Top Posts of February

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February was the biggest month ever on my blog. Thanks to all the new subscribers and readers and thank you for all the shares of content on Facebook, Twitter and other places. Please keep it up.

If you missed anything, not to worry, here are the top 10 posts for the month:

  1. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize
  2. Women, It Matters Who You Marry
  3. Loving Does Not Equal Participating
  4. 11 Ways to Know You’ve Settled for a Mediocre Marriage
  5. 7 Ways to Fight Well in Your Marriage
  6. 7 Reasons You Aren’t Communicating with your Spouse
  7. Men, Your Son-in-Law Determines Your Legacy
  8. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  9. How I Structure my Week
  10. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Dave Kraft on 3 ways to have longevity as a leader.

Bobby Clinton has come to the conclusion that only 30% of leaders finish well. That is very disconcerting, to say the least!

Joe Carter on Is sexual orientation analogous to race?

The argument to make this comparison takes the following form:

Major Premise: A sexual orientation is analogous to the category of race.

Minor Premise: Race is a category protected by anti-discrimination laws.

Conclusion: Therefore, sexual orientation should have the same civil-rights protections as those afforded to race.

The question we will examine is whether the major premise is true. Is sexual orientation analogous to race?

Eddie Becker on 5 things you should never say to your spouse.

Christine Hoover on What to not say (and what to say) to a pastor’s wife.

Don’t say: Oh, I didn’t ask/invite you/initiate with you because I know you’re so busy/have tons of friends/know everyone. One of the most frustrating things about being pastor’s wives is that very few people initiate friendship or include us in social activities, because they make assumptions about our schedule or our relationships. This is why many pastor’s wives are extremely lonely; they initiate constantly and receive little in return.

Jon Negroni on How all the Pixar movies exist in the same universe.

Tim Elmore on 5 signs your kids are entitled.

Why work when it can be given to you? It fosters a cycle of laziness and poor work ethic when we constantly give to our children without requiring any work. We need to create entry points starting at a young age for our children to contribute to household chores and jobs.

Owl City – “In Christ Alone”

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Men, Your Son-in-Law Determines Your Legacy

Marriage

Last week, as I wrapped up our series Beautiful at Revolution, I preached on Proverbs 31. If you missed it, you can listen to it here.

One of the things that struck me is verse 23 when we are told what her husband is like.

There are many sides and applications to this verse.

The first is to women, which I blogged about here. The other is to fathers of daughters.

Many fathers talk a big game about protecting their daughters, yet when it comes down to teaching them about sex, fashion, modesty, who to date and marry, they cower in the corner.

Every man wants to know that their life will matter. Every man wants to leave a legacy when they are gone. This is why it matters how involved you are in your kids lives and what you teach them. When your daughter marries a man, your legacy will be determined by him.

This man, will teach your grandkids how to worship Jesus, how to read their Bible, he will teach them a work ethic, he will teach them about Jesus, money and generosity, sex and fashion. He will teach your grandsons how to view and treat women by how he will treat your daughter. He will treat your granddaughters about how men treat women by how he will treat your daughter. All of these things will be taught by him.

Now, think about how men are involved in who their daughter marries.

They often know very little about the man who marries his daughter. They only know that their daughter likes him, he claims to be a Christian and he came to ask permission for her hand. What a guy.

Sadly, this is typical and seen as a good thing and not even close to be able to know if he is worthy of your daughter.

Men, do more than this.

I’m not saying you should go on a date with your daughter, but be around her and the man she wants to marry. Watch him. Spend time alone with him. Ask him about his relationship with Jesus. Talk about theology and the gospel. Ask him about purity and sex. Is this personal? Yes. You know this from your life to be true, your sexual history dramatically impacted your marriage.

My hope for men is that they step up to the plate and serve their daughters in this way. You encourage your daughter in school, in a major, jobs to take, opportunities to spend time on. Then, when it comes to marriage we think, “That is her choice.” Everything you help her in is her choice, this one, marriage, is just the most important life decision she will make outside of following Jesus.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Nick Roen on An alternative script for same-sex attraction.

“There is nothing wrong with living a gay lifestyle. In fact, if you repress who you are, you will never live a happy, fulfilled life. Be true to yourself!” This is the overwhelming message of society regarding homosexuality. Mark Yarhouse refers to this as “the gay script,” the blueprint for how homosexuals are to live. “Embrace who you are,” a swelling number shout, “and you will find happiness!” I disagree.

Fast Company on 10 surprising stats about social media that will make you change your social media strategy.

Tom Ascol on 35 lessons from being a pastor for 35 years.

