Archive for February 3rd, 2011

February 3, 2011

MARK BATTERSON, Author of “In A Pit With A Lion,” “Wild Goose Chase” and ”Soulprint:” ‘God Doesn’t Want Another Billy Graham!’

To Christians who think they have to be carbon copies of someone else, Mark Batterson wants to tell them: stop trying to be someone else and discover who God made you to be.

“I think a lot of Christians feel like they have to be more like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. The truth is you have to be more like you, like the person God has uniquely created you to be,” Batterson, pastor of the National Community Church (more popularly known as “the theater church”), in Washington D.C., told The Christian Post.

“When you come to understand that then that’s pretty exciting,” he said. “The fact that there has never been and never will be anyone like you is not a testament to you but a testament to the God who created you.”

In his thoughtful new book, Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, Batterson takes readers on a journey to help them unravel what he calls a “soulprint.”

Just like no two finger prints are alike, he makes a case that each person has a unique “soulprint” which functions like spiritual DNA in hardwiring them to live out a unique God-given identity and destiny.

“It’s who God has destined you to become from the inside out,” writes Batterson in his fifth book. “Not unlike your genetic code that programs your physical anatomy, your soulprint hardwires your true identity and true destiny.”

Using David’s life and his own as a framework, Batterson reveals how God uses circumstances –especially the darkest, most private, and most embarrassing ones – to chisel us into a reflection of His image.

By looking in retrospect with God’s eyes, readers can see that their disadvantages actually honed unique talents and gifts like David who was trained to defeat Goliath while he was still a simple shepherd boy protecting his flock.

“Every past experience is preparation for some future opportunity,” writes Batterson.

When it comes to the past, he says we can either let the complications or mistakes, from death to divorce, rule our identity or instead we can choose to set them up as “lifesymbols” that mark our spiritual milestones. All it takes is having “holy hindsight” to interpret experiences, whether positive or negative, as sources of empowerment.

He said his favorite chapter of the book is “Crags of the Wild Goats,” in which David demonstrates epic integrity by deciding against killing Saul in the shadows of the cave even when the opportunity and circumstances appeared right.

There are no cutting corners in finding your God-given destiny, according to Batterson. He said too often our culture celebrates people with for good looks, athletic talent or entertaining abilities, but integrity –doing what is right when no one is looking –goes neglected.

“Integrity is a good example of something we need to celebrate. It may not get celebrated in our culture but we need to make sure it gets celebrated in our churches so it’s something people aspire to even more than the external traffic to success,” said Batterson.

The 154-page book is not all serious talk. Batterson knows how to laugh at himself as he recounts his experiences throughout the book, from his ordination interview to the time a seven-member band performed for an audience of four people at his church.

Writing in his trademark conversational style, he applies the story of David’s life not just for 20-year-olds looking for a “self-help” book that will get them jumpstarted in life, but to people who might feel they’re already at the tail end of self-discovery process.

In one chapter of the book, Batterson explains how David didn’t let his sins and mistakes of adultery and murder define his present or future.

“You would think that David wouldn’t have much of a future in God’s purposes but the Scripture said that he is a man after God’s own heart,” remarked Batterson. “What happens is that we feel our mistakes disqualify us from the plan of God the grace of God. But change is the byproduct of the genuine repentance. You have to genuinely confess your sins and repent. If you do that, you come to terms with the fact that you can’t change your past but you can change your future.”

“If you are child of God then the grace of God defines you, not the mistakes you’ve made,” he continued. “It sure seems to me that God did some of his best work with those who honestly almost seemed like they made some irredeemable mistakes.”

One thing Batterson is clear about in his writing is that we cannot truly find out who we are until we know who God is. This is not a journey of self-discovery that we take with God tagging along, but it’s a path that leads to God. The conclusion of the winding trail is to bring glory to God through a one-of-a-kind life of worship and legacy.

“No one can worship God like me or for me,” said Batterson. “When people begin to understand that then they will take responsibility for the uniqueness given to them.”

 

 

February 3, 2011

Tim Keller: Spiritual and Secular Jobs are God’s Work

 

 

Pastor Tim Keller challenged a crowd of New York City professionals Sunday to rethink how they view work and to debunk the notion that spiritual vocations matter more to God than secular work.

Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, explained why all work matters to God and why God matters to work in a lecture held at the Hunter College auditorium for members of the church’s vocation groups. The lecture is the fourth entry in an eight-part lecture series organized by the church’s Center for Faith and Work, which represents professionals from at least 15 industry sectors, including the arts, business and healthcare.
In making his case that all Christians are “priests” in their respective fields, Keller contrasted the approach to work by the medieval church and the radical reformation with that of the 16th century protestant reformer Martin Luther.
The Medieval Church took a “triumphalism” approach to society that attempted to dominate and make all things Christian where as those in the Radical Reformation encouraged “withdrawal” from society, which they believed to be “Satan’s world.”
Both approaches, according to Keller, had a tendency to look down on the work out in the world and only consider work in the church as God’s work.
He explained that Luther’s theology offered a “middle way” and a biblical approach to work, in which there was no dividing Christian work between “spiritual estate” and the “temporal estate.”

“He says, hey, do not say only people inside the church are doing God’s work. Oh no. We are all priests. Therefore, every Christian is doing God’s work,” said Keller, citing Luther’s reference to the passage in 1 Peter 2:9.
Keller said that God could easily give us His gifts without our help but it is through our works that He wishes to involve, train and include us as part of the family. Quoting Luther, he went on to point out that although man’s work is “child’s performance,” they are the “masks of God” by which He works.
“God doesn’t have to do it that way but He is. He’s loving you through other people’s work. He goes as far as to say that the baker and the farmer in work is God in disguise. These are the masks of God. God is loving you and distributing His gifts through work,” said Keller.
The New York pastor also put the value of work in perspective by looking at Jesus’ occupation.
“There is no menial work. Jesus came not as a philosopher, not as a general. He came as a carpenter,” said Keller. “The Bible says that all works matter to God. All works. Not just works that make money.”
Christians, meanwhile, should always reflect upon how God matters to their work, added Keller.
He cautioned against serving idols in work, whether it be profit in business or self-expression in art, instead of serving God.
Belief in the Gospel, according to Keller, should impact one’s motivation of work, work ethic and treatment of others around them in work. He urged listeners to continually gather together and through talks and prayer, accumulate wisdom on how God can have a greater impact in their field.
“You are in a very big city, New York. It is an exhausting city. It’s a very hard place to work. It’s a secular city so it’s very hard to bring your values onto the way you work,” said Keller. “Therefore, because of the power of the Gospel, I call you to think like a prophet, serve like a priest, and plan like a king. It means getting together to think, think, how does the preeminence of God reign in my field. It means serving each other and serving people around you in the city.”
The “Gospel & Culture” series seeks to prepare the congregation for effective engagement in the culture of NYC. Organized by the church’s Center for Faith and Work, the lecture series will be held one Sunday every month and will culminate with the first Faith & Work conference this fall.

 

 

 

February 3, 2011

Darlene Zschech Leaves Hillsong Church

 

 

Sad but happy news was made recently when Darlene Zchech announced and she and her husband were leaving Hillsong Church after 25 years.

 

Darlene and her husband Mark, are starting a new chapter as the new senior pastors of Hope Unlimited Church, located north of Sydney.

Though sad, the move signals a desire of the Zschechs to be more of a light in a local community.

“More than ever, I sense the responsibility as a Christian, to bring and be the felt expression of Christ into our communities, and into every sphere of life where we have a voice or influence,”

Darlene shared about the hard decision.

 

No word about whether Darlene will continue to appear on future Hillsong Albums.

 

Congrats Darlene and Mark, we are all so proud of you!

February 3, 2011

Steven Furtick: ‘You’re Not Francis Chan!’ (VIDEO)

 

 

A few months ago, Steven Furtick listened to a friend say he feels like such a bad Christian because, “Francis Chan had the faith to walk away from his church and kind of launch out into the unknown.”  “But,” Furtick’s friend lamented, ”I don’t have the faith like that to leave everything that’s comfortable to me and embrace something new.”

“The friend’s words Surprised me,” says Furtick.  “I thought it was weird that he’s standing there telling me ‘I don’t have the faith like that to leave everything that’s comfortable to me and to embrace something new,’ because I know this guy, I thought he was a great man of faith.”

The conversation bothered Furtick for months, so much that he said, “If I could go back, I’d tell him You’re not Francis Chan.”

Furtick explained his remarks by saying,

“Sometimes as a Christian you can be down on yourself because you’re in one certain position and you think ‘man, I’m not really making a difference here’ and you hear about somebody like Francis Chan … who gets up, leaves everything and goes.”

