UMASS plays Boston College at the TD Garden in Boston. The game is at noon pst this Sunday, Nov.10. I am so excited to watch my son, #24 play for UMASS. Tune in and watch the Minuteman go to work on BC.
I ditched Facebook because, to be transparent, I was spending too much time looking for something to disagree with, or shake my head at some foolish post that will come back to haunt the person who posted it at their next job interview. I didn't ditch FB to feel good about myself, or be the guy at the party who smugly says, "I ditched FB because it's dumb." I ditched it because I was looking for something. I didn't know what, but it was something.
This article by Rachel Ward put words to the "something" I think I was looking for. In this excellent article, I was convicted and challenged to keep in mind the truth of what Christ has done to give me an identity that is only found in him.
This Sunday we will continue our series in Romans, we will be focusing on Romans 3:21-31. We have seen what the the gospel says to us about putting so much pressure on ourselves to be good, be nice, be right and be faithful. However, the pressure goes away when we embrace the fact that God prepares a perfect record and gives it to us, by faith.
Last week we look at being justified by faith, listen here. This week we are going to see that this is not just faith in general, but it is faith in what Jesus did by shedding his blood. This, for many people, is a "deal breaker." I hear this question, "Why is Christianity so bloody? "It seems so antiquated to talk about religion in this way," say others. However, the blood of Christ is necessary to understand the grace and mercy of God in the life of all who believe.
I hope you bring a friend to consider what this means for all who believe, doubt and seek.
We continue our series in Romans. What a beautiful telling of the gospel by the Apostle Paul. This Sunday we are looking at Romans 3:21-28 , we learn that we no longer have to pull out our performance record to earn the magnificent love of God, in Christ. We all, everyone, have performance records that we use to justify our existence and prove that we are worth the oxygen that we are using in this world. Jesus comes to relieve us of that pressure and show us something that is unheard of in any approach to God.
C.S. Lewis was convinced Christianity must be true when he realized that no person could make this up. So true! Join us at All Saints this Sunday at 10 am, and learn the rhythms of grace that free us to really live.
Last week I had the opportunity to give a 30,000 foot view of where we've been as a church and
where we're headed. If you weren't able to attend please listen to the
podcast on All Saints' mobile app or on the website. The message is titled
"What If...". If you're a regular at All Saints, put the talk into
action by fulfilling the "asks" listed near the end of Bill's message. If you are checking us out, come take part in what we are up to! If you are listening from another part of the country or world, pray for us!
I met with a friend today who taught me a lot about sustainability in organizations. I learned that sustaibility, if practiced now, will lead to healthier environments, corporations, neighborhoods, churches, forests, etc. I think this is an important discussion, especially in urban settings. I subscribe to SustainableCitiesCollective, they can take the discussion a bit deeper if you are interested.
This discussion made me reflect deeply on the church I lead, are we living out a sustainable community? In other words, are we caring for neighbors, each other, the poor, the oppressed, and the disenfranchized? And are we caring, serving, encouraging, teaching and loving the members of our congregation?
Just recently, I was grieved to learn a neighbor, in the neighborhood our church is in, committed suicide. I was convicted that there was a failure of community on our part. How do we create a sustainable community where people are known and loved? How can we create this community where needs are met; where there is no such thing as a stranger, where care is happening on a regular basis? Can All Saints Church be warm enough to thaw the Seattle freeze?
I believe it is the purpose of the church to be this kind of community. At All Saints, we exist to make the city better, I am convinced this is part of it! It is not easy, but it is necessary.
"It is surely a fact of inexhaustable siginificance that what the Lord left behind Him was not a book, not a creed, not a system of thought, not a rule of life, but a visible community." - Lesslie Newbigin
Being visible is learning to love without limits, give sacrificially, serve at all times, pray without ceasing, and looking for opportunites to practice all four!
I have learned, over the years, to appreciate sitting in the "big chair." In other words, being a leader. However, I have also learned that just because you may sit in the "big chair" doesn't necessarily mean you are qualified. I have made a ton of mistakes, I have celebrated a few wins, I have unitentionally hurt people, I have intentionally celebrated people. All in all, there are some really wonderful and really tough aspects to being the "big chair" person.
Fortunately, I have been blessed with some amazing "big chair" people. One of them is a friend, Dave Kraft. Dave has taught so much about "big chair" character. I want to share with you his latest "big chair" advice and allow you to soak in it a little bit. Thanks Dave, you are the example of all us sitting in our little "big chairs." Here is the list, what would you readers add, delete, change?
You are okay with being misunderstood, disliked, and unpopular
You can delegate responsibility for making decisions to others, not just tasks
You are willing to feel alone and lonely at times
You can make decisions without second-guessing yourself or being fearful of what others may say or think
You can get over trying to keep everybody happy
You are more interested in being trusted and respected rather than being liked
You are willing to lose friends or followers. Many, perhaps most, of the early followers will leave
You are comfortable with change and ambiguity
You can say with authenticity that we did it rather than I did it
You can think outside the box and color outside the lines (What lines? I didn’t see any lines!)
You see people as valuable for who they are in Jesus, not just a means to your ends. We should love people and use things, rather than love things and use people
I am talking on Beauty and Sex this Sunday at All Saints Church. It's always a topic of interest. There are people wanting to prove how prudish the church is, that the church is closed minded, and puritan in their thinking about sex. There are also some who are wondering what to do with their sexuality. So, I hope to clear up some of that. We are going to look at the Proverbs and see what wisdom is there for us when it comes to beauty and sex. Go ahead, invite a friend. At the very least, you will have something to chat about at lunch.
Here is a great article by Rachel Held Evans on modesty, consider it a bit of a primer for Sunday.
This Sunday, I will be teaching what the Proverbs says about anger. This might surprise you, anger isn’t the opposite of love, hate is. And
the final form of hate is indifference. True love always gets angry.
I think most of us would admit that we experience anger on a daily basis. Not only in ourselves, but from other people. Is anger ever good? Is it healthy to get angry? When is anger is destructive? Do good people get angry?
Join us this Sunday at All Saints as we understand anger. See you at 10am.
Also, our staff is excited to serve all of our volunteers a BBQ lunch (catered by Jaspers) this Sunday directly after the 10 am gathering. If you volunteer at All Saints, please join us!