Easter Sunday and Liturgical Readings

This past Sunday ended a three month “experiment” where we followed the liturgical calendar for Scripture readings during our Sunday morning services. Stemming from a concern that many people do not know the Bible well enough, and wondering how we could better indicate our desire to be led by the Bible, I approached the elder team to see if they would be willing to do a reading and a prayer each Sunday morning and take turns doing so. This gave the congregation an opportunity to see who our elders are as well as give the elders opportunities to model both Scripture reading and prayer. It was fascinating for me to hear the various readings from all parts of Scripture. We read from the Psalms, the Old Testament, and the New Testament throughout the past three months and I enjoyed hearing it read from different voices than my own. Many people expressed how grateful they were to hear various Scripture passages read, and it is an easy way to elevate the Bible to the place of prominence it should have in our services. I think we can easily assume people know the Bible, but if the only time it is being read is during the message, what is that communicating to your congregation? Are there any ways you have discovered that can reveal Scripture to be the ultimate authority in our lives as believers?

During our Easter services this Sunday, we sang:

  • Christ the Lord Has Risen Today
  • This Is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickham)
  • At the Cross (Passion)
  • Man of Sorrows (Hillsong)
  • Lamb of God (Vertical Church)
  • Mighty to Save (Hillsong)

Sing Your Heart Out

Tim Chalies posted a really good article on why people should be singing their hearts out that you can read here. One aspect not addressed in the article, however, is that we should sing out simply because we’re commanded to. Ephesians 5 says we are to sing, Psalm 96 says we should sing to the Lord a new song. So Christians, sing!

Exciting News!

I found out the beginning of this past weekend that I have received a Kern Scholarship to begin attending Denver Seminary this fall! This scholarship will pay my whole tuition for up to 4 years. I’m incredibly blessed and grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to see how God continues to conform me in the image of His Son through my experience. I would really appreciate prayer for this new chapter of life as I try to continue working in Cheyenne and commuting to Denver a couple days a week. If anyone knows of any reliable, high gas mileage cars for sale, send them my way!

Songs at Cheyenne E Free Church

For those of you interested in seeing many of the songs we do regularly at Cheyenne E Free Church, feel free to follow this link.

Preaching on Colossians

I had another opportunity to preach this week at church, with my Sr Pastor gone and the other associate’s wife having a baby a couple weeks ago, I was the one who got to preach. So here’s my sermon on Colossians 1:24-2:5.

Don Miller’s Thoughts on Church

Don Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz penned a blog this week on why he doesn’t go to church very often. And that’s all well and good – people do connect with God better through different ways. I have friends who best connect with God when doing some intense studying, others who do it through painting, and others who do connect to God through singing. Yet Miller’s whole premise is off because it makes church all about him. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating:

Church isn’t about you, your needs, your desires, your wants – church is about God and his people representing Christ to a dead and broken world.

Yet even if someone doesn’t necessarily connect to God through singing, we’re still commanded to do it (Eph 5) and the biggest book in the Bible is devoted to, you guessed it, singing! This singing thing must be pretty important if we see so much of Scripture devoted to it. What are your thoughts on singing at church, whether or not you do connect with it?

For a much more in depth look at this issue, see Stephen Miller’s blog here.

What To Do Before You Leave Your Church

What To Do Before You Leave Your Church

There is a very helpful article today on the Gospel Coalition about things you should do before you leave your church. I’ve known many people who have left churches for no apparent reason, and it is something that needs to be very carefully thought through.

Lower Your Expectations

One of the most difficult things for me about turning 25 was realizing all the unmet expectations I had. Yet as I’ve learned over the past few weeks and years leading up to this birthday, God is still at work in the mundane, seemingly trivial matters of life as I strive to daily become more like Christ.
As I talk to many 20 something’s about where we are in life, there seems to always be a bit of restlessness and discontentment, and that happiness is ever eluding us, like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Even my leaving minneapolis for my “dream job” had a certain amount of discontentment as I was leaving so a many good friends for the wild, Wild West.
There’s a certain allure that comes from being in your 20s with your “whole life ahead of you” (as some people in the church have commented to me). Yet there’s also a great deal of loneliness as most 20 something’s have a very transient lifestyle, and many of us are always looking for something new to do and try and experience, whether that’s a new country, new church, or new bar on the other side of town. We all have great dreams and ambitions to be a world changer and are convinced that we could fix so many problems, if only we were in charge! I look at people like Francis Chan and David Platt who get to travel the world spreading the Gospel. And Mark Driscoll who planted one of the most successful churches in America, and then I look in the mirror and ask what about me?
Can I be next?
Can I write the next New York Times best seller?
Can I preach to thousands of people?
Can I record the next big album?
Yet as I sit here wallowing in self pity, I’m reminded that it’s not about me. I need the daily reminder to die to myself. I need to remember that I’m representing Christ to the world where I live. My sphere of influence may not be as big as the people I look up to, but I still have the people at church that I see every week. How can I, as John the Baptist said, decrease so that Christ can increase?
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of a man who went on a journey, entrusting to each of his servants a certain number of talents. When the man returns from his journey, those who grew their talents were rewarded, while the one who hid his talents was cast out into darkness.
I can’t, and I shouldn’t try, to be the next Francis Chan, David Platt, or Mark Driscoll. I should try to be the best example of Christ that I can be, ever decreasing so that Christ may increase in me and through me.

Narcissism was a bad thing, until we started calling it “self-esteem”

A great piece on humility verse self-esteem.

The Matt Walsh Blog

I have no self-esteem. If you asked me to rank the people for whom I have the highest esteem, I doubt I’d make the top 20 of my own list. Maybe I could crack ten thousand, but I keep meeting or reading about people who are better than me in so many ways, consequently I plummet further down the charts. I’m actually very happy about this, luckily I’m not the best thing that humanity has ever produced, and God help us if all the better people die off and leave me at the top of the heap.

That said, I don’t dislike myself, I don’t have a problem with my self-image, I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m saying I have NO self-esteem, for the same reason that I have no pet unicorns. Self-esteem is a nonsensical fantasy. It’s a false Gospel. It’s a meaningless fabrication that exists only in your…

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The Romance of Domesticity

The Romance of Domesticity

I often feel a certain amount of discontent as I see people I was once close to in college doing really cool things like shooting music videos, or creating incredibly detailed websites, or taking cool hiking adventures, or having babies. Often this is combined with a slight twinge of jealousy as I look at my life and ask, “What the heck am I doing?” I think often I have a huge desire to do something new and exciting just for the sake of the experience. This article reminded me that there is a certain amount of romance in the monotony of life.