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MMQB - November 16, 2009

1. One of the hardest but sweetest biblical truths to wrap our minds around is God’s providence over everything. In reading Nehemiah, I’m struck that God could have hit the fast forward button at any time and put Israel right where he wanted them to be. But he doesn’t. Evidently, he has deemed that a muddy, painful, beautiful, yet slower-than-we’d-like process brings Him more glory. It’s the same with our individual lives. 

2. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Not optional for followers of Jesus. In Paul’s stinging indictment of the fallen state of all humanity in the first few chapters of Romans, he indicates that a lack of thankfulness towards God leads to futile thinking and foolish darkened hearts (Romans 1:21). I wonder if we realize what effect growing up in a culture of entitlement has on us in regards to being thankful and grateful—to one another, and more importantly, to God. It’s good for us to be reminded that we do not possess one thing that we did not receive from God (1 Corinthians 4:7).

3. On that note, as I mentioned yesterday, ice is an absolute luxury. Most people don’t get ice in their drinks. Thank you Jesus for ice. When my glass is full of ice, may it remind me to give thanks.

4. I feel bad when I get facebook friend requests from high school classmates that I have no recollection of. It made me realize that my life has been lived in quadrants—hometown in California, college in New York, Army, and then settling down in Columbus. Other than family, I haven’t really kept up with anyone from the first quadrant.

5. I recently listened to a message that I want every person at CrossPointe who is married or who wants to someday be married to listen to. It is by Matt Chandler from The Village Church outside of Dallas. I’ve mentioned how much I respect Chandler before. I listen to him every week. This message is excellent, and something we all need to hear. We’re making copies of it on CD and will have it available in the foyer for the next few weeks. Be sure to pick one up. It is called “Sanctification in Marriage.” I especially encourage young couples to listen to this together.

6. Our worship team is really talented. They’ve been great since the beginning, but they seem to be getting better and better. We are blessed. Most young church plants really struggle in this area. God has been generous to us.

7. Yes, I know USC got absolutely punked by Stanford this weekend. There’s not much to say. It was total domination, on our home field nonetheless. That’s all I got on that. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore.

8. God continues to be very gracious to me. I feel a fresh wind of the Spirit blowing through my life. I know words like that can sound kind of esoteric and super-spiritual. But, it is true. Four years ago I completely underestimated the emotional toil and spiritual warfare involved in planting a church. But, I’m more encouraged and excited about the future than ever before. And, I’m very grateful and humbled that I am able to spend my life preaching the Scriptures and serving this redemptive project we call CrossPointe.

Grace and peace,

Brad