Monday, December 27, 2010

Francis Chan's Tremendous Example

“Christian famous” pastor quits his church, moves to Asia
By, Eric Marrapodi, CNN

He pastored a 4,000-member church in California. He was a sought-after speaker at major conferences, wrote two best-sellers and launched a DVD teaching series.

Then he abruptly resigned and left the country.

But in Francis Chan’s unexpected journey there apparently is no hidden scandal, no money trail, and no ‘other’ woman.

“I just want to disappear for a while,” he said in late September as he prepared to leave Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California for an undisclosed location in Asia.

Before selling his house and packing up his wife and three children, Chan was becoming “Christian famous” in Evangelical circles.

“Even in my own church I heard the words, ‘Francis Chan’ more than I heard the words, ‘Holy Spirit’,” he said.

That was a big part of the reason he walked away at the peak of his professional career.

“I think there has been too much emphasis on me. I want to be used by God, but I think we have this desire to make heroes out of people rather than following God and the Holy Spirit.”
For the rest of the article, click here.

Later on in the article it says, "His fame was straining his work as a pastor." Note that his church was continuing to grow, he did not have a problem delegating, or caught in some scandal. He simply viewed his image as detracting from God, so he walked away for a season. It is my hope and desire to make Jesus famous, and now there is an example to make sure He is always more important than me!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is December 25 Really Jesus' Birthday?

The reality of Jesus’ birth – Jesus was not born of December 25, in fact the true date is not known (most think it is April or August). It is clear from the scriptures and history that it was not in December. Shepherds did not spend the chilly December nights on the hills in that part of the world, they took their sheep inside to shelter overnight and out again in the morning.

During the 4th century the Church of Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations. These popular Roman pagan festivals of celebration, drunkenness and making merry ran from December 17-24. Gifts were exchanged and on the 25th they would celebrate “The Birth of Unconquerable Sun.”

We celebrate the marvelous story of the birth of Jesus Christ at this time to point the eyes of men on the true birth of the Conquering Son Jesus! Our goal is to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Son of God, Son of Man, Jesus. As you think of December 25, do so with joy in your heart as we realize that Jesus came to change that which is evil into good… Christmas on the 25th of December screams of His mission, which is our mission as well!

For me, this makes December 25 even more special than before

Other Articles on the Topic:
Biblical Archaeology.
Grace To You.
Just Ask.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Discover Hope Sermon Series

This Christmas we had a series called, "Discover Hope." The first sermon contrasted the difference between Jesus' home in heaven, on earth, and in our hearts. The second message dealt with Hope in Hardships and how we as believers can rejoice in sufferings... as backwards as that may sound. Last Sunday, we took at look at Revelation 5 and how we need to Stop, Drop, & Roll more often than we might think! It was fun to have the opportunity to preach this series.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Top 10

A friend of mine recently created an app call My Top 10. It is a Facebook, iPhone, iPad, iPod app that will allow you to like and share your favorite things with others. In addition to that, you also get a visual of the product and an easy link to purchase or find more information out about that product. Here are a couple of videos about how it works. Try Top 10 on Facebook:

My Top 10 Bad Santa from My Top 10 on Vimeo.

My Top 10 How To Video from My Top 10 on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Relocation Highlight

Recently, our church underwent a complete relocation. My favorite part of the new building is the entrance. When you walk in, you see a picture of "Jesus Loves You!" in the form of Him embracing children. It demonstrates our focus on families, children, and the mission of Jesus at First Baptist Jenks. Recently, the company that we used for our artwork focused on the work. Here is a highlight of it:

Thursday, December 2, 2010