The Anchor Church is Excited to Announce…

It’s only a few short weeks for The Anchor Church until will launch into a new location. Such a journey we’ve encountered. If I describe how excited we are for this move it would be with these words; Christmas Eve. We are like a kid with joyful anticipation.

We are so thankful for what God is doing. We have plenty of work for everyone to do. I hope you will join us on this journey to Make Christ Known, Commit to Godliness, and Serve the City.

Thank you also to Regan Kramer (www.ReganKramerMedia) for putting this piece together. We ask you to please share this video on all of your social media platforms.

Thanks for spreading the word about The Anchor Church. See You Sunday. 11/9/2014.

 

The Anchor Church is Moving. Here’s Why.

Open doors. If only life was a C.S. Lewis armoire. We stumble through, find adventure, fight a few battles and win the day. Well maybe it is? The last six months of life with The Anchor at times has felt like Lewis is storying us. The latest chapter in our 1.8 years of existence involves moving locations. Here’s how that happened.

Six months ago we, as leaders, saw the need for a more strategic location. So we prayed. Then we gathered a team of go-getters. Then we empowered the team to go for it and find a new spot. This new ‘location team’ was turned down at least 15 times in person. And countless times from places that wouldn’t return phone calls or emails.

Abandoned strip malls said no. Schools around the county said no. Dying churches said no.

Then it happened. In the blink of an eye, in a flash of the sun, we heard, ‘yes’. One school out of all the schools, malls, and dead churches we asked said yes. This yes came with a promise of certainty that God had opened a door. And I quote:

I am a Christian and I pray over this school every morning along with the principal. We are the only two Christians. For the last six months we have prayed that a church would come and rent this school so that prayer would be continued through the weekend.

– Mrs. Dumervil, Assistant Principal, Manatee Bay Elementary in Weston

When God opens a door you simply walk through it. You don’t need to run. You only need to live by faith. Act in faith. Pray in faith. And, win the day with faith. You can say amen now.

Starting November 9, 2014 we will hold our first of many church services in Weston at Manatee Bay Elementary. On that morning when you arrive and walk through the doors of the school, just remember, God opened them.

See you Sunday.

#livelikeHEprovides

Why Christians Should Comment on Joel Osteen…and How.

It will no doubt go down as one of the most responded to posts in social media history. Thousands of comments toward Victoria and Joel Osteen based on their statement:

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God – I mean, that’s one way to look at it – we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” said Osteen in a sermon to the congregation at her Lakewood Church in Houston.

“So I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

I’m not responding to the quote. That is in overkill. I am speaking to Christians that insist that other christians should or should not ‘bash’ the Osteens. First, no Christian should bash another. It rarely serves the greater good. BUT. We do need to explain biblical truth to our churches. Especially as pastors which some of us are. We must teach our churches what is truth by God’s own words. That direction is in this verse.

Acts 20:28: Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

The statement by the Osteens is against scripture in every way, shape and form. It’s kinda a no brainer, scripturally/theologically. Acts 20:28 directs pastors to alert people to bad theology as a part of overseeing the church. We teach what is right from scripture.

The general rule of teaching Gods word is this:

1. Use the Bible as the starting, middle and ending point of the sermon. Teach what the Bible says. The text drives the message. “What is the Bible saying?” is the question to ask yourself. Then teach that.

2. Don’t add a good idea to an already perfect text. The message of the Bible speaks on its own. The message of the Bible can stand on its own. Teach it. Many in our churches today have no idea that Gods word is authentic and valid for their whole life. Let the text bring the main point before the Apple launch commercial does.

3. Get this. Scripture interprets itself. A phrase like, “God wants you to be happy” isn’t supported throughout the bible. A phrase like “God wants you to find your happiness in him” is.

4. If you can teach it to the underground persecuted church then you can teach it to the free church. That is the big test. Can you imagine telling a persecuted Christian, “God takes pleasure when we are happy”? May as well tell them they aren’t praying hard enough.

Also, this blog post is how you do all of that. You state what is true without making the untruth the focus. Now you know ;)

Thoughts? Comments?

 

 

How to Survive A Post-Mission Trip Melt Down.

Hi. Welcome back to (fill in your home city/town). On behalf of your life let me extend this invitation to return to clean water, flushable toilet paper, the internet, your wife/husband and kids, mortgage payment, broken ‘fridge, and general plethora of TV channels. You can now stop wearing your sloganized group t-shirt.

Its been about two months since you returned. You figured it out on your international trip, right? You live better than about everyone, everywhere. The gospel needs to be the first priority in your life. Dang it, you wish you could live in (that place you went) and help the (pick your people group) forever. You feel guilty about it all. Conflicted. But your Instagram pose with an orphan and those solid 58 likes will make that go away with time. You did all you could for those 7 days. And now that feeling of clean emotional mountain top air is gone. It is quite the letdown. Let me confess. Been there – been that.

