Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Laughing at Jesus. #40DITW

The other day I was doing my 40 Days in the Word journal and read this passage from Mark:

Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.  He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”  So Jesus went with him.  A large crowd followed and pressed around him.......
[On his way to the leader's house, Jesus takes time to talk with and heal a woman]
 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”     Overhearing  what they said, Jesus told him,  “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”.......When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them,  “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”    But they laughed at him.  After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her,  “Talitha koum!”  (which means  “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. (Mark 5:22-24, 35-36, 38-42, NIV)
A few things struck me that day and I thought I would share them with you.  

1. Jesus can handle our doubts. I am sure that this little girl's family was frustrated that Jesus took too long. Then, after arriving too late, he has the audacity to tell them their diagnosis was incorrect. "As if we don't know what dead is! Can you believe this guy?" They laugh. Jesus was undeterred. Our doubts don't change God's plans. 

2. Jesus will resurrect our bodies and restore us to who we were meant to be. This child, once dead, now walks! (I bet they stopped laughing!) I think I often get caught up in this world and all its troubles and fail to remember that this state of being is temporary. I am in good health, I have a sound mind (though some might argue this point), but I am but a shadow of what I am made for. You and I are made for unity with our Father in heaven. We were made for His presence for eternity. I cannot accomplish this on my own and neither can you. We need a mediator, a savior, one who can make us perfect. 
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:8-10, NIV) 

This served for me as an encouragement to me that Jesus can handle my doubt and that He alone has power over life, death, and all eternity.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday 5 (10/25/13)

In case you hadn't noticed. 2 months from today is Christmas. Stop, re-read that. Yeah, you read it right, Christmas. Unreal. On to today's 5:

1. What Parents Should Say as Their Kids Perform - Growing Leaders

What we parents may not recognize is the pressure and angst this kind of involvement applies. May I tell you what student-athletes are telling me? - See more
2. What Can We Do with an Addiction to Technology? - Growing Leaders
Five Ideas You Can Practice:1. Teach your young people to balance “screen time” with “face time.” For every hour they spend in front of a screen, they should spend equal hours face to face with people. This will help them keep their soft skills high as they enter a job. READ THE REST

3. Baby Dressed as Stickman for Halloween - Laughing Squid

Read the Back Story Here

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Am I missing the point?

Are you participating in the 40 Days in the Word group studies? I know there are around 120 adults participating from the church. I continue to hear great things. I was reading yesterday in Mark 3:1-6:
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.  Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand,  “Stand up in front of everyone.”       Then Jesus asked them,  “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”  But they remained silent.     He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man,  “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. (Mark 3:1-6, NIV)
If you're doing the 40 Days study with us, this week you are practicing the "Picture It" method of Scripture meditation. Honesty, in this story I relate most to the Pharisees. I like rules and I like it when everyone follows the rules. God gave them the law "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy..." That ultimately further explained to mean "don't need to rest."

I get that. It seems that over time the religious leaders have missed the heart of God in keeping with the letter of the law. Jesus did this all the time: a woman should be stoned for adultery - Jesus forgives. Jesus said of the 6th Commandment "Do not murder," that even anger with someone is the same as murder. Time after time Jesus turns things that we know on their heads to show us the heart of God. Jesus saw a crippled man in need, regardless of the day, and took action. 

It causes me to wonder on what other things have I missed the point?

Monday, October 21, 2013

How do we know we can trust the Bible?

I've been hearing some great things in the lives of those who are "all in" for the church-wide 40 Days in the Word campaign! Lives are being changed because people are diving into God's perfect, inerrant, infallible Word of God. 

Yesterday morning we discussed how we can know we can trust God's Word as God's actual Word. We talked about 7 things:

  1. It's Historically Accurate
  2. It's Scientifically Accurate
  3. It's Prophetically Accurate
  4. It's Thematically Unified
  5. It's Confirmed by Jesus
  6. It's survived all attacks
  7. Finally, it has transforming power.
We covered a TON of content and it may have been overwhelming. If you're interested in learning more, let me suggest some great resources:

1. "The Case For..." Series by Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ, Faith, and a Creator) - These books are written from the perspective of an investigative reporter and former atheist. 

