Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God Made Yellow

This week I prepared and preached a sermon about how powerful God is. And, as we all know, He is bigger, stronger, and more awesome(r) than all of us put together. There's really no adequate analogy sizing up big God to little us. In fact, we probably shouldn't even attempt to compare the two.

God's power is not just greater than ours in value, but it's conceptually different. In order to understand this, we must first grasp our own view of power. In our world, we view power as more money or success. It means that I can do whatever I want. I can boss other people around. That's power! It means that I have riches and entitlements that most others don't have. It means you have to respect me because my bank statement has a few more numbers than yours. That's power, worldly power. "Look at what I can do! I'm building my own mansion! In fact, I'm buying my own island and designing it exactly like I want. I'm putting waterfalls in the bedrooms and jumbotrons in the living rooms. I'm hiring servants and workers and personal assistants. I can do whatever I want, because I'M ALL POWERFUL!" This is the world's view of power. It's selfish, mostly sinful and very human.

Some religions even take this to the next level. They say after you leave this planet that you will gain amazing power. You can even have your own planet or kingdom. You can have 21 virgins that you lord over. Some even teach that if you handle things right you can become a god. A god that is equal to the I AM, God. That's real power.

These are all great for daydreaming. It's fun to think about designing a castle or a company or pretty much anything just the way you want. And, that would be alot of power. But does that compare to the power of God.

No it doesn't. His ways are different than ours.

I've summed up how God's power is different in three words. I'm warning you, it will seem a little odd at first, but keep reading. Eventually it will sink in. Here comes the three words . . .

God made yellow.

Kinda odd right? How is making yellow power? Well, here's the thing, He didn't find a rainbow and pull yellow out of it. Nor did He pick up a banana and say, "We will call this, yellow." Nope, He made yellow from scratch. It didn't exist and then suddenly it was there. Then he probably made red then blue. He created the very concept of visual attributes. That is power! Creating the idea of colors! Who can do that? Do you have that sort of power? What color is your planet going to be? Green and Blue? Can't have those, God made those colors. If you're going to be all powerful, go make your own colors.

God also made the distance between two actions. The space between two moments. We call this time. God created time. It didn't exist and then it did. God lived outside of time. Like existing in a time machine that is stuck in one moment, God just was. Then, He kickstarted some universal clock and everything changed. Now we have minutes and hours and days and decades. Who else can create time? Can you do that? When you design your universe, will there be day and night and stars and moons and suns? Don't plagiarize God. If you are going to be just as powerful, make up your own . . . whatevers.

God also gave us feeling. He made things like laughter and love. He gave us compassion and desires. Let me give you a quick story.

This week, my wife and my boys came up to Connections to help us build a few things (we're currently in expansion mode). While we were working my three year old got 5 cups, filled them each with water and put a straw in every one of them. Then he put them all in a nice row on a table away from the ladders and pieces of broken drop ceiling. Then, he called us over to take a break from our laboring. I was so impressed! The cups were organized in a row and after I finished mine, he took it from my hand and asked if I wanted more! I stood staring at my curly haired young man and a mixture of emotions overcame me. I was proud of this little Taylor. There was a feeling of respect and love and excitement and probably a dozen other things in me. These are feelings that God made up for us. He designed us to feel all these things! Amazing!

Our power on the other hand is so limited. I consider myself a creative. I love to write music, paint pictures, edit videos and type blogs. But even on my brightest, most creative days; even with an unlimited budget and dozens of people to boss around; even with unparalleled inspiration, grandiose visions and detailed followthrough, I'm not really doing anything new. I'm just reorganizing what God has given us. I'm stealing his colors and notes and his words. I'm robbing the shapes and textures that He himself spoke into being. I'm simply putting them in a different order. It may be a new order for us, but rest assured, I'm just playing in the sandbox that God constructed. In the words of Carl Sagan, "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

I'm no where close to being a god, much less God. And I never will be. His power is not only greater, but fundamentally different than mine. His simple concepts dwarf my greatest creativity (like South America dwarfs a gnat). His ways are higher than my ways. And now, it makes all the more sense why the angels spend all their time hovering around God saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty."

