February 27, 2008

Text And Context (IV)

What a day! As I wake up this morning to share my thoughts (last night my brain was mush and there wouldn't have been much that was coherent), I'm SO JACKED UP NOW MORE THAN EVER to go plant Eternity.

Is it going to be hard? Yes! Will it be the absolute hardest thing anybody could ever do? Yes! Church planting is not for the faint of heart and neither is the proclamation of the great God we serve.

BUT, I'm ready to go NOW. What God has done here in Seattle has been nothing short of amazing and as you listen to Piper's messages by going here and here, you'll begin to know why I can't walk away and I'll never be able to walk away. No matter how hard it is, no matter what trials may come, I pray and know by the grace of God, I'll never be able to walk away.

And I pray for God's grace and mercy when the trials, suffering, and agony that always accompany church planting or preaching God's word come. I pray for the grace to endure it. I pray for the grace to feel the weight of it. But I pray for the grace to persevere through it. On the flip side, when the joy and the victory and the absolute radical transformations happen in people's lives, I pray for the grace to celebrate it and to glorify God in it.

Other thoughts (you can read more detailed notes about the speakers over at the Buzzard Blog):

  • I had a out of this world conversation with Jim Gilmore who spoke yesterday. Jim is the author of The Experience Economy and his presentation was nothing short of brilliant. And he's a really nice guy too. You gotta read this book and listen to his message from this conference.
  • Seattle is a cool city. Too bad you have to make Bill Gates money to live here.
  • Mark Driscoll is a passionate lover of Jesus - I don't care what the fundies say. And I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker by any stretch but to watch him interact with Piper last night at the Q&A was amazing.
  • I love my wife. I miss my boys. And I pray that I can be a good daddy to them.
  • I wish CJ Mahaney would have preached more than once at this conference.
  • Matt Chandler preached my opening sermon for my church plant. One of his points in his messages yesterday came out of Ecclesiastes and the text he used was "God has placed ETERNITY in the heart of EVERY man". It's a catchy little name for a church - don't you think?
  • I hope and pray that God uses me in a mighty way.
  • The Bible, The Bible, The Bible
  • Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
  • My assessment team coming up on Thursday is an awesome group of men. We had dinner last night as assessors and assessees. They asked good questions. But more than that they showed they cared about us. If you think about it, pray for me and Jenni, but also pray for Steev Inge, Trey Herweck, and Mike Rydman. They are guys who are in the battle and could use prayer.
  • Quote of the week and I'll leave today with this: John Piper to Mark Driscoll after insulting Mars Hill's worship band and Mark shooting back at Piper that he had just insulted his band: "You care about insulting people? What's going on here?" It was a classic moment and one that I'll remember forever....

More to come...

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