Happy Easter from Jennie, Lenya, Alivia and Levi Lusko!
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.
Three years ago today on a (very) cold Sunday morning we held the very first fresh life church service. Fourteen people met in a small store-front space for worship and a Bible study and we had no idea what kind of adventure we were in for.
Three years later as I type it is quite honestly hard to believe all the Lord has done in that time. The church has expanded into two theaters, and skull church, fresh life groups & fresh life radio have all given the ministry turbo boosts. We have been delighted to watch Christ rock many people’s lives for eternity.
There has been laughter, adrenaline, fear, excitement, criticism, sleepless nights, mistakes, failures and victories. Technology has been utilized in new and exciting ways–I have even mastered the art of being in two places at once (by pre-recording messages when I have to be out of town but dont want to put a series on hold.) Many different books of the Bible have been taught through.And once, while preaching, I fell down and almost hit my head on a water table while pretending to open a rootbeer. A lot of coffee has been consumed. One thing is for sure–there hasn’t been a dull moment. This church plant has felt a lot like skiing in front of an avalanche. Watching Christ keep His promise to build HIS church has been the thrill of my life. I am humbled by and grateful for the opportunity to serve Christ at this church.
I want to congratulate my wife, family and team at this mile-marker and thank them for the blood sweat and tears that have been poured into this work. I get to serve the Lord with the most amazing people on the planet and am so thankful for their love of Christ, passion for the gospel, creativity, loyalty and ingenuity. You guys are killer, and remember, the best is yet to come!
To God be the glory for the great things He has done!
We are now twelve days into this new year–how is your resolution doing? I texted ChaCha this morning and asked, “how long does the average new years resolution last?” and was told that most fizzle out before February even begins. I guess most of us aren’t resolute enough! With that in mind, this year I built a resolution for the fresh life staff and those who come to skull church where you can only make it a few months out of the year and still succeed. The goal is to read through the New Testament in ninety days.
By April 1st we will have read about Jesus’ earthly life from four different perspectives, the radical, missional, church-planting adventure contained in the book of Acts, all of Paul’s emails in addition to the other letters and of course the graphic, bloody account of the return of Jesus Christ that the New Testament closes out with. It breaks down to about 3 chapters a day, which is not really a difficult amount of material at all. I have done lots of different reading plans with varying speeds and I have really been enjoying this pace. While reading slowly enough to actually be thinking about what you are reading it still only takes about ten to fifteen minutes each day. That number is truly miniscule when you remember that the average American watches 4 hours and 49 minutes of tv a day.
It has been awesome going through it personally as well as hearing from the staff and those who have been leaving comments about their experience with the 90 day NT challenge on the skull church facebook page. I am thrilled at the thought of so many people consuming this concentrated dose of Truth. I guarantee you that God will do awesome things in people’s live’s and hearts as they consistently hide His Word in their hearts–it NEVER returns void! I also know that for those who didn’t previously spend time reading the Bible daily, they won’t be able to go back to only being spoon-fed Scripture at church. I am praying that the 90 day challenge will just whet their appetite for more.
Another refreshing thing about coming to the end of a year is the opportunity to take inventory and celebrate all that God did in the previous year before you face the blank canvas of the new one. We put together a year-end recap of some great things we saw God do in 2009, our third full year of ministry at fresh life. CLICK HERE to check it out. Looking at it, what’s really hard to believe is that it all happened in one year.
My personal resolution for this new decade is to be like Caleb from the Old Testament books of Numbers and Joshua. He was one of the spies who checked out the land of Canaan before the children of Israel entered in. Alongside Joshua, he brought back a good report and was rewarded for it by being the only one over twenty years of age that lived to enter forty years later. God said that Caleb had a “different spirit in him” and six different times it is said that he followed the Lord fully. That is my desire for this new year and decade–to follow the Lord fully. God has done tremendous things in the past but I am not content, I want to see Him do more. There are new mountains to take, new adventures to face and I intend to fully follow the Lord, to live for His glory and to use every breath I have to make Jesus famous.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours! May your life be illuminated this and every day by Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. His visit to our dark planet has given us hope and enables us to shine brightly for Him until He returns. May every breath we are given be used for His glory!
I am enjoying some Christmas carols and an eggnog latte while I wrap up my message for tonights worship services at fresh life. This morning the girls and I popped in the first disc of Jesus of Nazareth, which is a yearly tradition in my house. (Disc two finds it’s way into the dvd player the week of Easter.) What a wonderful time of the year. I am so thankful that God invaded our planet! I hope that for all of us, like the Wise Men, Christmas would be marked by our desire to worship Jesus.
Matthew 2:2 “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have come to worship Him.”
To inspire your worship–here is a vid that was recorded last wednesday night at Skull Church when Kristian Stanfill and his band showed up from Atlanta to lead worship. He is one of the most passionate and high energy guys I have ever seen on stage. He will be leading worship alongside Chris Tomlin and David Crowder at Passion 2010 this year. This is one of Kristian’s songs called Kingdom that is on his most recent album, Attention.