Wednesday, September 29, 2010

eat my flesh? drink my blood?

He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t misspeak. His words are calculated. weighed. perfect. He means exactly what He says.

“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” – Jesus Christ


tonight is the first night of taking on some of the truly hard things Jesus said. i figured this would be as good a place to start as any. if you take this verse without the context and at face value, the Son of God can come off as some crazy leader who belongs in some of the ever popular movies that are out these days. just so we’re clear: the Son of God is not a vampire. i’m not hating on those movies, guys. just making it known that you won’t find Him in the twilight series. we’ll get to why He mentions drinking His blood in a few. remember, He’s calculated. perfect. doesn’t make mistakes. this is not a statement that somehow got through the “perfect” filter that He now wishes He could have back. he doesn’t do that. He’s better than me.

He meant it.


because eating His flesh and drinking His blood was the absolute best way to put it to a group of people that had to hear it just that way or they may not get it. well, they got it. many may not have liked it at the time, but they got it.

check it out. john 6:53. just earlier (52 verses to be exact) Jesus had just fed the jewish crowd with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. 5K filled with bread that won’t last. i bet the little tots with high metabolism were hungry an hour later. that meal didn’t last. they needed more. thus, like we probably would, they kept following Him. not because they saw the miracle and realized He was the Son of God, but more likely because they got hungry again and free food is LEGIT. ask any college student. but, Christ was out to show them that He could fill them spiritually as well, which was so much more important to Him. thus, he mentions himself as the Bread of Life. and as for the blood? i think there’s several reasons Christ goes here. one, He’s clueing them in on the fact that soon, He will spill His blood for them. reminds me of when david writes psalm 34. “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

but is it deeper than that?

YES. after Jesus tells the crowd at the synagogue in Capernaum not to “work for the food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life”(6:27) the crowd asks for the sign. you see, they’re going back to the bread of their forefathers. exact same attitude as their descendants. seriously, read exodus. remember the manna that God made fall from heaven to quench the hunger of His people during the leadership of Moses? the Jews at this time believed that this same miracle would manifest again in this time. Jesus then tells them that He is the true bread from heaven and how “he who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.” (6:35) they're looking for one kind of bread. Jesus is offering them and you and me another. one that satisfies. quenches.

it goes ever deeper. did i mention it was during the second passover festival that Jesus says all this? it's one of the biggest events of the year. He knows the crowd. knows the time. and thus, He knows exactly what to say. to attempt to understand this completely, you and I must know why the Passover is celebrated by the Jews in the first place. the Passover celebrates when the LORD freed the Hebrews from the hands of Pharaoh. this is found in the book of Exodus during Moses’ leadership and right before the manna fell. remember the plagues and the staff of moses and all that jazz??? the gang finally got free, right? well, during that time, it was said that the Hebrews left so fast that the bread they were cooking didn’t have time to rise. it stayed flat. it got them through the exodus. thus, the primary symbol of the Passover holiday is the bread. the bread is the staple. the centerpiece. the jewish custom is to actually eat an incredibly important meal that commemorates the passover. it's called the seder meal. reminds them of the freedom God gave them in escaping the Egyptians. the primary food of the meal is the bread. the first part of the meal is the drinking of the wine.

Jesus is brilliant. knows this. gets this. then offers himself as the primary person in the history of the world in the exact way the Jews will understand. He is the staple. their bread won't last. neither will the wine. but He will. He is proclaiming Himself as the Messiah. the Centerpiece.

eat of Him. drink of Him.

they may not like it. many of the Jesus’ own disciples didn’t. but they got it.

right before chapter 7 starts, Scripture says that many of the disciples deserted Jesus. walked away. i love how david platt says it's tough to build a huge following when the Leader keeps telling people to eat Him and drink His blood. but, it's the right way to build true disciples.

and then check this out. during the initial Passover, what was placed over the doorframes to protect God’s people from the 10 plagues?

the blood of a lamb.