2. What Every Christian Ought to Know - Adrian Rodgers

3. Evidence That Demands a Verdict - Josh McDowell

Friday, October 18, 2013

10/18/13 - Friday Five

I missed this week's Wednesday's Word. My apologies to you about that. I try to remain faithful to blogging three times a week. Anyway, here you go:

That’s when it hit me. How many things does she do that I take for granted? She just does them. I don’t even know when she does them all the time. She just does. Find out what they are here.
2. How to Find a Mentor - (via Relevant Magazine)
OK, so you've decided: you want a mentor. Why wouldn't you? Mentors are great. A good mentor is like an awesome park ranger to your life. They point out truth, they explain different paths, they tell you what poisonous creatures to watch out for. They gently offer suggestions that make your journey better. Especially in our twenties and thirties, a good mentor can bring clarity and encouragement just when we need it.
But finding a mentor is where a lot of us stall. Where exactly are these mentors at? How do you find one? Here are some tips that might help: READ IT HERE
3. Favorite Advertisers - A German marketing company found a creative way to advertise on ATM's


Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 14, 2013


We launched into a new church-wide study called 40 Days in the Word yesterday. Our first of seven sermon's challenged us to build our lives on the Bible. 13 Small Groups are beginning a companion study that will teach each of us a simply and fruitful way to study God's Word.

A.W. Tozer said "Theological truth is useless until it is obeyed."

How often have I read the Word, walking away completely forgetting what t said! I think the same could be said of most of us. Campbellsville Christian Church doesn't want to see this happen any more. In an effort to become rooted in God's love, we must express our love for God through Study. 

Want to get in on the action? It's not too late. Simply go to and sign up for the daily video devotionals. They're free and easy to use. 

Secondly, if you're tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, etceteraing use the hashtag #40ditw. For instance, check out my twitter feed over there on the right of this. You can see some examples of where I've hashtagged it up for you. I am very excited to see all God will accomplish through this body as we dig into the Word. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five posts to brighten the end of your week...10/11/13

1. 50 First Dates (via
What were you like when you first met your spouse? For most of us, it probably wasn’t the day-to-day, mundane, just getting through the week type of expressions that we so easily can fall into after a few years of marriage. Read the rest here

2. 9 Things You Should Know about Casinos and Gambling (via Gospel Coalition)

Throughout most of the twentieth-century, legal casino gambling in the U.S. existed in only two locations: Nevada and Atlantic City, N.J. Beginning in the 1990s, casinos spread across the nation at an accelerating pace. Today, 23 states have commercial casinos, a category which includes land-based, riverboat, dockside, and racetrack casinos. In the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, nearly every adult now lives within a short drive of a casino. Read the other 8 here

3. 10 Jaw-Dropping Pumpkin Carvings by Ray Villafane (via twisted sifter)

Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. (read the rest here)

5. Don't tell anyone, but I'm a fan of musicals and Wicked has been far and away my favorite. Check out this video of Kristin Chenoweth singing with a guest from the audience. Unbelievable. (via YouTube)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2nd Greatest

This will come as no surprise to you: Jesus was a master teacher. He came to the earth to bring a New Covenant to God's people. He changed mindsets and broke through traditions and brought about new thinking. His ability to communicate change was impeccable. He had his share of opposition, of course, mostly in the form of guys like me...the religious leaders. The Pharisees and Sadducees weren't inherently bad guys. They knew the word of God better than most. They lived and breathed God's work as they knew it best. They tested Jesus time and time again. One of my favorite examples of Jesus' teaching the religious leaders comes from Matthew 22:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" [They were referring to what we know as the Old Testament. How could anyone say what part of the Bible is most important? Clearly a trap!] Jesus replied: "Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. [He doesn't stop there.] And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
See what He did there? "Love The Lord your God..." Clearly, who could argue with that? Commandment number 1. Well played, Jesus, well played indeed. He could have stopped there, but he used this moment to teach you and I something. "Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." See what he did there? He summed up everything in God's story in two commands.

No Christian I know argues the necessity of loving God. The loving your neighbor part, that ones a little tougher isn't it? Jesus defines "neighbor" as everyone but you. I understand the need to love others. My problem arises with how Jesus defines others. I can love people like me and people who like me. People who disagree with me? That's a different story. People who don't like me, people who have a different worldview than me, people who understand life different than me, people who act different than Jesus is just meddling.

It's easy to love people that are easy to love, isn't it? What do we do about the rest of the world? I heard a quote from Reggie Joiner recently. He said:

"Jesus didn't say, 'Change your neighbor as yourself.' He said, 'Love them.'"

Ouch. It's easier to give money to people who will help those people, isn't it. It's easier to simply avoid situations where you might encounter those people, isn't it. It's easier to try to make them change to become more like you than it is to love them, isn't it.

Jesus didn't say 'Give them money to make yourself feel better for your inaction.' He said love them. Loving your neighbor is messy. Loving your neighbor means understanding them where they are, no matter where they are or where they have been. Loving your neighbor means pouring your life into their life. It means giving time, attention, and energy.

Why would we do that? Why would Jesus say that this is so important? Because this is exactly what He did for you, isn't it? We were messed up (Who am I kidding? We still are aren't we?). Jesus was willing to reach down from the throne room of heaven in all His glory, to take the human form in all its weaknesses, frailty, and filth that He might restore us to a right relationship with God. He poured his life into the poor and the wealthy, the religious and the irreligious, the thieves and the beggars, me and to you that we might know the grace of God.

