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MMQB - November 2, 2009

1. I’m feeling God is leading us to do a “Daniel fast” together as a church in January. Bottom line, I think God needs to shake us up, and fasting is a beautiful biblical pathway for us to shift our gaze from earthly things to the bread of life, Jesus. A Daniel fast is when you eat just vegetables and fruit for a period of time and it is based on Daniel 1:8-16. Much more to follow on this in the coming weeks.  

2. God didn’t create the Church just for Christians. He created it so that through Christians He could bless the world. If we don’t understand this, we’ll be life-long consumers, and never actually contribute. The Church is God’s primary pathway for the spreading of His renown, not a cul-de-sac for Christians.

3. Christian culture often teaches people that they are okay with God when they are not. The subconscious message is that if you go to camp, raise your hand at the end of a message, repeat a prayer, wear a t-shirt, get the bumper sticker, and then occasionally attend church that you are right with God, no matter what you do otherwise. Nothing could be more unbiblical. John the Baptist preached that we need to “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:9-10). This does not mean we will be perfect, but it does mean there should be an earnest pursuit of God and some measure of fruit and life change that comes from that. I fear that in our numbers obsessed ministry culture we do not preach the necessity of fruit as an indicator of genuine salvation, probably because we are scared people will not like it.

4. A few books I’m reading right now:

  • The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever. An excellent book about what it is to be a Gospel-driven and biblically faithful church. I’m learning a lot, and feeling very convicted.
  • A Hunger for God by John Piper. I’m reading this book to prepare to lead us on a Daniel fast in January.
  • Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. A very insightful book about the idols of our American culture. I’m thinking about doing a preaching series shortly after the New Year about idols in our culture.

5. You need to know something about me. I’m into Christian rap. Not the lame kind but the really good kind that is coming out lately from artists like Shai Linne. You should listen to this guy.

6. Yes, I know guys, my USC Trojans got absolutely owned by Oregon. They worked us like Pharaoh did the Hebrew slaves in Exodus 1:8-14. Their offense looked like they were running downhill. What can I say? We were overrated. Matt Barkley is a stud though and is gaining valuable experience and I predict that before he goes pro he’ll have a Heisman and a national championship to his name.

7. I always hated cheap Halloween candy when I was a kid, that’s why I do this every year.

8. On that note, post-Halloween is a good time to teach your children some basic economic principles. Specifically, taxation. Daddy candy tax is 25% at my house. That adds up with four kids. ;-)

9. Social media. I used to have a bad attitude about it because I thought it encouraged narcissism and self-absorption. And it certainly can. But, I’ve since changed my mind because I also see it as a great platform to spread a passion for Jesus. So, if you’re on Facebook and we’re not friends, you can friend me here and CrossPointe here and if you’re a twit on tweeter follow me here and the church here.

10. I love you all, more than I can express!

Grace and peace,