Thirty-five years ago this month I began serving my first church as pastor. The Rock Prairie Baptist Church in College Station, Texas took a major risk on a senior Texas A&M student by issuing me a call to be their pastor. It was my happy privilege to serve them for nearly two years before being called to the Spring Valley Baptist Church in Dallas. I am currently in my twenty-eighth year of serving Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. As I recently reflected on the last thirty-five years I wrote down some lessons learned and convictions I’ve come to or continued to hold.

Thom Rainer on Pastors and christmas gifts.

I asked a simple question on Twitter: What do you do for your pastor at Christmas time? For pastors, I asked what their congregations gave them at Christmas. Though my survey was not scientific, it was nevertheless revealing. I am truly concerned about how congregations treat pastors. I thought the issue of the Christmas gift would at least be an indicator of such concern.

Matt Walsh on Men, your porn habit is an adultery habit.

I know a guy who cheats on his wife. He cheats on her every day. He cheats on her multiple times a day. He’s a husband and a father and a serial adulterer.

Mark Driscoll on How many people should go on the honeymoon?

In the absence of any cultural definition of gender or marriage, let alone any restriction on sex, relationships in our society will only get cloudier. We will see polygamy legalized in my lifetime, perhaps even in the next twenty years.

Michael Lukaszewski on Why people don’t do what you preach.

Your content was carefully researched, outlined in detail, and prayed over it multiple times. You put in hours of study on an important topic and you communicate your guts out, only to have people walk out the door and forget everything by lunch or kickoff. You delivered a faithful, accurate, truthful and well-written message. And nobody did anything.

What Leaders can Learn from Lance Armstrong about Legacy

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I’m a sports fan. I love football, but I enjoy just about any sport. Especially sports stories. Instead of reading politics in the morning, I turn to NBC Sports Talk and Bleacher report as my apps of choice.

Because of that, I read the accusations over the years about Lance Armstrong. Did he dope? Was he really that incredible to be the only cyclist who didn’t dope?

Last week, as the saga of his life and doping were on display in a 2 part interview with Oprah, it was sad to watch. I had known for months that he had in fact cheated, but watching and reading the interview were sad to watch.

Here are some things for leaders to learn from Lance:

  1. Who you really are eventually comes out. Numbers 32:23 says, “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” While this can very easily be used to guilt people into things and carry the idea that God will smite you in the future for something you did 20 years ago, which I don’t think is the point. The reality of this verse and our lives is that eventually, everything comes out. You can only hide something for so long. Every moment carries the risk of someone new finding out, the circling of knowledge enlarging. If who you are in front of people, on stage is not who you are at home, eventually, it will be found out. For Lance, he was so defiant in his defense that he didn’t cheat, it made people want to see him fail. 
  2. Your enemies will have the determination you do. Which leads to the second thing.Your critics will take on the personality of their adversary. For Lance, he was defiant in his defense, so his critics, those who charged him with cheating were just as defiant. I’m not sure if they would’ve gone away if he wasn’t so defensive, but he kept it going by how adamant he was. The same is true with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
  3. Every action matters. What came out of the interview was who Lance is. He didn’t hide that, and you can’t hide that. Lance is strong willed, determined and according to many people he has sued or interacted with, “a jerk.” How you treat the smallest people in your organization, the person who is of little significance to you or the mission matters. How available you are to people, how you treat them, it all matters. It all adds up. It all goes into how you are remembered and known. That’s why 1 Timothy 3:7 says an elder in a church must be thought well of by outsiders. Too many pastors seem to find enjoyment in being defiant and a mark of how gospel centered they are by how much criticism they take from outsiders. Yes, you may disagree theologically with outsiders, but you can still show them love and grace.
  4. It takes one choice to change it all. Everything ends. The momentum you have right now will wane at some point. Your popularity will cease. At some point, the wise and foolish, the famous and the unknown all die. How great you think of yourself right now, will not last. It can be taken in a moment, in the wake of one decision. Every time I hear about another pastor who has fallen out of ministry for sleeping with someone he isn’t married to, running off with money that isn’t his or something else, my heart breaks. It also scares me because I know that in my sinfulness, I am one choice away from wrecking my life. Everyone is. One small choice, one moment of letting our guard down in a situation quickly can become two and then three to the point we no longer have our boundaries.
  5. When you are caught, brokenness is the answer. When you are caught in something, be honest. Watching Lance and now the ongoing saga with Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, I’m reminded that brokenness is the answer. Be honest, be real. Admit what you did. Every time you lie, every time you excuse a behavior because everyone did it simply shows you don’t get it and that you aren’t sorry.

