Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fill me up -

There are few places that touch my heart the same way the North Carolina Coast does. Recently, having the opportunity to walk in the sand and surf, I was touched by the thought of the ocean as a means of grace. When I think about God's grace and God's love I think about how big it must be to cover my sin. As I look out over the water watching it reach to the horizon, I am overwhelmed by all that God has done to express His love for us. His love and grace is beyond what we can comprehend, it's even greater than all the water in all oceans of the world!

Praise the Lord!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Food for thought from a friend...

The following blog has been copied from The Bridge Project. The original text can be found at

A saint and an activist

disclaimer: sorry for the somber mood of this post. I think I've been reading too much Ecclesiastes recently.

Different people can see the same sin,the same injustice, the same oppression, and react oppositely. The activist, when he sees injustice, is thrust into the world, seeking to extract the sin from society. The saint, seeing the same injustice, is thrust into himself, seeking to extract the sin from his own heart. One is with the people. He works tirelessly in the heat of the sun to bring about restitution. The other is with no one but God, and toils in the heat of brutal examination. The activist is perpetually frustrated. When one hole is patched, another one just as big springs a little further down the line. Always searching for a clue without, he fails to notice the presence of the perpetrator within.

The saint has no false notions of moral exemption. And so, he stays hot on the trail of sin's inner descent. It's not that he doesn't go out into the world, he just does so with a different point of view. Like the activist, the saint walks the streets of a sin-sick society and seeks to administer mercy. Yet the world to him is like a mirror. It merely serves to reflect back the wickedness of his own heart. The dark, dingy alleys that surround him pale in comparison to the putrid pathways of pride in his own heart.

After a job well done, the activist rests easy. As he drifts off to sleep, he whispers a prayer; "God, give me one more day to make a difference." The saint next door is wide awake. He stares up at the ceiling and prays quietly; "Search me O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

These days, God is gently teaching me that he doesn't need any more activists, but that saints are in short supply.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I had the honor of speaking at a camp out in Iowa earlier this summer. On the first night of the camp, a drama team performed a powerful skit where they painted a picture of Jesus on the cross. They left it displayed on a music stand next to the stage.

Being somewhat of a jerk, it took me all of 4 seconds to realize that I needed that music stand for my Bible and notes. So, I had a friend move the painting. Notice I didn’t actually move it myself. I’m not that much of a jerk. In my defense, I did ask him to keep it displayed in a prominent place. He gently placed it in the center of the platform, which was decorated with various road signs (ah, classic youth camp), where it stayed all week. It wasn’t until the very last night that I noticed he had set the painting right next to a sign that read ‘one way.’

Layers. While I was preaching my heart out all week long, another sermon was quietly telling a story behind me. I believe there are layers to our worship design that most people will never notice…including us. But they are there. Telling the story. Scripted by the Spirit, unseen but unmistakable.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Evoking Spirits

Okay I know that I am treading on shaky ground here but I have always wondered something. The churchs language when discussing the holy ghost can be straight terrifying to some. Here are some examples that can be easily confused or make someone uneasy.

"I was possessed by the holy spirit"
"The holy spirit moved through me"
"God send us your spirit to this place"
In church service..."Cant you just feel the power of the holy spirit moving in this place"
"I need to be sensitive to the spirits urging in my life.

While I know what this means it makes me wonder a couple of things.

Why does the church as whole ignore the influence of demons (the bad side) but evoke and call into being holy spirits (the good side) does it seem like we are playing a one sided all good game?

Also...So many, probably protestants, deny the existence of ghosts and spirits. How can we do that if many of us assert that a spirit has moved through us and caused us or helped us do things?

Any thoughts

Friday, June 1, 2007

Room to grow...

The first few weeks here at Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church have been really amazing! One of the key goals for the summer is simply growing in my relationship with the Lord. One of the first things my mentor said has stuck with me… in fact, I read these words every morning before I start my day.

“Until the burden for others is greater than the burden for yourself, you will never fully know the Power of Christ.”

These words just resonate in my heart and remind me that there is always room growth! Is Holiness what you long for? I’ve recently read that Holiness is like a bird… It must have two wings to fly… One wing is personal holiness, the other is social holiness. Without one or the other the bird is grounded.

Is your pursuit of Holiness soaring or grounded?

How are you seeing growth in your life?

Philippians 3:10-11 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heart Strangely Warmed

Today is May 24,
and marks the birth of a movement.
On this day in 1738, John Wesley had his famous 'Aldersgate Experience.'
He was never the same.
And neither was the world.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

the golden sessions

My brother Josh is graduating from Asbury this week. Over the last three years, we have had the honor and pleasure of sharing this seminary experience with each other. Who gets to do that? Who gets to walk through seminary with his brother? I am humbled by the privilege.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship and brotherhood. I have been blessed in my life, with brothers that are my best friends, and friends that are like brothers. They are sure signs and symbols of God’s grace in my life. And I am deeply thankful. CS Lewis said it right (imagine that) in his rich work, The Four Loves:

“…each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before all the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together, each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard day’s walking have come to our inn; our feet spread out towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk. Life- natural life- has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?”

