Sunday Afternoon Mind Dump…

  • Had a weird feel last night at Revolution
  • It was a great night, the Spirit was moving, the excitement about our next step of moving as a church was great
  • But I definitely felt the reality that preaching is a spiritual war
  • Heard the same thing from some other leaders at Revolution
  • Feeling like we are getting ready for something big as a church as we move and our target with Satan is getting bigger on our backs
  • I’ll blog more about that this week
  • I have been loving this series through the book of Joshua and looking at having fearless faith
  • Talked about praying prayers that stop the sun tonight, impossible prayers
  • Our prayer life really is about what we believe about God
  • If you missed last night, you can listen to it here
  • Got to take another step in a big prayer we are praying as a church
  • Introduced Dave and Kyra Goffeney to our church
  • They have moved here, are raising all of Dave’s salary so that he can be on staff with us and in the next 12-18 months send him out to plant a church in Tucson
  • Dave will be preaching next week about the church as a city of refuge
  • He preached back in May at Revolution that you can listen to here
  • Also shared that to kick off our move to Magee, we will be having a FREE family movie night on September 7 where we will be showing The Lorax
  • Had a great meeting last night with our Missional Community leaders
  • I’m excited that they keep growing and we are launching 10 MC’s this fall
  • We will start sign-ups for them after we move into Magee, so be on the lookout for details coming out
  • If you need some great free music for your summer playlist, start here
  • I’ve been reading this book over the weekend and the Holy Spirit is really working on my heart through it
  • Convicting and challenging
  • Having Dave preach this week means I get to spend some extra time working on my soul and preparing for our next series called Image is Everything on the book of Ephesians
  • Excited about getting away this week for a retreat day
  • Love days with just my bible, journal and the mountain
  • Need to get some final prep in before my fantasy football draft in a couple of hours
  • So excited for football season to get here

This Week @ Revolution: Impossible Prayers

So excited for this week at Revolution!

  • We are only 3 weeks away from moving to Magee Middle School and meeting on Sunday mornings. If you haven’t given to our Fearless campaign, there is still time and it is still important.
  • This week, we are continuing our series Fearless and I’ll be preaching from Joshua 10 about praying impossible prayers. Prayers that unless God steps in and answers them, we are hopeless. I’m praying that all of us will take the step of praying these impossible prayers.
  • September 9, our first Sunday at Magee, we will kick off a brand new series on the book of Ephesians called Image is EverythingBe praying now about how you will invite for this new chapter in the life of our church.
  • Our next newcomer’s brunch is on August 26 from 9:30 – 11am. If you are new and would like to meet some of the leaders, hear more about Revolution, where we are going and how you can get plugged in, ask some of your burning questions. Simply email Ciara Hull so we have an accurate count for food and childcare.

As I said, so many great things are happening right now at Revolution as we get ready for our next step of moving to Magee, that I don’t want you to miss. So, I’ll see you this Saturday, at 5pm and bring someone with you to experience all that God is doing.

Remember, we meet at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

Why Read Books on Big Faith

I was asked the other day after posting about The Circle Maker if I like books on big faith. Books like this or Sun Stand Still are always favorites of mine.

The reason is simple, I don’t have big faith.

There I said it.

While my life has often seemed like an episode that needed big faith, lots of people have lives that need bigger faith than I need. In thinking back, moving to Tucson 5 years ago was a moment of lunacy. We had family and friends try to talk us out of it. Church planting doesn’t work they said, especially in this economy. Adopting. Why spend that time and money on it? Plant more churches.

Those are just things I’ve heard in the last year.

But when I hear those, they reinforce the doubts I have, they don’t push me to have bigger faith.

Enter books like The Circle Maker or Sun Stand Still. I am always pushed by men and women who have big faith, pray crazy prayers. I think we see in Scripture that God is honored by big and small prayers. I think there is something to big prayers though that gets at the heart of God because it takes a dependency on him that small prayers don’t. Big prayers reveal his father’s heart because it reveals our heart as a son or daughter that is dependent on him.

In the course of this conversation then, I was told how much God loves small prayers, that it shows his care for the small details in life. This is true. I love how God cares about the lilies of the valley, the birds of the air. It shows how he is big enough for anything, but cares about the smallest details. I chuckled because that is my first inclination, but as I pointed out in this conversation, it reveals my lack of faith. Because that keeps me from taking a step where I have to trust for the impossible.

Top Books of 2010

Along with music, books is my other love that I don’t have enough money to give to. What makes this list different is that the book doesn’t have to be released in the year of 2010, I just read it in 2010. It was cool putting this list together because it was a great reminder of the things I learned this year through the books I read. It was also cool seeing that I hit my goal of reading 30 books this year. I think I’m going to bump that up to 50 in 2011.

