Experimenting with Christmas this year using Advent Conspiracy as a template
We may not be the largest church community but we have great stories popping up everywhere
Latest update from our team who recently travelled to Uganda to help out with Mercy’s Village
Life here goes really fast, but it’s quieter and I was able to soak up the experience when I was there
Broke it down to simple lessons
1) felt like a millionaire
Felt like I had so much more to be thankful for
It’s kind of overwhelming to visit a country with poverty
It slowly sucked into me
It’s awesome that Jeami has this school
You just start working on one person’s life and you can make a practical difference
2) you need to be mindful of how you help
I did a lot of talking and a lot of listening
When the rebels terrorized the village, other organizations came in and helped them with food and medicine
Teaching the to be self-sufficient is different and Jeami’s super aware of that
My hope is that each of us and discover how to use our gifts to help others
When their lives are empowered, they can empower others and help others out of their overflow
You don’t have to go to Africa to be helpful
If you do support Mercy’s Village, you’re helping
Mud hutting a wall
Everywhere we went on the bus there were so many happy kids
Got to worship at Watoto church with the choir (they’ve visited us before)
Lunch with Mercy’s mother, the village cook
Poshon beans = like corn meal and flour in a mashed potatoes consistency
Kids were dancing and singing to welcome us to the school
Bota botas = motorcycles
The kids faces at the end of it made it all worth it
At first they weren’t responsive when I asked if they were excited about the playground, but that was because they had no idea what it was!
It was awe inspiring to feel God’s awesomeness in the black night sky with all those stars
Tiny little sideshow video of what we accomplished
And then some little things
El Segundo Rotary donated the money for the playground
Monthly supporter plan that we’re trying to start up
Oh, I forgot to mention that I wouldn’t have been able to go without your support, so thank you so much!
Prayer for offering
Jesus left with his disciples and went to the lake. A large crowd followed him because they had heard what he was doing. They were from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the area surrounding Tyre and Sidon. Jesus told his disciples to get a small boat ready for him so the crowd wouldn’t crush him. He had healed so many people that everyone who was sick pushed forward so that they could touch him. Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down at his feet and shouted, “You are God’s Son!” But he strictly ordered them not to reveal who he was. Jesus went up on a mountain and called those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve and called them apostles. He appointed them to be with him, to be sent out to preach, and to have authority to throw out demons. He appointed twelve: Peter, a name he gave Simon; James and John, Zebedee’s sons, whom he nicknamed Boanerges, which means “sons of Thunder”; and Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, Alphaeus’ son; Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. (Mark 3:7-19 CEB)
How does Jesus respond to the popularity
Apostles translates as “sent ones”
If we observe the text….
Naming was important it wasn’t just giving someone a label
Sons of thunder, isn’t that epic?
If we think about the importance of names today
It’s more than just a hamburger
This essence that …
In n out’s buns are made by Puritan bakery, which is owned by the Grimes family
Matt, great buns
Oh so sleek, sexy, curvaceous, cat-like
Who’s going to be watching you?
Sting and The Police
Real name: Gordon baythew ???
Edge and Bono
Kanye and Kim come up with North
Naming a child doesn’t necessarily specify where they will end up
How many people have names that honor grandparents or great-grandparents?
I was reflecting on God’s creation of e universe
God names things into existence
That suggests that God named all the animals
We describe, God determines
This is the nature we intend, the purpose
So Jesus’ followers are going to become sent ones
Jesus is determining the essence of who they are meant to be
Just because Jesus declares them as sent ones doesn’t meant they’re ready to go
He names them and then creates them, working them into what they’re meant to be
A transformation is occurring
Jesus never calls us and leaves us where we are
Come to me, follow me, and I’ll transform you into your true essence
You can see hints of this all over the Bible
When you’re weak, you are strong
There is a bit of an identity crisis
I hear people say “where do I fit” a lot
We have all these appreciation months for individuals
How are you getting your identity?
I think one of the biggest ways are our work and our families
I want you to hear this
Whatever names you, owns you
If you get your identity from your wealth or your family or your work…what happens when you lose it?
When the thing that names you fades away, what happens to you?
Athletes are a prime example of people having an identity crisis after their identity fades away
Zip codes change, kids grow up and move away, spouses come through for us and sometimes not
Change is the only constant we can count on
A stable identity is a core need
Why do you think Jesus pulls these 12 away in the middle of people coming from 100 miles away to see Him?
There’s some kind of authority that Jesus has when He teaches
There’s something unique and different
I look at Jesus and say “That’s a person I can trust”
Greek word poeme, God’s poetry
Art is an expression of the inner beauty of the artist
This is what Paul says that God does with US
God doesn’t make junk
If you think about our lives through hardship and pain and loss
And then maybe we have a season where we have peace
But we know that just around the Corner things are. Going to go sideways
We’re going to fail miserably
What names you owns you
Simon, the rock
Sure they’re super strong, but if you put them in water and they sink super fast
Here’s the thing about Peter that strikes me: it took him a long, LONG time to grow into his name
Make me patient, hurry up, let’s do this thing
What if God came to you tonight and named you son of thunder?
Can’t wait to tell my wife!
I’m a son of thunder! Just take out the trash.
Have to lose yourself to find yourself
Our mission is to move out in word and in deed
Sent ones to proclaim a message
When we put the teachings of Jesus to work in our lives, we start to feel like we’re good at it
Do you ever record yourself, listen back to it, and say “I’m awesome”?
Doesn’t work for me, I hear that Michigan nasally-ness
It’s like we’re too close to ourselves to know ourselves
Most of us are very deep in denial about our character flaws
That’s why it’s called self-denial
Our dearest friends should have full license to tell you the worst things about you
Is there somebody in your life who has the courage to do that?
Do you have really close friends like that that you can invite into your life?
The one thing we can trust and know is that Jesus is with you
Christ is always connected to you
As you are finding these things to change in you, remember that Christ is with us
He’s committed to you because He is a grand poet, a grand artist trying to bring things out in us
Let’s take a few moments and let this sit with us
Help me determine my blind spots