What? Here? Now?

living the unpaved.

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This is Jesus: Part 1

So if you missed it last week, our Post College Bible study/training launched at Water’s Edge Allen.
The whole idea behind this training and gathering is for people who have left college, are starting to settle down in a city, either looking for a job, starting a new career, single or recently married, and without a real community and connection built up with their neighborhood and city. I hope it can be a place of growth and community building, as we stumble through the Word together and learn how to connect with each other and those around us. We’ll be going from September 21 to November 30.

The topic that spoke the most to me, was the topic of “This is Jesus”, based off the idea that if we’re going to follow Him, if we’re going to really try to live like He calls us, we’ve got to know who He is. We’ve got to dig into His life and catch the finer points of His personality, ponder why He did the things He did, and what does that mean for our lives moving forward?
Then, since we know Him, we can follow Him. And once we start following, He’ll call us to lead the people around us to Him.
Know, Follow, Lead.

So, why learn who He was? Because we can’t go where He goes without it. If we’re not earnestly seeking the heart of Jesus first, we won’t get anywhere. In relationships, in our marriages, in our jobs, in our schools, wherever. And Jesus won’t let us lead without it.

Try this. Open the book of Mark. It’s in the new testament, one of the four Gospels written by a guy who was walking right behind Jesus. Following Him every step of the way. Lucky for us they wrote about it.
In the first few chapters of Mark, it outlines Jesus’ life, and the beginnings of His ministry. As  you read (try chp. 1-3 to start) look for the character of Jesus. What he says to whom, how he acts in different situations.
As we read we find certain characteristics stick out. These characteristics we’ll check out over the next couple weeks of training, and hopefully adopt into our lives.

Oct 5-
The first: Forgive excessively. Jesus wasn’t on a mission to condemn, He was on a mission of forgiveness, of reconciliation.  He wanted to bring a broken people back to the Father who made them. In our lives, this is the first. We have to learn to forgive in ridiculous amounts the people in our own lives. Once we forgive them, we’re free to love them like Jesus loves them. After all, everyone’s broken.
Other Jesus characteristics:
He calls out the good in people.
He cares more about people than rules or traditions.
His family thinks He’s crazy. (mark 3:21)
He gets angry at injustice.
It’s not easy for Him either. He gets baptized, and immediately is thrown into the wilderness. (we don’t get a free pass either!)
He didn’t want personal recognition. He always pointed back to the Father.
He invites people into His house. He hangs out with sinners. At His house.
He doesn’t just preach at people, he meets their needs.
He holds feasts for people with what He has! (this is a good one. read Mark..)
And He continually spends time alone with God.

Just a taste of what’s to come. See you there!


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balancing excellence with brokenness

I’ve seen a pattern over the past couple of days between churches and /or organization leaders talking about the value of excellence vs. drive.

Drive being described as having vision, having a ‘hunger’ (via Steven Furtick), a deep desire to see the people of this world have an everlasting encounter with our Father in heaven, a deep desire to follow the mission of Christ.

I think it begs the question: (ah, so many, so little answers..)  can one matter more than the other? At what point does drive, passion overcome the talent? The need for excellence?

Perry Noble, I like what you’re throwing down.
If you’ve read his blog, great, if you haven’t you should. 
And if not: short version. I think Perry hits this nail on the head, and I’m not sure if he realizes it, but he probably does because he’s freakin’ Perry Noble.

(I have a point, I promise, and am not simply rambling about P.N.)

There is a specific distinction to make between excellence in the church and passion in people.

When we look to surround ourselves in the Church (or anywhere else for that matter) we SHOULD strive for excellence in our WORK, but acknowledge and embrace OUR brokenness within ourselves that is covered over by the mercy of Christ.

Let me lay it out:

Church: deserves excellence FROM us (p.n.-   because we have the spirit of the almighty God working within us and for us and leading us, and have no excuse not to give Him our best!)
People: receive perfection FROM christ (i am broken. Jesus has got my back.)

God picked a bunch of broken, messed up dudes to spread the message of hope and salvation to the word. And they still messed up even while doing it!
but they KEPT DOING IT. 
They had the drive, the initiative, the passion to keep going, to have faith in God’s call for their lives.

Is that your final answer?
Hire people who are competent in their area, who strive for excellence, who think the Kingdom of God deserves nothing but their best effort, yet have mercy on their brokenness, and honor their faithfulness beyond their broken pieces.


(there’s my take. I’m no Perry Noble, but that’s what I’ve got. I appreciate all thoughts, clarifications, questions, and ‘you’re just plain wrongs’!)