so, so incredible.

in that day, if you’ve got the lamb, you’re protected. you’re covered by it’s blood.
Jesus inserts Himself as the Lamb of God. the Bread of Life. that is why we're told to eat His flesh and drink His blood. only through His body are we satisfied. only by His blood are we covered.

it’s a tough saying. but, it’s the right one.

for them and for us.


ps. that's why we have the Lord's Supper now. it reminds us of the blood and body of Christ. given for us. it reminds us to give ourselves back to Him.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

pen pals.

can't begin to tell you how cool this is. just wait 'til a room full of high schoolers write this little guy back!


chooseday morning. drop off. walking.

i've been told to blog more. so here i am. just dropped the tman off at trinity. there. you. go. we waited in line as actual parents dropped off their kids. pretty funny stuff. moms waved goodbye. dads waved goodbye. so, in order to "look cool" and "fit in" i yelled "BYE SON!" as he grabbed his basketball gear and closed the door. he smiled. i chuckled out loud. we're cool like that, i guess. well, he is. he gets it from his parents.

david platt is kicking my tailgate right now. never met the man, but he puts me in my place and i'm so grateful. he's not a punk about it. he's actually cool about it. but, sometimes, i take my earbuds out in anger. seriously. not at him. but at my own selfishness. my own sinfulness. he says stuff like, "would you rather be comforted in your sin or confronted by it." God is using david in my life. he's in my ear right now. it's an older talk he's got about possessions and the "prosperity gospel." gosh he's right. i've got blind spots.

blind spots are faults i have that i don't see until God uses someone to point it out. or the Holy Spirit. He uses both. i'm learning this is a good thing.

it's always good to have someone shoot straight with you. (hahahaha platt just made me laugh out loud. in a public place. people are looking at me. haha oops...i'll tell you what he said later) but honesty is best. may hurt at first. but that hurt can become a good in our lives. i've gotta have people like this in my life. and not just in a podcast. you guys make me better. you may not even know it. thanks.

people know that my thing is soft heart=full heart and i'm getting more questions on where i am. daily. moment by moment.

so, honestly, at this moment my heart feels soft. at least i think it does. is that proud? i'm not trying to be. but, i do know it can get MUCH softer. i'm also not dumb enough to think it can't harden at the slightest thing. i have a tendency to do that. i'm also smart enough to know that there are plenty more blind spots i don't see yet.

i just want to be in Him. walking with Him. Scripture says for in Him, we live, move, and have our being. i like that.

wanting that today.


ps...thanks to all of you who expressed care and concern for my shattered phone. apple replaced it for free. but added a $215 shipping charge. interesting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

secret song. part dos.


tonight. sunday. next wednesday.


today is wednesday. not gonna lie, pretty excited about that. had christmas in a cup this morning and now i'm running on a powerade slush and a couple hamburgers. no red bull today. sorry brower. yeah, mom and dad, i'm eating pretty healthy today. needless to say, i'm ready to blog. i have a jacket on. this is GREAT news. it's rainy and a tad cool in the LBK today. this is so HUGE. so needed. the routine has been broken. i love the rain and the way it makes the air smell. so good. ben rector is in the background singing "i'm ready for change." yes, today is a good day. and it's barely started.

we've got some really great things happening over the next week. we've got 6:20 TONIGHT and it's been blowing up. i'm smiling so big right now. gotta keep praying. and praying. and praying. it's ALL Him. God is really molding the hearts of our kiddos and they're really getting it. our visitors are getting it. visitors are bring visitors to God. goosebumps. sunday, is the annual red and black day and i'm cool with that. dad, i vouched for black and gold day, but turns out vandy isn't on the radar out here. but tech's cool and i'm pumped. baron is coming to speak on sunday morning to our student ministry as a whole. turns out people like him a little bit and i've found that he's a pretty good dude who really believes that Jesus is who He says He is. he's not a great ping pong player yet, but that will come. picture rafa nadal...that's me. picture john mcenroe...that's him. feisty lil guy. but really, i can't wait to watch the Lord breathe life into us through him. and then there's a flag football tourney and more food than you can shake a stick at (what does that even mean?) afterwords. seriously, anybody got a idea where that line comes from?

