Thursday, July 23, 2015

Global Impact Through Urban Gateways

The short video below does a great job of portraying how the face of America has changed, where we now are literally seeing unreached people groups from around the world coming into our cities to live. This has huge implications for the gospel and the global impact through urban gateways.

Global Gates Network from Global Gates on Vimeo.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Oak City Beard and Mustache Competition

Venue: Pour House Music Hall

If you want to compete in the competition, purchase your ticket here and be sure to register for the competition by filling out the registration form on Oak City Beard & Mustache Assembly’s website here:
All money is going towards Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Hosted by: DJ RootBoi

Monday, July 13, 2015

Will Our Lives Be Marked By Indecisive Minds or Undivided Hearts?

This weekend I picked up David Platt's new book, Counter Culture, and skipped to the very last chapter on The Gospel and the Unreached. It is not that I don't care what Platt has to say in the rest of the book, although I have a feeling I am familiar with most of it and agree with much if not all of it, but the last chapter caught my attention because of the nature of my life and previous experience.

In the middle of this last chapter there is a section with this question in bold, Will Our Lives Be Marked By Indecisive Minds of Undivided Hearts? This is the section that really grabbed my attention and described on many levels the internal struggle that I have dealt with for the last year and a half.
Yet I see in the situation above as well as in my own spiritual life a subtle yet dangerous tendency toward indecision. When it comes to the call of God, I am prone to hesitate. Before I do anything, I want complete confirmation that I'm doing the right things. I want to research every option and hear everyone's opinions. This is not bad in and of itself, for I want to be wise, but if I'm not careful, I can slowly let indecision become inaction. I can easily become paralyzed by pressures from people around me and doubts that dominate within me. And before I know it, delayed obedience becomes disobedience. 
Although I have remained confident in my calling, I have been seeking complete confirmation that I am doing the right things, before taking the leap of faith in them. And I agree 100% with the above paragraph, which is why it described so well my struggle that is at times hard to describe to others. There is something freeing about admitting something that you struggle with and if I am being completely transparent I do feel at times that I am in disobedience for my lack of acting on opportunities that God has placed in front of me because of my indecisive mind.

At the beginning of the weekend I also read an article that hit on this same topic and the authors argument was that there are very few things in life that most of us are so indecisive on other than when it comes to our calling and serving the Lord. Most of us didn't struggle much before accepting our current employment, we interviewed for the position, received an offer, and gladly accepted without thinking much. But for some reason when it comes to opportunities to serve God in some way we delay and want it to be spelled out in our morning cereal bowl before we accept it and are obedient to it.

I cannot say with absolute certainty that my struggle in this area is over, but I will say that my desire is to live a life marked by an undivided heart not an indecisive mind.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Leading of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism

I absolutely love the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8:26-40. This story is a perfect example of an ordinary guy, a lay person, in the church that is in tune to hearing and listening to the Holy Spirit. If you read the story and look at the context the Ethiopian Eunuch is an unlikely candidate for salvation. Given where he is from, where is traveling, and all of the other religions located in Ethiopia at the time.

But what one sees in this story is how when an ordinary follower of Jesus is listening to the Holy Spirit and obeys that unlikely candidates for salvation become the perfect candidates in God's sovereignty. The story reveals the the eunuch is reading the prophet of Isaiah 53:7-8, which prophesies the Messiah Jesus coming like a lamb to be slain and standing in our place.

An interesting point to note is that even though the eunuch had a passage from Isaiah that described the salvation of Jesus, he still lacked an explanation. He still needed someone to fit the pieces of the puzzle together for him. This is where Philip comes in tells him the good news about Jesus.

The Ethiopian eunuch gives his life to Jesus and immediately requests to be baptized because Philip had obviously told him that it is an immediate and first step of obedience once giving your life to Christ. By the way, this is what I would call a biblical form of a spontaneous baptism and it also says that "they came up out of water," meaning that he was baptized like Jesus through immersion. In other words there is no sprinkling being described here.

My question for you is when is the last time that you heard the Holy Spirit speaking to you? Are you listening? We all have objections on why God cannot use us, but Philip is a prime example of how the Holy Spirit leads an ordinary guy in evangelism and missions to bring salvation that eventually leads to the start of the church in Ethiopia.

A version of this post originally appeared on in July 2014.