Question for the readers: What did you learn about leadership and legacy from Lance Armstrong?

[Image Credit]

Ashton is 2

Today is Ashton’s 2nd birthday. Unfortunately, he and the rest of our family is sick in bed and I am doing everything humanly possible to not get sick.

One of the things I think Dad’s should do is help tell the stories of their kids lives. When Ava was born, I started writing letters to each of our kids on their birthdays. My plan is to give them a stack of letters and pictures on their 18th birthday as a way of chronicling their lives. I want to highlight things we’ve done, how their personality is developing, what I see God doing in their hearts, etc.

This is also the anniversary of us deciding to adopt. While Ashton does the baby of our family well, my prayer is that through this adoption, and how it is a picture of how the gospel plays out, that he will be changed by that.

Dad’s, I’d challenge you to be the story tellers of your kids lives. When they grow older, how will they know who they are? Legacy is not just who you become, but where you came from.

What I Learned from Preaching Through 2 Timothy

I wrapped up preaching through 2 Timothy this past weekend. If you missed any of the weeks, you can get all the resources and sermons here.

The context of 2 Timothy is that it is a letter written from the apostle Paul to Timothy, a young leader/church planter he has raised up and mentored. Paul is on death row and this letter is essentially a last will and testament of what he wants Timothy to know. It is like having an older follower of Jesus, in his 70’s or 80’s sitting across the table from a 20-something and say, “This is what I need you to know about being follower of Jesus, about being a leader.”

I have spent several months reading and studying this short, but powerful letter.

A few things jumped out to me:

  • Don’t be afraid. When it comes fear, whether that is failure, death or being alone, we shouldn’t have it. It doesn’t come from God. Paul says that God has given us a spirit of power, not fear. Fear plagues so many of us, it keeps us from moving forward, taking chances, having faith and also freedom. Many of us carry things around that we want to be free of, but we are afraid of what that will mean, so we continue to carry them. We don’t take risks, we don’t pray big prayers because we are afraid that it won’t happen or we’ll fail. That is not from God.
  • Have focus. This is one of the biggest things I took out of this book. Many of don’t know how to make decisions, figure out the will of God or become paralyzed in life because we lack certainty of the prize. Athletes, soldiers and farmers (and ultimate fighters) don’t lack certainty on the prize. The prize is the crown of righteousness, finishing well, standing before God with no regrets. Focus on that, push for that and then see clarity seems to come into your life. Paul lived his life and went to his death with those goals in mind and he had clarity, passion, and no fear.
  • Know scripture. The verse that is quoted to understand the doctrine of the Bible is 2 Timothy 3:16, which is a great verse and lays out the purpose of the Bible. But, verse 17 explains why so many Christians do not see God move powerfully and why God does not use churches or answer prayers the way we’d like. We aren’t ready. Verse 17 says to know your Scripture so that you are ready and equipped for every good work. Chapter 4 lays out the good work, preach the gospel, in season and out of season, always ready to fight for the gospel and move it forward.
  • Finish. People rarely finish anything in our culture. Projects are left undone, careers are left, marriages are thrown away, goals, dreams. It seems that if you finish anything in your life, you should get an award because it rarely happens. So much so, that when you finish a renovation project in your house, you have all your friends over, not just to see the finished project but to show them you finished. Paul tells Timothy, the goal is to finish and to finish well. Don’t quit, don’t give up, finish. Fight all the way to the end.

This Weekend @ Revolution: Fighting to the End

Saturday night we are wrapping up our series Ultimate Fighter and just like we started it, we are ending it with a bang. You don’t want to miss the first 5 minutes of the service.

We’ll be looking at 2 Timothy 4:6 – 22 and looking at how we live to the end, how we follow Jesus to the end and we will answer this pivotal question, “How can we get to the end of our lives, look back and have no regrets, feel like we have left it on all the field and lived life to the fullest?” Paul says in verse 7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” and he was able to say, “I am done, I have done everything I was put on earth to do.”

Can you imagine being able to say that?

It is going to be a powerful night, that you do not want to miss. If you have been wondering when to invite a friend to church, this week is the week.

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night! And come expecting to see God move and do something huge in our lives.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

Don’t forget about our next big night on October 2nd. We will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary as a church, having a baptism (if you’d like to be baptized e-mail Christe LePeau), and we will be kicking off a brand new series The Blessed Life. Be thinking about who you can bring that night. The challenge we are laying out is for everyone to bring at least one person that night.

So, 2 great weeks back to back to bring a friend and see God do some big things in our lives and the lives of those we know. Let’s make it happen!

See you Saturday.