(enter smooth transition here)

and then, next wednesday night at 6:20 we're diving into the "tough" sayings of Jesus. what did He say? why'd He say it? is He being serious? what does that mean for us? how do we change because of it? i'm pumped. i'm ready to dig into it and find the answers and help kiddos walk through what His statements mean in their life as HS students. and secret church was a blessing last week. thanks to jack for coming out and being so willing to share how Jesus is working in his part of the world. i think we've gotten more feedback from secret church that any other thing we've ever done. God is moving.

some of you parents are wishing by now that i'd hurry up and explain what the talk is on tonight. well, here you go! tonight, we're tackling what biblical leadership looks like and how we all get there. get this...the more and more i study the great leaders of the Bible, the more i realize they weren't great. let me explain. they weren't great. the God who moved through them WAS. look at moses. stuttering old shepherd. look at joshua. barely a man. rahab. simply believed. gideon. same story as joshua. habakkuk. only hope was God. john the baptist. he was the messenger. not the messiah. paul. he ran out of energy. called on God for His. you get the picture. but one must take a look at what made these people LEAD the way they did. here's my belief...


every one of the hearts of these people had to be softened enough to allow God to move through them. they had to wage the inner war within themselves of whose glory really matters. every great biblical leader fought the battle. God became the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. they HAD to be around Him. seriously. survey the leaders above. and then take a gander at your heart. i've gotta take a look at mine. solid leaders MUST have soft hearts to the glory of God. and when our hearts are soft, we can be filled by a God who waits to fill us at every moment of the day. God cannot use a hard heart. a hard heart produces a prideful spirit. and that gives birth to sin because we think the power is in us alone, when the whole time, it's been Him. look at Jesus. when all the disciples were arguing about who was cooler in the temple and asked Jesus who the "greatest" was, Jesus does something that i need to preach to myself over and over.

He calls a little kid over. a snot-nosed kid.

He tells them you gotta be like this little tot right here.

just fyi, i'm no kid expert. i measure kid ages by if they're taller than a coffee able or not. it's brutal. you guys who know me know that. but, i do know that a kid knows his father. knows his mother. has to be near. doesn't waver. doesn't ask serious questions of how all this stuff works. doesn't worry. kids can be so caught up in loving ma and pa, that nothing else matters. worry isn't even on the radar. He wants the same with you and me. i don't think toddlers are worried about their popularity. or social status. they just want mom and dad. can't do anything without them. in this case Jesus is showing them and us that He's our Father and that He's enough. to rest in His arms. to reject our unending quest for status and popularity. search Him. find identity in Him. when our hearts do that, they soften. and when we meet with Him, they grow even softer. and without even realizing it, you're at peace. you are full. no popularity contest will ever grant that. no bf or gf. no magazine. no amount of money. no new set of clothes. no accolade man can give. but, somehow, simply and beautifully, Jesus does that.

i believe every leader God used in Scripture went through this. God softened them. it sounds funny, but God softening us can often be pretty painful. we must let go. THAT'S HARD. it's a journey. but leaders walk it. they just jump in. like a 15 ft. high dive into the sovereign beauty of a Father that has chased you from the very beginning. it's not of us to be great leaders like we see all over Scripture, but it's Him working IN and THROUGH us. soft heart equals full heart. that's how our students become leaders.

by looking like toddlers.

kind cool, huh?


ps. secret song is halo from beyonce. BOO-YAH.

ps C. the first ps is false. but FUNNY. it's actually here...perfect with the rain out and i'm a liker of the grainy video style. it's andrew ripp. his album came out yesterday. dave barnes produced. ben rector and steve moakler are the other guys in the video. if this song is any indication of the whole record...well...then it will be purty purty good. how's that analysis for ya? i know, i're welcome! LOVE THIS SONG. GOD. IS. GOOD.

ps FOUR. thinking of testing THIS.