Friday, May 4, 2007

Embrace Souix Falls

As graduation nears, there is another group of men and women stepping out to serve the Lord as teachers, preachers and evangelists. We just want to give a little shout out to one of our friends, Adam Weber. He and his wife are leaving this month for Sioux Falls, SD where they will be planting a new church called EMBRACE. Check out their website -

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What makes a Christian???

While thinking the other day about life, death, and how to avoid hitting that stupid little dog with my mower. I got to thinking...What makes a Christian today? It seems that at one time a Christian could be defined, but in this world of relativism and psychobabble is it as clear cut? There are scriptures that refer to works...scriptures that refer to relationship...some justice...some mercy. Is it really as simply as rote praying a prayer from a 30 page book when your 8 and then living as if it never happened? Or, is it possible that if you love mercy and justice yet have never "accepted" Jesus that you are not a Christian?


What happened to Hell?

Growing up in a charismatic AG church I heard the, "what happened if you died today" sermon every you know, know, know that you would not go to Hell? I am not trying to affirm or deny the validity of this type of sermon, but I must ask the question. What happened to preaching/teaching that there is a Hell?

I cannot remember the last preacher that mentioned that the road to Heaven is narrow and the road to Hell is wide and that we are not all going to go to Heaven.

and just for fun...

Who wants to join my Osteenist denomination?

No, seriously...I would like to hear what y'all think about the next 500 years. If you consider the last 500 years of Theologians there are many that come to mind. Are there any theologians, preachers, philosophers that are alive today that will be referenced at Seminaries in 2507?

Just in case you haven't seen it yet...

One of our very own (not mentioning any names) is featured in this video below. This is his youtube debut! If you laugh be sure to give it a good rating!...and oh yes, you will laugh :)

If you didn't catch the lyrics to this deeply moving song, click here and drag down to reveal them:
"Come life, shaker life, come life eternal , shake shake out of me all that is carnal"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A new little girl in the world!

We just want to celebrate the birth of a special little girl! Ava Ruth is the newest addition to the Summers family and our small group. She was born yesterday afternoon.

Just thinking about the gift of life, isn't it amazing that this tiny little baby is so close to the heart of God??? If she could only speak :) Praise God for this child... Congratulations Jeremy and Andrea...And, welcome to the world Ava Ruth!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Shared Ordeal

If you're reading this, hopefully you've already checked out the video. If you haven't seen it yet, go ahead a click play, you are sure to have some laughs and probably some second thoughts about what we're learning in seminary.

Really though, one of the key things that we've learned is the impact a shared experience has on a group. Having that common ground to learn about each other and to draw from creates a bond within the group, a bond that is lasting. As a group we have decided to be intentional about these shared experiences. In fact, we've decided to take it to another level and make it, well, an ordeal. Our goal and plan is to have at least one intentional shared ordeal per semester.

This semester is what you saw there in the video. Our wives took us out to a location in Jessamine County unknown to us, and we had to find our way back to Wilmore. Last semester we had a little overnight outing. If you want to know more about that, just ask one of us about the "Pioneer Playhouse." From these two "ordeals" (and they were ordeals) we have memories to laugh about and draw from in discussion.

While some may see these experiences as more of a "shared agony", we have grown together and are becoming more prepared for the real life, unintentional ordeals. If you would like to know more about shared ordeals, or your small group is interested in doing one, feel free to email us for some ideas or to share your stories.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

40 days

This week marked the beginning of Lent, the season of 40 days leading up to Easter. Here are a few scattered thoughts on the season.

Lent is the beginning of the end. (Of course, ‘the end,’ we will later find out, is only the beginning. But that has to wait.) This is the part of the play that grows dark and heavy. Tensions tighten. Traitors whisper. Jesus turns his face toward Jerusalem. And we follow him on his journey to the cross, embracing it for ourselves as well.

Lent is a time of submission. A wilderness experience. A desert exile. A season of prayer and fasting. People often fast during these 40 days from something they love. Every time we reach for that former love, we are reminded of our first love.

Lent is a time of memory. ‘Remember your frailty, and put your hope in Jesus.’ That’s how our speaker for the Ash Wednesday service put it. We begin lent by being marked by a cross of ashes, reminding us in two bold strokes of our past despair and our future hope. This is one of those things that is layered with richness if we will look for it.

Lent is a time of repentance. A season when we are honest with God and ourselves about sin, and our desperate need for rescue and redemption. Repent and believe the good news.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Life Group Blog

The concept of a life group blog is still fresh. There is a lot of potential in it to help keep groups connected and build a more firm foundation for a church that is built on small groups.