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MMQB - October 12, 2009

1. Been thinking a lot lately about how addicted we are as a culture to entertainment. Sports and sitcoms and the like dominate our psyche. This certainly dramatically effects our expectations of God, the Bible, and church. We lust for laughter, lightness, and escapism. Most of us know much more about the storyline of our favorite show than we do about the storyline of the Bible. Free us from this, Jesus.

2. The most debilitating issue in my life has been and continues to be my desire to be a man-pleaser, also known as idolatry. It’s better than it used to be, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

3. Watching my oldest son Joseph grow is a delight. He’s only 11, but he’s light years ahead of where I was at his age spiritually. His thirst for knowledge and biblical truth gives me great joy and humility.

4. On that note, I worry a lot about the effect that my calling as a pastor has on my children. Growing up as a preacher’s kid is like walking through a spiritual minefield barefoot with no flak jacket. Jesus, save my children, guard their steps, and protect them from my hypocrisy and sin. 

5. I get asked now and then about preachers nationally that I respect and listen to. Matt Chandler is one of them. He pastors The Village Church outside of Dallas, Texas. He’s one of the best communicators of the Gospel I’ve heard. I could listen to him read the phone book and stay interested. If you’re an iPod user, you can subscribe to their podcast or listen straight from their site.

6. Very glad to be able to talk so freely about money yesterday in the message on Nehemiah 7:66-73. Also very humbled that in spite of the fact that I have done a terrible job in regards to teaching well on this subject since we began, CrossPointe is in a very healthy place financially.

7. What that said, I am very aware that we’ve got a long ways to go as a church in regards to living with the type of generosity that the Gospel calls us to as a Tribe. Free us, Jesus, from the self-absorption we breathe in like air. It’s so natural to us we can hardly recognize it.

8. Looking forward to Nehemiah 8. It’s an incredible chapter that speaks to the authority of Scripture and the effect it should have on us. Once again I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit has pressed hard on me regarding the sufficiency of the Scriptures. Otherwise, I’d be scrambling today trying to find something to say next Sunday or buying some sermon series off the Internet and dishing out old oatmeal and calling it a sermon. Jesus, help me and other pastors study the Bible well and then preach Gospel truth and all its implications from the Scriptures this Sunday, not self-help, relevance, or simply techniques for a better life. 

Grace and peace,