Saturday, September 18, 2010



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

secret church & legend following.

it’s 7:53am. lubbock is b-e-a-utiful this morning. i almost didn’t recognize her. the sunrise was so stinkin’ good. the LBK has cornered the market on the whole sunrise, sunset game. it’s God being all creative and such and i fear i’ve missed too many. but, all i’ve got is today and today was worth it. it reminds me of who’s in control and the beauty that He possesses. oh, and when i got to sugar brown’s our HS girls bible study was meeting. at 7am. YES. so, so, so GOOD. makes my morning, every wed. morning, when i see that happening. so stoked to have our HS gals and our interns who breath life into them! may they be light and hope in all their different hallways and classes today.

tonight is secret church. PUMPED. we’ve adopted what david platt has started at brookhills and put a student spin on it. thanks david. (like he reads this thing). anywhose, we take battery powered coleman lanterns and place four or five of them throughout the HS room. no other modern electricity. the AC gets a break. the chairs are put up. the mac stays off. no soundboard. no screens with words. it’ll be our first one of the year, which is awesome. and funny. why? because it’s so fun to watch the faces of all the freshmen who haven’t experienced one yet. we make them take their shoes off. truth is, when you go into a family's home in parts of the world, you've probably been walking through some "tough stuff." and who wants "tough stuff" in their house? not this guy. so, you take your shoes off out of respect. and because it would make our mothers smile and tell other mothers how good we kids are. nights like this have become a favorite. we model it after the way so many of our brothers and sisters have to worship around the world. in secret. underground. hiding. in fear. we sit on the floor as a big ‘ole family and pray for our bigger family. we simply ask God to move powerfully through their situation. God's mission through them becomes our focus. they’re our brothers and sisters…we’ve got the same Father. for the last three weeks, china and mongolia have been our focus. the facts state that their are more than 186 million folks in china alone who don’t know Jesus as savior. 186 MILLION. however, prayer IS changing china. growth there since 1977 is "unparalleled in ALL of history." dirks has come up big in leading our missions moments. he’s becoming a pro. such a sweet thing to have students teaching students about God’s activity around the world.

the talk tonight is simple. it’s short compared with other nights. maybe 10 minutes or so. why? there's lots to do. the Scripture for the last three wed. nights has focused on how God moved in and through moses and how He does the same for us. tonight, moses gets to see the promised land. but that’s as far as our boy gets to go. God foreknew it would now be joshua’s turn. joshua? joshua. you know…the kid who was in the tent of meeting with moses? YEAH, THAT KID! he heard all the conversations God had with moses. why? God was preparing him. he got the chance to listen to the heart of God day after day after day. think about it. pretty crazy. (truth - you and i have the same chance. every. single. day). it was now his turn. joshua may not have known it, but the Father sure did. God asks joshua to step up. will he? won’t he? will we? won’t we?

the words of the Lord to joshua at the beginning of the book named after him are so rich. so applicable. taste and see. i almost want to make it required reading for everyone i know for every single morning. imagine following a legend. imagine following the greatest leader in the history of a people group...

put yourself in joshua's shoes.

look at college sports. (i know…i’m sorry). when legendary coaches leave, it seems impossible for the new guy. think bobby bowden. bob knight. and whoever gets to follow jo pa or coach k at duke. that's four HUGE fan bases. four HUGE "people groups." florida state. indiana/texas tech. penn state. duke. new guy's under a microscope. haters show up in mass quantities. “does this young guy have what it takes?” “can he recruit?” “can he win ten games and send us to a bowl game so we can talk trash to our friends?” "can they win over the crazy fan base?" -think israel here.

in a way, the Lord simply says to joshua, “i’ve got you.” God’s not worried about him following the legend. never has been. why? because it’s NEVER been about moses. it’s always been about Him. it’s God’s power that generates success. it’s God’s Word that will flow from joshua’s lips. it's ALL God. all the time. God simply needs joshua to be willing. trust the Provider. it’s never really about the person. it’s ALWAYS about the Provider.

