Small steps in faith

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"The Calling of Our Work"

These are my notes from Apex this morning. Loved our worship! Apexers definitely know how to sing it out!

Colossians 3:23-24

Life can be a nonstop regimen.
Vocare means spiritual calling. We get the word vocation from this.
If someone asks us what is your calling, we don't think about our job.

Work is never mundane within the kingdom of God. "Do all for the glory of God"
Work is a means for worship


Our activity of work should flow out of our soul.

What kind of soul?

1. A soul that comes under the grander authority of God.
When you get a complaining,whiny are working for the wrong person

2. A soul that hopes in the compensation of God..we inherit the earth, eternal life, but we are also bought by Christ.
If you work for a means to an end..these are "deceptive ways"

3. A soul that recalls the nature of Christ
We didn't come to be served but to serve.
We are serving the greatest servant

When you are thinking,talking and acting :

1. Give attention to the behavioral values of your workplace

2 Work as hard on your character as you do for your job..tune your heart to the word of God.

3. Pursue excellence and diligence

4. Rest in God's sovereign positioning of your are where you are because God has plans for you there

5. Be very careful how you carry yourself verbally...don't gossip..don't throw people under the bus

6. Consider your work as part of the cost of being a disciple

If you love being chiseled and changed to be more like will love your job.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Beholding, Repenting, and Going"

These are my notes from Apex. I'm a little late this week in posting :)

Isaiah 6:1-10

Rob told the story and significance of John Lennon's death to our culture. It was the death of "give peace a chance"

In Isaiah, King Uzziah dies. He reigned for 52 yrs. This was significant to this culture.

Isaiah is the Romans of the Old Testament.

Living out our calling flows from:

1 View of God

We see his majesty his majestic authority,he sits on a throne
Is that exhibited in our behavior?
Do we look to Him for everything?

a His eminence. (intimacy) His robe fills the temple
b His holiness..He is set apart.. a cut above
c His glory..the public display of holiness
If we grasp this we have a desire for his gospel to be known everywhere
d His power...You can be "religious" and not have the power of God in your life
Is there fruit in your character?

2 Brokenness before God
Isaiah says "Woe is me"
Freud saw "cultural Christianity"..don't want to feel the pain
Be careful when you are pointing out others need to start with yourself

3 Freedom given by God
The lips are connected to the heart
There are some bad choices in our lives
We aren't guilty anymore. There is no condemnation. We have been set free.

4 Costly obedience to God
Gospel fruit isn't always conversions
It will soften some..Christ will harden some hearts
You need to be faithful in wherever God has you

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Hear No Evil" by Matthew Paul Turner

I just finished reading "Hear No Evil" this morning,not because it's a long book but because when I find a book that I like and makes me laugh, I don't want the experience to end.
Matthew Paul Turner is one of my favorite authors and Twitterers (is that a word?) and bloggers. His books are honest but also humorous. Sometimes you have to get past the sarcasm to see that there is a genuine honest heart that has an important story to tell.
"Hear No Evil" is a book that chronicles his experiences with music. Most of the book deals with his college and young adult experiences in the Christian Music Industry.
His upbringing in a very legalistic church have a very strong impact on his likes and beliefs. I think his friend who described him as a "boy in the bubble" was very accurate. His church and parents sheltered him from the real world. When he discovers some of these things, his reactions will make you laugh. The description of his family dropping him off at a "christian" college was hilarious.
The story of Tina, a woman who had dreams of performing, and Kyle,a man who came to church at Easter were very touching. Matthew has a way of making you laugh but also finding that story that makes you really think about how Christians push away the very people they are trying to reach.
I would hightly recommend this book to anyone. It made my week :)
To buy a copy of this book check out this website

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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"The Call of God and Christian Service"

These are my notes from Apex.
Sometimes the words of worship songs hit me like a hammer. That happened this morning with the songs we sang. The worship team that led this morning really did a great job.
Rennes Bowers did the sermon. Rennes is one of the elders at Apex.

