In the fire

I’ve always heard the phrase that God never shuts a door without opening another one. It just dawned on me today that the 3 guys in Daniel had the furnace door shut on them.

Sometimes, contrary to the quote we’ve all heard, God leaves us in the fire.
I serve a God who doesn’t just get us out of the line of fire but one who embraces us within it.

Stop trying to get of your tough circumstances and embrace the God who wants to meet you in the fire.

Set list 4.15.12

With our drummer out this week, we had more of an acoustic week (2 acoustics, djembe, and a bassist/electric).  It went really I thought and once again, we had a lot of people respond in worship as well as have people compliment us on our new backdrop and light setup.

It is great to have such a dedicated worship team who gets there early on Sundays to set up and then to run through all the songs.  They are truly the best that I can hope for.  And now we have added a set up team for the other stuff and they are doing a great job as well.  It paid off too because we had 2 new families visit us this week and a couple families who came on Easter come back again this week.

Here was our set list:

Salvation is here – Hillsong United
Lay me down – Chris Tomlin (new for us this week)
Desert Song – Hillsong
Ready Now – Desperation Band

Facedown – Matt Redman

What I read (4.13.12)

Another Friday the 13th is upon us.  I actually really love this day.  It makes me yearn to watch all the scary movies that I can.

Here are my thoughts on what I finished this week:

Sticky Church – Larry Osborne
I really liked this book.  Great ideas are contained therein about how to close the backdoor at your church.  However, I didn’t think it was a book about small groups when I read it.  The book should have been called Sticky Groups or something along those lines because it didn’t really talk too much about the church as a whole but more about small groups.  Because of that, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

And here are some of the other books I’ve been working my way through:

Art & Fear – David Bayles & Ted Orland
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
Resolution for Men – Stephen Kendrick
The Five Languages of Apology – Gary Chapman

Unexpected ways

My wife and I have been going through a tougher time than we have experienced over the past few months and its honestly hard.  We are taken care of but people have even shocked us with their generousity and it has been very humbling to experience.

However, most of the help has come from unexpected places.  I’m not sure if this is right but I am at the point where I expect my church to help us.  To look after us.  Because that is what Jesus tells us to.  He calls us to look after the other faithful (hear “Christians”) in our midst.

But I didn’t expect it to come from our neighbors and people we have just been starting to get to know and that has made all the difference.  Seeing God move in unexpected ways is exhilarating and I am honestly ecstatic about what He is doing.  But its hard.

And that’s okay.  We have people who have our backs.  And because we didn’t expect it, we are taking on more and more people’s backs as well.

So thanks to all who’ve helped.  Both from those we expected to help us and from those we didn’t.

Sitting rather than doing

I’ve got this itch that I can’t seem to scratch.  And it is deep within my soul yearning to break free.  You could see it’s bubbling just under the service trying to experience the beauties of this world.

And I am not going to let it.

Because it is my sin.  My selfish desires that are moved only by its own rudder.  Pushed by its own wind blown.

I’m trying to break free of sin’s hold on me because Christ is showing me how much I have to go and how deep some of my sins are.  They are deeply holding onto me.  And Christ is showing me that He has the resurrection power to work within me and change me from the inside out.

It is an exciting time to serve the Lord and I’m realizing that He is not calling me to serve Him but to know Him.  And there is a huge difference between those two that I am learning.

It’s my prayer that as Christians we can become more and more like Mary, sitting in the Lord’s presence, and stop trying to do all that we can to appease Him, like Martha.  Let’s just sit and know that He is God.  It’s much better that way.