Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jesus Wants To Save Christians

I don't use the words "Must Read" too often, but Rob Bell's book "Jesus Wants To Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile" is as close as it comes. He has written the book I had hoped to write in about 15 years.

Rob has an incredible touch on the pulse of Christianity and culture and what it means to be the people of God in this particular time. He's incredibly knowledgeable about the Jewish background to Scripture. He's an incredibly helpful minister to other ministers.

In his book, Rob takes his readers through Israel's story. Israel was a people who began as slaves in Egypt. Then, God gave them commands of how they should live as his people at Sinai. Then, they became Egypt when they enslaved others in order to build God's temple. And finally, they entered exile and becames slaves once again.

God always hears the cries of the oppressed. And anyone with their boot against the necks of the oppressed are in God's line of fire. It's not going to fair well for them.

Bell gets into what it means to be the people of God when you are the empire or when the empire has its boot against your neck. And Bell makes an incredible case for why America is the empire today and what we, as Christians, should do about it. Incredible stuff! Challenging stuff!

Now there is a danger if you read this book and go to my church. It is possible to think Rob Bell came up with these thoughts, but the truth is I did and I failed to copyright them. So when you hear them from my pulpit, I don't want you to think I'm stealing them. (Wink!) God is doing a new thing among a new generation. Let's continue about what it means to be the people of God in our location and time!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's a Boy!!

Holly and I found out last Thursday that we're having a boy!! And I have to admit, I'm very excited. While a spendthrift like me is excited by anything that will lessen my child's wedding expenses, there's so much more to be excited about with this news. (C'mon people I'm not that shallow!)

The dreams are beginning for me. Dreams of what my child might become. The next Tiger Woods? (Although it sounds like the competition might be stiff because Tiger just had a boy of his own named Charlie Axel Woods.) The next Warren Buffett? The next Dave Matthews? The next Martin Luther King Jr.? The next Max Lucado? Who knows? And that is what's so exciting.

While Holly gushes about the opportunity to pick bedding and nursery, my dreams are about playing catch with my son, worshipping with him in my arms, and teaching him about the way of Christ.

What are your first memories of dreams you had for your first child?


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Greatest Feeling

While most of my posts are related to Christianity or some serious subject, Holly reminds me that I need to branch out with the content of my blog. So...

Holly's pregnancy has been a time for experiencing firsts. I remember being amazed by our first sonogram and seeing our miracle for the first time. It's beyond comprehension to think that somehow Holly and I have created a human that's growing inside of her. Hearing the heartbeat for the first time was also incredible.

But for the past few weeks, Holly has been able to feel the baby moving around and I haven't yet. Until last night! It was such an incredible moment to feel our baby move. And it's so reassuring to feel movement after our serious car accident about a week ago. There are many firsts to go. It's definitely an exciting time.

Also, Holly and I found out that we are going to find out if it's a boy or girl on Thursday. The dreams that every parent has for his/her child are beginning to form in my mind. And they will solidify when we find out the gender later this week.

But regardless of the many dreams I have for our child, the number one dream is for the day when our child will confess Jesus Christ as Lord in baptism. And I pray that he/she will live a life aimed at transformation into the image of Jesus Christ. And that prayer is more important than any other prayer I could pray. I want our child to be healthy. I want our child to do so many wonderful things. But all of the dreams I have are worthless if he/she isn't a child of the king. So pray with me! Continue to pray for the health of our child. But most of all, lift up prayers for his or her transformation into the image of Jesus Christ.

That's what being a parent is all about!