Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Confession

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24

I have to make a confession. I have broken my TV fast. For the past two weeks I have been watching a lot of television. I’ve been watching in the morning, throughout the day, even late at night into the early hours of the morning. I confess. I was addicted to the Olympics.

I loved it when the Americans did well. I taught the boys to chant USA as we cheered on our countrymen. Like most, I especially enjoyed Michael Phelps’ run of eight gold medals in swimming. As the days passed each race became more intense, we sat and watched to see if he could accomplish the impossible. When the final relay was won our family cheered as we realized we had just witnessed a historic sporting moment.

Paul in the Scriptures used various sports as illustrations of the Christian life. His favorite picture was that of a race with the idea that we run with perseverance until we finish the race.

I was thinking about Michael Phelps record setting eight gold medals. While there is no doubt he now ranks as one of the best athletes ever, he couldn’t have set the record by himself. He needed the help of his relay teammates. In fact, it was their extra effort that gained him a couple of those gold medals.

What a powerful example of the Christian life. We do our personal best but we can’t always do it on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our second mission at Christian Life Church is to connect people to people. You weren’t meant to be a Christian on your own. We all need people alongside of us encouraging, challenging, and praying for us as we run the race set before us.

While most of us will never receive a medal in this life, we run the race to win. We run to hear Him say, “Well done!” Keep on running! And run with passion!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Book Shelf – Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson

I want to start something new in my blog to our church. Every now and then I want to share with you what I’m reading that challenges and inspires me. My hope is that these books do the same for you.

Right now I am reading Mark Batterson’s latest book, Wild Goose Chase. You may remember Mark from our Chase the Lion series. He is the author of In A Pit, With A Lion, On A Snowy Day, which was my favorite book so far this year but may be replaced now by Wild Goose Chase. You can check it out at

Mark has a way of communicating that excites your spirit and gets you longing for all that God has for you and your life. Let me share with you some of Mark’s words from the introduction.

"Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect. Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–‘An Geadh-Glas’, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something…. Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure."

Here's another quote from chapter 1...

"Here's a thought... Do angels yawn? I know it seems like an inane theological question, but I seriously wonder if angels have the capacity to get bored. More importantly, I wonder if some of us are living such safe lives that not only are we bored, but so are our guardian angels."

It only gets better from there. I don’t want to give away the surprises in the coming chapters, but I’ll just say this book will release you to follow the God as you never have before. I hope everyone reads and allows themselves to challenged by this book. I was so captivated I read it in one sitting! I would love to see it in all of our small groups. Allow this book to dare you to chase God and His plan for your life! Hey college students, I’m going to put a copy in the Christian Life College library. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
2 Samuel 23:20

A month from this weekend we will make history as we embark on the next chapter of Christian Life Church. On September 14 we launch weekly weekend services at our Randall Road Campus. This is an exciting moment as a church is birthed in one of the fastest growing areas of our nation. It feels like the Book of Acts happening right now in 2008.

This is a monumental undertaking for a church our size. I often find myself asking the question, “How is this going to work?” I mean when you look at all of the obstacles and risks involved it can be overwhelming.

We began this year studying the life of Benaiah and how he chased the lion. What I’ve noticed in Scripture is that God is on the side of the underdog. Moses against Pharaoh. Gideon’s 300 against the Midianites. David against Goliath. The early church against the Roman World. Against impossible odds God does the supernatural. His kingdom is without end!

There is no doubt that where God leads, He provides, in every way, and right on time. I know that God is with us in Mount Prospect, out West, and in our work around the world. I also know that God is with you and your family in every step of your journey. Expect the supernatural!

For the next month please join me in prayer for our new campus plant. For more information about our Randall Road Campus, please visit

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Have you ever come to your wits end?

Have you ever come to your wits end? You've tried everything. There is nothing else you can do. You have nothing left to give. You feel completely empty and helpless.

I’ve had a couple of days like that this summer, especially with our boys out of school. The time off allows them to find all kinds of mischief. Not to mention the constant noise and sometimes all out brawls that occur until our precious ones are asleep in bed for the night.

Now I’m being a bit silly I know. Boys will be boys and quite honestly there are much bigger things we have to deal with in life. There can be overwhelming circumstances, bad situations, and people that hurt us. There are “thorns in the flesh” that Paul talked about in 2 Cor. 12. At times, there seems to be no relief except for God’s grace.

What can you do when you’re at your wits end? Go to God and keep on going. You never know, you may be close to a miracle breakthrough! I do know that when you take it to the Lord, He is with you, giving you strength for the battle.

When you’re going through a difficult season meditate on the words of David in this Psalm and make it your prayer to God…

I run to you, God; I run for dear life. Don't let me down! Take me seriously this time! Get down on my level and listen, and please—no procrastination! Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliff aerie a place of safety. You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide. Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you. I've put my life in your hands. You won't drop me, you'll never let me down. Psalms 31:1-5 (MSG)

Remember that God and His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9) throughout the storms of life.