Tough Questions: The Resurrection

This is the second question/answer post in our Tough Questions series.

Question (from Loretta Hazel): “Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 all tell us about the Resurrection, but they all have some key differences in the accounts. Differences that I personally struggle to piece together to form one story. How do we explain how all 3 accounts are accurate?” Read more →

Tough Questions: Violence in the Old Testament

This is the first question/answer post in our Tough Questions series.

A few months ago, we preached through the book of Judges at Blueprint.  If you’ve ever read through the book you know that there are some tough things to grapple with.  In my opinion, there’s nothing more difficult to wrestle with than reconciling God’s goodness with His apparent command of mass genocide of entire nations.  How could a loving God do something like this?  How could He not only kill innocent people that haven’t done anything wrong, but also enlist other people (namely the Israelities) to be accomplices in this act?  Is it a contradiction for Him to command His people not to murder but then order them to kill people?  How could God’s people be holy while they carry out a decree like this? Read more →

Tough Questions: Intro

For most people, the Bible is intimidating.  When I think about how to justify that statement, two truths come to mind.  One truth is pretty objective and the second is more subjective. Read more →

What Does “Circles” Mean?

It was just another day in my Old Testament Historical Literature class. I was taking notes and keeping a literal tally of how many times my professor said “interesting dynamics,” his pet phrase. At some point during the class, my professor turned to the dry-erase board behind him and drew a large spiral. Read more →

Life Verses, Volume 2

We’re currently going through a sermon series at Blueprint entitled “Life Verses.” Each week, one of our pastors is walking us through a set of verses that has been influential in his life. But God’s Word isn’t just for pastors! It has the ability to powerfully affect and transform each of us. Here are the “Life Verses” of some of Blueprint’s other staff: Read more →

Life Verses, Volume 1

We’re currently going through a sermon series at Blueprint entitled “Life Verses.” Each week, one of our pastors is walking us through a set of verses that has been influential in his life. But God’s Word isn’t just for pastors! It has the ability to powerfully affect and transform each of us. Here are the “Life Verses” of some of Blueprint’s other staff: Read more →

Accidental Pharisee

That’s me. Well, a pharisee is what I’ve been acting like for quite some time now. No sooner than me throwing in the towel, quitting my performance of Christianity, did this reality hit me.

One day, visibly frustrated, my friend expressed her displeasure with our constant debates. Of course I defended myself, but I realized in doing so I was only digging a deeper hole. So, for a moment, I stopped thinking of how unfair her sentiments seemed to be, and considered the worst. What if I am prideful? What if I do always think I’m right, so my opinions are really facts I believe other people just haven’t been exposed to yet? What if I’ve come up with my own rules of what holiness looks like? What if I really do look at people who don’t have my “convictions” as less righteous than me? What if what I’ve thought was a pure desire to be holy and honor God has really been a drive to gain righteousness, because I didn’t believe righteousness could truly be given to me without my works earning it for me? What if my view of God has been pretty low, especially in the unconditional love department? What if…I’m a pharisee? Read more →

Forgive me for asking

For the past few weeks, hmm maybe months, I’ve been wrestling with something inside. My friends can attest to it, because just about once every week I’m venting to one of them about it. I even read some articles that communicated much of what I was dealing with (Anthony Bradley and Jasmine Baucham), but not exactly.  I do feel like an emphasis on discipleship and exposing our comfortable Christianity were necessary books and speeches written and given by David Platt and others, but I don’t think we’ve heard enough of the perhaps less radical messages to give us a healthy tension. So, I feel trapped in the thinking that I have to share Jesus everywhere in everything. I wanted to come to some amazing, John Piper-inspired conclusion about it, but I can’t. I didn’t want to keep questioning God or other people, but I know that God (at least) can handle my questions—even if it means He’ll just respond with even better ones like he did to Job (was that not the finest sarcasm ever?). So, please God, forgive me for asking…

But can I just live a normal life? Read more →

God In Us

When Dhati kicked off our new series, One, by looking at the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church he gave the challenge to study the person of the Spirit as depicted in John 14-16. What follows are my thoughts.

The story depicts the emotionally charged account of Jesus’ last night before he was betrayed and delivered over to be crucified. In John 16, Jesus is trying to warn his disciples of His fastly approaching death. The man who they had come to know and trust as Lord, who they left families and gave up everything to follow, would no longer be there to guide, teach and love them.  I don’t think there is a louder cry in the human heart than the desire to know God. And they had him: tangibly, intimately and very personally.