Here are my top 10 books for this year:

  1. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for our Sinful Behaviors and Negative Emotions by Tim Chester. This was easily the best book I read all year. It speaks to how to break free from sin, additions, sinful thoughts, habits, the broken places in our lives. The one line that rings over and over in my head from this book is, “Everytime you sin, you are believing a lie.” You can read my review here.
  2. Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches by Russell Moore. As many of you know, we are adopting. This was the first book we read after making that decision and it clearly lays out the doctrine of adoption and how that should be lived out by followers of Jesus. Adoption is not something that is optional for followers of Jesus, all of us are called to play some kind of part in it (James 1:27). Can’t recommend this book high enough. You can read my review here.
  3. Gospel Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley. I did a parenting series this past year at Revolution and this was one of the books I read for it. So many great and practical parenting things in here, but it is also about the why behind parenting. Too many books focus on how to parent, which is good to a degree, but this gets into the why and what the gospel has to do with parenting. If you aren’t shaping your parenting and children with the gospel, how will the gospel infiltrate your family? You can read my review here.
  4. Total Church by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis. This book was recommended to me by Jeff Vanderstelt when I met with him to talk about leadership, gospel and missional communities. It has given us at Revolution a clearer picture of what the next level/step for us as a church is. Marrying together gospel & community. If you’re curious about what 2011 and beyond will look at Revolution, this is a book worth checking out. You can read my review here.
  5. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. This book was incredibly stretching and came at the right time as we were thinking through the adoption and how to move forward. Too many Christians are trying to mix the American dream with Jesus, and it doesn’t fit. It leads to what everyone else has, and what everyone else has, Jesus doesn’t give you, He gives you life. This book could easily be #1 on this list. You can read my review here.
  6. The Painful Side of Leadership: Moving Forward Even When it Hurts by Jeff Iorg. If you have been a leader for longer than 5 minutes, you know leadership can hurt, especially if you lead in a church setting. I highlighted this book more than any other book this year. So many times I could think of situations in my life as a pastor that this book spoke to. If you are a leader you need to read this book. You can read my review here.
  7. Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne. This book has done a lot to shape how we do teams and think about leadership at Revolution. Really helpful book on teams and leadership. You can read my review here.
  8. Family Driven Faith: Doing what it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters who Walk with God by Voddie Baucham. This book was another book I read for the parenting series I did in the summer. Unlike other books that talk about passing on your faith, this one gets right into the family, where it should be. I was challenged by this book and after Katie and I read it, we really took a hard look at how we are raising our kids and passing on our faith. This was also the book that really pushed school at home to the forefront of our minds (which we now do and love). You can read more about that here. You can read my review here.
  9. What He Must Be…To Marry my Daughter by Voddie Baucham. If you want a book on what a man of God looks like, how to raise a son that is worth following or worth marrying, or how to teach your daughter what kind of man she should look for, this is the book. This is easily the best book I’ve read on what a man is. You can read my review here.
  10. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln by James C. Humes. This is a great preaching book, even though it doesn’t set out to be a preaching book. Humes looks at great speakers and leaders throughout history to see what communicators can learn from the. Highly recommended if you speak in front of groups on a regular basis. You can read my review here.

Honorable mention reviews:  Deep Church, Sun Stand Still, Leaders Who Last, and Soccernomics.

If you’re curious about what my favorite books of 2009 were, you can see that list here.

Links of the Week

  1. The Role of Vision Casting in Preaching. I was talking with D.J. about this the other day. Very few pastors understand the power they have when they preach in terms of leadership and vision casting. Their preaching sets the tone for the church.
  2. “Sexual Detox” is now available. This is a great little book on porn, sexuality from a man’s perspective. If you are struggling with porn, this is definitely worth picking up.
  3. Collide Magazine on Who do you create for. This is a great question that many worship leaders and pastors never ask, let alone answer. If you don’t know who will be in your audience this weekend, how do you know who you are speaking to, what their needs are and what and how you will need to communicate.
  4. Justin Holcomb on 12 ways to make your teaching and writing anti-Christian. Sadly many pastors and churches these.
  5. C.J. Mahaney on The humbling power of cross-centered thinking.
  6. Al Mohler on Christianity and Yoga. This was a really helpful and thorough article. I practice yoga, but don’t meditate or pray or look for energy when I do it, for me it is about stretching and staying limber as I grow older. According to Mohler, “I don’t do yoga, I do stretching.” It is a helpful distinction and I think Christians need to be aware of where yoga came from and what it is really all about and be careful, but I also don’t think that it is wrong for a Christian to practice yoga.
  7. Steven Furticks book Sun Stand Still is only $6.99 on amazon. This was one of the best books I read all year and easily one of the best on the topics of faith and prayer. If you want a book to challenge to have big faith, pray big prayers and believe in a big God, this is the book.
  8. I’m hoping that Apple will block the new iPhone “pimp” app. Read more about it here and how to tell Apple to block it. This would be disastrous for the fight against sex trafficking if they allowed this app to be put on the iPhone.
  9. Ben Roethlisberger is back at practice. This makes me so happy.
  10. Men’s Health 20 Best Weight loss tips. Many of these have helped me over the last 2 years lose over 100 pounds.

