thing, in Montana at least. Aren’t we supposed to get some flowers? Amazingly, the wet weather didn’t stop people from queueing up, umbrellas in hand, to get in. And it didn’t dampen the mood either. It was an awesome night.
All the music was next-level. We brought in a newer band called Samestate and they were great. Check them out here. I preached on a scripture from the book of Ezekiel, which in an evangelistic setting, was definitely a first for me. The city of Jerusalem was about to fall under God’s judgment and false prophets have told the people that everything will be fine because they are Jews. Ezekiel tells them otherwise. “Even if these three, Job, Daniel and Noah were in the midst of it they could deliver no one but themselves by their righteousness.” (Ezekiel 14:14) Salvation, he is saying, is a birth right for no one.
Perhaps we need this wakeup call in America like no where else. Living in a nation where the majority describes themselves as some kind of Christian you can easily become desensitized to the gospel. Having believing parents or a godly heritage is not a substitute for personal saving faith. It’s impossible to ride the slipstream of someone else’s faith into eternity. It was a powerful thing to watch people respond to God’s Word and make professions of faith in Christ.