Friday, October 31, 2014

The 4-14 Window and More

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
the Indianapolis Recorder, picture by Steve Chenn
Happy Halloween.  Depending on your understanding of the roots of the holiday, you may have positive or negative thoughts about it.  I'll just suggest that, no matter what your feelings, God is greater than Halloween.  And any historical background just might make it a better day than most for soul winning. And it probably makes the comments on the next two speakers from the Exponential conference more appropriate.

As we get to it, the next two speakers we're covering are Pastor Noemi Chavez and Pastor Greg Nettles.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Exponentially His

 © Copyright Phil Champion and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence
As I look at my notes for the rest of the Exponential West 2014 conference, they're on the sparse side.  Either highlighting some things I wanted to remember or to bring back broader thoughts.  Where I have notes we're going to try to keep the order the same as the conference.  

Some of the speakers had shorter periods to fill, so there was less to take notes from.  Others covered things I already understood from being in a ministry that's very active with both church planting and personal evangelism. Nonetheless, between my notes and some quotes supplied by the conference staff, there are lots of goodies to chew on and digest. Let's start where we left off, which brings us to Craig Groeschel.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Anyone?

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy
of commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Alekjds
This is a third post on our impressions from the Fall Exponential 2014 conference.  What we've seen in previous posts is the idea that discipleship starts at the initial evangelical contact.  And that we want to share Christ in an attractive way, but realizing it's Christ winning the souls, not our cleverness.  And, although it wasn't worded that way, the underlying concept is that we serve those we evangelize, disciple, counsel, and pastor.

Our illustration is the Cross overseeing a connection between two people.  That might be a Christian and a non-believer or it might be between two Christians. Pastor Sergio De la Mora said something we didn't include, last time.  But it makes an excellent starting point for today's post.  He said that an act of evangelism or discipleship begins with conversation, progresses to conviction, and results in conversion.  He didn't say it, but the truth is that we might not see the kind of conviction and conversion that we might want or expect, but they are there, nonetheless.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Before the Lord - All Things New

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org


We're taking a break from sharing some of the goodies from the Exponential conference.  The next of that series will be on Friday, more to come next week.  We're also working on our next monthly devotional book, for November.

Today, we get a double header.  Todd Parsons takes us on a sweet trip through some of the Psalms and Proverbs.  Then we have a special treat from my friend Adriel Hong.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Graveyard Shift

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by user Guliolopez
This is the second of our posts based on the content of the Exponential West 2014 conference.  There are some things I should have mentioned in the first post, just to put my posts and comments in context.

First, the conference was definitely a mixture of theologies.  Whether it's being pro or con women pastors, being pentecostal or something closer to conservative fundamentalism, it's likely you found someone else there who is in agreement.  And some who disagreed. The idea was being able to gather with all flavors of Christianity in the unity of the conference theme.  In this case it was evangelism and church planting.

Second, I'm a slow writer and, sometimes, I'm listening to the full thought, then putting my notes down.  So, unless I have a way to go back and expand my notes, there's no guarantee I put down an exact quote.  Much of the time, I already have a foundation for what's being discussed.  What I put on paper is what I don't know: a highlight to bring back the rest of what I know or things that were specifically highlighted.  In other words, some of what I'm going to share will be close to exact quotes, much will be my impressions.  Thanks to the conference staff, I do have some quotes available, which I'll share as quotes.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Love Becomes Joy

image used under Public Domain license, photo from en.wikipedia.org
I've been blessed enough to get connected to the online sessions of both the Spring and Fall Exponential conferences.  The Fall conference is about evangelism.  Thus, our illustration is street preaching.  In this case, Ray Comfort.

As I write this, the conference is over, complete with some technical glitches. And also lots of great insights.  The points made are important.

