Monday, March 30, 2009

The Joy of Being a Worthless, Sinful, Weak and Washed-up Fool (I Cor. 1:18-31)

For those of you who cannot sleep at night, I thought you might like to listen to the sermon I gave at Ambassador Church Sunday March 29th.

This is the first sermon I've made available since beginning at Denver Seminary. So hopefully after receiving some great training, the sermon is better than those given previously. But as the sermon will hopefully make plain, God gets all the glory.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Three good/dangerous things that keep people committed to the church

A woman gave a fascinating lecture in one of my classes last week at Denver Seminary. She commented that usually 1 0f three different things keep people committed to the church:

1) Community - Some people are passionate about relationships. Church is all about people, both inside and outside the church. All resources should go to people and the focus must stay on the people and the development of stronger relationships.
2) Cause - Some people are passionate about what the church does. Whether it be local evangelism, feeding the poor, or missions around the world, these people stay committed to the church in order for their cause to be furthered.
3) Corporation - Some people are passionate about the church as an institution. Its growth and survival must be maintained at all cost.

None of these are necessarily "more holy" than the others, but let me give a few precautionary words to each type of person.

1) If you are all about the community of the church, beware that the cause and corporation people might not think you are doing anything. Some folks care more about tasks than people, and sometimes they think community-focused people are a bit too touchy-feely. Also, sometimes relationships will need to be challenged and/or severed in order to stay faithful to gospel and kingdom-minded living.
2) If you are all about the cause/s of the church, realize that not everyone in the church is going to get excited as you are. They might not want to spend as much money, time, or effort into the same project/s you do. Also, when the church leaders don't put as much attention on what may be seen as your pet-project, don't react negatively by criticizing the leaders or abandoning the church. God just may have placed these leaders into your life to guide you to greener pastures.
3) If you are a corporation person, realize that not all institutions are forever. Or at least realize that no institution will stay the same over a number of years. No major corporation that is thriving in the 21st century is till doing business practices from the 1950s, 70s or even the 90s. Sometimes it would be better for God's work to continue for the institution to die as you know it. Also, churches do not exist just to exist. It is about people and it is about causes. If this is forgotten, the gospel has been abandoned and the church has become inward focused.

In other words, we need each other. Our different passions are what make the church beautiful.

how about you? what type of person are you? and would you add other precautionary words to each of us?

Be kind . . . remember we are to build up, not tear down (Eph. 4:29)!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The latest on baby Proctor!!

So the 20 week appointment with the doctor went well today. This is now a 100% normal pregnancy. I am allowed to run a marathon if I wish...except that I don't wish. :) But we were very excited for a clean bill of health for mother and baby today. He is currently 11 ounces, 7 inches long. He was very active this morning, which was super fun to watch on the ultrasound. Here are a few pictures for you to get a glimpse of him: looking straight at you, a profile, and his precious little feet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our dirty little sins...

My favorite quote of the day:

Jesus, who was a Jew, has chosen to minister to a Samaritan woman with a ugly reputation. The tension between Jews and Samaritans at that time would be close to some Fundamentalist Muslims and Christians today. What's even crazier is that Jesus was known as a sinless religious figure and this harlot of a woman had been married over-and-over again and was now living with her boyfriend. Jesus comes and treats her has a friend and even brings up her sinful lifestyle...but here's the kicker, as Mark Driscoll describes:

"And Jesus revealed her sin, putting his finger on the dirtiest and most scarred portion of her soul, which smelled like death, hell and sin. He cleaned it, healed it, forgave it, and replaced it with grace and the Holy Spirit, as only he can." (Mark Driscoll, The Radical Reformission, page 38)

This is how Jesus treats sinners . . . extravagant love and grace!!! As such, there's hope for people like me.

For the entire context, read John 4 in your Bible or online here: