• QUOTE FOR TODAY

    "God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose."
    -- John Piper

  • Mercy House

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  • James 2:14-17

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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The Meaning of Marriage

I’m digging in to a new book called “The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God.”

I have to say that after 3 chapters I am really finding this to be a refreshing approach to the subject of marriage and the fact that it has been created by God.  I especially like the fact that it’s not bunch of self-help, problem solving mumbo jumbo, but rather a Biblical approach to a subject that is in need of the right perspective.

More to follow, but I encourage you to check out some of the reviews and take a look at the author’s website as well

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Are We Irrelevant?

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted.   Too long.   It goes this way, I suppose.  Life events tend to dictate when we can write (or sleep for that matter) 

Anyway JP Troglio wrote a post over at I Hate Church that would be worth a few minutes of your time.  It got me to thinking about a question that many have asked before…..is the church in America becoming irrelevant?

I don’t mean irrelevant from the stand point of the culture and being ‘cool’ enough to reach this generation (the emerging churches clearly have this portion covered…to a fault).  I’m talking about significantly impacting the world around us.  I think we’re failing.  I think we’re content with being insignificant.  I think we like the safety of our friends and family around us on Sunday and we don’t want to get our hands dirty.  We don’t want to be uncomfortable.  I think (as JP points out) that we want big numbers because it makes our “club’ look good and it makes us look like we have our act together and that we are having an impact, but sadly, we’re missing the point.  It’s not about the performance….it’s not about the show or the rush to the doughnut table after service.  It’s not about the songs we’re singing or the sermon series or where we worship, for that matter. It’s about introducing people to God and letting him work.

Folks, it’s time we start getting real about the Gospel and taking it to the people and stop being so worried about what people may think about us.  Yes…I’m writing this as much for me as I am anyone who cares to stop by and read this.   If we cared about people the way that God cared about us, I think we would daily have to fall on our face in worship at the work God was doing.  It would be our natural response. 

I’m going back to work now….but I don’t think I’m done writing on this subject.   More to follow.

 

Jumping In

Kristen at We Are That Family wrote this post titled Someone is Waiting for you to Jump In yesterday.  Would you take a minute, head over to her blog and read the post?  After that would you begin praying about where God might want you to jump?  Here’s a little excerpt to challenge you:

And the truth? Standing at cliff’s edge, we wanted to say no. We asked if there was another way. We researched and begged. We cried it is too big, we can’t, we are afraid, we don’t know how.  We don’t want to love mercy.

We didn’t throw caution to the wind. We didn’t just jump into the chasm of the unknown.

We jumped into the very hands of God.

Why? Why do the uncomfortable? Why go beyond the comfort zone and risk so much? Every one of us has a unique purpose for our lives and our blogs. It’s a risk finding that purpose. It leaves you exposed and open to criticism and fear and failure.

  Would you also pray about helping them with Mercy House?

Focus on Worship – Salvation

I read a quote from John Piper yesterday:

God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose

Piper’s words got me thinking about our worship and whether we have the passion of God’s heart when we worship.  God’s passion is for people.  He desires that all people would know Him and worship Him.  I think we need to be careful that we don’t develop a disconnect between our worship, and God’s desire that we bring people to him.   Pastor Steve frequently points out that “worship is not the warm-up,” but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I think the Piper quote points out the fact that worship of God and Salvation by God are effectively inseparable.
To illustrate this further, Read through the lyrics from “Break the Silence”

Christ, our Lord
All praise is yours

We will face this world
And break the silence
We will sing your song
Where injustice lies

Crying oh-o-oh
Heaven pour out your glory
Crying oh-o-oh
Heaven pour out your glory

We will carry your dreams
To heal the earth
Take the kingdom of God
To the broken and hurt

To the far ends of earth we go
Your love story must be told
We will not live in comfort anymore

I was really amazed at the way Piper’s words echo the sentiment of the lyrics from Break the Silence.   In our worship Sunday (and every day) what we sing and play isn’t just about that one song or that worship set.   It’s about celebrating Salvation…it’s about coming into God’s presence because he desires our worship…but it’s also about showing those who are apart from God what walking with our Creator is all about. 

There is no Plan B

This might hurt a little, but you need to see it.

Chaos to thoughts to words….sort of

I’m not sure exactly why I decided to write this post.  I guess that somehow I needed to get it out of my head.  All the swirling around of random thoughts this morning needed out if I had any hope of productivity today. 

God continues to poke and push and prod (sometimes even dragging me along in the plan I am avoiding). Yet I resist.

We are all so good at avoiding it.  We look at the life WE have built for ourselves–at the tremendous comfort it brings–and we know that total surrender, while appealing in the heart of that moment, is so scary it sends us running for cover.  And there we live comfortably discontent amongst our ‘stuff’, occasionally peeking over the edge of the pile to see if it’s ok to jump in — like somehow this time will be less frigntening.  The list of fears is HUGE. The potential for pain or rejection is monumental, yet lingering in the back of our minds is the allure of the Holy Spirit (whom I have been doing a good job of ignoring–have you?). Wondering how others will ‘see’ us. Wondering if God will really come through. Discomfort, fatigue, hunger, poverty, lost souls, misguided mindsets, discontent, avoidance, the list goes on and on and on.  It’s about me and then ‘them’ and then about me again—yet, in fact, it isn’t about me at all….maybe that’s the problem.  Why isn’t the cross enough?  I mean, I know it’s enough…. I know God is bigger than all of it, but my heart forgets and it betrays me and it betrays Him and I retreat to the false safety of my stuff once again.

Well, this post is a mess, but I think I’ll leave it this way.  Good luck reading it.

Coming soon: A Book Review (yes…on this blog)

As some of you know, I have been listening to The Radical series by Dr. David Platt at Brook Hills Church.  A few of his messages prompted the occasional post here at Along The Way.  Frankly, I have notes for a few more things I wanted to write on the series, but time has been short. 

Anyway, it seems that one of my posts was noticed last week, and I was asked if I had any interest in reading through an advance copy of Dr. Platt’s new book “Radical                               and blogging about it.  Naturally I agreed (I mean, I was going to buy the book anyway) and am waiting for my copy to arrive.

Stay tuned for my thoughts.  And if you are looking for some more on the Radical Series be sure to visit the Brook Hills Site.  You can either watch the messages as a video or get the podcast from iTunes.