In part 1 of Jonah, we cover the first chapter, which sets up the book. There are so many themes in the Book of Jonah, but we’ll focus on the theme of God’s over-riding love and long suffering nature, especially as it relates to His call on our life to “go.”
To cap off our series, we’ll spend a little more time in our theme verses (Eph 5:15-17) and end by getting super practical in Galatians 5. If we walk in the Spirit, we won’t gratify the desires of the flesh. This series is full of conditional statements. Could it be that walking with God is a lot simpler than we make it out to be? As for the sermon title, you’ll just have to wait to see what that’s all about!
When we’re young, we don’t realize how fast time passes. As the years pass and we experience the harsh truths of this world, we grow more acquainted with our finiteness. We’ll zero in on Psalm 90:12, which states, “Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Paired with the legacy marble illustration, this talk will provide perspective for our time here on earth.
We see in Proverbs that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. If that’s the case, true wisdom is found only in God. Any pursuit of wisdom from other avenues will end up being worthless. Proverbs 2 gives us a picture of how we receive that wisdom. James also reminds us that God gives it generously, if we’ll just ask with faithful hearts!
In Part 2 of “How Does God Speak To Us,” we build on the foundation of part 1, where we talked about how we discern the will of God. In this message, we look at 1 Kings 19, where Elijah has a meeting with God and hears God as a “gentle whisper” or “still, small voice.” We talked a bit about how Elijah ran from God and how God’s voice clarified his calling. Lots to learn from this passage!
This series is all about recognizing the voice of God. In week 1, we get super specific and try to discern His voice as it relates to His will for our lives. This was such a fun sermon, as we got some help from a three year old and a helpful prop to illustrate the idea more clearly!
Last week, we introduced a new series called, “How Does God Speak To Us?” We were talking about some pretty heavy stuff (God’s will). So, I did what any self-respecting, Bible-preaching pastor would do. I asked my son to help me.
I interviewed him about stocks, which truck to buy, the Super Bowl, and a couple other things. Is he not the coolest kid you’ve ever met in your life???
This stand-alone sermon sets up the heart for our student ministry. The prodigal son is a beautiful picture of those coming home; yet the picture of the older brother shows us how “church people” can grow cold to those who come to Jesus. We have to keep our focus!
In this post, I’ve outlined my favorites for 2013. Actually, I’ve included 5 most popular blog post (by metrics) and my favorite movies, books, albums, and tv shows (by opinion). It’s funny how some of my favorite posts don’t get a second look, but I learn something new every year about what is most popular. At any rate, here are my top 5 blog posts for 2013, followed by music, movies, tv and books.
TOP 5 BLOG POSTS
1. “What I Love About Macklemore” – This post got the most attention this year, as I wrote about the pain I hear in Macklemore’s “Same Love” song. The homosexuality conversation is growing, and I wanted to speak to the pain of those on the other side of this debate. I got as much criticism as I did commendation for this post, which reminds me that this issue isn’t one-sided, for better or for worse.
2. “Three” – This was the formal announcement of our third child! We wanted to announce it around Halloween, so we used the pumpkins to announce it. This post actually garnered the highest one-day stats (the Macklemore post received more attention overall).
3. “5 Overly Honest Confessions Of A Youth Pastor” – This is simply a mind-dump (or better yet, a soul-dump). These are 5 things that you’re “not allowed” to say out loud, for fear of people thinking that you don’t have it all together.
4. “Tanner’s Story” – The summer of 2013 was all about student leadership, so we had several students helping with teaching, prepping, serving, and cleaning. This post includes the story of one of our students, Tanner Engledowl, coming to Christ.
5. “The Day I Told My Students To Fire Me” – This was a fun post about asking my students what would happen if there were no youth pastor. Who would step up? What would they do? This catalyzed a summer-long experiment of a new kind of student leadership.
Andy Stanley: “Deep And Wide” – This book, although it wasn’t published in 2013, was the book that captivated me, hands down. The book begins with the story of how it all started with Andy and North Point. I blew through a couple highlighters as I read through it! I highly recommend it! I can’t forget about other great books like Brad Lomenick’s “Catalyst Leader,” Malcolm Gladwell’s “David & Goliath,” Preston Sprinkle’s “Fight,” and Reggie Joiner’s “Losing Your Marbles.”
The Lone Bellow (Self-Titled Album) – Among a year of really great albums, I have to say that I listened to this one the most! They have a great sound and I really do like every single song. Among this year’s favorites, I can’t ignore Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience,” Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor,” Hillsong United’s “Zion,” The Civil Wars’ self-titled album, Twenty One Pilots’ “Vessel,” and Olafur Arnalds’ “For Now I Am Winter.”
“Hunger Games: Catching Fire” – This movie simply made me see a different side to this story. The societal aspect of the film captured me. The first 100 people that told me to read the books only mentioned the game aspect, and Catching Fire gave me the perspective of the oppression taking place in Panem. There were a lot of other movies I liked in 2013, but I have to say that this was top for me. Some of my other favorites were Man of Steel, Ironman 3, 42, Oz, Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z, and The Great Gatsby. There were a ton of 2013 movies that I didn’t make it to see, and I plan to remedy that in 2014!
Favorite TV Show
“Breaking Bad” – This may seem like an easy pick, because it was the obvious favorite for everyone, but I only started watching this show in 2013. I worked through all six seasons this fall, and somehow wrapped up the first half of the 6th season within a week of the premiere of the last eight episodes (I have no idea how I did that so perfectly). The character development was phenomenal (I was rooting for the drug lord for 95% of the entire series!). The tense moments made me feel like nothing else was happening in the world. I loved this show and would definitely list it as one of the top 5 shows of my entire life. A few of my other favorites are The Walking Dead, The Office, Blue Bloods and I have to include the Bible Miniseries, even though it’s not technically a show.
What were some of your favorite tv shows, movies and books from 2013?
Happy New Year! Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re doing to kick off the new year in our student ministry!