“But,” Furtick cautioned, “Sometimes, God gives you the faith to get up and go but other times God gives you the faith to stay put.  [God] might be calling you to stay in a place to do something very normal and that will be your greatest demonstration of faith – faithfulness.”

Then he ended, “You’re not Francis Chan and I’m not Francis Chan; you’re not Abraham (of the Old Testament).”

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February 3, 2011

Harper Collins To Publish New Tim Tebow Memoir

Tim Tebow is to release new memoir, entitled, “Through My Eyes” with Harper Collins.

The book is slated for a April 2011 release.

According to Harper the book will focus on Tebow’s five-year journey to college-football stardom and top-prospect status as an NFL pro.

Can’t wait to read this book.  God’s raised Tebow up in a special way.

February 3, 2011

THEY SAID WHAT?!?!$% Notable & Quotable On Twitter – Tweets That Shouldn’t Have Been – From Hillsong United’s Brooke Fraser

Brooke Fraser, beloved worship leader with Hillsong United, shared a new feat she pulled off with the world via Twitter.

Her first tweet was:

“Tonight I successfully peed in a portaloo in the pitch black, using only sound as my guide. Like a bat.”

Then  2 minutes later she added:

“I feel pretty good about it.”

Then 1 minute later she added:

“Thinking of you, Queenslanders.”

Don’t believe me?  See for yourself  www.twitter.com/brookefraser

* (‘pitch black,’ meaning very dark – in other words she was able to find her way around a Port-O-John in complete darkness)

February 3, 2011

FRANCIS CHAN: ‘God Called Me To San Francisco’

Francis Chan, perennial speaker and author of “Crazy Love” and shared at The Desiring God Pastors Conference on Tuesday, February 1, 2011, that he had relocated with his family to San Francisco.  Which sounded like a permanent move.  Chan had shared previously that he was unsure where exactly God would call him and his family to move after leaving Cornerstone Simi Valley, the Church Chan founded 16 years ago.

 

The Chan’s sold their house last fall (2010) in Simi Valley before visiting Asia for an extended stay visiting various ministries and orphanages.

 

So glad to hear about the move.  We’re all rooting for you Francis!


February 3, 2011

Bailee Madison, Little Girl In Adam Sandler’s New Movie “Just Go With It” Is A Christian (VIDEO)

 

By now you must’ve seen the trailer for Adam Sandler’s New Movie “JUST GO WITH IT” starring Jennifer Aniston.

Turns out the little girl in the movie with the dark hair is a Christian. (See her talk about her faith in the video below) Her name’s Bailee Madison. (not be confused with Sandler’s Classic Movie “Billy Madison”)

Here’s a hilarious scene of Madison and Sandler.

Here’s Bailee talking about her faith.

Pretty Cool.

February 3, 2011

Craig Groeschel, Bestselling Author Of “The Christian Atheist” To Release New Book ‘WEIRD’

 

 

 

Craig Groeschel, pastor of Lifechurch.tv, and bestselling author of “The Christian Atheist” announced that he’s releasing a new book entitled, “WEIRDBecause Normal Isn’t Working.”


The book is scheduled to release in Spring of 2011.

 

“The Christian Atheist” has also been picked up Wal-Mart to be carried in their stores which a huge accomplishment.

Congrats Craig!

February 3, 2011

PASSION CONFERENCE’S Kristian Stanfill Teams Up With Brandon Heath For New ‘Leaving Eden Tour’ Spring 2011

 

Just found out that Kristian Stanfill’s teaming up with recording artist Brandon Heath for the new Spring 2011 “Leaving Eden Tour.”  Heath just released his latest album by the same name, a week ago to wide acclaim.

 

Cities include Waco,TX, Panama City Beach, FL and Omaha,NE.

 

Stanfill’s star is definitely rising, 2 songs of his new album, Mountains Move, really signalled a big turn for me in his songwriting ability.  “Day After Day” and “Always”  are seriously two exceptional songs, especially live.  To me they are of the calibre you’d expect from David Crowder Band or Chris Tomlin.  So I was very impressed these songs when I heard them for the first time.

 

As a special bonus Heath will be doing a special acoustic session before the main event.  According to the press release:

“On this tour, Brandon will be hosting the Leaving Eden Soundcheck Session each night before the show. Leaving Eden Soundcheck Session participants will be treated to a unique acoustic performance from Brandon Heath before the general public is allowed in the building. Attendees will also get a limited edition Leaving Eden Soundcheck Session poster signed by Brandon that is only available to participants of the Soundcheck Session.