God made yellow. It's pretty amazing. It has changed my view of God. Before I used to tell God what to do. I had all the answers and He just needed to answer my requests. Now, I'm changing. Now I'm doing my best to answer His. And it's all because He made yellow. Honestly, I'm not really fond of the color, but I do like green and you can't get there without yellow.

postscript: this was written to go with the sermon. Just some more rearranging.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Latest On The Building . . .

We've signed the papers to expand our current storefront. We're going from 2800 s/f to over 4000. This is significant for us. I've been working with an architect to get the most milage out of a relatively small amount of space. Here are the latest plans. We're meeting again tomorrow to see if we can get a few more things squeezed in. Specifically, we need another stall in the ladies restroom and might shift some space out of the lobby and into the classrooms. Whatever we end up doing, this will be a huge shift forward for the way we worship and the way we work with kids!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Last week I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Alan Bradshaw as we unfolded both the logical and emotional reasons for belief in a Creator. There are some great resources out there to further your study on this and/or help you present to your kids the side they probably will not hear in their secular schools. Check these out. The more you know, the more it just makes sense to believe.

Institution of Creation Research  (Check out their video on Mt. St. Helens!)

'What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?'

Creatures that Defy 
Evolution dvd series.  (These are available on netflix instant watch - possibly hulu too) 

Moody Bible Institute (These guys have great science videos) 

The Truth Project (put out by 
Focus on the Family)  

'Inherently Wind, A Hollywood History of the Scopes Trial'

'Mysteries of Creation' - super book

'Yellow and Pink' - another great book by 
William Steig (Shrek author)

Dinosaurs & Dragon Legends (A Creation Museum Collection)

Monday, August 9, 2010


"Being" can mean a state of simply existing... or it can mean "to happen." There are many opportunities in life for us to simply exist, but to happen, to be an event, well, that takes intentional action.

This last week, as a team, Connections decided to happen. We put out feelers and found places to serve in our community. We put feet on faith, to show our community and our God, that we mean what we say.

And it was, amazing! There is something so powerful when we don't just talk about what God has said, but we actually follow through and live it out. Even if no one knows who served them, even if Connections never gets the credit (which we were not seeking), I believe we are changed, and pulled closer to God's heart.

Honestly, going in, I was not sure how it would go. I had talked to some other church planters who had tried this. They said the percentage of people who show up to serve is often small. "You'll see the faithful, the core," they said. I wasn't sure what to expect.

But once again, I was humbled and blown away by our team! Our people showed up! We had more people yesterday morning that we did the Sunday before. We spent the morning with tools, sweating together to serve neighborhoods in Meridian. We mowed, weed whacked, picked up trash, cut down dead trees and had a blast doing it!

Paul's words come to mind, "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel, from the first day until now." Philippians 1:4-5. I am blown away to be part of a team that gets it. And I know, if we keep our hearts here, humble before God and really WILLING to do what He says, we will rock the treasure valley, and be a tool of change for Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bringing In and Sending Out

Every week there are new people checking out CX. I'm so proud of our people because they keep inviting. I hope we're always that church that's easy to invite to. As a church planter, when you first get started, everyone is connected to you in some way. Our first Bible study was my neighbors, some friends from Sacramento and a guy who helped me move in. And while I still invite, it's the collective community that's the growth force. God continues to bring us lost people (which I love) and strong leaders too (which we've been praying for). I talked with one of our new patriarchs the other day after CX and he mentioned that he'd basically given up on church. This is a rock solid, Bible believing Christian, but he was tired of the mess. We have a few families that have recently connected with us that have been so deeply hurt by the church in the past that I can tell they are constantly guarding themselves. They don't know it yet, but CX is a safe harbor. It'll just take me some time to prove it to them. I try so hard to keep us from becoming a political, messy, complicated church. I know, that somewhere down the road we'll have some issues. My head isn't in the sand. But, when that day comes, I hope we handle it in the light. I hope we apologize honestly for where we screwed up and I hope the offended party (or parties) gives us the same grace that we extend to our people! Sometimes messes end up doing great ministry. It's all about how we handle them!

That was a bit of rant! Thanks for hanging in there.

