I don’t trust God!

I don’t trust God, well….

At least I don’t always trust Him and I’ve been trying to figure out why? I mean He’s done nothing that would merit a lack of trust. He’s not broken my trust. Sure, there are things I’ve wanted or not wanted and they’ve not happened or did happen, but is that really God’s fault? I mean some of those things I thought were so essential in my life, looking back, would have been bad for me, would have taken me off track and away from Him – so I know why He said “no”. Some of the difficulties and trials? I guess it can come down to perspective – I mean I’d have to admit that I’ve probably grown the most as a Christian in the midst of ¬†or after a severe trial or difficultly. Because no matter how painful or difficult – God never left me, He was always trustworthy. Sure there were times I may have wondered, “are you here God?” and times I might have said, “God, if you were really here, you wouldn’t let this happen.” But the reality is we live in a broken world, where, to be honest, we should be seeing a lot more tragedy than we see. And yet through all of it, again, God has been here, loving me, caring for me, inviting me to trust Him and lean on Him.

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Prayer Gathering Recap & Thoughts-It’s a God Thing

What can I say? It’s a God thing!! I can’t explain what’s happening at Grace Church any other way and I, for one, don’t want it to stop! God is so cool.

So on Wednesday we had a fasting and prayer gathering – I was blown away by how many people came up to me talking about their experience “fasting” and what it was like to sacrifice a necessity to focus on God. I was also so encouraged by how many people said this is the FIRST time they ever tried something like this. (Is God working or what?) In addition, my estimate was that about 30-40% of the people there on Wednesday night had not been at a prayer gathering before (could this be the start of something?).

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What’s the Deal with “Lent”?

Since I received a few questions on lent, I did some digging and found a pdf that may be helpful. It was posted on the “Resurgence” website which has typically been a very sound biblical source in past resources I’ve looked at and this doesn’t seem to be any different.

While we at Grace don’t observe lent as a church community we are very committed to preparing for the Easter season and what it signifies to our faith. The resurrection is key! In addition there are many spiritual benefits in fasting, sacrifice, devotion and commitment. There are also many benefits to reflecting on your life and standing with God and commitment to Him. This article both explains the history of lent and offers some decent suggestions for capturing the “heart” while not feeling a need to follow the ritual aspects to a “t”. I do hope it’s helpful for those who are interested in this kind of thing.

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A confession related to this past weekend…

Yesterday concluded our “Missional Mindset Weekend” where we focused our time as a church on one of the pivotal areas of why we exist: mission. God sends us out, personally, locally and globally to make a difference.

Yesterday I made a confession, a confession that I think resonated with a number of people and that is the confession that for years I used to think “missions” was for a select group of people and always involved going somewhere strange and dealing with mosquitos the size of softballs. I used to think church was for Christians to gather and grow. So my younger day’s mindset was: missionaries reach people and Christians grow and mature at church.

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What’s Your Life About?

I am sitting here in Rosedale Mall working on some things, drinking some Caribou and the table across from me is a table made for two but currently has four people around it. It’s two ladies probably in their late 60’s across from one another and then two men about the same age on the outsides of the table. As I sit here glancing at them (I’m not staring, I promise! :)) it’s fascinating, the two women are talking with each other and both guys are staring off into space, watching people walk by looking completely bored. And so I get to wondering, how did this conversation go this morning? “Hey, we were going to meet the Smith’s at Caribou at the mall, you up for it?”; “sure, okay, I guess” And maybe I’m reading too far into this, maybe they are secretly enjoying themselves, but they should tell their faces because I’m not seeing it.

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Making Commitments “Stick”

I was in high school in the late 80’s and as a Christian high school student I was a part of many youth rallies and commitment ceremonies. I remember summer camp when I was called to throw a “stick” in the fire signifying my commitment. Needless to say, both me and many of my fellow Christian students made a number of these “commitments” only to see little “fruit” or “follow-through” on them. They were emotionally charged, there were lots of tears but sadly little lasting change. Over the years this has affected the way I lead. First off, I do few of these “commitment” times, although I think 4-5 times a year opportunity should be provided but I’m very nervous of creating emotional times for the sake of emotion. Even though I’m nervous, I can’t deny the need and power in a time of setting a “stake” in the ground sorta speak or celebrating a milestone – so I do them strategically and intentionally.

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Many steps=beginning of a movement?

Last week I wrote about how a movement is made up of individual steps and commitments all moving in the same direction. Yesterday at Grace Church was a significant follow through of that blog. I was blown away when in ALL 3 services when a call to come forward expressing your commitment to being “sold out” to Jesus more than a hundred each hour stepped forward (totally probably close to 350-400 people!!). Here’s the significant thing, as we said last week, if many (I’d think 350 would count as many?) were to take a small step forward (I’d say a public commitment to Jesus would count as a step) in the same direction we could see the beginnings of a movement.

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Podcast?? The thoughts continue

From time to time I get asked about doing a “podcast” and I have to say, this has been an interest of mine for a little while, but still the time hasn’t seemed right. The essential idea is producing a 10-20 minute audio (or video) program that people could download and listen to on the way to work, while exercising etc. Now obviously, one of the things that I’ve been wrestling with is if we devote the time to this will people actually listen? Does it add value to what we’re doing as a church currently?

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It’s about a lot of little

It’s Monday, a day I typically spend reflecting on life, ministry, Grace Church and my own relationship with God. And so today I thought I’d write a little bit about the “making of a movement.”

There is so much to thank God for at Grace Church right now. Significant growth, some numerical, lots spiritual. I’m seeing more people connect, grow and take seriously the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our world. We’re hearing from first time people that there is an energy, an intangible sense here at Grace. Could it be that we are seeing the beginnings of a really special movement of God?

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