 

Concert goers are in for a treat.  Dave Barnes is also set to join Stanfill and Heath as supporting act.

 

February 3, 2011

Bible Verse Of The Day

“But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.”

– PSALM 13:5

 

February 3, 2011

Ed Young Pastor Fellowship Church Dalla/Ft Worth Debuts New Sermon Series Based On The Twilight Phenomenon, “TWILIGHT: Modern Romance Meets True Love”

Ed Young debuted a new sermon series on love and romance recently based on the Twilight Series . . . and all the guys said . . .”ookkkaayyy???  I guess I’m staying home from Church on Sunday.”  Ed got a huge response when asking the crowd on the first day “Who here’s for Team Edward?” to mild cheers, then “Who’s for Team Jacob?”  and the cheers were a bit louder.  Then he asked “Who here couldn’t care less?” and the place erupted.  To that all the guys said . . . “Amen.”

According to the official description of the new series:

“As life unfolds along the path before us, we often find ourselves seeking connection, hope, love. But it’s more than a desire to find the right feeling. Our deepest desire is to know-and to be known. Ultimately, we want to discover the potential, the presence and the power of romance.

In this series, Ed Young takes a unique look at romance throughout Scripture. And he shows us the reality that true romance from God’s perspective is about much more than a fleeting feeling of infatuation. It’s the very thing that can help us experience love, meaning and direction every day.”

Part 1 & 2 is available on the Ed Young Podcast on iTunes or You can watch Part 2  on the Ed Young site here.

February 3, 2011

LECRAE: ‘It’s Me Against The (Hip Hop) World’ – Doin’ It Hard For The Glory Of God

 

I don’t know about you but usually when I think about the idea of Living For The Glory Of God, I think about singing a Chris Tomlin worship song maybe with my hands raised, and maybe a Louie Giglio talk.  Neatly pressed, familiar.  Suburban.

Now, what comes to your mind when you think about Hip Hop?  Exactly.  Now think about Hip Hop & The Glory Of God, doesn’t it seem like oil and water coming together.  Two things that should just remain separate.

Well enter Lecrae, an Atlanta-based Christian Hip Hop Rapper.  Who is single-handedly taking on the Hip Hop World.  In fact his retort to the hip hop world in his new single, “Chase That (Ambition)” is:

“Ay you can have the money, And you can have the fame
But me I want the Glory, I’m livin for the Name”

So move over.  Chris Tomlin.  Move over Louie Giglio.  Move over John Piper.  There’s a new voice rising, that’s extending beyond the conference halls of suburban audiences.  His name is Lecrae.

I loved the lyrics from the rest of the song I quoted above.  Definitely worth a read:

 

I’ll tell you whats better, or better yet worse
Chasin your own glory by doin the Lord’s work
So holla if it hurts
But we were made for greater
Our greatest satisfaction is making His Name famous
So if we’re never named among the greatest, (or) they don’t critically acclaim us
Aint nothing to be ashamed of
We gave it up for the Savior”

 

Say no more.

I’m a new Lecrae fan.

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February 3, 2011

MARTIN SMITH: ‘Delirious Getting Back Together!’

We just found out the news of the decade!   Iconic Christian Worship Band Delirious is getting back together!  And their first album back will feature all original material.

No word yet on a possible title for the album.  Get your tickets ready, because word is there’ll be a World Tour too.

for more information email:

thisisajokesodontemailme@whatkindofmadeupemailaddressisthis.com

*a guy can dream right?

February 3, 2011

Quote Of The Day

 

“Tonight I successfully peed in a portaloo in the pitch black, using only sound as my guide. Like a bat.”

Brooke Fraser via Twitter

February 3, 2011

Radical By David Platt Reaches Radical Sales: 500,000 Copies In Print After Only 10 Months! (VIDEO)

 

Huge congratulations to David Platt. CBA just announced that after only 10 months, “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream” now has 500,000 copies in print!

Platt’s publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah, is over the moon.

“We’re honored to be representing David Platt’s message and to have reached this milestone,” says WaterBrooks’s President, Steve Cobb. “David Platt is helping readers everywhere lead a life closer to the Gospel.”

We’re thrilled to hear how much God is blessing this book.  Congratulations David!

You can read an excerpt of Radical on Relevant Magazine’s website.

 

 

February 3, 2011

Word Of Wisdom Of The Day

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
– Auguste Rodin