video for David Crowder Band’s “Shine”

Our friend Kelli shared the link to the David Crowder Band’s music video for their song “Shine.” I wanted to post it here to share it with you. What a powerful song highlighting the deep need for followers of Jesus to shine His love daily into every encounter. Amazing visual expressions of this truth. Enjoy and be inspired…

Here are the lyrics:

Send me a sign, a hint, a whisper. Fill me with life cause I am listening. Come break the quiet. Breathe your awakening. Bring me the light cause I am fading.

Surround me with the rush of angels’ wings.

Shine Your light so I can see You. Pull me up, I need to be near You. Hold me, I need to feel loved. Can You overcome this heart that’s overcome?

You sent a sign, the hint, the whisper. Human, divine, everyone is listening. Death laid low, quiet in the night is stirring.

All around the rush of angels…

Shine Your light so I can see You. Pull me up, I need to be near You. Hold me, I need to feel loved. Can You overcome this heart that’s overcome?

O the wonder of the greatest love has come.

Shine Your light so all can see it. Lifted up, ’cause the whole world needs it. Love has come, what joy to hear it. He has overcome, He has overcome.

are you focused on the sick or the healthy?

We began the LIVE SENT series as a refresher this past Sunday (October 17th). The first teaching was entitled “intended to live sent.” If you want to listen to it, you can by CLICKING HERE. Please do give us some feedback and questions if you are willing. Hope you are encouraged and challenged by those resources.

One passage of Scripture that we referred to during “intended to live sent” was Matthew 9 and 10. Therein, you can read the story of Jesus declaring the need for workers of the harvest, calling that first team of His, sending them out, and coaching them. Very rich and meaningful passage. But Jesus said something in those chapters that is a bit of an indictment for the church of America, at least generally speaking. Read this from Matthew 9:

9 Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” Matthew stood up and followed him. 10 Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. 11 When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riff-raff?” 12 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? 13 Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”

Now, I want to ask one question. And I think this question applies to every follower of Jesus. Whether you are what some people call “laity” or what some call a “pastor” or even a Pope, for that matter, this question must be considered. Why? Because if you follow Jesus but you don’t focus your daily living on mission the way that He focused His, then you may not be following Jesus. Is that fair?

Here’s the question:

is your everyday life as a follower of Jesus living on mission focused on caring for the sick or the healthy?

Think about it.

Now I am not saying that each of us aren’t “sick.” We are. Included in the Gospel (the “good news”) is the not-so-good news of how selfish we are and the consequences that we face because of our the self-absorption. That bad news of course is met with the good news that God did not wait for us to say we were sorry for being so selfish with Him, but instead acted first to restore and forgive even before we sought forgiveness.

The point I am simply making is that if you focus all your ministry efforts, whether as an individual or a local church family together, on attracting more and more “healthy” people, providing programs to appease families who will keep bringing their kids and “tithing” their money and paying your facility maintenance costs, then you are focused on the healthy and not the sick. And if you think of church as “what it does for me” instead of “how I am the church to others,” then you are definitely focusing on the healthy and not the sick.

My friends Billy and Jason just got back from St. Petersburg, Russia. One of the things they noticed there was that when leaders are looking for the next place to minister, they don’t look for the most attractive place where maybe a “church” can grow well. They look for the darkest place where people who are so broken might be restored when met with the unconditional love and gracious mercy and infinite compassion and overwhelming forgiveness of Jesus. They look for the sick.

Is your “church” or are you as the “church” focused on giving yourself away to the sick or to the healthy?

Lord, please awaken @WestpointChurch and the Dukes family to relate to and party with and dine alongside and serve the sick more than the healthy. Leeland has sung it well recently:

I’ll follow You into the homes of the broken. I’ll follow You into the world. I’ll meet the needs of the poor and the needy God. I’ll follow You into the world.

Please share your thoughts…

the Gospel and the Bible???

What is the Gospel? What is the Bible really about? Below I have posted two short clips featuring Tim Keller, a teacher whom I greatly respect. These were shared with me by several friends. One is about the 1st questions. The other is about the latter question. If you get a sec, please watch and share your thoughts in the comments below. I would really dig reading what you think, and I would really dig us all growing in wisdom with regard to these 2 questions.

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

WHAT IS THE BIBLE REALLY ABOUT?

Thanks for taking the time to watch and comment and learn and live the ways of Jesus together.

He is enough.

when someone we loves goes to heaven

Zack, a friend of mine, shared this very special video with me. It was created by Northland Church here in Metro Orlando. It is geared toward children, but it is impactful for us all. I wanted to share it with you all so that either you or someone you know may be blessed and encouraged by it. I know I was.

