ChurchM.ag has just shared a list of the top 20 Church Tech Blogs. I´m humbled to share that FaithEngineer checked in at #12 on the list. This is a great list to find our more about utilizing technology in your church. ChurchMag is a great website that you’ll want to check out as well.
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Pearl Harbor, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Challenger explosion, Columbine, 9/11, the Virginia Tech Tragedy. All days that will be forever etched in our minds and memories. Each generation has event that define them. For my generation, we remember the Challenger explosion, but for today’s college students they have been defined by 9/11. Unfortunately, our children and teens have grown up in a world dominated by fear and hatred. My challenge to you this day is to not let that fear control you. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” We are even told not to be worried or consumed with anxiety in Philippians 4:6.
We can remember, we can honor those who lost their lives, and we can pray for the families that are left behind. But we will not be held hostage by fear or hate. Christ has called us to so much more. Let’s define this generation by what is accomplished for Christ!
Here is a great video from last year about faith, hope, and love.
Jefferson Bethke is back with another powerful video (click here for his video Why I hate Religion). I think videos like these are effective and powerful in today’s culture. I love how he uses spoken word to deliver a tough and convicting message. Watch it and let me know what you think.
thanks to Gabe for sharing this on his blog and making me think about what I truly worship.
I’ve been listening all morning to the new album by the band Dogwood & Holly. If you like Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Fleet Foxes, or The Civil Wars, then you’ll want to check this out. Richie Worrell and Luke Sawyer have been part of Cornerstone since the beginning of our church and they are both incredible musicians. They have joined up with Audrey Moore and Luke Owen at Liberty University to form this new band, and I think you’ll be impressed.
They have led worship for us at Cornerstone, and they are great songwriters as well. Their new album is titled Bonaparte as a tribute to Galax (Bonaparte was the original name of our city prior to 1904) and it contains a mix of traditional and original folk music. I love the album cover because it is looking down Main Street of Galax directly toward our church. You can pick up the album at iTunes or Amazon MP3. Also check out their Facebook page where you can preview several of the songs.
Richie, Luke, Owen, and Audrey like to play funk, soul, metal, blues, jazz, and worship music… but you can most often find them playing folk. They feature traditional bluegrass instrumentation (Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, and Bass Fiddle), and enjoy incorporating elements of all the traditional American folk sub-genres into their original music. So whether you’re a mountain man, a country boy, a redneck, a cowboy, a traveler, a homebody, or a hipster, you’re likely to hear something you enjoy in their repertoire. Their lyrics deal with intellectual, spiritual, political, and philosophical matters of importance in a harmonic sort of way, because for them, the message is as important as the music.
We started a new series at church this past Sunday on Margin. Too many of us go through life at 1,000 miles per hour rushing from one event to the next. We are stressed, overworked, tired, sleep-deprived, and just plain worn out. During the message I pushed pretty hard on the issue of youth sports. While there are many great benefits that flow from children’s sports activities, I feel I need to share a little more about my concerns and share some of the dangers I have observed.
I started working with youth over fifteen years ago, so I’ve seen long-term that change that has taken place in youth sports. Personally, I lettered in four sports in high school and I made many great memories and friendships. However, with the onslaught of travel teams, AAU teams, and all-star teams, sports have moved from being a recreational activity to an obsession for far too many parents. Sports teach great life lessons like teamwork, physical fitness, problem solving, and the importance of hard work. They also give children a purpose and create a stronger self-identity. So why do I see such a problem with how sports operate today. Let me share some of my concerns.
I’ve been preparing for a new sermon series we are starting at Cornerstone this week. It seems that our society values people who live crazy, chaotic, overloaded lives. We simply don’t have margin in our life. Margin is the difference between our current load and our limits. It’s the extra space in life that we desire and need. When we don’t have margin, we become stressed and self-absorbed. Our focus turns inward and our relationships suffer. We are going to be spending the next five weeks at Cornerstone talking about the importance of building margin into our lives. For me, this is going to be an extremely tough series because this is an area of my life that is a huge struggle.
I am always rushing from one meeting to the next, and it seems that I always have too much to get done. I know pastors only work one day a week :-), but I am more busy now that I ever was working 50 hours a week as an engineer. So I’ll be learning with the church as we go through this series.
One of the books I have read is a book simply called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Dr. Richard Swenson. It is an incredible book that I highly recommend. Here are just a few quotes that I have highlighted so far.