Category: Refreshment


Indulgences

A buddy of mine sent me this article that we both found very interesting.  When I first read that a Catholic church in New York was offering indulgences, I almost lost it.  I actually started a blog to rip the idea and had to walk away from it.  A few weeks later I have a little different take on it and think this might have a little value.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a lot of things wrong with the catholic church and I don’t believe in indulgences but what if it causes a person to confess their wrongs and change their ways.  I hope and pray that these people will confess to God and ask for forgiveness rather than just to another human being in a confessional booth, but I think money is a huge factor in our American culture.  If someone is willing to lay down some cash and confess some sins, I say bring it on.  Granted it is a very misconstrued concept but think about it…there are a lot of diet companies out there that are making you pay for the weight you didn’t lose this week.  People in offices and friends in dorm rooms and neighborhoods all over America are throwing down chunks of change in a competition style motivation.  The one who loses the most wins the pot.  Money is very motivational.  If people are willing to separate themselves from the love of the greenbacks and it brings them one step closer to God and His forgiveness…isn’t it worth it?  What are your thoughts?

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Resonate

There are a few lines from an old hymn that just resonate in my soul and have been since this summer.  They really struck me today…how about you…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.

Committed

I watched a video the other day that rocked my thought pattern.  It was a man on the street interview that simply asked “what are you committed to?”.  I immediately began to associate with the first two or three people as they began to list family, environment, and education (it was done on a college campus).  I began to ponder…what would I say right now if a mic was stuck in my face and I had to answer that question off the top of my head?  To my disgruntlement, Christ was not on that list.  WHY???  About four or five students into the interview one said..my religious beliefs, and it hit me like of ton of bricks.  Am I committed to Christ?  I sure thought I was…

Here are a few verses that have been resinating with me since watching the video:

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron 16:9

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.  Titus 2:14

The Tale of Two Churches

So the last two Sundays have been amazing!  Last week at Phoenix one of the coolest things happened.  We have been doing a series called “Christianity for Cavemen” where we simply go over the basics of Chrisitanity.  Last week the topic was baptism.  In light of the topic we thought we would fill the baptistery and offer baptism on the spot to any who were ready.  What an amazing and powerful baptism.  It really was like no other I had seen.  We had two people that stepped up and said “let’s do this”.  Clothes and all, leaving everything else behind, just like the Ethiopian Eunich who said (roughly) “look, there’s water, why can’t I be baptised right now”.  One was a single mom who accepted Christ in the Army and flirted with other religions but was ready to nail down her faith in God.  She said, “I’ve done this before but this time I actually believe in God.”  WOW!!  That is crazy cool.  The other guy is a single full time musician chasing his dream.  He had been dealing with God for several weeks and made the decision Sunday morning to talk to someone about it.  He said he was ready to make a commitment and sat down to type out an email to one of us but ran out of time because of having to learn the music for that night.  So he sets down his bass in the middle of the song and walks off stage and says “let’s do this”.  How amazing is that?!  Even more cool, he has already plugged into a small group and is jacked about it.  God is doing amazing things at Phoenix Church of Austin.

So this blog is titled the tale of TWO churches right?  Let’s talk about the church that started and plays host to Phoenix.  This morning we had four children baptised at Crestview.  Man it was so cool to hear the little kids nervous laughter as they “swam” toward Charles and stood on the box and shouted YES to the posed question “have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”  By the way…we have a median age of 75 at Crestview and we don’t have a Children’s minister…it is strictly volunteer!  Ah, WOW!!!  God is doing amazing things at Crestview Baptist Church.  Praise God!

Refreshment

This is a message the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.  How long, O Lord, must I call for help?  But you do not listen!  “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save.  Must I forever see these evil deeds?  Why must I watch all this misery?  Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.  I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.  The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.  The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.

The Lord replied,  “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed!  For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.
Habakkuk 1:1-5