Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday's Word...The Sacred Hedge...2/27/13

The Sacred Hedge

It's prevalent in churches everywhere. It's often part of the "prosperity" gospel. It generally goes something like this..."If you are faithful to God, he will provide a hedge of protection for you." Have you heard that? Listen to a few prayers and often times it will come up. We love the idea of God protecting His children. It's biblical right?

Preachers will often look to Job 1:10 where it reads "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land."

This passage indicates that God puts a hedge of protection around His children. Let's back up and see the context. God and Satan are having a conversation about this man, Job. Who speaks the words of verse 10? Oh! Satan? I wonder if we should be taking our cues from him? God doesn't acknowledge that He has done such a thing for Job.

Another passage is from Isaiah 5:5 records an illustration of God removing the hedge from His vineyard, Israel, that it may be destroyed. God had chosen the nation of Israel as His people to bring about salvation to the world through Jesus. Israel was God's plan, but they had been disobedient again and again; Isaiah was letting them know that destruction was coming. The question raised for me is if this implies that God had protected this nation from trouble? I would say, from my reading and understanding, yes the Lord went before them in battle. They were victorious again and again. Does God's protection of His plan make it safe to apply to us as individuals?

Who doesn't want God to put a hedge of protection around themselves, their children, & their families? Is this really a promise from God? I've heard it said that if you are obedient to God, He promises a hedge of protection.

I ask: What about Stephen? He took a stand for God and was stoned.Where was his hedge? What about Peter? Church tradition holds that he was crucified upside down. Paul? Beheaded. What about the 1,000's of Christians in Rome who were killed for their faith? Where was their hedge?

Here's what I've found in regards to God's promises about my personal protection:

- "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10:22)

- "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted," (2 Timothy 3:12)

History has shown that God's people suffer for being obedient. Where is this elusive hedge? How would one preach this message in India, China, North Korea and other places where people face beatings, imprisonment, and death for obedience to Christ?

I believe this "sacred hedge" is wishful thinking at best. It is misguiding; and for those who suffer, it is repulsive.

The Apostle Paul, in his final letter to Timothy, says "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,...That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." (2 Timothy 1:8, 12)

Paul accepted suffering (a lack of this hedge) gladly because Jesus promised it. Jesus also showed us that our citizenship is not on this earth and the things that it has to offer, but we are royalty through Christ's redemption awaiting our eternal home; our true citizenship in is heaven with our Father.

So this hedge...can He do it? Sure. Does He promise it? No.

We walk a dangerous line when we interject our personal opinions and desires into God's Word without regard for what His Word really says. We must be students of the Word so that we are not deceived. Check up on me. Don't take my word for it. Be wise and discerning.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Becoming rooted,

Take our 7 Question Survey to see if you are "rooted in God's love" in Study.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday's Mention...RESCUE...2/25/13

You're sitting at home one night with your children and suddenly, out of nowhere, they ask the question. It catches just about everyone off guard. Suddenly your mind starts racing..."What do I say?" "What if I get it all wrong?" "Oh no! I can't believe they just asked that!" 

Yes, they just asked you if they can be baptized. They want to know more about it and you look like a deer in the headlights. 

Let me assure you, you are not alone. I have talked with countless parents about this exact scenario. We have good news! March 17th & 24th Kari Jo and I are offering a class just for you and your children called "Rescue." Rescue will be held in The Loft at 10:00 AM for those two Sundays. We want to walk through this along side of you to equip you to be able to talk confidently with your children about the most important decision they will ever make. We will talk through God's plan of salvation and answer questions you and your children may have. 

Watch for more information about sign ups this coming Sunday! You can always contact us to sign up as well! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Five...2/22/13

1. Favorite Reality Check (via Washington Times)

Is entertainment our new American idol? - by Kyle Idleman

2. Favorite Sandcastle (via Amazing Things)

3. Favorite Interruption (via MSN Now)
Kangaroos Interrupted the Women's Australian Open

4. Favorite Not Favorite (via Bored Panda)

5. Favorite Birds (via Jon Acuff)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday's Word...

Sometimes words aren't enough. If you can catch a few minutes to yourself, sit back and listen to the words of this old, familiar, song. It's called "Crown Him" by Chris Tomlin from the Burning Lights album. Let the words speak to you. Can you honestly say the words of this song are the words of your heart?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Am I Growing? (2/19/13)

I've got a favor to ask of you. If you attend Campbellsville Christian Church, you know that we launched an initiative this past August called "rooted in God's love." At the launch of "rooted" we gave everyone bookmarks with age-specific spiritual growth goals on them. We want to help you gauge your own spiritual growth and help people create a personalized growth plan.
Rooted In God's Love - Campbellsville Christian ChurchOne of the "behind-the-scenes" things that I have been working on is developing a 7-question quiz for each of the growth areas, Expressions of Love, that are embodied in the core of "rooted." Those 6 Expressions of Love are: Study, Prayer, Stewardship, Discipleship, Community, and Service.

