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Missional Living

Realizing how much I love things that create community: enter Super Bowl.

Wish I could like football as much as I liked meeting more neighbors, eating Kyle’s sandwiches, and spending time with friends. (the only reason I want to like football better is because of The Saints and my husband)

Last night we were blessed to have over neighbors….yay…prayers were answered because we got to spend time with some folks we’ve been missing. It’s awesome how the more you wait and ask and pray for God to show up, when he does (in a small way or in a big way) it’s awesome!

God has used really random things for creating community.  I take for granted the opportunity we have with the small decisions we make.  God uses these to  lead us to service, giving, and love. (okay, God, that was you!!!!)  I am thankful I have a gracious, service minded husband, that makes decisions to step out for the Lord.  He is leading our family to be more community-minded and service-driven.  Glad Kyle leads me in this way.

Praying for the Lord to show me how to be more intentional with opportunities that create community and learning how to “boast only in Him”…..

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I have days where I feel the need to deconstruct and rebuild everything. Not physically, my car wouldn’t exist if that were true, but in my life. I wonder if I’m the only one who does this. I begin to think, what got me here? What choices did I  make to get me where i am today? Some days i think about the church in that realm. How did the church get to be the way it is. It is usually on the heels of a comment by a outspoken Atheist I read on a news article or twitter that I begin to think, why does the world look at us this way? Even further, why do I look at us this way?

So I begin to peel back the layers. Usually when people think about the church, they open their Bibles to Acts 2:42. But that’s not far enough. The church didn’t begin at Acts 2:42. Then some go back to Matthew 28, to the great commission, and some even further to Jesus death on the cross. There are some who go to Matthew 16 where Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock on which Jesus builds his Church.

But that’s not far enough…

I want to suggest that it goes all the way back to creation. That we were created for God’s glory. Isaiah 43:7 says,  “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. So a true understanding of Church goes all the way back to creation.

So if we are created for God’s glory, the most fulfilling thing we can do is to bring him Glory. There it is. The meaning of life in a sentence. But living that out is much more difficult.

So we ask the question, what does it mean to bring God glory. Well first of all we have to look at the narrative that God is telling through the Bible and essentially mankind. That story is that He created us to be in fellowship. That we were created without sin, to walk with God in the garden. But sin separated us from that. And because of that sin, we are eternally separated from God. So we try to build big buildings to get to God and he changes our language. Then God gives us a set of rules to live by to prove that no one is without sin. So we sacrifice animals and become so legalistic to the law that we become self righteous.

But God has a different plan. Even though our sin separated us from God, he was so loving, that he provided the way back to him. Even through our disobedience, sin, murder, hate, racism, pride, and blasphemy, God came down and provided the way back to him through Jesus Christ. And because of Jesus, we can have a eternal relationship with God. Not because of what we’ve do, but because of what he has done. 1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

But it doesn’t stop there. John 20 says, “As the father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And the Great commission says,  “Go and make disciples.” So it seems that God’s plan for humanity involves the gospel transforming our lives and empowering us practice and proclaim it to others.

So the mission of God, is to bring him glory by demonstrating and declaring his story (the gospel) to everyone we know. And that’s good news.

Last night was a rough night for me and NFL football. The Saints lost a heartbreaker to the 49rs, even though they dominated a lot of the game both offensively and defensively. Just some costly turnovers, and not being able to cover Vernon Davis. Anyway, there’s always next year.

Then we turned over to the fighting Tebows agains the Pats. I didn’t have high hopes for this game, but I at least wanted Denver to show up. I didn’t get my wish. Throughout the course of the game, I kept checking twitter to see what was trending. Tebow was getting a lot of both positive and negative comments. And then the Focus on the Family commercial came on. As I watched this, I first hoped it wasn’t a mormon commercial, and then hoped that nothing stupid was said at the end. Unfortunately I know Christian culture enough that they usually ruin good stuff like that with something dumb.
Twitter began to blow up. Everyone was tweeting #John316 and #focusonthefamily. I came across a few people who said, “Another example of Christians using children to push out their violent beliefs.” After my initial what an idiot thought, I began to wonder. What’s so violent about John 3:16. Set aside all other issues that you may have with God, the Bible, church, Christianity, Tim Tebow. There is nothing controversial about that. It’s like saying, here have a free sandwich. You don’t have to eat it. I’m just giving away sandwiches.

It reminds me of what Jeff Vanderstelt said the other day at a mini-conference I was at. He said, you have to be able to preach the gospel into a gospel narrative in their life. If they don’t see a gospel narrative in their life, the gospel won’t make sense to them. Unfortunately, our world no longer has a gospel narrative. We try to fit them into football players, horses, and other junk, but we lack it in our own lives. How much have you given up in your life for someone else? How much have you sacrificed for God and for the church? Until we begin showing the world that, John 3:16 will be a controversial issue.

Hey everyone! I just uploaded the video I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. Special thanks to Seth Kuhn, whose stuff can be found here. Also, to the supporting cast, who live out what were trying to do, Laura Hooton, Justin Czimskey, Deidre Haun, and Jamie Holley. You guys inspire us all to demonstrate and declare the gospel.

Without further adieu!