John 15:8-17

Call to vocational ministry
God calls all of us to ministry but some for professional ministry
The number of pastors who leave paid ministry if huge because of burnout.
God needs more full time Christians and less full time professionals
Jesus said "Go make disciples.." not "Go make pastors"
God does call some to go to seminary and get more teaching.
If you only have pastors, you'll have keepers of the aquarium not fishers of men.

7 Points of Discipleship

1. Deny self
2. Cross bearing
3. Supreme love for Jesus
4. Forsaking all
5. Persevering in teaching
6. Fruitfulness
7. Fervent love one to another

Can you lose your salvation? no
Can you lose your "assurance of salvation" yes
If you leave your faith and live a life of sin...only God really knows if you are truly saved

1 Peter 2:9-10

We are a chosen transcends color and culture
Why does God choose us?
He has set us apart and has a purpose
We are a royal priesthood
Identity leads to destiny
Our make known who God is. Revelation 5
2.6 billion are unreached..most of these are in India
Allow God to serve you as you serve Him. With that, everything is possible

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Love & War..Finding The Marriage You've Dreamed Of

So right before Valentine's Day is a good time to read a book on marriage? In this case the answer is yes. I have read books by John Eldredge and I have read a book called "Captivating" by Staci, but this time they co wrote this book on marriage.
I like the fact that you see both points of view on their stories. They have been married 25 years. Through those 25 years they have had hard times..2 times almost divorcing. Through the good and bad, they have found what things to focus on,what things to let go of in a marriage. I like the fact that they talk about their backgrounds and how those impact how they relate to each other. You are dealing with 2 different people with different thoughts in most marriages. It takes work to understand and relate. They talk about marriage as a shared adventure. In that sharing, God is the most important person. Without Him, you end up relying on an imperfect human. They cover things like quirks,bad timing, sex, arguments, and how to pray with each other and for one another. The book has a lot of insight in to how many of us feel in our marriages. I would recommend this book for couples who are just starting out and for couples,like Darrell and I, who have been married 25 years.

To buy a copy of this go here

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

"The Most Important Calling"

These are my notes from Apex.

Romans 10:12-13

God called us first..he's done a work inside of us.

Acts 2:29-30
We are able to call on the name of the Lord

3 ways of understanding "the call"

1. A general call...invitation summon

2. A specific call

3. A vocational ministry

Specific call
How to know you are called by God to be His son or daughter.

Rob did a visual on explaining the gospel.

God, who is just pure, and creator is at the top....scum of the earth at the bottom i.e. Hitler,Jeffrey Dahmer,Osama Bin Laden
In between are rungs of a ladder where we place family,friends,enemies,etc.
No matter where you put them on that ladder..they are not God, they are not perfect.
They all lead back down to the bottom because "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" "The wages of sin are death"
God created Christ to be our judge.

Ephesians 2
We are born dead in our transgressions

Even though we are impacted by sin, we are created to worship and we go through life like going up a ladder

Up the sides of the ladder rungs are ways we try to go up the ladder through our life
Secular...American dream, sports,being a "good person",philanthropy,education,marriage
Religious..praying,going to church,reading the Bible, mission trips,preaching

The rungs of the ladder represent every emotion,every thought

Can a "dead" person do things to go up the ladder ie pray,live the American dream..NO

Your "deadness" doesn't look like Hitler but what you are doing is "justifying" by comparing.
In the will be only you standing in front of Christ for judgment

Religion vs Gospel

Religion is "dead" people trying to do things...i.e. pray,go to church,give money,etc to get to God
The Gospel is making "dead" people alive..not making good people better.

God came down the ladder..He came under the law,He was tempted in every way,He was perfect,and He was judged for our sins because God is a judge and has to punish sin.
Christ absorbed our sin and was judged guilty..he was put on a cross and died. He went to the tomb.

The Good news
You can't keep a God buried..He rose 3 days later

When you wonder where was God when...there was abuse, there was a split in the church, there was a wrongful death,,,He was on the cross.

How do you know if you are called?
1. Believe and trust in Jesus Christ...John 1:12
2. Confess Jesus as Lord..Romans 10: 9-10
3. Turn from your sin...western culture wants Christianity without repentance.

You have to have repentance..even the demons believe and confess Jesus as Lord.