June 30, 2009

 “…And His commandments are not burdensome.”  (I Jn. 5:3)

 Really?  Isn’t it hard to keep the commandments of God?

 Think about it for a day or two.  And, I’ll get back to share with you my struggle on this “Identity Truth.”

Put on the New

June 28, 2009

“…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God…”   (Eph 4:24)

C. S. Lewis had a lot to say about our Identity in Christ—although he used other terms.  In his classic, Mere Christianity, he says:

“Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if had it already.  That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups…

Now the moment you realize, ‘Here I am, dressing up as Christ,’ it is extremely likely that you will see…some way in which…the pretense could be made less of a pretense and more of a reality.”

Our culture says that it is hypocritical to feel one thing and act another.  The Word of God says that we should put on Christ and let Him bring our feelings into line.

Here’s my prayer for the day:

“Today, I am dressed in the righteousness of Christ—I am a new creation—I have been raised with Christ and I am seeking the things which are above. Father, take this little boy’s heart and fill it with the mind of Christ.”

Nothing to Prove?

June 27, 2009

Emotional pressure should be a great teacher. In the middle of stress I have learned to ask:

“O.K. then, what am I trying to prove?”

Please hear me, I don’t want to overstate my success.  When I say, “I have learned to ask…” I don’t mean that I always ask that question right away; I should, but I don’t.  I don’t mean that I always immediately deflect the pressure and instantly rise above the challenge proclaiming my identity in Christ—I know the theology but I still have deep struggles in the depths of my soul.

When I say, “I have learned…” I mean that ultimately I have to recognize that every pressure should be accepted as a welcomed teacher. A friend of mine called it a “death check.”  When pressure hits me, from without or from within, it gives me a chance to check if I am living the exchanged life:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20a)

I may have sin to confess; I may have issues to confront; But, believing the TRUTH, I have nothing to prove!

GCR Taskforce (GCRT)

June 26, 2009

It was an honor to be asked to serve on the Great Commission Resurgence Taskforce (GCRT) for the SBC. No decision has been made about the first meeting of the GCRT but we have agreed to seek prayer support from as many people as possible. 

Would you be willing to be my prayer partner as we begin this work? Here’s the list of those who join me in needing your prayer support:   Great Commission Resurgence Taskforce

Still at the SBC

June 24, 2009

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here a week.  I really don’t want this blog to become a travel-log…but I want to share what’s on my heart and I’ve been here since last Wednesday so I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

Resolutions:  We presented our resolutions today and they were well-received by the “messengers” (SBC calls them messengers and not delegates).  The Resolutions are online and you can read them in their entirety—and, I’d recommend you do that and not just read the summaries that will be given in some news outlets! Here they are: 


GCR: It seemed that the focus of the SBC was the call for a “Great Commission Resurgence.”  You can see (and sign) the guiding document at  http://www.greatcommissionresurgence.com  This document has helped to focus a movement that is issuing a call to Southern Baptists.

The convention is over now and we all head out in the morning (finally)!  While we travel, join us in praying for our Sr. High Choir (Vertical Generation). They are in Baltimore this week supporting Aaron & Malita Pankey and their church-planting efforts.  Why not stop and pray for them right now?

What’s this blog about?

June 22, 2009

There are so many good people writing blogs that I gave up trying to keep up. But a lot of folks are pushing me to carve out some time to blog…so, here I am!

I’m not comfortable writing like I’m some guru that can deliver the spiritual or intellectual vitamin you need every day. I would like to present some random stuff about our lives and open up our lives to share what God is doing to remind us of our Identity in Christ.

So…this blog will not take the same approach every time. At this point I’m just trying to learn how and I’ve been encouraged by the large volume of hits in these first few days.

A few minutes ago I talked with my friend Randall James–he is an Associate Pastor at the FBC Orlando.  Randall’s been battling cancer for over 23 years.  He’s had some problems recently but his comment to me was…everything that touches me is “Father-filtered.” His confidence in God was a fresh reminder of our Identity in Christ.

Talking to Randall was great encouragement and we just recieved great news that Katy arrived safely in the Middle East.  She’s staying with a friend until she can find more permanent housing.  Thanks for praying for her yesterday.

Happy Father’s Day

June 21, 2009

We worshiped this morning at the East Campus of the Highview Baptist Church in Louisville. We’ve learned a lot from Highview.  While we were praying through our vision for a second campus, we discovered their model and ran to Louisville to talk about it.  But we discovered more than a model—we made some great friends! 

Dr. Kevin Ezell is the Sr. Pastor at Highview and he is an authentic humble man of God.  His easy going (and funny) manner makes him easy to love.  Kevin is a great leader of leaders and weekly pours out his life to serve the campus pastors (7 campuses) and teaching pastors on the Highview team.  http://www.highviewbaptist.org

Highview has entered into partnership with our son Josh and his church-plant in Boise, ID.  They are part of his regular support team and we are grateful for their investment.

But, the big event of the day is (our daughter) Katy’s departure for the Middle East.  It’s been fun having her around for the last few months. She is boarding a plane right now with a strategic plan and a heart full of dreams.