God’s got you. whether your following a legend or not.


ps...word on the street is that jack is coming to secret church to share some wisdom tonight. CAN'T WAIT.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

6:20. sunburns. tryouts. glory.

okay okay. IT'S WEDNESDAY! that's pretty exciting for a couple reasons. (1) wed. night worship is TONIGHT at 6:20 and i couldn't be more excited. add 7 exclamation points to the last sentence and that's about where i am. it's truly a blessing to hang out with and teach students the Gospel. i pray i do that well today. we've moved the time back 20 minutes because so many kiddos are getting out of practice later these days...that means we need a new logo, too. let the creativity flow. (2) today is a little chilly. and overcast. that's a day-maker right there. it actually feels like fall and not like my skin is about to melt off like at the game on saturday. bonkers i tell ya. sunburn galore. and (3) is simply that vandy plays lsu on saturday night and we are one day closer to redemption. espnu at 6:30, y'all. believe.

TONIGHT, we're going through perhaps one of my favorite stories in all of Scripture. like the last three weeks haven't been blowing my whole world up, we're now at the point where moses' face shines gloriously (LITERALLY...i'm serious) because he's been with the LORD. exodus 34:29-35. pretty incredible stuff. he didn't even know it at first. just kinda walked down the mountain and everybody just kinda stared. part of me thinks that he might have first asked them, "dude, do i have a booger hanging out or what?" his own friends and family were afraid. "dude looks weird." oh, and i almost forgot to mention that before he came down from the mountain, he spent 40 days with the LORD...without food or drink. and it WAS enough. repeat, He WAS enough. the LORD sustained him. i don't believe that's merely a symbol, either. i believe it actually happened. He was enough.

after everybody quit freaking out about our boy's face, moses spoke God's truth to them. interestingly enough, moses put a veil (i always picture a white wedding one...weird) over his face? WHY? it's a good question. it kept happening. whenever moses went to speak with the LORD, his face would shine. radiant. glorious. he would then speak with the people and again, the veil would go over his face. CRAZY. it seems like the glory would wouldn't last. why?

it wasn't intended to.

i remember the scariest moment of my life. at that point it was at least. i felt God was calling me to preach for a camp called crosspoint which is the little brother camp to fuge and mfuge and all the other lifeway camps. it's a sports camp. I LOVE IT. it's aimed at middle schoolers and after teaching tennis all over the country my first year, i just felt the Lord was calling me to speak. i didn't believe it was Him at first because i hated public speaking. got a "D" in my freshman speech class at samford. sweated through two shirts. BRUTAL. but, i really felt called to do this. so, i did. there were tryouts. tryouts? tryouts. "how do preaching tryouts work?" you ask. LIKE enter an incredibly large sanctuary with a talk that you've prepared. you shake hands with a guy you've never met, but heard all about and then you walk on stage and deliver the goods. man you've just met is the only soul in the room. and he sits in the back with a laptop. the very back. last row back. and you preach to an entire room of empty chairs. he told me to pretend like the room is full. nice.

i tried. don't remember much of what i said. i just remember that the radiant face of moses was what i talked about. i don't remember any "amens" or "that's good" or "yeah boys" from the back row. when i finished, i think i just said, "that's what i got." i said that because it felt weird to pray at the end of that message, ya know?? but, i really thought it would've been pretty hilarious to pray over all the people in the room. maybe he thought i'd be extra holy if i did that. i digress.

