Archive - April, 2009

Render Unto Who???

So, are you paying attention to what is happening in our country? With our Leaders? With our tax money? Are you mad? Frustrated? Are you hopeful? Are you glad? Do you think finally somebody’s doing something??

All of this is fine. BUT, let’s not get to distracted. Let’s not lose sight of the main thing. Proverbs says:

many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails

The government will never provide ultimately what people need. It will never give people ultimate hope or a life beyond this earth. The government is supposed to be a servant of the people, but it can never teach us or lead us to truly serve another person. I believe in government, because people must be governed. But it’s only because of the Fall and sin that it has to be this way. In a perfect world God is our national leader and we follow Him and honor Him with our service, money and loyalty. More time, energy and passion given to loving and serving Him will bring true change.

Just what I think.

Luke 20:21-25

They questioned him:

Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?

He saw through their duplicity and said to them,

“Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

I Love it When People Get It!

I love it when people get it!

I’ve had several people share their story of life change with me this week. I never get tired of hearing them. I’m also humbled when they talk of how Cornerstone has been a significant part of that change. Some common threads in these stories seems to be the overwhelming power of God they capture through the kindness of volunteers, the passion of the music, the authenticity, the relevant messages, the awesome youth/children’s ministry and the fact that they leave challenged to live at a new level. I guess these would be the main points of the conversation. Also, though, each of these stories include the critical element of God’s timing.

They came at a time when they were open and seeking God. (Side note: why people would bash a church for reaching out to people who are seeking God is beyond me!) They were looking for a connection they had lost or never really had in the first place.  It’s always encouraging to hear them talk about how the way we do what we do is what helped them find God. It was the whole environment that helped them overcome fears of church or misunderstandings about God. It’s just beautiful to watch people get it! To see them fully believe in and understand what we are trying to do at Cornerstone.

To be sure, we are not perfect. That is not our mission. We are simply trying to hear God’s voice and be obedient to His desire for our church. We are passionately doing everything we can to honor our mission of leading people to know and serve Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost”. He gave us the command to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

To this end, I will press on…

He is Not Here, He is Risen, Just as He Said

“He is not here, He is risen, just as He said.” Wow. Words that come to mind – hope, life, eternity, power, joy. Yet none of these words can capture the magnitude of what happened through Jesus’ resurrection. It is too big – like trying to comprehend the outer limits of the universe – just can’t get my mind around that. But, for sure we can understand hope, life, eternity, power and joy when we’ve handed our life over to Jesus and received His grace, mercy and forgiveness. For those who have moved from death to life, they know what resurrection is all about. For those who have handed God the shattered pieces of their life and He handed them back wholeness wrapped in unconditional love, they know what it means to be “raised with Christ”. Yeah, wow.

God did this through Jesus because the law, the traditions and the religion of the Pharisees was powerless to do it. He did what all the sacrifices, Jewish festivals, temple rituals could not do in someone’s heart – make it clean and alive. It’s funny though how believers, even today, can still give in to the idea that we need more religious talk, religious symbols, religious buildings, religious songs, or whatever, to celebrate the fact that Christ died and rose again so we wouldn’t have to find and worship God through religion! Christianity is about a RELATIONSHIP not religion. We are people not only of the cross, but of the resurrection.

Well, I’ll wrap it up by saying, this was one of the most amazing Easter’s for me. From our Thursday and Friday experience at Cornerstone, right up through the last words of the 11:00 service on Sunday. BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO WORKED SO HARD TO MAKE THIS WEEKEND HAPPEN!! ALL THE VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF WERE GREAT.

Now celebrating Easter everyday as Christ lives through me.

Jesus Didn’t Like Stone Throwing

rocks-stones1

Jesus didn’t like “stone throwing”. It was something Pharisees, hypocrites and “religious people” did when they decided someone had sinned and broken the law. Jesus didn’t like it because he knew the hearts of the throwers were just as dark and their was no love, only judgment.

We still see this playing out today. It’s when we look at what someone has done or their outward appearance and make a judgment about their character or spiritual condition with no understanding of their circumstances, background or formative experiences.

I like one of the 7 Habits from Steven Covey that says “seek more to understand than to be understood”. I.E. put yourself in their shoes before declaring yourself right or justified. Even better is what Jesus said, “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Well, that leaves me out.