So we have lots of new people and we continue to grow. But we recently lost an AWESOME couple. Jeremy and Lisa Wight accepted a call from GOD to pack up and move to Thailand. They literally sold everything but about 9 suitcases worth of stuff and headed to the other side of the world. They have their visas for the first year and they're trusting God to keep things going after that. Jeremy and I have become really great friends over the last year or so and this week I have missed him greatly. Although he did great ministry with us, overseeing small groups and preaching fairly often, it's the late night brain storming sessions and Tuesday morning prayers that I will miss the most. Luckily we live in a connected world and we can still chat often. CX is supporting Jeremy and Lisa's new ministry and we're stoked to skype them in once a quarter or so for our people to hear how their doing. I want everyone at CX to know who they are, to know what their doing and to see how their prayers are making a difference. It's one thing to put a check in the bucket at church, it's another thing to put it in there knowing it's going to serious missions ministry. It just makes it that much more joyful! BTW you can watch his vid, give and keep up with Jeremy at http://www.m300ministries.org/thailand_jeremywight
Keep them in your prayers!

We hate losing people at CX, but if it's to go spread the gospel to a country that's only 1% Christian, then we'll do our best to get by without them!

This week at CX we're talking about all our summer outreach events, the reorganization of our small groups and what it's going to take for us to grow forward! We'd love to have you join us.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Weekend . . .

I gotta tell ya, I'm stoked about this weekend. Our worship leader is out of town (not why I'm stoked) so I get to saddle up behind a guitar again. It's been a while since I got to lead our people in worship and I miss it greatly. We had practice last night with the team and of the 8 of us scheduled for worship, 3 were first timers on stage! I love that. As we continue to grow, we continue get more people on the stage.
There's more great things happening around here. We got a call from the property owner this last week and he wanted to know if we wanted more space? The facility we're in has 6 bays and only three are being used (we have 2 and one other tenant has 1). For us to double our space would open up many new possibilities. The biggest win would be for our children's ministry. As of now we have 2 classrooms that are adjacent to the worship center. Our workers are having to keep the kids quiet, or at least try, while we're having service. Maybe you already know this, but kids weren't made to be quiet. But honestly, they don't bother us as much as we probably bother them. Our worship is fairly loud, so when we're singing, they are too!
Tonight we're doing a BBQ in the park. We have three of them scheduled for the summer. According to accuweather, there's a chance of rain later today. That's a huge improvement from the forecast yesterday. They were saying thunderstorms. I've been praying that we'll meet a couple new families tonight and our chances are much greater without the rain!
If you're in Boise and happen upon this blog, join us tonite at Settler's Park. Free food and live music starting around 5:30. We'd love to see you there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quick Update

Sunday morning has been a huge success. Everyone said it would be and they were right. We have visitors every week and people seem to be sticking. This week is Mother's day. It's typically the 2nd highest attended weekend of the year. We're also doing child dedications and a number of families are coming to watch their grandkid, niece, or nephew be dedicated. We're expecting standing room only.
Next week we're adding another service. We're bringing our Saturday night back in full force. We'll be meeting at 6 on Saturday nights and keeping our 10:30 on Sunday mornings. Pray for us. The extra service puts a strain on our children's workers and worship team. And for those praying for our finances, it's working. We continue to have just enough for everything we need. Thanks for your prayers!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Great is Our God! ("!" not "?")

Things have been speeding up lately at Connections. Let me give you the last month or so . . .

Our first set of baptisms took place a few weeks ago. We had 4 people get baptized and share their testimonies on video. God moved.

Two weeks ago we celebrated our first year at Connections. Over the last 12 months we've given away food, free gift wrapping, coffee at a busy stop light, money on a street corner and a slew of things on a one on one basis. We've had dramas and illustrations and have edited more video footage than you could watch in a full day. We've seen marriages saved and addictions broken. Amazing how much God has used a little church with less than a hundred people and no budget. We are willing God. Let's go crazy for year two!

Last week we encouraged our people to invite their friends and family and we laid out the gospel in a crystal clear fashion. We had four people raise their hands at the end to accept Christ. Wow God!