we had a meeting in the back row. i never thought i'd see a red pen run out of ink after one use. NOT KIDDING. i sat there sweating. when i'm nervous i sweat. sorry. he told me he liked what i had to say and said some nice things. but, then he let me know i forgot the ENTIRE rest of the story. he wasn't rude. he was like an older brother. like an older brother that's about to tell you that you have just BOMBED your interview. he simply said that there's another part to the story. he talked for forever about the fading glory and the glory that doesn't fade in 2 corinthians. when i shared only one part of the story, he pulled the whole thing together. and while i was thankful he did that, i went home crushed. i shared a story when i didn't even know the ending! i was at belmont at the time, but i drove back to the 'rents house to tell them the news. bummer. but, here's the cool thing...i learned the end of the story...

in that moment with the preaching guy, i needed to be teachable. humble. listening. not speaking. inside is was so down from messing the whole thing up, but what he was telling me was REVOLUTIONARY. the veil and the fading glory of moses' face symbolized the old covenant that God made between Himself and Israel. more importantly (in my opinion), it gave a glimpse of a coming Messiah. it's another foreshadowing of CHRIST...of a NEW covenant that would last forever! and that is available now. to you and to me. pretty cool stuff. how do i know?

2 corinthians 3:7-18. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. it's so beautiful to me how the entire Word of the Lord weaves itself together. crazy crazy good. read it for yourself - "if the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! for what was glorious has no glory now in comparison to the surpassing glory. and if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!" we don't need a veil. the new covenant that has come through Christ last forever. it is ever glorious and ever making us glorious through Him. we can shine. we can be radiant. the key to us having that is spending time with the LORD. i'm not saying that my face will be burning after i meet with the Lord and people will stare because i'm some kind of weirdo. what i am saying is that the new covenant has the power to change my oft hard heart to the point where i'm truly focused on Him and truly joyed with His presence in my life to the point where His glory is on my lips. it becomes Him instead of me. He fills me. He satisfies. He is all.

oh, and crazy thing is that God works despite our presentation. one of my favorite things about preaching. i got that job. He used it to radically change my life. have faith and cling to what He says. trust it. trust Him.


ps. secret song for wednesday?? okay, i'll give it to you. none but jesus. it's a hillsong tune. brooke fraser sings it. it's on repeat right now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

go time...almost.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS! (continuation of yesterday's blog)

i had totally missed this. CHECK IT. okay, at the end of chapter 33, there's the part where God hides moses in a rock to protect him from being consumed by His glory, right? what if i told you that specific rock is called the Rock at Horeb where God made water spring forth in exodus 17? keep following me. that rock is a foreshadowing of CHRIST. how? read 1 corinthians 10:3-4. Paul is talking about the Israelites in Exodus and says, "they all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." when he (we) deserved the see the full glory and wrath of God which would have consumed us, He placed moses on the rock. the foreshadowing of Christ's New Testament arrival is found all through the Old Testament. we're actually hitting one of those moments in a couple weeks. just didn't know there was one tonight until now. LOVE. THAT. matthew henry says, "It is in the clefts of this rock that we are secured from the wrath of God, which otherwise would consume us; God himself will protect those that are thus hid. And it is only through Christ that we have the knowledge of the glory of God." it ALL points to Christ. wow. i've gotta chew on that for a while.

dude above's ready for tonight. prep is to the point where i've studied all i can and i just can't wait to tell them the story. too. much. fun. the Scripture tonight does just what d platt says it's supposed to. it confronts us. and it softens our hearts toward His plan and His heartbeat. i'm praying that the students who enter the room tonight feel the Holy Spirit so strongly before worship even starts. how cool would that'd be? i hope they find tonight to be the place where the can leave all their struggles and walk out with none but Jesus. YEP!


ps dos. as far as secret song stuff goes, i'm tempted to put on "pennies from heaven" from the elf soundtrack as loud as it will go. however, since other people apparently have offices here, it's "all i can say" from a really old crowder record. oh, and after that it's "dimly" from justin barnard's fightsongs record. can't go wrong either way.

ps five. new 'crest shirts are in the works. seven options i think. and yes, there is a longsleeve in the mix. ur gonna want one. or seven.