I am asking you to be my guinea pigs before we launch on a bigger scale. I have included the Evaluation of Study in this post. Your answers are confidential. If you would like feedback, you can simply put your email address at the bottom (optional). I will include links to the other five evaluations. It is imperative for you to answer honestly.

If you aren't familiar with the "rooted in God's love" initiative, check out the website here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Other Evaluations:

STUDY (in case your browser restricts the embedded form)






Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday's Mentions...2/18/13

  • What a great service yesterday from top to bottom! Blake did an excellent job bringing the message. He reminded us that to grow spiritually  sometimes we need to hear (and accept) God's "No."
  • Yesterday after church I sat down with many of our small group leaders for a time to share our group experiences together. It was so encouraging to hear stories of genuine community being formed over the course of the last seven months. I can't tell you how often I hear people talk about how much they love their small group. If you're not in a group presently, give me a shout, I'd love to talk to you about it. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Five...2/15/13

Here you go...five of my favorite things this week...

1. Favorite Tweet (via @pastormark)

"Look at a good dad whose kids love him, want to talk him, & enjoy being with him. Prayer is like that. Don't overcomplicate it."

2. Favorite Thing I've Never Thought About Before (via - In case the snow and ice come.

"How to Walk on Ice Like The Pro's...Penguins"

3. Favorite Reminder that Spring is Just Around the Corner** (via Amazing Things)
**You know, because it's a beach. 

4. Favorite Invisible Man (via Twisted Sifter)

Can you see him?

5. Favorite Reminder of the Creativity of Our God (via Twisted Sifter)

the moon through the North Window arch at Arches National Park in Utah

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday's Thing...10 Facts Men Should Consider About Their Wife...

It's Valentines Day! I was looking through some old blogs I saved and I found this one from Perry Noble called 10 Things Men Should Consider About Their Wives

Here's a recap for the fellas (seriously, go check out the entire post here)

1. Before she was your wife she was God’s daughter…and He is VERY concerned about how someone treats His girl!

3. If a man will not lead his family then Satan will!  (See Genesis 3!)

6. No woman responds well to condemnation…and if we are supposed to love our wives like Christ loves the church, and there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) then we MUST watch our words carefully.

9. Surfing the Internet or playing games on your smart phone while she is sitting next to you on the couch is NOT romantic.

Read the rest of the article here: 10 Things Men Should Consider About Their Wives

**Guys...this is key. You know your wife will ask you if you've read the entire article. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday's Word...The Measurable Life...2/13/13

The Measurable Life.

Ephesians 3

Do you find yourself living a measurable life. Living according to things that you can see, touch, and smell. We have a difficult time placing our trust in things unseen. It's our human nature, I suppose.

For centuries, everyone thought the world was flat. But there was more out there. Eventually someone stepped out in faith, risking their reputation, to present an off-the-wall idea that the world might, in fact, be round. Looking back we laugh that people ever thought the world was flat.

For centuries people believed that the earth was the center of the universe. They were living a measurable life. They determined, based on their surroundings, they had to be the center of everything (that's a whole different devotion!). Yet years later we discover that we are not the center of our universe, we're not even in the only universe. We are on a tiny speck floating among other specks that is just one of billions of clusters of specks in the cosmos. It's disturbing for me to think about how small we are and how delicately we are hanging here in the middle of the middle of something that I cannot even begin to understand. It is an instant reminder of how infinitely small I am and how infinitely magnificent my God is.

When we live a measurable life, we miss out on the bigger picture that our Creator has in store for us. When we only see our current situations, frustrations, and struggles we often miss what God is doing in the process. See, that's really the point. We are in the process of being shaped by our Creator until we completely reflect His glory in Heaven.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, writes his prayer for the church:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)

When we live a measurable life we miss out on the "immeasurably more" that God has in store for us. If you're in the middle of a struggle, remember the process and lean into the God of immeasurably more and be shaped by Him. If you're on the mountain top and all is well, lean hard into the God of immeasurably more and be shaped by Him because there will be valley's ahead. If you're just in a state of confusion about what to do, what is happening in your life, lean into the God of immeasurably more and trust that He has you in the palm of His hand.

