This morning I preached on 1 John 3.
This series has been causing me such stress!
Each week I wrestle with the text,
trying to figure out what it is saying
and how to preach it to High School Students.
This week was no different. The chapter starts off with the good news
that those in Christ are "Children of God."
Then the passage goes into how Children of God should live.
Verses 6 and 9 seem to be saying that the Child of God will no longer continue to sin.
What does that mean?
Does it mean the true Child of God will never commit any sin, every again?
Or is it saying that the Child of God will never be comfortable or able to continue
living in sin?
After reading Spurgeon and John Piper's comments on the passage,
reading the actual passage about 30 times,
discussing it with friends over the week
and throwing up my hands last night and simply praying,
I believe 1 John 3 is saying this:
For those who are Born of God, a Child of God,
sin can no longer be tolerated.
This does not mean the Christian will never sin again.
Instead it is saying, God will give the Child of God the power to,
#1 - See sin for what it is,
#2 - Hate sin for what it is,
#3 - Confess sin to the Father
#4 - Fight sin.
I was so excited to share this message with students this morning.
Not much. Lots of blank stares...One guy falling asleep in the 4th row.
But oh, how I pray that the Spirit of God used this passage
to grow and mature and awaken (literally) students.
Lily and I spent the afternoon together as Marie went to a wedding shower.
We went to Soup Plantation
We Ran in the grass at Chapman University and soaked our feet in our backyard pool.
It was a great day.
My last thought is about Brian Regan. This well-known comedian has a cult-type following
among the Christians I know.
I think that is weird.
The guy is funny, but he is no Carrot-Top. I think some people like something just because others seem to as well.
(See U2 or the current fave of many, The Fray).
I am so puzzled by the Brian Regan phenonomen around me.
Does anyone have an answer to this?
Perfect time for Alex to hear from Josh McDowell, right?!
Josh did a great job making a case for the validity of the New Testament scriptures.
(Wanna hear the talk for yourself? Click Here)
After the night was over, I asked Alex what he thought of it.
I was expecting this:
Great Speaker + Non-Christian with Questions
= 1 Brand New Christian
What Alex told me next surprised me.
He told me, "ya, it was interesting, but to be honest I kind of tuned in and out."
I was so bummed!
Here was this one time opportunity...which in my mind was exactly what Alex needed,
and it didn't really impact him.
It got me thinking as I was driving home tonight:
A transformed life...doesn't just happen through a talk.
Sure a person can change thru a sermon/lecture/talk
But the sermon or the person isn't what produces the change...
The change agent is the Holy Spirit.
This Friday, I meet with Alex at Starbucks,
to discuss why a Good God would allow anyone to experience bad things.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will be moving
and transform Alex into a follower of Jesus.
we had a plethora of church vehicles in our parking lot.
This bus was by far the coolest.
I would be so proud to drive or ride in this bus.
The Freedom Flyer fears nothing...
On Thursday night we were playing kickball with our HS youth group, and it
wasn't just your ordinary game of kickball. There was a twist...when you get the
ball, you throw it at the runner to get them out. I was playing in the infield
and it was Shane's turn up to kick. He kicks a line drive right at me...I scoop
it up, aim and throw the ball as hard as I could at Shane, my target. "Got Him!"
I had nailed him right at his ankles, he trips on his feet and then smack, right
down to the pavement he falls. I was mixed with emotion. Everyone was
laughing...I felt so bad, yet it was so funny at the same time. He couldn't
believe it, that his nine month pregnant wife could take him out like that. The
kids definitely had some fun with him that night. He was a good sport...Love you
#1 - Making the observation that my good friends Eric Wakeling and Victor Estrada were enjoying blogging
#2 - On a quiet Thursday night back in Feb. 2007, innocently creating a blog
#3 - Within the first 3 days of my Blog's existence, realizing I had 108 people visit the site
#4 - With initial success, a passion began within me to someday build a Blogempire
#5 - I began visiting other people's blog and posting comments in the hope that they would visit my blog and post a comment
#6 - Yesterday, sinking to a new low, I engaged in a theological blog debate with a "street musician" who calls himself a Pastor-Writer. We wrote e-mails back and forth arguing about the emerging church movement and what 1 Peter 3:15-16 is really saying.
I am a blognerd.
And I love it.
and I will fight you ninja style if you disagree.
I love Easter so much. Christmas is filled with the stresses of shopping and parties.
Thanksgiving comes and goes so quickly. Halloween is plain weird. New Year's Eve is always more hype than substance and Mother's Day and Father's Days are cool but can come no where near the importance and meaning of Easter.
Why is Easter so great?
Because in the celebrating Easter, we have the opportunity to celebrate the greatest, most powerful, incredible, awe-inspiring, life changing event in the history of the world:
The Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
I love what 1 Corinthians 15 has to say about the events of Easter:
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he
appeared to Peter,[b]
and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of
the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have
55"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"[h]
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to
God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Easter 2007 was a very powerful and fun time for me, my church and my
family. Here are my top 9 highlights of the weekend
9) Reading Hebrews 7 and 8, Friday Morning and thinking about Jesus as the great high priest mediating between sinful people and a Holy God
8) Having my Parents, Larry and Susan Doan stay with us for the weekend. (My
parents are my heroes)
7) Going to the Angels Game on Saturday Night with my Dad (Angels won...Boo)
6) Firing up the Jacuzzi when we got home from the Game and talking
theology, church and prayer with my Dad into the midnight hour
4) Bringing a live goat into our High School/Junior High Worship Easter
Worship Gathering...to illustrate the point that Jesus was our ultimate
scapegoat for our sin (See Rob Bell's Message on this topic)
3) Watching my daughter Lily hunt for Easter Eggs on the front lawn
2) Leading a Passover Cedar for 21 of my family members Easter Sunday (cool
time to connect Jesus' death and resurrection to the traditions of the
1) Participating in the Good Friday service at Calvary "Famous Last Words"
(powerful and inspiring night)
I hope you had a great Easter Weekend as well!
Since myself and the rest of our High School teaching team was away, we had a guest speaker fill in for us back at Calvary. Our guest speaker was one of our Senior class small group leaders, Mark Adair. He continued our verse by verse study of 1 John going though chapter 2:15-17 ("Do Not Love the World").
#1 - It helps if the guest speaker is already a part of the church community
(They now what you have taught on lately, and know the audience they are speaking to)
#2 - It is so important to meet with the speaker ahead of time to go over expectations, hear what they will be teaching on and offer encouragement
(This has to be done everytime or else...problems will arise)
#3 - It is really important to communicate to your guest speaker how much time they can speak for (Usually guest speakers have no idea when the gathering begins or ends and needs direction in order to prepare an effective message)
#6 - If possible, call the guest speaker a few hours after the gathering is over to hear how it went, offer encouragement and thanks (This is a must and is such an encouragement to the speaker)
#7 - Encourage Guest Speakers to stick to one specific topic/passage
(Often this is a person's one shot at speaking and it becomes tempting to try to preach on everything theyhave ever wanted to say in one message)
#8 - Finally, If you can't find anyone to fill in for you while you are on a Missions trip to Mexico, drive back from Mexico and speak yourself and then drive back down to Mexico later that day
(Only losers would try this...)