The emotions of losing my mom last year still take me on and up and down journey from time to time. Our understanding of heaven is crucial to how we live and think now. If we do trust God to be a loving God, then we can not only look forward to being in the full presence of His love, but we can also better endure the difficulty of our time in the here and now.

I long to be nearer to the God who came near. Thankful for the hope that this video communicates. CLICK HERE to watch it…

the LIVE SENT series RESOURCE packet

The equipping team of Westpoint has committed to providing what we are calling a RESOURCE packet for each teaching series that we emphasize during the year. The leadership of Westpoint Church have been encouraging a re-emphasis of the central metaphor of our church family – LIVE SENT. So, we are kicking off this new RESOURCE packet with the beginning of the 2010 LIVE SENT teaching series.

You can CLICK HERE to see the current teaching series RESOURCE packet.

This is a tool provided by the equipping team of Westpoint to offer each of us further opportunity to interact with the teachings of Scripture both personally and in collective form. It is broken down into week by week learning and living activities, so that we can together as a church family immerse ourselves into the current emphasis from Scripture during the week as well as on Sunday mornings. Please download and print it out or open it and save it in iBooks or on your computer for your own use as we walk through the current teaching series.

Each series, one of these will be provided, so give us feedback as we hope to make them more and more meaningful and impactful.

Thanks!

-jason

heap coals of fire right on they head!!!

I grew up in New Orleans. One of the guys I played basketball with there used to utter a phrase that still makes me smile. When a player would make a strong move to the basket, particularly if he slammed it down over someone, then my friend would scream out, “RIGHT ON THEY HEAD!!!” It was quite amusing, both the dunk and the declaration.

Well, this last Sunday morning, we wrapped up a series on Romans 12 called “It Just Makes Sense.” We focused in on Romans 12:17-21, which says:

17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine , I will repay ,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry , feed him , and if he is thirsty , give him a drink ; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head .” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We talked a lot about the lie of our culture that love is nothing more than a feeling that you lose when someone treats you poorly or when a relationships gets tough. In fact, just the opposite according to the New Testament teachings of Jesus and of Paul. Love is the choice to give your life away to someone and be more concerned about who he / she is becoming than about our own interests, no matter how they are treating you at the present time.

Paul, in Romans 12:17-21, challenges the Jewish Christians living in their segregated ghetto of Rome to not think so much of themselves that they forget to choose love even toward their enemies. Revenge is not an option. The bitterness behind revenge usually does more damage to the one exerting revenge more than the action damages the one upon whom revenge is being exerted. Paul even goes so far as to challenge his readers to actively serve their enemy. Feed them. Give them drink. Be hospitable. In so doing, they will heap burning coals on their enemies head.

What in the world does that mean?

My mom had always told me this phrase when challenging me to be kind to someone being unkind to me. The implication seemed to be some kind of bonus to aggravate them by exposing their rudeness with my kindness. Some sort of appeaser while we wait for a vengeful God to pull out His great and mighty revenge taser in the sky and rain down wrath upon our enemies. While that might still be an option, at least upon those who choose unbelief and defiance toward a loving, patient, graceful and JUST God, my dad suggested otherwise.

Sunday afternoon, he shared the following story with me:

Coals of fire may refer to making the enemy feel guilty and ashamed, but Dr. Ray Robbins suggested an interpretation that fits the context of unconditional love much better.

He was in the Holy Land and was talking to a Bedouin who, in the course of conversation commented, “That would heap coals of fire on his head.” Dr. Robbins stopped the conversation and asked the man what the saying meant to him.

The Bedouin said before matches were invented, a traveler in the desert would carry a hopper of coals on a pole above his head. He would carry it for the purpose of building a fire in the absence of matches, and he would carry it above his head so that the rising heat would not make him hotter than the desert sun already was. If a rider found another camp, he would stay there as a guest for the night.

Desert hospitality called for the host to do all he could for him to make him comfortable during his stay. When the traveler was about to leave and after the host had done everything else he could to meet the needs of his guest, the last thing he would do for him would be to fill the hopper with fresh, burning coals and lift it up over the rider’s head for the next leg of his journey. An amazing show of hospitality.

The meaning, therefore, Dr. Robbins suggested – Anyone who arrives at your camp, do what you can to help him. Be good to him as long as he will let you, even to the point of sending him away with an abundant act of love.

In the context of Romans 12, this certainly fits. And Paul calling for such hospitality even for an enemy certainly fits the call for us to love like our Savior loves. Not a feeling lost but an active choice to give, even to someone who lacks the same expressive love towards you.

So, this week, look for ways to heap coals of fire right on they head!

3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? [Romans 2:3 & 4]

Thoughts???