Monday, August 27, 2012
In my experience, it's not that hard to be ridiculous...just act outside the norm and people will ridicule your words, actions, or appearance! But our vision is not to be ridiculous, but to love ridiculously! What does that mean? Could we love like the early church and the way Jesus taught? If we could, we would be ridiculed for our love...I pray this week, the Lord shows you who and how to love in a ridiculous way. 1. Jesus said to love one another. Maybe your ridiculous is to shower someone in your circle that you often take for granted. Sometimes loving those close to us (especially in the church) is the hardest to do, but Jesus says this is how people will know we follow Him. 2. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. Maybe your ridiculous love is to literally do something for someone who lives close to you. Of course, when asked "who is my neighbor?" Jesus responded with the story of the good Samaritan. Who is around you, in your school, in your workplace, in your social setting, that is maybe not like you but is truly your neighbor. 3. Jesus said to love your enemy. As a Christian, you should not normally have an enemy by your choice, but there are certainly some people in our world or lives who do not like (or even hate) Christians. Is there someone in your world that you know probably doesn't like who you are or what you represent? Why not do something loving for them this week. Our goal, 1,000 acts of kindness! Let's do this. I'm praying for God to show me who I am to love this week. Follow my progress on twitter @bakerpastor for updates and also some useless stuff I tweet from time to time. Memory verse for the week: John 15:12&13: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." KNOW IT AND LIVE IT!
at 10:32 AM
Monday, August 20, 2012
Well, fearless week is in full swing here at Eastview. Working at memorizing Matthew 16:24...a very fearless and following passage. Our vision at Eastview is to be a fearless church of Christ-followers and yesterday we gave a fearless vision for our future...some highlights: 1. We will not be afraid of growth...since we don't bring it, God does...we will be faithful with all he entrusts to us! He has grown Eastview by 8%/yr. the last five years and that means we will be a church averaging 7,200 in weekend attendance in 2017 if this continues. There is much to be afraid of: where will we put our kids? Parking? Who will we need to hire? More teachers/leaders of small groups? More volunteers? More toilet paper?! Whatever the challenge, God will provide the growth and the strength for us to be faithful. 2. We will not be afraid of finances. Obviously, everyone is a little tense about economy these days, but God has all the resources in the world! He's not worried, he can get the money to do the ministry here any way he wants. It's just more interesting (and for us a privilege) for him to involve us in doing it! So, we are adding $1M to our budget for next year...over $200K of which is going for outreach (overseas and domestic). This is a big step, but God has provided and we are convinced he will continue. If you can give more why wouldn't you? 3. Finally, we will not be afraid to speak. As God brings the growth, our voice in this community will increase and we will be opposed. But we are committed to preach Jesus as the living Word of God and the Bible as the written Word of God...no matter what. We are working at increasing our voice by using more and more social media to get the word out about our Savior...so if you are on facebook - friend the Eastview page. If you have an i phone go to the Apple app store and download the Eastview App and (this is the craziest one yet) if you are on Twitter you can follow me @bakerpastor - yes, the man who never learned to program a VCR is now "tweeting" that really is fearless! Praying for you to have a fearless week!
at 10:38 AM
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sara and I got back from Seattle late this evening and have completed all the unpacking, sorting through the mail, and celebrating mom's 70th with a great time of laughing with both boys at home. We jetted from Eastview about half way through the last session of the leadership summit we hosted for the first time at Eastview. I was inspired on many levels...still processing...but quickly we shifted to getting to Seattle for the wedding of my oldest son's best friend's (Jesse Lanphear) wedding. Mikey was the best man and I was honored to do the wedding. Highlights from the weekend: 1. Standing in line at the original Starbucks on Pike Street for 45 minutes to get my coffee Saturday morning. It was an event...like seeing Mt. Rushmore or the Grand Canyon (o.k. maybe that's an exageration). 2. The rehearsal dinner was held at a place called Pier 70 and a restaurant called Aqua. Really cool dining room that opened onto the pier and a great view of Puget Sound! Really cool sunset and great times talking with friends of Mikey. I love talking with a younger generation people. Fun to see their optimism and energy for life. 3. Watching a former youth group member marry another former youth group member. Leslie was beautiful coming down the aisle. I'm always reminded about the church being the bride of Christ and how beautiful we look to GOD because of His Son. 4. The view of the city and Puget Sound at night out of my 27th story window. Love the city at night 5. People dressed up fancy. I like casual, but we have become too casual sometimes...I think people look so nice dressed up for a wedding. 6. Church at a satellite church of Mar's Hill (Mark Driscoll) downtown on Sunday morning. It was really pretty cool...the sermon was a video feed and Mark preached for over one hour! 7. Thanks to some anti-biotics, I recovered from a really bad cold, sore throat, etc... Love the zpac and a three hour Saturday afternoon nap. Other than that, I didn't sleep too much though...so I return tired and have a six a.m. breakfast appointment. Good night.
at 9:50 PM
Monday, August 6, 2012
I really can't believe it and it hasn't sunk in yet...but I received a Master's Degree this weekend! The funny thing is that I always said that after my undergraduate degree in preaching, I would not pursue another degree. This is not to say that I am opposed to learning. I am committed to reading and studying for the rest of my life because I know that a preacher needs to be filled with other learned voices! So I have read a lot, but I have enjoyed learning on my own and not completing assignments for a professor. So what changed my mind? Well, a couple of years ago, as Dr. J.K. Jones joined our staff we dreamed about the possibility of partnering with Lincoln Christian University to offer some classes in spiritual formation here on the Eastview campus. Well, Dr. Keith Ray, J.K., Dr. Neal Windham, and Dr. Tom Tanner work tirelessly to make it a reality. J.K. would not only be our pastor of spiritual formation, he would also lead a master's program completely in our church building. Well, I didn't have many excuses left: I work in the building the classes were offered...the degree is about what I need and what I do (spiritual growth)...and my mentor and friend J.K. was leading. So I signed up. I'm not gonna lie. This was not easy. I already have a pretty time consuming job, but somehow by God's grace over the past two years I have read 19,000+ and written 300+ on the topics of prayer, scripture, holy spirit, spiritual formation, preaching...etc...especially as it relates to historic writing up to the present day! I have been blessed. I'm glad it's behind me. And, I'm back to saying that's the last degree for me..now if I can just get Sara to call me "master" - yeah, right! :-)
at 9:49 AM