Top Posts for September 2010

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

  1. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  2. Why We’re Homeschooling
  3. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 3
  4. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (9/18/10)
  5. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  6. The Role of Men in the Family
  7. Sun Stand Still
  8. The Crisis in the American Church
  9. Where I’m Preaching in the Next Month
  10. God, This is Your Last Chance

Links of the Week

  1. Here are some quotes from Steven Furtick’s 24 hours of preaching he did to release his book Sun Stand Still. Some great stuff about faith.
  2. Why gluttony is a sin. Great insights on what gluttony is and what the gospel has to say about it.
  3. Debt and giving. Great thoughts on what to do about it.
  4. Dustin Neeley on Learning how to use the family dashboard. How to gauge your family’s stress, pressure, relational, spiritual and other important information.
  5. Ron Edmondson on 10 random things to know about pastors. This right on and I found myself nodding as I read each one.
  6. Charles Stone on 8-point checklist for body care for leaders. Great stuff.
  7. This movie loos really interesting and I’ve heard great things about it:

Sun Stand Still

Steven Furtick’s book Sun Stand Still releases today. Over the summer I got to read an advanced copy so I thought I’d republish my thoughts on it today.

Definitely worth picking up.

This summer I have been reading through the book of Joshua. I love the stories, the example, great name and I love seeing what God can do through an ordinary guy who is completely sold out to Him. Then I got an advanced copy of Steven Furtick’s book Sun Stand Still. I got it in the mail last week and started reading the first chapter and was hooked as it dove into one of the best and most amazing stories in the book of Joshua found in chapter 10.

As I was reading, an awesome moment happened. See, on Wednesday of last week when I started the book, my talk for Saturday was done. Researched, written, planned out. I knew after 3 pages that I was throwing that sermon out, starting over and preaching on Joshua 10 (to listen to that sermon, click here).

Love when God does that.

The book is a great look at what it takes to see God do the impossible. Too many Christians live in the possible.

Here are a few things that jumped out to me:

  • The scope and impact of your vision will be determined by who you believe God is.
  • Every time God presents a significant opportunity, it’s formed in the crucible of crisis. It’s connected to danger. And it comes at a great cost.
  • If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life.
  • If the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.
  • If you want to see what God can do, audacious faith is not optional.

If you want a book that will challenge you in your faith and spiritual journey, this is that book.

Top Posts of July 2010

In case you missed them, here are the top posts of July 2010:

  1. Gospel Powered Parenting
  2. Ava is 5
  3. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (July 3rd Edition)
  4. This Doesn’t Just Happen
  5. 5 Attributes of a Church in Decline
  6. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (July 17th Edition)
  7. 7 Things You’ll See at Revolution on Saturday
  8. Property Law as Viewed by a Toddler
  9. A Sense of Fairness
  10. Sun Stand Still

You are not Alone

Saturday I wrapped up our series Unstoppable by talking about faith from Joshua 10. Some of the content was inspired by Steven Furtick’s upcoming book.

I think many times when it comes to faith, dreams, visions and prayer, we think we are alone. We think it is completely up to us or that God doesn’t help with details or we just don’t believe something is possible.

What is ironic to me is that Christians believe in a God they can’t see, a God who sent His Son to die on a cross in their place and rise from the dead and we sweat whether something is impossible. What about that doesn’t sound impossible?

I love the story in Joshua 10. Imagine seeing the sun stand still. But not only that, Joshua 10 is the story of one nation conquering many. It is the story of God calling a man (Joshua) and his army to conquer nations and it says that more people were killed by the large stones God threw down from heaven than were killed by Joshua’s army. Now, I don’t want to debate whether it was okay for God to throw stones from heaven, it is in the Bible.

A few things jump out:

  • God did more than the army did.
  • The army had to march all night, put it all on the line (they could have died) for God to come through.
  • God was the only person who could get the glory out of this because He was the only person who could make the sun stand still.

Too often, Christians are either too lazy to do something great for God because they take the approach that “if God wants something done he’ll do it.” He will, but he will do it through someone else. Or, they take the approach that it is all up to them and won’t include God in it. Both lead to disaster and missed opportunities.

We can say that we trust God, that we believe God is with us, that we believe God is over all things, but until we are willing to take that crazy step of faith and put it all on the line, those are just words.

I was talking to another pastor recently and I shared with him how many pastors seem to coast through ministry and then wonder why God doesn’t move powerfully in their lives. God is waiting for us to trust Him enough to put it all on the line.

Because, you are not in this alone.