Monthly Archives: May 2008

A Death. A Message of Hope. An Opportunity

There will be a pretty cool event in Seattle on June 12, 2008 – Consider 2008 with Shawn McDonald and Ben Rector. It’s even better when you know the back story…

On March 17, 2007, twenty-six year-old Kimberly Evanger Raney was killed in a bicycling accident while riding with her husband Patrick. Kim grew up at our church. Her parents are my friends. Her father is a fellow elder. And everyone who knows the family was deeply affected knowing the closeness of this family to one another. Truly a tragic time … yet out of that came a message of hope that continues even today. Kim’s brother David says, that starting with the phone call about her death,

In that instant my heart was shattered with disbelief and pain. My reaction was met with the repeated screams of “NO, NO, NO.” Over, and over, and over, I pleaded with the Lord for this to not be real. It was in this moment that an amazing thing happened; in that deep and dark place my Lord and Savior refused to let go of me. Instead, He grasped tighter and in an indescribable moment He wiped the grief from my mind for a short moment, covering me with an unearthly peace and a heightened perception. It was as though I was in a vacuum and all else was cleared away. In that place I heard a message from my sister, spoken to me through the Holy Spirit. Many words filled my head, but there was one very pure and simple focus. She told me to tell her friends and family to CONSIDER, to just tell them to Consider Jesus, not wait, but to Consider now.

As I stood for her memorial in our Seattle church in front of nearly 2,000 fellow mourners, I tried my best to deliver [the] message. As I struggled to convey what I had been asked to say, with the pain overwhelming me, I stopped, closed my eyes, and asked God for help. Again the Lord grabbed hold of me, replacing my inadequacy with His strength. He proceeded to fill that sanctuary with His presence and delivered through my breaths the a most powerful and simple call to Consider Him.

The power of His presence that day touched everyone in that place, and because of it lives were changed. Many Considered for the first time. Because the majority of my sister’s friends were not believers, and for that matter much of Seattle, the message cut deep.

As the months passed after Kim’s memorial service I began to hear the Lord telling me to continue to build on what He had begun that day. So, for the last 4 months I have been working with my family and friends to plan a concert inspired by the message of Consider. We are simply calling it Consider 2008″.

Check out the MySpace page for more information. Proceeds from the event will benefit the “Kim Evanger Raney Foundation”, dedicated to helping the underprivileged children of the greater Seattle area.

It is worth considering …

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Character – Even When It Hurts

You have probably seen or heard about this by now, but what an example! It is worth the five minutes … and will probably be an illustration in a bazillion sermons …

Vodpod videos no longer available. 


Quotes from Another Pastor’s File

Thanks to Michael at Behind the Leaf for sharing a personal collection of thoughts and quotes. I liked these for bringing an element of conviction:

  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former – Albert Einstein
  • Excuses are the cradle…that Satan rocks men off to sleep in. – D. L. Moody
  •  “You are no longer rewarded for the hours you put in, but what you put into those hours.”
  • “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.” – Dwight L. Moody

 


Crazy Love

Francis Chan makes some powerful points in his challenging book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. His concern is that so many Christians are lukewarm. He would in fact question whether they have truly been saved – a judgment that comes from God himself in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (ESV).

Some convicting excerpts:

  • I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity. The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering (p. 66).
  • We disgust God when we weigh and compare Him [God] against the things of this world. It makes Him sick when we actually decide those things are better for us than God himself (p. 95)
  • Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever he wants? Do you believe that wholehearted commitment to Him is more important than any other thing or person in your life? Do you know that nothing you do in tthis life will ever matter, unless it is about loving god and loving the people He has made? (p. 95)

 

Chan has much more to say in this easy to read, yet thought-provoking little book about the “crazy, relentless, all-powerful love” of God. A much more in-depth review of the book is posted on Discerning Reader.


Links on a Lazy Day

I’ve been storing up some more interesting links for a lazy afternoon. After a several days of early mornings and late nights, it is time for that lazy afternoon.

Laugh. I’ve started to enjoy this site from the wacky folks behind Shoebox cards. I think I like their newsdroppings better than the mainstream press. I can’t vouch for the “safety” of all the links, but girls might enjoy this one.

Helpful. Theological Word of the Day might be helpful in learning or reviewing some of the deep theological concepts in bite-size chunks. Maybe I’ll be able to remember the difference between Infralapsarianism and Supralapsarianism.

Dim-witted. I bet the bank would have accepted it if was millions instead.

Lists. Stuff Christians Like. Prodigal Jon “wants to be honest and upfront and hopefully a little funny about the issues the church and Christians struggle with sometimes. I want to say, “Whoa, whoa, please don’t judge me or God by Christian radio.” I want to admit the times we’ve dropped the ball on issues or ideas that people called to love their neighbor should have knocked out of the park. I want to blow up misconceptions and preconceptions about what it means to be a Christian.” Through today he’s up to #231. Drinking Coffee in Church. I found #198 to be scientific. #35 explains much of my gray hair. I’ll bet that you’ve heard God’s favorite word noted in #98.

 

 


One Another

I was updating my other blog this morning and was reminded of the importance of the “one anothers” of the New Testament. I think if a church would practice these so many things would be different!

  • Love one another (John 13:34)
  • Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10)
  • Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)
  • Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
  • Greet one another (Romans 16:16)
  • Agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10)
  • Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13)
  • Carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
  • Bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Be forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Speak to one another with psalms hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19)
  • Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9)
  • Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11; Hebrews 3:13)
  • Build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Live in peace with each other (1 Thessalonians  5:13)
  • Spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Confess our sins to each other (James 5:16)
  • Pray for each other (James 5:16)
  • Offer hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)
  • Clothe ourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5)

Two Guys Who Aren’t …

I read quite a few books every year, and one of the best I’ve read this year is Why I’m Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be by Keven DeYoung and Ted Kluck. It is a clear, concise, well reasoned, and creative look at the so-called “emerging” trends in the church. They make exceptionally strong points about the weaknesses of the “movement” while acknowledging that there are some things the church could work on.

Pyromaniac firebrand Phil Johnson, who is a really good writer, has a much better review of the book than I was going to write. It is worth the time to read the post. And the book will be helpful to understanding this sometimes complex and confusing issue. You can order it here. Read it and let me know what you think.