This video was fun to make. It was single take with a borrowed camera, and I recruited a stranger who was just reading on the beach to help me shoot it. I didn't catch his name, but if he's watching, THANKS!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
We meet at Torrey Pines State Beach Lifeguard station #4. Get there early or shoot for 3 pm (it takes awhile to park). Dinner will be served at 4 pm with the baptism immediately following. This is one of the coolest things we do as a church. We often have people come from great distances to be here. You'll be glad you came!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
That’s why I’m so surprised by her response: "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." John 4:19-20
Did you notice what happened? Jesus addresses an extremely deep heart issue. But instead of facing the internal issues of her soul, this woman opts for a surface fix. It’s as if she says, “It doesn’t matter about my past moral failures, or my empty life … as long as I figure out the right mountain to worship on, I’m good to go.” It would be comical if it wasn’t so typical.
How easy it is for us, to try that to fix deep issues with quick external changes. But we will never be healed by surface makeovers. Instead, as Jesus counseled the woman, we must allow His Spirit to change us from the inside out (See John 4:21-24).
A great prayer is found in Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in
and lead me in the way everlasting.
As Jesus looks within your heart, invite Him by His Spirit to uncover any anxious thoughts or offensive ways, and let Him begin a spiritual transformation from within.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So a couple weeks later I am invited to celebrate a family birthday party at my mom's place. Did I mention I hate snakes? As we celebrated my nephew's birthday, my mom says, "Let's go out into the courtyard." I say, "Thanks. I think I'll just sit here in the living room." She says, "It's a nice warm summer evening, let's go out?" I respond, "No I don't think so!" Finally I sat there, craning my neck in every direction the whole evening. I was the picture of discomfort.
Here's the point: The courtyard didn't change. But my perception of it had changed.
I love talking to little kids about God. Their perception of him is huge. To them God is so big. But then we grow up. And life happens. And we encounter a snake or two, or worse, and somewhere along the way our view of God diminishes. Instead life gets big, problems get big, threats loom large … and our view of God changes. He sort of shrinks. And all the while God didn't change … but our perception of Him did.
How we need a clearer picture of God. A.W. Tozer said, "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." That is an amazing statement.
How we need a clearer picture of God.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
But, these days, many people would prefer a God without a cross. Here is the contemporary thinking. Why couldn’t God just forgive and forget? Why can’t God just accept everyone who says they’re sorry and move on? Why not just say we believe in a loving God and a forgiving God – good enough? Who needs a cross anyway?
One reason we need a cross is because forgiveness is always costly. Especially when the stakes are high, especially when the evil is great; to forgive is always costly. Dietrich Bonheoffer, the great Christian leader who was imprisoned and ultimately killed in Nazi German Concentration Camp, put it this way, “Everyone who forgives someone bears the other’s sins.” And we know this from life. When we choose to forgive, it always means absorbing the debt ourselves. It is a form of suffering.
Simply overlooking sin was not an option. Especially when you consider the massive evil of the world. But instead of making us pay, God bore the suffering Himself! The cross is a forever reminder that forgiveness is costly. But God paid the price we could never pay.