Showing posts from April, 2013

Make Room - Greg Surratt

Seacoast did a series on making room for God, and this is the first sermon from it. It's based on 2 Kings 4:8-37 , when a well-to-do woman literally made a room in her house for Elisha, the man of God, to stay. Some miraculous stuff happened and it's a great story, though I'm surprised that they could do an entire series based on it, because it seems pretty straight-forward. I guess we'll see what kind of wisdom there is to gleam from it. What really stood out for me is the idea of going where God is likely to be. This is something I'd done some thinking on when trying to figure out some kind of direction for my life. My first instinct when dreaming of the future is that I want to start big things and be in charge. I'm not saying this is a bad thing necessarily, but God is already working in plenty of places, and maybe I just need to join in where He's already active and help where I'm needed. I've heard that in Jewish culture, when a disciple foll

I read something cool today...

I've been reading in the Jewish Publication Society bible (The Tanakh or the Old Testament). It reads a little differently than the Old Testament, but really the only main difference I've noticed is that it's more frank or brash in some of its language. Anyway, I was reading 2 Kings 19 and Judah, under the rule of King Hezekiah, is on the verge of attack from Assyria. Assyria sends some dudes to come threaten them a couple times, and its scary -- I can't imagine living in a world where the threat of foreign invasion is constant. I suppose you could argue we're there right now, but I think it's much less imminent than in those days. So Hezekiah takes this letter from the messengers of Assyria and goes into the House of the Lord. He spreads it out before God and prays: "O LORD of Hosts, Enthroned on the Cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. O LORD, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and

The Resurrection of Jesus - Joseph Barkley

Here is a sermon from Ecclesia church. It's part of the series "I Don't Buy It," which is going through things about Christianity that keep people from believing. This particular sermon does a great job of explaining many of the popular theories refuting the resurrection of Jesus. It also presents some great material confirming it. This is great to listen to if you're either doubting, or want more confirmation in what you believe. After going through a lot of head-knowledge and facts, Joseph pulls it in to get to the heart of what Jesus' resurrection really means, and it's significance in our lives. The sermon can be found here: I only took a few notes on this one: The resurrection of Jesus does three things: Validates our faith If Jesus can't resurrect the dead, then He can't save me, atone my sins or do anything else He claims. Conquers our greatest fear: death. 1 Corinthians

Knock - Greg Surratt

For the last installment of the "Breakthrough" series about prayer at Seacoast, Greg spoke heavily on praying for others and on behalf of others. He bases the sermon on Genesis 25:21 - "Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac's prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. " There's some great stuff here about praying specifically, and with passion. I know in my own life that generic and lifeless prayers abound. My grandmother emphasizes "crying out" to God in "fervent prayer." I doubt many of us do this often; I know I don't. Who knows, maybe adding passion to my prayer-life will make its way into my day-to-day as well... I've also been hearing a lot lately to pray specifically. Whenever you pray, think about what you're saying. Is it even quantifiable? Some things aren't that are still good to pray for, but it's important to always co

Seek - Chip Judd

Here is part two of the "Breakthrough" prayer series from Seacoast Church . Probably the greatest takeaway from this that I got was the revitalization of what we believe prayer is. Too often, prayer has become a lifeless ritual that we feel guilted into doing. However, the truth of the matter is that it is the release of God's power on this earth, as well as one of our primary methods for getting to know Him. It's easy to forget this, and this message does a good job of bringing it up. Another interesting thought from this sermon is the idea that God created a world that could distract us from Him, so that we could voluntarily go to Him, motivated by a deeper love for God and desire for Him. What a strange idea! Although compliant with scripture I'd say. That's the answer to the question, "If God wanted us to love Him, why didn't he just create us without the ability to choose a life apart from Him?" The answer: Is forced love real love? H

If nothing were impossible...

 ...what would you ask God for? Seacoast church did a series on prayer titled "Breakthrough" at the beginning of the year. I used to go to this church when I lived in Charleston and I have to say, I really miss it. It's a big church, and a pioneer in the multi-site church movement, but they have great leadership and really manage being a mega-church well. I listened to the first in the series by Greg Surratt , and based on Luke 11:1-11: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2  He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, [ a ] hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. [ b ] 3  Give us each day our daily bread. 4  Forgive us our sins,      for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. [ c ] And lead us not into temptation. [ d ] ’” 5  Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Fr

The Problem of Evil

Ecclesia is currently in a series titled "I Don't Buy It," where they explore a lot of the reasons people don't believe in God. The one last Sunday was on "The Problem of Evil," which turned out to be very poignant considering yesterday's bombings in Boston. Katie and I lead a small group that discusses the sermons from church, so I gave this one another listen today. It's really great, and works through many of the reasons people are atheists, and their arguments, along with logical rebuttals in favor of God. It cites C.S. Lewis often, as well as a few famous athiests. I'm a big fan of Lewis (once an atheist), so I almost always find his stuff super helpful. This is great, real-world stuff that is applicable to Christians and non-Christians, which I guess is the point of our series! You can listen to the sermon here . It's by Brett Kunkle , who works for Stand to Reason , an organization that "trains Christians to think more cle

New Thing - The Peasant Princess

So I usually write my monthly emails detailing all the notes I took from sermons that I've listened to throughout the month, along with a few other fun things. Today I want to start something new... Since I usually listen to a sermon about every day, I'm going to try and make this a daily thing - reviewing and sharing notes on what I thought about the sermons/ lectures I listen to. We'll see what happens. THE PEASANT PRINCESS by Mark Driscoll This is a sermon series that was recommended to me by a friend who is about to get married. It goes through the Song of Songs and explains its application to sex and marriage. This is the first sermon I've ever listened to by Mark Driscoll, but I really enjoyed it. He's a pretty fundamental guy, teaching straight from the bible, which I really value. He is also tough on men, setting up high expectations for biblical masculinity and responsibility. This is a trait I think is really lacking in Christian culture, so I re