What Does Authentic Love Look Like?

Superman

What does authentic love look like?  What does God’s love really look like?  What should our love for each other look like?  Does the Church actually have a Superpower?

The video below answers these questions and more.  In the end, I do believe that the Church possesses an unstoppable Superpower.  All we have to do is access it via our love for each other.

When God Leads Us to “Foreign” Places

Wilderness

Seven years ago, my family and I moved across the country to plant a new church.  While there were various practical reasons and factors for pursuing this new journey, in the end we felt like it was “God’s will” for us.  -So we felt confident that He would guide and provide for us.

Our new church plant did not work out anything like we thought it would.  In the end, we found that God had led us on a journey that looked completely different from what “we” thought it should look like.  God had led us to a very “foreign” and uncomfortable place…  In this message I share some of my experiences while planting HealingPointe Community Church.  I transparently describe that “foreign place” God led me and my family to.

But most importantly, I share why the “foreign places” that God leads us to are so important and how we can be in both a “foreign place” and “God’s Will” at the same time.

Click on the link below to Listen:

Born of God -my manifesto on being an authentic Christian

Born of God -my manifesto on being an authentic Christian

I have been a Christian for nearly eight-teen years and have been in the ministry for almost as long. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, but was frequently exposed to the Catholic Church as my mother’s entire family was Catholic. Three or four years after I became a Christian (for real) my wife and I left the Baptist Church to help plant a non-denominational church. During the first years of that church plant, we “explored” outside the boundaries of our former SBC doctrinal beliefs. We ventured into the areas of charismatic and pentecostal doctrines and experienced both the liberty and potholes in those often untamed theological frontiers. Some years later, we moved to another state and planted our own church. It was a Churches of God General Conference church and thus we were exposed to CGGC doctrine and culture. A few years after planting our new church I became involved in a few ecumenical organizations in our area and was even further exposed to other church traditions such as the Christian Church, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, etc. I am leaving out far more than one denomination from this story, but surely by now you get the picture. I have experienced many different “flavors” of Christianity and have gotten to know a lot of good people who love God AND participate in a different “flavor” of Christianity than me.

While there are many narrow minded groups out there who think that their “flavor” of Christianity is the only “correct” version, I would like to think that there are more than a few of us (hopefully, many, many more) who have realized that God works in many different Christian denominational contexts and cultures. Furthermore, I would also like to think that there are those of us who have realized that no Christian group has found perfection in regards to their theology and practiced values of authentic community. In short, I have discovered that there are many of us who dearly love God and have declared Jesus Christ Lord and Savior of our lives. We may call ourselves Baptists or Catholics, Pentecostals or Presbyterians, Methodist or Nazarene -but we really are all in the same boat. One day, we will all be in heaven and all those petty denominational titles will seem so childish and silly. Perhaps, in the manifest presence of God we will blush when we think of all of the trivial conversations -and arguments that we had during our earthly lifetimes… These thoughts are why I have adopted the following statement as my motto, “Some follow the Pope, some follow Luther, others follow Calvin, still others follow Wesley or Winebrenner; I follow Jesus with the understanding that God can use whomever He chooses to speak into my life.”I think the Apostle Paul made a statement similar to this in his first letter to the Corinthians…

It is my belief that we spend so much time thinking, debating, arguing and “silently positioning” over our differences that we often miss the most important and fundamental questions of the day, -fundamental questions that almost no one would argue over. These are probably the least controversial but most important questions that we should be asking: Are we in love with Jesus? Have we truly surrendered to God and His Word? Are we daily humbling ourselves and yielding our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Do we have a practical daily relationship with God? -Not much controversy here; yet I think we have to admit that if we (all) could answer yes to these questions, the face of Christianity would look different than it does now.

I shared the message that is linked below a few weeks before Christmas. I never intended for it to be an “oral manifesto” for me or my ministry; but after sharing it and listening to it while editing it for my blog, I realized that it was just that, my manifesto on being an authentic Christian.

This sermon can be listened to or downloaded with the links below:

Born of God -to download .mp3 file

Laying Down Our Stones and Learning to Forgive

Have you ever been hurt by someone you loved and trusted? Have you ever been so hurt that you became bitter? Have you ever been so bitter that you felt the bitterness eating away at you like a cancer? Have you ever refused to forgive that person who wronged you? Have you ever wanted to forgive someone, but felt that you could not?

This sermon is a very frank and practical teaching on forgiveness. It answers questions like: Why do we have to forgive? How do we forgive? And, how do we trust again? The content of this teaching originates from both biblical principles and my own personal experiences. My goal in this message is to thoroughly explain why forgiveness is such an important part of the healing process as well as a vital component of healthy relationships.

This sermon can be listened to or downloaded with the links below:

Laying Down Our stones and Learning to Forgive -to download .mp3 file

Laying Down Our Stones and Learning to Forgive -to download .pdf of sermon notes

What to Do When You Find Yourself in Babylon

Rather we realize it or not, we live in “Babylonian like” times.  How does God want us to respond?

Jeremiah 29   4 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
 8 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, 9 because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the Lord. –NLT

This sermon can be listened to or downloaded with the links below:

What to Do When You Find Yourself in Babylon   -to download

Below, is the video that was mentioned at the end of the sermon.

Created for Relationship

As simple as this message is, I strongly believe that it presents a very profound Truth: We were created to know God.

An audio link and PDF handout are below.

Created for Relationship

Created for Relationship (web)