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30 Second Theology week one

We launched a new series this past weekend called, 30 Second Theology. It’s about the messages we receive from commercials and advertising. While we may not overtly believe those messages, our lifestyles sometimes make it look like we do.

“Obey your Thirst” has been around for about 20 years marketing the soft drink, Sprite. The message implied is that one’s thirst, hunger or passion always has to be fulfilled. We can’t help but obey our instincts; it’s human nature and inevitable.

Genesis 25 records the story of Esau, whose life reveals the fallacy of the “obey your thirst” mentality. Esau came in from the outdoors, maybe from a long hunt, and was famished. He needed to eat, now! His twin brother had stew on the stove (or the campfire) and they made a deal; Esau’s birthright for a bowl of Jacob’s stew. Esau gave up future finances, family authority and God’s blessing for an appetite that would return in just a few hours. Who would do something like that? Well, we all would if the right appetite comes along. The choice is, you can cave in to an appetite that will keep coming back OR when those appetites come, you can consider what future is at stake and refrain. Don’t give up your preferred future to obey a simply thirst today.

If you missed this message, you can view it below or at

Outliers week 2


We’re in the middle of our Outliers series which is all about how we should respond when how we live and what we believe is increasingly becoming the minority. This past Sunday we talked about how Christians have historically responded with one of two extremes – appease or attack. They either fit in to the shifting culture around them or they become antagonistic trying to force standards on people who never signed up for that.

Peter, in his letter to first century Christians living in a culture that was hostile to their beliefs, gives us a different strategy: Be holy and humble. He wrote, “Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives” (1 Peter 2:12 MSG). Peter calls the church to holiness that doesn’t result in self-righteousness, but is marked with humility. When Christians live like that, it causes people to notice and be “won over.” As the world becomes increasingly hostile, the church must become increasingly holy.

If you missed week 2, Holy and Humble from our series, Outliers, you can view it here or at

Outliers week one

As a Christian, do you ever feel like an outlier? An outsider? Like you just don’t fit it? It can feel like our culture is becoming increasingly indifferent, even hostile to Christianity. We started a new series this past weekend on how we should respond when it feels like how we live and what we believe is the minority. And by all accounts, while we may not face intense persecution, Christianity at the least is becoming more marginalized.

The audience the Apostle Peter was writing to in his New Testament letter was facing that and more. He addresses them as “exiles,” someone who is passing through. When we look at life through that lens – that it’s temporary, it’s not home, – it changes our attitude, and our response. In fact Peter says we have a living hope, an inheritance in heaven which can never perish, spoil or fade, and it ought to translate into a level of joy for believers. Our hope isn’t in the right person being elected to office. Our hope isn’t in the right laws being passed. Our hope isn’t in the right decisions being judged. Our hope is in the right person, Jesus Christ, who will one day return and make all things right.

If you missed the message the opening message for our series, Outliers, you can view it here or at

Our Story Week 4

Our Story blog

The Holy Spirit empowers the church to do things it could not accomplish on its own.
Like being unified. That’s just not something that is natural, even for good, willing people. Yet Luke tells us that the early believers were “one in heart and mind.”
Like being generous. Again not something we tend to do on our own. But this first century church, “shared everything they had.”
Like being genuine. It’s easy to make ourselves look better than we really are. That was the issue with Ananias and Sapphira. They were hypocrites. Yet evidently, there were plenty of Christians in Acts who genuinely lived out there faith. Barnabas in Acts 4 is just one example.

Just as it would be a mistake to undermine the work of the Holy Spirit (Ananias and Sapphira again), It would be a mistake to underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit. Week four of Our Story is not about us all deciding to become more unified, more generous and more genuine. It’s about allowing the Holy Spirit to do that work in our lives. In fact, the point is that we cannot do it on our own. It’s the Holy Spirit that empowers the church to do what it cannot accomplish on its own.

If you missed week 4 of Our Story, you can view it here:

Where was God?

Great response to the question “where was God during the Newtown, CT school shootings?” by Mike Huckabee.