From Haiti to Peru to Ecuador to Mexico and on. I’ve walked with the poorest of the poor. Returned to my home and struggled with the amount of wealth I have. Oh, by the way. I’m a pastor and my wife drives a 1999 min-van with 146,000 miles and no a/c as of last week. But, I have clothes, food, clean water at my disposal and kids who enjoy a good education. Plus, health care. I have it at my disposal. I, like you, struggle with my way of life juxtaposed to theirs.

So how do you survive that? Here is how:

1. Accept that it was about you when you signed up and its about you now. It’s ok.

Short term missions is about the missionary more than the mission trip. You change. Your eyes opened. You nose remains shocked. Your can’t believe how they live. Yet, now the poor inspire you which is why you feel so guilty.

Heres the remedy: “It’s okay for you to be changed by God while you are serving God.”

The worst condition for any one to live in is a life without Christ. You helped the earthly poor abroad, now help the spiritually poor locally. They live right freakin’ next door to you. So how about walking that 50 feet and inviting your neighbor to coffee, cookout or clean water so they can hear about your trip and the gospel that will save them. Stay gospel ready.

2. Accept that your life cannot be just like it was on the trip.

Your heart ached. Your checkbook lowered. Off you went. Praise God you followed after his heart. Seriously, what is the down side of following God when he is the reward we chase?

Heres the remedy: “When God changes your life he expects you to live changed.”

Why can’t this trip be longer? Why can’t my life be so simple like the mission trip life? Well, we all want a life where we see exotic culture, don’t have to pay any bills, welcomed like heroes in every village and feel closer to God than ever. It’s not this-life real. It’s a picture of heaven. It’s a moment at the top of the spiritual mountain. It’s an AMAZING TRAINING PROCESS you went through. But you live here. Spend the same amount of time praying, reading the bible and gathering with Christians who are focused on the mission of Jesus. Stay changed.

3.  Don’t ever, ever, ever stop taking short-term mission trips.

We go on short-term trips to help the poor have clean water, set up churches, lead people to Jesus, bring gospel centered awareness to an issue in a part of the world that needs it. We also go short term so that more people will decide to stay long-term. Maybe that’s you? Maybe God is keeping you uncomfortable for these reasons:

  • You’re supposed to sell everything and go
  • You’re supposed to support missionaries or mission orgs… (that’s from God also)
  • You’re supposed to do something with what you were taught by God in the poorest place you’ve ever stood.

Here’s the remedy: 

Shut up and follow Jesus (that’s a different blog post btw). Seriously ;) Stop talking about the pain of a NASA sized re-entry and move on to the next great mission trip…your neighborhood. Stay on mission.

Jesus was asked what the greatest command is and this is what he answered:

Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

So. Welcome home. Proud of you. God bless you. Now, get after it.

p.s. It was amazing, wasn’t it :)

 

Not the Kind of Grief You Know…

Im preaching through Isaiah 53 this weekend and this coincidentally is the daily from ‘My Utmost for His Highest’. Chambers says so much in so little a time.

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3.

We are not acquainted with grief in the way in which Our Lord was acquainted with it; we endure it, we get through it, but we do not become intimate with it. At the beginning of life we do not reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin. We take a rational view of life and say that a man by controlling his instincts, and by educating himself, can produce a life which will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we go on, we find the presence of something which we have not taken into consideration, viz., sin, and it upsets all our calculations. Sin has made the basis of things wild and not rational. We have to recognize that sin is a fact, not a defect; sin is red-handed mutiny against God. Either God or sin must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue. If sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is no possible ultimate but that. The climax of sin is that it crucified Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will be true in your history and in mine. In our mental outlook we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact of sin as the only explanation as to why Jesus Christ came, and the explanation of the grief and sorrow in life.”

– Oswald Chambers

 

Hot. Muggy. Cold. Balmy. Which One are You?

Leaders set the temperature.

“When Apple developed the iMac, Jobs drove with Jony Ive to show it to the folks at Pixar. He felt that the machine had the spunky personality that would appeal to the creators of Buzz Lightyear and Woody, and he loved the fact that Ive and John Lasseter shared the talent to connect art with technology in a playful way.
Pixar was a haven where Jobs could escape the intensity in Cupertino. At Apple, the managers
“were often excitable and exhausted, Jobs tended to be volatile, and people felt nervous about where they stood with him. At Pixar, the storytellers and illustrators seemed more serene and behaved more gently, both with each other and even with Jobs. In other words, the tone at each place was set at the top, by Jobs at Apple, but by Lasseter at Pixar.”
Excerpt From: Walter Isaacson. “Steve Jobs.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/QyFUz.l
What is the temp where you are?