31 Hymns: The Authority of Christ

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The Authority of Christ

Since I’ve been doing old school hymns, thought I would switch it up today.  One of the ways I care for my soul is by listening to Sojourn’s Songs from the Book of Luke CD (and really any of their music).  This particular hymn is written by a friend of the Mister’s who is at a church in Nashville – always gospel stuff from him.

This first song on the aforementioned album is stellar.  I love it and sing it at the top of my lungs (in the car) when I hear it.

Oh that we might live with the same understanding and practice of the authority of Christ in our lives:

And because of this song – I love the person of Simeon – wow – what privilege (just a side note)


Leadership Lesson – Josh Moody

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“What we do tends to be what people follow, and if what we do doesn’t go in step with what we believe, likely as not people will follow what we do rather than what we say we believe.  That’s why you get so many Christian who look like their pastors and sound like their pastors; they are little clones of their leader.  From their mannerisms, you can spot who their leader is if you are familiar with the leader.  so, if you are a leader, you need to watch out for this.”

 Josh Moody, No Other Gospel, pg 97


1.  I knew of a dude in seminary that owned everything that he was aware of that was ever recorded that featured Paige Patterson.

2.  I know of a guy who sounds like David Platt when he prays.

3.  The first time I heard a local pastor preach, I could tell he had lived in John Piper’s basement because his demeanor and hand motions.

4.  There are guys I serve with who have the same hand motions of one of the guys who has been on staff a long time.

5. I was at a Bstudy the other night and when the pastor asked an asst pastor what he thought of a passage, it was exactly what he would have thought.

6.  The name of the curriculum we are working on is called Treasuring Christ – our pastor pretty much got that from a prof in England because he always says it.

I wouldn’t say any of these are bad things; but you can see where the danger would come.  What happens if you behave in such a way that is not painting an accurate picture of Christ’s heart or is not becoming of someone who would claim Christ?  What about people who believe the theology you hold to – and that theology doesn’t line up to the Authority of Scripture?

Josh offers a great leadership principle.  How do you lead with humility knowing that others are watching you and following your example?

Thursday Thoughts: Christ-like Hospitality

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Yesterday in our ed-staff meeting, one of the pastors at my church brought up the fact that one of the times the NT uses the word example is when Christ shows the example to the disciples of service: wraps a towel and washes their feet.  The display of service, grace, unmerited reward, purity.

I started thinking about how I use my home for hospitality.  I can make all the excuses I want: time, small apt, shared apt, you name it – but hospitality is still a command that we need to follow.  This isn’t going to be a blog post on the hospitality commands or all the verses that talk about it – but more the practical and attitude of showing hospitality in your home.

1.  It is not about cooking fancy foods.  I remember having a couple in my home back after Christmas.  I shared with my brother while I was home that I was nervous about what to cook for them because she is a personal chef and he is just a great cook.  He said they would probably just like a normal meal.  Well, God helped me figure out what to cook for them by causing snow to fall so I arrived home just an hour or two before their arrival.  I picked up a rotisserie chicken from HT, baked some sweet potatoes, roasted some green beans and mushrooms (love) and then created a little semi-homemade trifle dessert.  Simple, yet yummy.  But, I was still worried about what they thought.  Good thing they enjoyed it.

2.  It is not about impressing your guests.  I am the type with most people that I want to vacuum before they come over, make sure everything is in its place, etc.  But, I know the guests that I love because when they come over I don’t worry about if they see that my house is lived in.  I always need to be a good steward of what God has given me and not be lazy about picking up my home – but I do not need to bring out the dust rag and Pledge 30 minutes before you walk in my front door.  We need to be always ready to have anyone come in our home.  I know what a blessing it is for me to walk into a home of families I love and there are toys scattered everywhere, dishes in the sink, maybe things aren’t perfect – but neither is the guest!

3.  It is about showing grace.  It is always an opportunity to share with your guests the grace of God.  God has been so kind to me that I need to pass on those gifts and that grace to others.

3.  It is about comfort.  I want my apt to be a place of comfort for others now.  But, I think more importantly, I want that in my home one day – maybe as a family – maybe as a single – I want to have my home be a place of comfort, life, and ease.  I want people to come and be able to “make themselves at home” and come and go as they please.  I want my friends to have a home away from home, a retreat.  I have wonderful friends who have modeled that for me through the years, and I pray that I can be a blessing to others in the same way.  I was just mentioning to someone last night that I don’t want people in my home all the time, because we all need our downtime, our be by ourselves time, strictly family time – so there needs to be guidelines – but again, grace, Kim, grace.

4.  It is not about getting something in return.  We do not give so that others will give back.  We do not shower grace in anticipation of what we might get in the future.

5.  It is about having the mind of Christ.  I need to keep this in mind.  Christ wasn’t worried about if the towel wrapped around his waist was clean and pressed and smelled like lavender.  He wasn’t concerned with the floor being swept.  His one concern was teaching them humility and service.  I want that pressed into me when I have folks in my home – or when I have the ability to serve at a function.  The pastors I have the opportunity to serve with model this well: if we have a meeting with food – it is mostly the pastors that are the first to jump up and clear the tables of the plates and trash.  It still surprises me every time.  I am grateful for their humble hearts and their willingness to serve us.