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • I know I say this most weeks, but I don’t even know where to begin
  • Tonight was one of those nights where everything flowed and God moved in some big ways
  • During the last worship set tonight I was reminded with the reality of what God is entrusting to us at Revolution
  • Every person who walks through our doors is a gift from God, a person that He cares deeply about and He has entrusted us as a church and individuals to walk with them in their journey back to God
  • Every week I am blown away by how cool preaching through the book of Nehemiah is
  • It is becoming one of my favorite stories in the Bible
  • Talked about one of my favorite topics tonight:  leaving a mark
  • So many people settle for small dreams
  • I think this is one of the reasons so many Christians and churches are ineffective
  • We have such a small view of God and what He can accomplish through us
  • So we settle
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to it here
  • A book worth picking up on this topic is Chasing Daylight
  • It blows my mind every week when I hear someone say, “I came tonight because I was driving by and saw the sign”
  • Amazed at how God works
  • Here is another amazing thing, we had 20 kids under 2 tonight
  • It is humbling with how many people, families and kids that God has entrusted to Revolution
  • I know I say this a lot, but I will say this every week
  • Our volunteer teams are the greatest of any church
  • So grateful for all of the people who have bought into the vision and dream of Revolution and how many people sacrifice every week to make it happen
  • I had 2 guys tell me this week, they are working on details to work less so that they can give more time to the church
  • How cool is that!
  • Tomorrow is Katie’s birthday
  • I am so blessed to have such a beautiful wife who is a great partner in life and ministry
  • I can’t imagine not having Katie in my life
  • This week I started working on our series later this summer called The Perfect Kid and I picked up what might be the best book on parenting I’ve ever read
  • Seriously, it’s that good
  • If you haven’t signed up for a summer small group, you can do it online here
  • Don’t wait because groups fill up (1 already did)
  • Had what might be the last fire in the firepit for the season last night
  • I hope not, but we’ll see
  • What I was reminded of last night as we sat with friends til late into the night was this, I get to serve and lead alongside people I love being with
  • That is not a small blessing, that is huge
  • The countdown has begun for our move to 22nd St Baptist Church
  • Only 11 more weeks
  • Curious about what is going on? You can read more about what is happening here
  • Nothing but good stuff
  • Have you checked out our adoption blog yet?
  • I wish these weren’t real, but…
  • Had my lead pastor coaching network this past week
  • So many ideas and thoughts still flying around in my head
  • I’ll do some blogging over the coming days about it
  • The biggest one was this:  leadership is anticipation
  • That is a concept, wow
  • This week I have several meetings about future things for Revolution
  • Talking about upcoming series with our creative team
  • And a meeting with several leaders about the details of our move
  • Once again, I am grateful for the team I serve with and that we have a team leadership approach at Revolution
  • I would not want to do it any other way
  • If you are looking for your next step at Revolution, here you go:  join the city (our online community) and join a small group
  • We are having a baptism next Saturday night
  • If you are interested in taking this next step in your journey, please email Christe LePeau
  • In case you missed them, here are the top posts on the blog for the last month
  • This past week I was reminded through an array of conversations about how much God is working behind the scenes of my life and the lives of Revolutionaries
  • I’m starting to do some research from other churches about raising up church planters, pastors, staff members and elders
  • I’ve learned that if you want to see God move, you need to be prepared for it
  • Heading to bed with a full and excited heart as I think about what God did tonight and the future of Revolution
  • Our best days are yet to come

What Will They Say About You?

The past few months have been amazing at Revolution. This past Saturday was no different as we made a huge announcement at Revolution.

We’re moving!

This Saturday we will look ahead as a church and as individuals as we ask a simple question, “What will we be remembered for? At my funeral, what will people say about me? What am I giving my life to?” If were honest, the answers to these questions are scary because many of us are living lives in such a way that we will not be remembered for the things we want to be remembered for.

Which brings up the question, how do I live so I am remembered for what I want to be remembered for? How do I live a life I’m proud of? Is it too late? Will it mean a drastic life change in how I do things?

All of us want to be remembered well. All of us want to leave a legacy we’re proud of. Right now, you and I are creating that legacy.

This is at the heart of what Jesus calls us to be and what the gospel does in our lives. It is also at the heart of why Revolution exists. We will be looking at a great passage in Nehemiah 12:1 – 26. While this is a list of names, which seems like a waste of paper. There is actually written right before us an amazing lesson in legacy and how to live a life that is remembered.

So, do whatever you have to do to get to Revolution this Saturday night (and don’t forget to bring a friend with you)! To use an e-vite, just go here.

Remember, we meet at 5pm at 410 S. Pantano Rd.

See you then.