May we grasp how wide and long and deep His love for us. May we live in the measurable yet not miss immeasurable He has in store. May we reflect His glory in our time here.

Becoming rooted,


Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday's Mention...2/11/13

I am sure that you won't be surprised by my "Mention" today and not because I love to eat great food! 

Love was in the air last night at the Annual Valentines Banquet. It's always a joy, mostly because opportunities for our entire church body to join together in fellowship and rare and should be treasured.  Plus the Tiny Tunes were so cute (and both of my kids sang and did all the motions...a first!). It was great to see a group from the Healing Place here. Great guys, I hope you took a chance to meet them. I hope that you took note of your "table number" last night. Blake and Katelyn did a great job. My table number was 1 John 4:10 - 

"This is love: not that we loved God, 
but that he loved us and sent his Son
 as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 

May that serve as a reminder of the true love we celebrate this week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Five...2/8/13

Here they are, my five favorites this week. I hope this brings you a little joy as you end your work week!

1. Favorite Parenting Article - Are You Focusing on the Right Things? (via Orange Parents)
"What you focus on expands."
2. Favorite Dog (via Neatorama

3. Favorite Hot Air Balloon - (via geekologie)
Click the link to see more detailed pictures. Very cool.

 4. Favorite Baby - (via YouTube)

5. Favorite Graffiti (via Amazing Things)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday's Word..."BUT I DESERVE IT!!!" - 2/6/13


My daughter is three and I already see it in her. The other morning I was fixing the kids' breakfast and she said that she wanted chocolate milk. I told her that I would get it for her in a moment, I was busy fixing everything else. She protested and replied "I said...I WANT CHOCOLATE MILK!" Her implication was clear. She wanted chocolate milk and she wanted it now. She felt, in her three year old mind, that because she spoke it, so it should be. I have little toleration for that in our children. 

But I do it too. I want this or that and when our budget doesn't allow for it, I have little self-pity time. We all do it. 

How do we combat it in our own lives?

James 4:1-3 says
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

What is he saying? I strongly desire something; could be material or otherwise. If I can't have it I get mad (I probably won't murder you, but I may very well get quite upset with you) and arguments arise between my wife and I. 

This all happens because we don't ask God. And if we do, we're asking with the wrong motives. James makes it quite clear. How do we stop it?

James continues in verses 7-10:
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
It starts with submitting everything to God. Submitting my desires, wants, and my entire life to God. Placing Him on the throne of my heart. It continues with finding contentment in Him. When I am fully satisfied in God, only then can I fully glorify Him with my life. 

Becoming Rooted, 


Wondering how how deal with this in the lives of your own children as well? Orange Parents had an article about this a few months ago.  They suggest:

1. Be clear on wants and needs
2. Be clear about what you will never pay them for

They suggest three other big ideas on dealing with entitlement. Check them out here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tune...2/5/13

In case you missed it Sunday, here's the video. The C.C.C. Praise Team went Bluegrass on us with the following medley...(the sound quality isn't the best)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday's Mention...2/4/13

For starters, how cool was worship yesterday morning? I loved it and was glad to be a part of it. 

I ran across this picture this past week: (via Amazing Things)

There's an old sermon illustration that goes like this:
A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he drew nearer he noticed that the local man kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.
As our friend approached, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said: "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."
"I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen."
I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realise this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast? Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?"
The local man smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied: "Made a difference to that one!"
Jack Canfield and Mark V Hansen

Christ's commission in Matthew 28 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is an overwhelming task, but the bigness of the need shouldn't stop us in our tracks. Who are you pouring yourself into right now? You don't have to know all the answers, you don't have to be a professional, we are called to pour ourselves into the lives of others and give them what has been given to us. 

We are made for multiplication. Disciples making disciples. 

Becoming rooted,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Five...2/1/13

Happy February everyone! Here's this week's five:

1. Favorite Cat: (via Neatorama)

2. Favorite Creation I've Never Seen Before (via Amazing Things)
With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses

3. Favorite Artwork Made of Nails (via Amazing Things)

4. Favorite Reminder that Spring is coming (via twistedsifter)

**Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

5. Favorite New-to-me Short Film from Disney - Paperman (via YouTube)

I can't embed this one, so you'll just have to click the link