Why does Jesus tell us to love them? Because he first loved us. We have the best news, the Good News. Who aren't you loving because it would get too messy? Maybe it would be better stated: Who do you need to love today?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

About the win...

It's easy to let things get you down, isn't it? The amount of time spent on dealing with problems often greatly outweighs the amount of time celebrating victories. This has the propensity to derail us from what is important. Let me let you in on a little insight from our church staff. We recently decided that we are going to spend some time each week focusing on the "wins." 

Like any other organization, we can get bogged down with what's next and what's wrong. Each week we ask "What's right?" This forces us to think about what our goals are for everything we do so that we can see the victories. Our ultimate goal at Campbellsville Christian Church is to be "rooted in God's love." We want to be rooted in Loving God and Loving Others (Matthew 22:36-40). We have isolated 6 expressions of that love: Study, Prayer, Stewardship, Discipleship, Community, and Service. As a staff we look for people and events that are evidence of our people becoming "rooted in God's love." That's a win for us. Here's a look at a few of the "wins" we've seen recently:

  • Our Senior High students created "Homeless Kits" with essentials for people who are seeking assistance  Instead of avoiding eye contact or simply handing out cash, they are keeping these kits in their cars to hand out when they are out with their families. That's being rooted in service
  • We have a lady in the church who, without fail, drives a group of folks from Jackson Towers to Wal-Mart so they can do their shopping. 
  • There are some ladies who teach a weekly Sunday School lesson to a group of ladies at Jackson Towers each week. That's being rooted in Study and Discipleship.
  • As a church, we are starting 40 Days in the Word next week. We look forward to seeing some great results from our investment.
That's just a few we talked about. What about you? What are some wins you've observed?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday 5 - 10/4/13

1. Favorite Marriage Article - 3 Ways to Say Yes to Dating - (via Married People)
“Date Insurance” – Booking a babysitter gives you “date insurance.” Knowing you have someone already lined up will make sure that dinner and a movie actually happens. Find someone that you trust and book them about a week out. This prevents that “We are free to go out to dinner, but we don’t have a sitter” conversation. We all know that things don’t happen if they aren’t on the calendar. The same is true for date night. READ THE OTHER TWO HERE
2. Favorite Parenting Article - 10 Easy Steps to Spoil A Child - (via Ron Edmunson)
  • Give children everything they want.
  • Never tell them no.
  • Fight with your spouse over discipline.
3. Favorite Sea Creature - Cookie Minster Sea Sponge - (via Geekologie)

4. Weirdest Food I've Seen - Deep Fried Soup - (via Neatorama)

5. Favorite Science Toy - Kinetic Sand - (via Geekologie)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Doubting Again (from the archives)

**Originally posted October 2012**

This is the 2nd and final part of a series on doubt. For part one: CLICK HERE

Last week I said that everyone has doubts - everyone. The good news is that we don't have to feel guilty about it. We can embrace our doubt and allow it to lead to belief. 

So, how do we take all the doubts that we have and live from a position of faith? What do we do when doubts creep in on the big stuff, like God? When we doubt that God hears us when our lives are a mess, or our social life is non-existent, or temptation is stronger than its ever been? What do we do when we doubt that God is even paying attention or even care about our lives? What do we do when we doubt whether God is there at all?

Belief is comprised of one or both of the following two things: our knowledge and our experience. The strongest faith is formed when we use knowledge and experience together. When we combine what we know with what we experience, we can navigate through our doubt.

Right in the middle of the Bible, the book of Psalms overflows with the kind of emotion found in knowledge and belief. Many of the Psalms describe events in the life of King David. Psalm 13 doesn't have a specific story attached to it, but I think these words could have been written at almost any time. Check out David's words:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV).

Ever felt that way? For a "man after God's own heart," David sure sounds like he's dealing with some doubts! Thankfully, the Psalm doesn't end there. A few verses later he writes:

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5-6 NIV).

What? Is this even the same guy? How did he get from the point of having all of these questions to saying things like "I trust in your unfailing love?" 

This is key: David started with what he felt and ended with what he knew. He was honest with God in his frustration. He did this like a friend who just needed to be honest. Maybe he felt forgotten, but he knew his trust was in God.  

Check out more of the Psalms to see how the writers dealt with their feelings!

Here's how this plays out in our lives:

1. When you doubt, be honest about it. How has God shown up in your past? What is he doing currently in your life? What do you see God doing in the world around you?

Once we are able to see what God has done and is doing through both our experiences and our knowledge, we are better equipped to manage the doubt.

God is bigger than your doubts.