Heaven is for Real

With the movie Heaven is for Real coming out this week, I’ve gotten questions on whether I think this book and movie is worth seeing and reading and if it is true. This is the best thing I’ve found on it.

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Cheap Kindle Books [4.8.14]

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

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  • Yesterday was a super long day, but a really good one
  • It started off with some MC leader training
  • Really excited to see more and more people stepping up to get involved and wanting to be leaders at Revolution
  • One of our big prayers is that by January, our MC’s will double from 10 to 20
  • We continued our series Jesus Changes Everything yesterday and looked at John 1:35 – 51
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • I talked about how Jesus does not call us to ask him into our hearts, pray a prayer or make him our personal savior
  • Instead, He calls us to follow him, to make him Lord
  • The implications on this are enormous
  • A couple of books that have been hugely helpful to me in this thinking are J.D. Greear’s Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart and David Platt’s Follow Me
  • Booked our summer vacation this past week, so excited about a week in San Diego with Katie and the kids
  • I can almost hear and smell the ocean simply by typing those words
  • Yesterday we had another newcomer’s lunch
  • It’s amazing to me that we’ve had 4 of those in 2013 and so far have had almost 80 newcomer’s at them total
  • Unreal
  • So excited for the NFL draft this weekend
  • The NFL draft signifies that the NFL season is almost here and I don’t have to hear about baseball and basketball
  • They move too slow for me
  • Tomorrow night I’m speaking on the U of A campus at a ministry called EPIC
  • I get to talk with college students about self-control
  • Should be a fun night
  • I’m trying to remember the reaction I would have to someone talking to me about self-control in college
  • I’d love to hear what you would tell them if you were talking to them
  • Leave a comment here
  • Katie and I are also trying to nail down our final fundraiser for our Ethiopian adoption as we just got out “on-deck email”
  • Stay tuned for how you can help after we put more details together
  • It is crazy to think that by the end of 2013 our agency thinks we’ll take 2 trips to Ethiopia and bring our child home
  • Exciting and scary all at the same time

Some Quotes from “Follow Me” that will Push You

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I just finished reading David Platt’s new book Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live (kindle version). Usually I write a book review, so here is my review.

You need to read this book. 

Here are some quotes to push your thinking and hopefully push you to pick up the book:

  • When people say they don’t “feel close to Jesus” I ask them if they are making disciples. After all, the promises for Jesus to be with us is directly tied to his command to make disciples. Experiencing God happens when we are being his witnesses and making disciples.
  • Repentance is a rich biblical term that signifies an elemental transformation in someone’s mind, heart and life. When people repent they turn from their walking in one direction to running in the opposite direction. From that point forward, they think differently, believe differently, feel differently, love differently and live differently. When Jesus said, “Repent” he was speaking to people who were rebelling against God in their sin and relying on themselves for their salvation.
  • We can’t fathom a Christian on the other side of the world believing that a wooden god can save them, but we have no problem believing that religion, money, possessions, food, fame, sex, sports, status and success can satisfy us.
  • The penalty for sin is not determined by our measure of it. Instead, the penalty for sin is determined by the magnitude of the one who is sinned against.
  • Jesus is not calling these disciples because of who they are, but in spite of who they are.
  • No one has ever been saved from their sins because they have pursued Jesus. Everyone who has ever been saved from their sins knows that they have been pursued by Jesus – and their lives haven’t been the same since.
  • Jesus has not invited us to journey to him; instead, he has made the journey to us.
  • The only reason we can seek Christ in our sinfulness is because Christ has sought us as our Savior.
  • Being a disciple of Jesus means we are not called to simply believe certain points or observe certain practices, but ultimately to cling to the person of Christ as life itself.
  • Becoming and being a disciple of Jesus involves far more than mere intellectual belief in Jesus, but it certainly doesn’t involve anything less.
  • It is impossible to separate faith in Jesus from feelings for Jesus.
  • The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another.
  • This is how God grows the church and reaches people: through holiness in Christians. God grows his church by creating disciples who are serious about reflecting the righteousness of God and honoring the holiness of God.
  • More important than asking people to pray a prayer, we are calling people to lose their lives – and find new life Christ.
  • Disciple making involves far more than just leading people to trust in Christ, disciple making involves teaching people to follow Christ. This necessitates that we show people (particularly new Christians) what the life of Christ looks like in action.

How to Know if you are a Follower of Jesus

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To be a Christian is to be loved by God, pursued by God, and found by God. To be a Christian is to realize that in your sin, you were separated from God’s presence, and you deserved nothing but God’s wrath. Yet despite your darkness and in your deadness, his light shone on you and his voice spoke to you, inviting you to follow him. His majesty captivated your soul and his mercy covered your sin, and by his death he brought you life. Do you know for sure that you are his child, not ultimately because of any good you have done – any prayers you have prayed, steps you have taken, or boxes you have checked – but solely because of the grace he has given you. -David Platt, Follow Me

Question: Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Links of the Week

  1. Tim Stevens on Sometimes it is better if the pastor stays home
  2. An open letter to the writer of children’s curriculums. I totally agree with J.D.’s sentiments.
  3. 7 thoughts for next generation leaders.
  4. Elliott Grudem on Why arrogance has no place in reformed theology. Really appreciate this and the spirit of this in Acts 29. This doctrine should bring humility and brokenness not arrogance.
  5. Paul Tripp on The danger of self-defense.
  6. Wendy Alsup on Confessions of a conflicted complementarian.
  7. What churches can learn from Southwest Airlines.
  8. Trevin Wax on Radical sacrifice.

Top Posts of March 2011

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
  2. Rob Bell, His New Book and the Definition of Love
  3. Mission, the Gospel & the Story of God
  4. The Role of Men in the Family
  5. Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream
  6. Being in the Present
  7. Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters become Movement Makers
  8. Help Us Piece Together our Family
  9. Sin, Adultery and Falling out of Ministry
  10. Letter from Yourself Twice Your Age

Top Posts of February 2011

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Having too Many Kids
  2. Rob Bell on his New Book and the Definition of Love
  3. Merge
  4. Exponential:  How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement
  5. Adoption Puzzle
  6. John Piper & Tim Keller on How the Gospel can help Someone Overcome Pornography
  7. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  8. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  9. Where is the Gospel?
  10. Leadership is Lacking