Posted by: Ed | January 6, 2010

“NEW YEAR, NEW DECADE, NEW ME” and the Weekend that Was

This weekend we launched a new series called “FORMED”. Every January we do some kind of series that hopefully casts vision for our personal lives, for our souls. I believe that New Year is a gift from God. He’s entrusted us with another shot at this thing. I think that knowledge is in our Soul & is “primal to human experience” (Robert Mulholland). Thus the tradition of the New Year’s Resolution. The problem of course is that we ARE still the same person. So we end up doing about the same stuff.

The kind of change we long for is the kind that only God can bring. That was the essence of the weekend. I thought of this as kind of a launch sequence for the rest of the series. I also thought of it as a safeguard. It’s funny (not ha ha) how something so cool as God forming us into the person we were created to be, that the thinking on that can get so distorted. It’s one of those places were “Following Jesus” can easily turn into “the Christian Religion”. So we spent some time on that.

WORSHIP & COMMUNION – I loved how our worship seamlessly went into communion. I love it when we do communion as a body, as community. Jason said something profound as he set up out time: “this is one meal we don’t eat alone.”

OUR KILLER BOARD – It’s fun to use that thing. I only wish I could write in a way that the average person could discern that it is indeed English.

COOL SIDE NOTE – Notice Jason’s cool guitar. It’s a custom SG that my friend from the gym (who has only been to Journey one time mind you) came in a donated. J shared that he was just that week trying to figure out how he could get a good electric guitar to occasionally lead from sent chills – I love God’s timing.

FRIENDS FROM CHINA – We had the chance to reconnect with some friends that we have known since college, Christy & Alex and their daughter Teri. They live in Bejing and are serving the Lord there. Although it’s a difficult thing that brings them here (Christy’s mom is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer), it was still great to see them.

It was a great start to 2010. Every weekend is designed to help you to stay in step with the Spirit of God for your life in this year. May God make it so for each of us.

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Responses

  1. I remember loving your sermons last year during the “Year of Living Dangerously” series. They really spoke to me. Well, this series is wonderful too.

    I loved your comments that “love changes you, not guilt,” “that you can’t be willed or spanked into change” and that “transformation into goodness is what the good news is all about.” The reference to the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus was also wonderfully relevant, as was the emphasis on “unveiled faces.”

    I know I’m in the right church where Jackson Browne is referred to as a prophet.

  2. Ed, I now, after 57 years (37 of which I have been saved), walk with a limp. For 56 of those years I was a and alone and angry and could not understand when others said I was unhappy because this was all I ever knew and figured this was as good as it will ever get for me. Living with only an eternal hope, not one that brought hope and joy in the temporal, I painfully held on to the truth that God loves me and for the past 10 years have wrestled with the Lord through a very long and dark night of the soul. Without hope and joy my entire life, the Lord formed me into a new man, even against my inability to believe. I was a crooked man living in a crooked house with a crooked truth whom God in His loving kindness had seen fit be make straight. God truly does everything for our good and His glory.

    PS. Hope you like the small token of my appreciation I left at the office for you.

  3. Fred, I loved the “Token” very cool. To God be the glory – he’s done great things.

  4. “Following vs Serving”…a splash of cold water!

  5. Hey Ed…… first I want to say you rock, even for an older rocker, you rock. When you think about getting older think about me, 67 and counting.
    Seriously, we came to journey because of the presence of the Spirit and because you hear from God and let us in on it. Just don’t let any lying thoughts tell you otherwise, okay?
    LOVE , changes us, wow! hearing about This grace soaked process makes my life easier, because God knows how hard I’ve tried to change myself and failed miserably. Thanks for the break!.
    If we believe that we are changed by loving grace, then we must stop believing that God puts sickness or disease on us to teach us and change us. If I decided to break my sons leg to make him more humble, draw him closer to me or teach him even the most important lesson in life, I would be a child abuser. Our father is not a child abuser.
    Most of us believe that we are being transformed into the image of Christ but we need to allow God to go even farther. He not only wants us to be transformed into Jesus’ love, kindness, compassion, mercy and goodness, but also into his power and authority over the life killing works of darkness, One without the other could result in religion without the power of the spirit……. Jesus wasn’t like that.
    keep rockin!!

  6. Hey Ed,
    Why is it, that after any length of time that I’ve shielded myself from God, and not made it to church for months, that the day I finally get there, it seems you have written your message to ME?

    Today, you or God or both of you were speaking to ME. For years, I’ve tried to “fix” myself with therapy, anti depressants, herbs, exercise, food, alcohol… doctors, groups, and endless Self help or how to “get over it” books. My 18 year old son has been on a self destructive drug addicted, you name it path for over 4 years. In his wake, I have allowed his choices to put me into self destruct mode, as well as damaging my friendships, and other personal relationships including my marriage. I also have a 10 year old who has been affected by the whole mess. We are still in tact (my marriage and younger son) but not sure how much more any of us can take. There HAS to be a better way.

    So today, as I sat in Journey and listened to you, I wrote on my program…”God has put everything that has and is happening to me in my life. The hurt the lies, the deception…to make me who He wants me to be. He has also STOPPED a lot, too.” You said I need to lay aside my old self and renew a new self. Do you have any idea how badly I want to do that?? And do you know why I haven’t been able to? ( yea, you know) Because I haven’t asked GOD to help me!

    I am so scared! I cried and cried in church today…because I knew you were right. I’ve known all along….I want a new heart, but unless I let God put it there for me, and let myself live with that new heart, nothing will change. I am broken, and i hate it. The things I’ve been doing to change my heart aren’t working…it’s all wrong. I am SICK of my heart of stone… my “former manner of life”
    I NEED God to help me, I want Him to… I want a softer heart…I want to accept His challenges…it’s just so hard. I’m ready to try something new. Ready to listen. Ready to feel His love. I need it. Nothing else has worked.
    Thanks for reaching me. But my heart sure is conflicted..is that God working on me??

    What do I do next?

  7. One more thing…

    For the first time, when I got to Journey, I didn’t go with a bunch of stuff that I wanted to say to God..like I;ve heard you say many times in the past…I just listened. No thoughts or words or requests…I listened…and I believe I heard something, too.


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