“The Story” Begins in January

I cannot wait to start a news series in January 2013 called, The Story. For the first several months of the new year we will basically take a chronological journey through the major stories of the Bible. If you know some Bible stories, but aren’t sure how they all fit together…or if you would love to read the Bible more often with your kids, but don’t feel very confident in doing so…then you have to participate in The Story with us.

Check out this video where I introduced our vision for the series with our Cedar Ridge leadership:

Reading the Bible in One Year

Just last week I finished reading through the Bible in a year with our Cedar Ridge Elders. It was nice to know other people were reading the same things I was. It also provided some accountability for me to stay on track.

If you’re interested in joining me, I started today reading again through the Bible in a year. This plan begins with the Old Testament and moves into the New Testament, but does not follow the exact order of books in your Bible. I like that it is assigned by week and not by day. For me it makes it easier to adjust your reading by reading more or less when needed. Let me know if you’re reading along with me. The plans is as follows.

Week 1: Genesis 1-25
Week 2: Genesis 26-50
Week 3: Job 1-24
Week 4: Job 25-42, Exodus 1-10
Week 5: Exodus 11-34
Week 6: Exodus 35-40, Leviticus 1-15
Week 7: Leviticus 16-27, Numbers 1-4
Week 8: Numbers 5-21
Week 9: Numbers 22-36, Psalms 1-17
Week 10: Psalms 18-55
Week 11: Psalms 56-94
Week 12: Psalms 95-150
Week 13: Deuteronomy 1-19
Week 14: Deuteronomy 20-34, Proverbs 1-7
Week 15: Proverbs 8-31
Week 16: Ecclesiastes, Joshua 1-10
Week 17: Joshua 11-24, Judges 1-5
Week 18: Judges 6-21, Ruth
Week 19: Song of Songs, 1 Samuel 1-16
Week 20: 1 Samuel 17-31, 2 Samuel 1-7
Week 21: 2 Samuel 8-24
Week 22: 1 Kings 1-18
Week 23: 1 Kings 19-22, 2 Kings 1-16
Week 24: 2 Kings 17-25, Isaiah 1-11
Week 25: Isaiah 12-37
Week 26: Isaiah 38-59
Week 27: Isaiah 60-66, Jeremiah 1-14
Week 28: Jeremiah 15-36
Week 29: Jeremiah 37-52
Week 30: Lamentations, 1 Chronicles 1-12
Week 31: 1 Chronicles 13-29, 2 Chronicles 1-7
Week 32: 2 Chronicles 8-38
Week 33: Ezekiel 1-20
Week 34: Ezekiel 21-38
Week 35: Ezekiel 39-48, Daniel
Week 36: Hosea, Joel, Amos
Week 37: Ezra, Nehemiah
Week 38: Esther, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah
Week 39: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Week 40: Matthew 1-17
Week 41: Matthew 18-28, Hebrews 1-8
Week 42: Hebrews 9-13, James, Mark 1-9
Week 43: Mark 10-16, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude
Week 44: Luke 1-15
Week 45: Luke 16-24, Acts 1-7
Week 46: Acts 8-21
Week 47: Acts 22-28, Romans
Week 48: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians
Week 49: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Week 50: 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, John 1-10
Week 51: John 11-21, 1, 2 and 3 John
Week 52: Revelation

South Africa day 1


Waiting to board the first leg of our flight to south Africa. Excited to be traveling with Harold & Kelly, Mike & Kathy, Jamie and Andrea.

Cedar Ridge Mexico Trip

Thanks Scott Ulrich for posting this great video. We had a team of 87 from Cedar Ridge travel to Puerto Penasco over spring break and build homes. While some students were skiing and enjoying the beach, these were serving. Most of our adults had to take vacation time from work. I love it when people “live like that”

Coweta Campus Postcard 1

Check out postcard #1 that is in the mail this week promoting the April 1st launch of our Coweta Campus. This is the first of five cards going to about 6,500 households in about a 4 mile radius of the church. What do you think? Let me know if you get one in the mail.

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