Small steps in faith

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"The Limits of Abundance"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon last night.
Loved the worship songs .."I Am" by Phil Wing, "You alone" by David Crowder, "Always Forever" by Phil Wickham, "None but Jesus" by Brooke Fraser.

Affluenza is more devastating that influenza.

There are more than 1 million people without clean water..We use 400 to 600 liters/day in the U.S.
There are children starving..we throw away 14% of our food in the U.S
1/3 of Americans own 3 cars.

Consumption is destroying families and churches.

In Luke..Jesus becomes part of a conflict in a family. During this time, Rabbis would settle these conflicts.

There is all kinds of greed..we are all vulnerable to this because we live in western culture.

We need a call for simplicity.

Material abundance is a leading cause of spiritual blindness.

Material abundance can limit your view of:

1. Personal significance
..Need to be on watch. Your life does not depend on your abundance of possessions.
Pharisees would often compare themselves to others and justify.

Tim Keller wrote a book "Counterfeit Gods" which deals with putting a perspective on material abundance.
Material abundance locks you into "robot existence" are living day to day for yourself not to glorify God.

2. God's provision
God provides the soil, the rain, the sun. We try to switch roles and make ourselves the owner of things and God as the user. We need to give thanks every day for our basic needs being met.

3. View of contentment. When you make you buy more? Needs and wants blur together.

4. Eternal judgment. We are deceived. We are consumed with desire for things..we grab for security..and things come crashing to the ground around us. Eternally God denies us.
What protects our fall? Grabbing the cross not "things"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

These are my notes from Rob's sermon at Apex. He started out with the video above. It shows how you can end up when you are truly consumed with greed.

Philippians 3:18-20

Paul is writing a hard letter..weeping as he writes. He warning the church.

Consumerism is can be more poisonous than world religions.
There is a call for simplicity
Making a living is not equal to making a life

Statistics..Rob gave several of these and I wrote a few down. If you go to the podcast you can hear them all.
Consumer credit= 7+ trillion
Debt has doubled since 1990
56% of divorces are a result of finances

We are given an abundance of choice..this breeds dissatisfaction.
"Compensated dating"..women agree to be paid for dates including sex...the money isn't to's to shop.
Your god is your belly= your appetite

Our appetites have deep significance
Ex. obesity is hunger for ignore pain
sexual intimacy..want to be loved
work..don't want to be like our parents; worry of the future

Our hungers or appetites detach us from God

1 Appetites can place us on the wrong side of the cross..We have nothing to give to God from ourselves. If you are attached to "things" then you will hate the cross. You can't have it both ways. "Deny yourself and take up the cross"

2 Our appetites can destroy us....We engorge ourselves to the point of destruction affects us physically..sometimes to the point of death
Our humanity is not strong enough to support "things"..we will collapse

3 Our appetites define us...Our character is what we fill our lives with

4 Our appetites can control us...we stuff ourselves and we leave no room for God.

How can I tell if my appetite for other things surpasses my appetite for God?

1 Are you homesick for heaven? Do you think on Revelation 21 truths on a daily basis?
2 Are you homesick to the degree that it changes the way you live?

Scriptures...Psalm 63:1, 84:2,107:9,Luke 1:53, John 6:27, Matthew 5:6,Psalm 4:6-7,63:5,Job 23:12

Monday, October 12, 2009

"The Sound of Sleigh Bells"

I spent an hour yesterday afternoon and an hour this morning reading this book.
I have read another book by Cindy Woodsmall and this book was just as enjoyable for me as the last one. It's a very short read which is nice when you have a short flight or a few hour in an afternoon. She focuses on the Amish community and develops her characters in a way that draws you right in. When I read fiction, I like to escape and this allowed me to do that. It uses a love them as well as a mystery which I love. I also love how she tied a secular problem,abuse, to the Amish community and showed how it is dealt with.
I think the use of snow and sleighs drew me in since we're getting close to the winter season.
I would absolutely recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a short easy read fiction.

To buy a copy you can go here

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"The future of Jazz"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon at Apex. We sang a couple of David Crowder "hymns" and then Olivia sang a song she wrote...beautiful. I love her voice ...and her style..she always wears an awesome hat.

Psalm 123

This is a song of ascent. Why were these Psalms written?
Possibly for the coming out of Egypt
Possibly for the Jews coming to Jerusalem to a festival

In order to ascend:

1 We must be discontent with where we are. If you are a healthy follower of Christ you won't be comfortable where you are. You won't be at ease. You will always be looking to ascend closer.
We have "nursery room" house churches. We also need to be in prayer for our "delivery room" house churches
Pray that we get better at knowing how our house churches are doing

2 We must be fixated on our ultimate obsession
"Fix our eyes on Jesus"

3 Must trust that God provides resources for His work..God has history in providing for Apex.

4 We must cry out for his mercy upon us.
In our ascent we will mess up God is committed to us

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"Facing the Music"

These are my notes with some of my thoughts on Rob's sermon this morning at Apex.
First I have to say that Rob makes me laugh with his love of Stryper and his excitement in seeing them last night at McGuffy's. Someone made a comment on his facebook that Stryper wears more eyeliner than they do which cracked me up.
Our worship was great this morning...not because of just the Praise Team but because of the way everyone there pours out their hearts when they sing. "Revelation Song" was amazing.

Matthew 11:16-19

We are doing a series called House of Jazz.
Today the sermon focused on defining reality..facing the music...our response to the music.
There are certain things that you don't understand until you have children.
Children have vivid imaginations and like to role play.
When they role play there is a director and the players and many times those players don't respond the way the director wants them to.
As a church we don't want to respond the way God wants us to.
We don't want to face the music that God is teaching us.

Eight songs that we must face within Apex community

1 A clear and simple picture of our shared journey or vision

We have been given our make disciples
We are a large church and we don't want the focus to be on the numbers. Hitler drew numbers.
When you have a large crowd it's harder to move that number of people toward the mission.

2 Practical leadership development

What do we look for in finding leaders?
How can we develop them and have a system of accountability? do we encourage and help them persevere?

3 Help dying house churches die gracefully

Find out what happened?
How do you move on to another healthy house church.
Many times it causes people to run from house church and Apex altogether

On a personal note..I was part of a dying house church 3 yrs ago. I left that experience a very bitter person. I was used and abused by some very selfish people who talked the talk but don't walk the walk. It took me awhile to trust the people in my house church now but I can say that when it's biblical and when it's led as it should church is a wonderful experience.

4. Mutual joy over all expressions of Apex community

the gathering as well as the house churches as well as the mission experiences.
We don't want "civil war" attitudes between the gathering and the house churches.

5. Discipleship that is not mere theory but is exhibited in our behavior.

Are you investing your life into one other person in order to make them more like Jesus?

6. Enjoy the future kingdom success of Apex, even if we are not there to see it.

We may be the ones providing the foundation and the scaffolding.

7. Not allowing the chaotic nature of our ministry to distract us from enjoying our sovereign Jesus...fighting our real enemy.

Our enemy is not ultimately each's Satan

8. Embrace the humbleness and power of the cross.

A condescending attitude..cynicism = we feel we are entitled to something. The only thing we deserve is Hell...everything you have is through the grace of Jesus.
We all need humility..That's when God's power is unleashed.