Some of the earlier sessions, I was either just enjoying listening or fighting the technical glitches (I wasn't sure they weren't on my end.).  But there was lots of good fruit.  As usual, some of the best came from the lesser known speakers.  Today, we'll try to tie it together in a way that makes it evident it doesn't apply just to leaders.  And some of what I share will be my own expansion on what was said.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

God's Thoughts Are a Tree of Life

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
We're always blessed by what Todd Parsons has to share from his spiritual insights and experience.  When I read the devotional he shared with friends on Monday, I got the sense that it was the perfect reading to set up a mindset for the series of posts we'll be doing, starting Friday, based on the Exponential West conference from last week.  We'll be sharing some thoughts from the conference and some of my own thoughts about what was shared.

Todd's devotional takes a look at what our thought life is rooted in. There can be torment in the wrong source, but great joy comes out of thinking with God.

Monday, October 13, 2014

There's a Cost - Part 2

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by LaurMG
As we mentioned last time, Torben Rick posted a graphic of four things (since expanded to six items) he described as "the most expensive words in business". Looking at the list struck me with how much it applied to our Christianity.  As we continue, let's look at the full list again.
  1. We have always done it that way.
  2. That's the way we do things around here.
  3. That's not the way we do things around here.
  4. It doesn't matter what we say.  Nothing will change.
  5. Don't boil the ocean.
  6. Don't set the bar too high.
We discussed the first three in our previous post.  Today we cover the last three, along with some further thoughts on the list.

Friday, October 10, 2014

There's a Cost - Part 1

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by LaurMG
Torben Rick is a European businessman, executive, and consultant.  On the surface, that description probably wouldn't bring spiritual thoughts to mind. But Mr Rick posted a graphic of four things (since expanded to six items) he described as "the most expensive words in business". As I looked at the list, it struck me how much it applied to our Christianity.

The statements on the list are the kind of thing that could make a friend, businessman, pastor, or coworker respond like our the guy in the picture to the right.  Frustrated, confused, upset. Let's explore.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Eternal Age: The Ultimate Upgrade (Video)

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia
As happens some of the time with Pastor Tom Schaller,  the message in the later Sunday morning service was more a continuation of the 9am sermon than a repetition for a new group of listeners.

There is part that discusses the future, including the Millenial Reign.  And a bit about past ages.  But the thing that sunk home for me was the discussion of the Church Age, which we're still in, and the blessing we have to live in the present time.

This time, I've included both videos.  You're free to watch either or both.  I'd recommend both.  You'll be blessed.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Cares and Snares

Copyright William E. Kraski, October 2, 2014
My phone is an interesting device.  It's a smartphone and it's large enough to double as my tablet.  Yes, I'm kind of a geek.  I do have a great library at home. But I also have a netbook, a Kindle, and my smartphone, all set up to give me the best access that each is capable of to all the Biblical and social media stuff I need.  To the point where I could blog, preach, or counsel, even just using the library I can access from my phone.  

Part of that is my devotional life.  I have an Android device.  That's it, sitting on my John Maxwell Leadership Bible, in the picture to the left.  A swipe out page from my launcher has icons for apps I want to access even when I have another app open.  It also has two different Bible verse widgets.  As long as I've been using an Android device and those two widgets, they've never both shown the same verse on the same day.  And, although the two verses sometimes don't initially appear to go together, God always manages to bless me with the connections and it's a recent verse combination that prodded today's post.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Agate - The Red and White of Blessing (Excerpt)

image used under the Creative Commons license,
from commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Lech Darski
As usual, we start the month with an excerpt from the latest devotional book. This time, it's Agate - The Red and White of Blessing.  We look at the Sermon on the Mount, 14 days of verse by verse edification.

The red of agate flows into the colors of Fall, but also the red of the Blood of Christ.  And the white speaks to the purity of God.  In the Sermon on the Mount, we see those two things combine for the blessing of the believer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Habits Busted by Manifested Truth‏


image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org

In case you missed it, our October Kindle devotional is out.  It's Agate - The Red and White of Blessing, available on Amazon today!  It's a Kindle ebook, one of twelve, two more coming for November and December.  You can follow the title link to buy it.
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As you probably have figured out by now, I get blessed by Todd Parsons' devotional thoughts.  I'm not one to keep good stuff to myself.  So, we asked Todd if we could share what God has been showing him.  And Todd agreed.  So, he's become the most consistent of our guest posters.  Here he is, again, with another great devotional.