You’re Better Than That!

So I was reading 1 Peter 1 and I just love how every time you come to the Bible there is a new angle or thought just for where you’re at. This time the phrases that jumped out at me were:
“…in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (v12)
“…set your hope fully on the grace…” (v13)
“…do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…” (v14)
“…you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers…” (v18)

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Is it a “do” thing or a “be” thing?

So let’s talk about what it means to be a Christian. There is a lot of great wisdom for living life in the Bible. We go to most churches and hear a lot about how to live according to God’s design. We discover how to have a healthy marriage according to God’s design, have healthy families, good finances, work ethic etc etc. I too have preached this and believe it. Even if you don’t become a Christian, God’s ways are wise and right. He did create us and learning to live the way He says is the best way to live. Now we could talk about how the power and ability to actually live that way is not available unless you are a Christian, unless the Holy Spirit lives in you. But that’s not my purpose in this post.

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Blogging for Roseville

I was recently asked to begin blogging for the Roseville Patch which is an online newspaper for the fine people of Roseville. It’s cool to be one of the featured bloggers and I hope it will open opportunities to connect with more folks. In the last six months or so we have had many first time guests from Roseville (more than normally) which is exciting. I love the community we are becoming here at Grace Church!

So about every 10 days I hope to share brand new content over at the Roseville Patch blog. There will be rare occasions where the blog post I share here will also be shared over there — but for now, my intention is to do unique content for the Patch. If you want to read the most recent one (a recap of the parenting sermon from Sunday) Check out the link for the Patch blog — also if you want to offer a comment or two, please do.

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Clarity is Key

“Well, that’s good enough.” There are times when good enough is good enough but then there are most things that really matter when clarity is key. At first glance it may seem weird to put “good enough” and “clarity” as opposites but allow me to explain. When you are discovering a vision for an organization or even your life you can get pretty close with little effort. The reason this is is because most of us know deep down if things aren’t congruent and the general direction we need to go. But I would suggest to you that in order to get to true clarity about a vision it takes work. Serious, time consuming work. And the more significant the area, the more important the clarity. Personal life, family life, organizational life — these are all critical areas where we need to know clearly where we are going and what it will take to get there.

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Swimming Upstream part 3: the secret

The previous two posts provided some editorial and some counsel to dealing with sexuality in a God-honoring way. Today we will look at the power to actually pull it all off.

Here’s the thing with temptation and sex outside of God’s design — the principles, ideas and “helps” are only good to a point. What I mean is that principles, rules, even practices like quoting Scriptures etc are typically good at “containing” us but not really “changing” us. Now, don’t get me wrong, containing sin is a good thing and we should do what we can to not add more heartache and pain by walking into the darkness. I think one of the challenges that we as Christians today who live in the age of grace can have is disregarding principles and ideas that are helpful. We need them, God has given them — so put them to use. However, the principles alone will not rescue us. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you’ve probably been to a time where you either failed at keeping a discipline or principle and have been extremely frustrated either with the “rule” or with yourself.

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Swimming Upstream pt.2

Disclaimer: this blog series is based on a sermon given on April 29, 2012 on the topic of “Wisdom in the Bedroom” – the sermon and these blogs are intended for mature audiences

Yesterday we added some additional comments that we didn’t have time to fully explore in the sermon on the topic of the lies from our culture surrounding sexuality, dating and marriage. Today we continue with some additional content either barely touched on or explored in the sermon.

The second piece of counsel from Proverbs 5 and 7 is “Don’t go down that road” — Temptation.
Proverbs 7 uses a narrative story to demonstrate many of the aspects of temptation. The more we are aware of it, the better we’ll be able to recognize it and hopefully avoid it.
Here are a few of the concepts it explores:

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