Peter Was Just Like Us, Wasn’t He?

I just got back from small group tonight and I know that it was no mistake in going tonight. You know, sometimes you just want to sit at home and just veg out? You know what I mean. Well tonight I really felt like I needed to be there, just this strong desire to go. 

So, I went…and wow. God really spoke to me tonight, in lots of ways. One that stands out to me though is how important it is to be paying attention to what His word says and to be listening intently to His voice!

It’s so easy to miss things isn’t it? Like to only hear or read what triggers a strong emotion or thought…and take only that….

Like in Matthew 16, when Jesus tells His disciples about His death and resurrection…RESURRECTION. It seems to me that Peter only hears the part about Him dying and his emotion takes over. He tells Jesus that, “He can’t die” and “Never”…that’s when Jesus rebukes Him. Did he not hear that he said He’s coming back in three days! 

So I pray that this week we can all be sensitive to His voice, to be listening for the details.

Because He wants us all to be living our lives to the full and we don’t want to miss a thing.

Grace,

Josh

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Warm Glow Of TV Fights Loneliness

tvheart

Smart people who research stuff for a living have observed that the lonely and rejected perk up when discussing their favorite TV characters and shows, according to this article. I recommend reading the full piece, but here are a few nuggets:

• “[The research] supports the “social surrogacy hypothesis,” where technology provides a sense of social belonging when real social connections are lacking.”

• “… taken together, four new studies indicate that even relationships with nonexistent fictional characters can affect people in very real ways.”

• “Students who spent time thinking about favorite TV programs seemed protected against drops in self-esteem and increases in negative mood.”

For me, a couple of observations come to mind. First, isn’t it ironic that while watching TV may help assuage feelings of loneliness in the short-term, watching TV won’t actually help you form the kinds of social relationships and connections that tend to provide a long-term remedy for loneliness? Isn’t that like saying a new study finds that comfort food helps put our minds at ease when we get stressed about weight or fitness level? Second, how should the Church respond to these kinds of findings? Make more of an effort to befriend and show love to lonely people? Make an effort to create compelling TV characters, knowing that people are going to connect to them? What do you think?

Tozer Gut-Punch

I want to bring you one A.W. Tozer quote that appears in the issue. In his book Whatever Happened to Worship, Tozer writes:

“Oh, brother or sister, God calls us to worship, but in many instances we are in entertainment, just running a poor second to the theaters. That is where we are, even in the evangelical churches, and I don’t mind telling you that most of the people we say we are trying to reach will never come to a church to see a lot of amateur actors putting on a home talent show.”

Um … ouch.

How do you navigate the line between entertainment and worship?

NOOMA

nooma_logoThe only thing flannel boards of our childhood and Flannel, the media production company, have in common, other than their names, is the ability to tell stories. However, the method Flannel uses to tell stories is quite different. The most widely known example is their popular video series, NOOMA, which features pastor Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church. Taking its name from the phonetic spelling of the Greek word pneuma, meaning “spirit” or “breath,” NOOMA tells stories in a way that is visually stunning and emotionally compelling. The donor-supported company located in Grand Rapids, MI has been in media production since 2001, and for two years running, they’ve won the COLLIDE Reader’s Choice Award for Best Church Media Producer. We asked Flannel’s executive director, Steve Carr, to share his thoughts on NOOMA and the creative process behind the series. Continue reading

Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.

kingOne of the great lessons of the radical, Martin Luther King Jr., is that change requires action:

“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying.”

That’s a central message to the church. All the postcards or billboards in the world, graphic design, music, sermons and worship that could melt your face and a brilliant strategy to roll it all out mean nothing if we’re not living it.