Here's what is happening next. . . We made a call about an open facility on fairview ave. It's one of the major roads in the town we live in. We couldn't afford it, but since it was empty, we thought we'd give it a shot. We offered them what we could afford if they would let us use it 24 hours a week, from Saturday at 1 to Sunday at 1. They countered back and said we could occupy it full time and they would keep the rent at what we could afford. WHAT??? OK, I guess we can handle that. So, at the end of this month, we're moving into our first full time building. Now, honestly, it's pretty small. 2 classrooms, one restroom (ouch) and a good sized room for our service. All in all about 2500sf. We're viewing this like our first little apartment. It's a great place to grow and would allow us to have 2-3 services a week and possibly reach the 4-500 number before we need to move on. And, like I said earlier, we are in a GREAT location! This alone is a huge blessing and we'll be in by Easter! You're amazing God!!!

Here's where I need your help. We have so much stuff ready to go. Since we're a portable church, we already have a sound system and all the childrens stuff we need to get started. What we don't have is tables and chairs. We're going to need 75 chairs and 10 tables (to start). If we buy new, we're looking at 4-5k. We're also going to need an additional projector and screen. Another few thousand dollars. All in all we're going to need around 10-12k. That's minimum. They'll probably be more we need once we get started. Pray with me that we can make this happen. It seems impossible. But, so does a 2500sf facility on Fairview Ave for about what we're paying now. Show up again God! I have zero doubts!

4 baptisms. 4 Salvations. 12 months of amazing ministry. New Facility. Easter is Coming. We're no longer standing in line . . . the roller coaster has officially begun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We celebrated our first set of baptisms on Saturday night! It was incredible. We had what looked like record attendance (although we rarely count) and the energy was crazy great. We put all the videos up online (with the permission of those who were baptized). Take a few minutes and watch these. Amazing!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Power of Positivity

Positivity?! I guess that's a word since the little guy inside my computer didn't underline it in red. I ran into this video today and thought I'd share it with you. It's Steve Jobs from apple introducing the iPad. Someone edited it down to about 3 minutes but kept all the positive things that were said during the presentation. Check it out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jeremiah 17

I read something in my daily devotions today that was really good. I thought I'd toss it your way. This comes from Jeremiah 17. 5-8 (the message).

"Cursed is the strong one
who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
and sets God aside as dead weight.
He's like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
in a land where nothing grows.

"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They're like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,

bearing fresh fruit every season.

This passage seems pretty clear at first. Who are you depending on? Do you trust in your friends, family and other people? Maybe you trust in yourself, "muscle alone." Or, do you trust in God. Is He your source. Now we all say we trust in God. We say that because we're suppose to say that. Plus it sounds pretty arrogant to say we trust in ourselves. And maybe some of us do trust in God, but trusting in God is pretty easy when YOU have everything in control.

My middle child Drae likes to play around with gadgety stuff (where'd he get that?). If it's expensive and has a remote control, he want to open it, close it, turn it off, on, switch the channel, you name it. I will actually hand him the controls sometimes and let him play with it. I'm good with this as long as I'm standing right behind him. It's like I trust him, as long as I am really in control. Is that really trust? Maybe a little but it's not complete trust.

I think the same is true with God. When the bills are getting paid and kids are healthy and I have a good handle on my life, without a doubt I trust him. But, do we trust him when the chips are down or do we jump in and fix it our own way. I know what I do and it's usually something like, "OK God, how should I handle this? Well, I'm going to do it this way, stop me if you don't like it." I'm kinda half trusting and half in control. And what good is that? When you got two Chef's in the kitchen you end up with sushi and fritos. Not a good combination (at least it sounds gross, anyone want to do an experiment?).

What's the solution? Here's the part that is hidden in there a bit. I don't think the solution is just giving God what you already control, I mean, we should do that, but it's not that difficult. The true test of faith is doing something so big that only God could do it. Then and only then will you find yourself trusting Him. I mean, you'll have to, you can't do it on your own!

So what kind of God sized goals do you have in life? Missions work? Adopting kids? Writing a book. Starting a church? Whatever, just dive in. Start today. If God's behind it, He'll honor it, He'll help you through it. So find something worth doing with your life and bite off just a little more than you can chew. Then chew it!