Tag Archives: jesus

Sweet! The stains are gone!

vapoorizeDecent pants are expensive in Romania. I have a few pairs of blue jeans in various conditions, but I don’t have many pants I can wear for work at the school (i.e. not jeans). Two days ago, I found two of my pairs of pants got these big blue ink stains on them somehow. I quickly grabbed some soap and started scrubbing, but there was absolutely no change; the stain didn’t even smear.

Finally, I “prayed” something like, “Well, God, this sucks. I don’t have any money to buy more pants. I’ll get over it; they’re only pants, but still… You made the Israelites’ clothes last for 40 yeras, so you can make my clothes last, too. And they weren’t even trying to be faithful to you; I haven’t been perfect, but at least I’m headed in the right direction.”

And then I stuck them in a bucket of water, no soap, and thought to myself, “Maybe they just need to soak for a while… Maybe God will do something. And if not, I guess I’ll just have a couple pairs of shorts.”

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The Cost of Discipleship

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
– Jesus (Luke 9:23-26)

Here in Europe (and in America), we tend to spiritualize things like “taking up your cross” and “losing your life” to follow Jesus.  We very rarely think about the cost of discipleship in the same way the early disciples would have thought about it and in the same way Christians in many Muslim lands now think about it.

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What’s on my playlist?

Okay, so the title for this post is a little misleading.  I’m not actually going to tell you what’s on my playlist, other than saying I really can’t get enough of everything from Luciano Pavarotti‘s operatic awesomeness to Parov Stelar‘s crazy electroswing (samples), from Wavedude and Josiah Kramer‘s explorations into worship dubstep that I know are gonna blast church sanctuaries one day to the haunting and exotic sound of the Alash Ensemble, from The Tallest Man on Earth and Doug Burr‘s down-to-earth folk that speaks straight to my heart to the music of Tommy Emmanuel, who can somehow do on a guitar things no man with only ten fingers should be able to do.  (Hmmm… I feel kinda guilty that no Hillsong, Jesus Culture, or IHOP musicians appeared on that quick list… but… sucks to be them.)

But I’m not gonna talk about that.

I want to share some of the places I go to for great messages of biblical truth that will strengthen you, challenge you, and confront the laziness, timidity, faithlessness, and selfishness in you.  In no particular order, I offer you my top ten places for preaching that’ll strengthen your inner man (Ephesians 3:16), in both Romanian and English.

cstone milw1) Cornerstone Church Milwaukee (English) – Michael Fisher, the leader of Cornerstone Churches International and a man who has imparted much into my own life, is currently pastoring our local congregation of young radicals at UW Milwaukee along with a team of Jesus-loving world-changers.  Anything from this group is sure to challenge you to live with boldness, walking in the power and freedom of the gospel.  Michael’s got an anointing to raise up and send forth leaders who will change the world for the glory of Jesus, so get ready for some Holy Spirit impartation.  You can check out the latest sermons at their podcast, or you can do what I do, and dig through all the old messages here.  Currently, I’m working through Michael Fisher’s “Our Genetic Code” series.  It’s awesome!

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I’ve got a cold… but God is good

If Josiah was having a difficult day, and I asked him how he was doing, he’d usually think, take a breath, smile, and say something like, “Well, today is difficult… but God is good.”

I always liked that.  Honesty about life’s difficulties.  Honesty about the reality of God’s character through it all.

Yes, life is sometimes difficult, but even more affirmative is the truth that God is good through it all.

I’ve had a nasty cold for over two weeks now.  I hate summer colds.  While everyone else is having an awesome time enjoying the weather, I’m stuck indoors sweating and hacking up my lungs while trying to keep the snot where it belongs.  I’d like to go on, but you all know what it’s like.

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The Humble God

humble

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles.  They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.  On the third day he will rise again.”  The disciples did not understand any of this.  Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
(Luke 18:31-34)

I had planned to read a bit more today, but those four verses stopped me in my tracks.

Oh, we serve such a humble King.  Jesus–king of all creation, eternally God, majestic and powerful in all his ways, more beautiful and more glorious than the rising sun–humbled himself on our behalf.  He hid his glory and appeared as a man.  He let men mock him, spit at him, beat him.  He–the righteous one, the perfect one, the holy one–let wicked and unholy men give to him the punishment that they deserved.

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He Became Sin

This morning, as I was praying, I had 2 Corinthians 5:21 come to my mind.  I spent the next hour and a half talking with God simply about that one verse alone.  It truly is an amazing and powerful scripture.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”

2 Corinteni 5:21 – “El, pentru noi, L-a făcut păcat pe Cel Ce n-a cunoscut păcatul, pentru ca, în El, să devenim dreptatea lui Dumnezeu.”

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