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. Continue reading…
In the letter to the church at Philadelphia we find this intriguing fact about Jesus,
“What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.”
In the eight years that I have been serving in pastoral ministry (my first ministry position as an assistant youth pastor was at the ripe old age of 19) I have seen the truth of that reality, time and time again. If God is not in something, no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but fail miserably (“or even more miserably succeed” as Warren Wiersbe put it.) On the other hand, if God is involved nothing can stop it from coming to pass-not even the gates of hell!
I have discovered that the “trick” is to keep your self smack-dab in the slipstream of God’s will and not to try and kick down doors by yourself.
Today at Fresh Life, we made an exciting announcement about a door that God has recently opened for us. We are under contract to purchase a super old theatre, called the Liberty that is a block away from our current facility (also a super old theatre, called the Strand). We plan on simulcasting the service into this building, which will give us twice as many seats as we have now (500) for a fraction of the cost of building a 1,000 seat auditorium. Getting texted pictures of the forty people listening to the message from folding chairs on the sidewalk (and in the street) who couldn’t get seats in our third service or in the overflow room this morning, was enough confirmation that we need more room.
now that’s a risky overflow!
Here are some pictures of the Liberty: the Liberty theatre a mockup of what the teaching will look like on the screen
a view of the beautiful historic theatre from the stage
Also, a while back I blogged about our struggle to foster a sense of community in a growing church. We also presented our solution to the body today. With much prayer, the answer we have come to is what we are calling Fresh Life Groups. Continue reading…
This weekend, Pastor Jon Courson will be speaking at fresh life church. He is a seriously rad guy and I am stoked that he is going to come and teach at our church. He started a Bible study in southern Oregon with a group of twenty people in 1977. The Lord moved in amazing ways and it grew into the 8,000+ Applegate Christian Fellowship that he now co-pastors with his son, Ben. Their campus is beautiful and in the summer they meet in an outdoor amphitheater.
I have been listening to Jon teach the Bible since I was in kindergarten. No joke. His radio program, Searchlight, was on during the half hour before I had to be at elementary school in Colorado and my dad would always have it on in the car. Continue reading…