I write these things out of conviction and out of yearning to be more Christ-like, not that I have this all together.  Again – this whole preaching the gospel to myself.  Knowing that to die to self is the only way to live to Christ.  And that is my gain.

Here are some hopefully helpful quotes from wise women that I hope will encourage you in your effort to proclaim the gospel in your hospitality:

“God urges us to deny ourselves, to lose our lives, and to give preference to others.” – Dorothy Patterson, BeAttitudes for Women

“The home may not (be) a place of luxury, but (hopefully it is) a place of community.” – Carolyn McCulley, Radical Womanhood

“Simplicity frees you to extend hospitality more easily and more often, so that it can become a true ministry of the Christian home regardless of other demands on your time and energy.” – Eilizabeth Skoglund, The Welcoming Hearth

“Cultivating a love for the home means acquiring practical skills and training so that you can intentionally make your home a mission field, not a museum.” – Carolyn McCulley, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye (and just to add…this mission field does not only apply to having non-believers in your home – but I truly think it also means to have the Body in your home and show them Christ.)

I hope this post encourages you.  It has me.  Even as I put the final period.

Living the Gospel: Marriage, Adoption, and the Rest of Life

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This is me thinking aloud…
There are some focuses right now in Christianity/churches that focus on being living, breathing examples of the gospel. These focuses are biblical and needed, and true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these emphasises. One is marriage and the other is adoption. Marriage, for some (and I don’t believe this view is right) allows you to better display the gospel than being single. I think it may give a you different way of displaying the gospel, but not better. I am, in my singleness, just as much a portrait of the gospel of Christ as if I were me, only married. Adoption, many times I here (and rightly so), is “living the gospel”. You are, yes, praise the Lord. But, again, like marriage – adoption isn’t the only way to “live the gospel.”
With so much emphasis on both marriage and adoption – which single people can’t do either of (obviously we aren’t married and not many adoption agencies will let a single person adopt a baby) – are we not living out the gospel. This post isn’t just for singles, it is for everyone.

Marriage is a great way to live out the gospel. I love the Ephesians 5 passage where clearly it says that marriage proclaims the mystery of Christ and His church. We are the Bride of Christ. I love the picture of Abraham and God in Genesis 15 about God walking through the sacrificial blood. His promise kept. I pray that your marriage is an amazing mirror of God, Christ, the Spirit – and the Church. I pray that husbands will sanctify their wives, and wives would respect, honor, and submit to their husbands. This is unique and special and privileged way to portray the gospel.

Adoption. This is probably the newest “fad” to hit the church. I don’t use fad in a bad way, but why has this emphasis not been in the church before the last 5 years? Have we been ignoring the commands of “true religion” in the Bible for over 2000 years. I hope it isn’t a fad. I hope the trend of seeing adoption come to life in American families, and families all over continues long after I’m gone. I wonder if you see Italian Christians adopting American children. I wonder if the trend of adoption is an American Western Christianity thing right now. To some people, if you haven’t adopted, then you just aren’t living in obedience. At least that is what it seems like. But, there are other ways to live out the command of true religion – to take care of the orphans – without actually adopting. You can give to mission trips that support orphanages, you can donate to families who are trying to raise support to adopt their own babies. It seems the trend now in my emails, blogs, facebook updates from across the world – hey, give to me, we’re adopting. Family of believers? Hopefully, mostly, being the body of Christ. There are girls out there who don’t want to have their own children because adoption is better. Motherhood is great, and if God allows you to have children, please do. If God calls you to adopt, please do. But, one is not better than the other. I hope this isn’t a passing trend in American Christianity, much like the WWJD bracelets and FAITH Evangelism strategy.

Now, what about for the rest of us. I hope I do get to live out the gospel in a marriage one day – but I’m not going to settle for an average marriage. I want the most God-glorifying marriage I can possibly have. one that will be hard, but joyful. I know marriage is hard – not perfect – just God-glorifying.
If God impresses on our hearts to adopt, then I will (hopefully, walking in obedience), but until then I can give to missions to orphanages and support those adopting. I can love on those adopted children.
But, I can live out the gospel every day too. I can give grace where grace is needed. I can live in the love that Christ offered me at the Cross. I can do my work diligently. I can submit to authority. I can…. the list goes on. I am Christ’s friend – obey my commands (John 15.14).
Marriage and adoption is not a better picture of the gospel. We can live out the gospel without doing these specific things (being married, adopting an international child). But, these two ways and living daily life in the grace of God are wonderful ways to live out the gospel.
“What about the practical stuff? Surely there comes a time when we move on from the gospel just a little, so we can focus on the everyday issues of our relationships with other people. This is tempting to believe, but it’s just not true. Regardless of your relationship to others, whether you’re single or married, a husband or a wife, a father, a mother, or a grandparent, your faithfulness and effectiveness in your relationship are directly tied to your understanding of the cross.” – CJ Mahaney