Monday, December 15, 2008

Mary . . .

I wanted to tell you guys about Saturday night.  We had some great wins.  First, my wife joined me in our sermon about Mary.  We talked about how humble she was yet you never hear her say, "Are you sure it's me Lord?  Maybe you should have picked someone else."  We know so little about her, but it sounds to me like she walked the fence of being humble before men yet extremely confident in her savior.  She knew if He called her to do it, she could.  Tammi did a great job sharing her heart.  She always does.  I love teaching beside her.
Another great win is we had three new band members on stage with us this weekend.  One was just filling in from another church, but a couple more will be joining us again.  I've met all these guys on Craigslist.  It has become a huge win for us.  One of my prayers has been that we have a really energetic, young worship team and that's starting to happen.  The three guys that I met on CL average 20 years old. They are all very talented and we're blessed to have them with us.  I hope to get some video soon to share with the world.
  In our current series, we've been studying different characters from the Birth of Christ.  Two weekends ago we talked about Joseph, then Mary this last Saturday. For each sermon we've had one of our teens draw the character on our screen while we preach.  I've included the two pictures.  The third picture is one Zach did while we were setting up and practicing music.  It's much more detailed because we preach for about 20 minutes and practice for about 40.  Click on the pics for more detail.  He's super talented.  
Thanks for keeping up with this blog.  God continues to move!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just Keep Moving Forward

      A week ago we showed one of my favorite movie clips.  No, it's not from National Lampoons Christmas Vacationn ("Eddie, if I woke up in the morning with my head sewn to the carpet I would not be more surprised than I am right now"), it's from the latest Rocky Movie, "Rocky Balboa." Everyone should see the movie.  It's really good clean movie. And it's not about boxing. It's about a man who still has a hunger in his stomach for more of what he's supposed to be doing. We used the clip in a sermon called, Choose to Persevere.  We talked about the trials and tribulations we go through in life and how you have to keep getting yourself up and pushing forward.  Click HERE to watch the clip. Go ahead, watch it now. I'll wait.  
We see Paul in the 17th chapter of Acts doing the same thing.  It's a great read.  He goes to the first town, walks into a synagogue and begins preaching Jesus.  A riot breaks out in the whole city!  Their version of the police go to arrest Paul and can't find him, so they arrest the guy who housed him.  What's Paul to do?  He sneaks out of the village, goes to the next town, walks into the synagogue and starts preaching again.  Another riot breaks out.  The people who are with Paul tell him to go wait in the next town while they smooth things over.  Paul gets to the next town, without his posse, and discovers lots of idols.  This frustrates Paul, so he goes into the synagogue and begins preaching the famous passage about the "unknown god." Amazing! No matter what happens, Paul just keeps moving forward.  
Things at Connections have been absolutely great lately. Financially we've had some new givers step up to the plate and we've been able to start buying some much needed equipment. Our numbers rebounded very very well from the Holiday weekend.  I think we had our second highest attendance ever.  And even with everything working well, we have to keep pressing forward, never content with where we are.  The minute we start looking inward we loose the momentum and begin to complain and fight and argue with each other instead of focusing on the lost.  A former pastor of mine use to constantly say, "We need to be so busy fishing, that we don't have time to fight!"  Very wise!
Imagine a large army that comes to a fork in the road.  There are battles to be fought at the end of both paths.  One path leads to the top of a small hill and the other path leads to the valley below.  The general splits his troops and both go to war.  After a very short period of time, the soldiers at the top of the cliff have defeated their foes, so what do they do?  Do they walk to the edge of the cliff and watch their fellow soldiers fight their battle?  Do they stand there and cheer them on? Or, do they march back down the hill and help in the fight? Of course they do!!!  They don't stop fighting until the battle is won.
We at CX have to be careful we don't stop fighting.  Every week we have visitors.  This last week was no exception.  But we don't stop there.  We have to keep inviting, keep sharing Jesus and keep praying for God to do amaaaaazing things!  We can't spend all our time celebrating our victories.  There's still a battle raging on outside!
If your reading this from afar (not in Idaho).  Pray with me for more families to get locked in. Pray for us to cross paths with those who are lost and ready for Jesus.  And, pray that God instills the same fire in us that he instilled in Paul where he just couldn't keep quiet!  He had to the Good News out!!!!