And he was leaving. Read more →

SLOW DOWN

Here’s the problem

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine this past week as we were on the back porch grilling. Having just celebrated a birthday, we were talking about the “good ole days” and what’s wrong with these “young bucks” nowadays. My good friend shared with me a story about a guy he had a conversation with. He asked the younger guy what he was learning, and the younger dude responded by recounting all the books he was reading—restating all the quotes that he tweeted from the books that he read. When he got done, my friend repeated the question, “So what are you learning? Out of all the life-changing quotes that you just restated, what are you applying? How is your life being changed?” Surprisingly (or not surprisingly depending on your view of “this generation”), the guy was silent. His silence answered the question with a resounding NOTHING. I’m reading, I’m studying, I’m processing—but I’m not learning anything. Read more →

(Ordinary)Gospel.(Automatic)Family.(Latent)Mission.

Last night, our college ministry had the semester’s first large-scale gathering of students and others in the college-age range at what we call The Brook. I had the opportunity to co-host the event with a dear friend of mine, and we’d spent the past weeks planning, creating and losing sleep. [Pause] Think about the arrangement of that sentence. I said I had the opportunity to co-host. But what about the planning, creating and losing sleep? Were those opportunities too? Considering that when we think about an opportunity, we usually follow it up with some noteworthy action, a platform, some dream come true or some profitable endeavor, I’d say no. The fact that God would let me stand on a stage was the opportunity. Isn’t that what we all want in some arena or another? To be seen and heard.

Read more →

66 books in 30 days (part 3)

8.   Solomon’s life illustrates our real problem (lavish whoredom not lack of wisdom)

  • This was by far the one that was most pivotal for me.  If you don’t pay attention to any other point, please follow this one.
  • I Kings Chapters 10 and 11 lay out this point beautifully.  In 1 Kings 10, we see a chapter that focuses on Solomon’s wisdom.  The Queen of Sheba is impressed with him because he’s so smart.  The chapter goes on and talks about all the money and possessions he had as a result of his wisdom.  It looks like an upward swing.
  • 1 Kings 11:1 starts off with a sad verse, however, “Now Solomon loved many foreign women…”  Solomon’s heart went after things that God told Him to stay away from.  His head was in the right place, and he was the wisest man to ever live, but that didn’t stop His heart from wandering.  Solomon’s real problem wasn’t a lack of wisdom, it was lavish whoredom.
  • Read more →

    66 books in 30 days (part 2)

     Part 2 of the lessons I learned from reading the entire Bible in one month. (see Part 1)

    4.  Doctrine leads to Doxology

    Very early on, something else occurred to me.  The Bible is filled with people thanking God.  Wherever God’s character is seen and revealed, His people explode with a kind of spontaneous and robust praise—they can’t help it! It just comes out as the natural response to God revealing Himself.  The only people that don’t respond with praise when God reveals Himself are people that have a hard heart and are frustrated with Him (i.e. the Pharisees in the gospels).

    It exposed how hard my heart was and just how little I was appreciative that God would choose to enter into relationship with me and show me things about Him that are beautiful. I’ve begun to take special notice of the things that I’ve learned about God and respond with thanksgiving in return.

    Read more →

    66 books in 30 days

    Confession

    I’m a pastor.  That means that, in some sense, I get paid to read my Bible.  I’m a Christian.  That means that I’m supposed to read the Bible.  You can see how being a pastor has its advantages.  I get paid to do what I’m supposed to be doing!  Since this is the case, you would assume it wouldn’t be a struggle to read my Bible.  Right?

    I had to include this intro so that you don’t think more highly of me than you should.  The last thing I want to do is post this in order for you to be impressed by my iron will or steadfast determination.  The reality is that I don’t have either of those and that’s exactly the reason I had to do something this radical.

    Here’s how it went down… Read more →

    Different But Equal (Part 2)

    2: ROLE of RESPECT: You have the power to breath life or death.

    The best way we can help is to breath life into our husbands.

    How do you breath life?

    God created man with such a uniqueness from women.  I wish someone had TOLD ME SOONER!   As a woman, I don’t need the same things a man does; they don’t need the same things we do.  I see this in my sons and daughters already. Trinity, Jade, and Briaiah need to be protected, pursued, told they are beautiful, affirmed, hugged; their hearts need to be shepherded.  Dhati, Brayden and Nathaniel need to conquer, they need to be the strongest, they need to know that their lives count for something and they naturally protect.

    Read more →

    Different but Equal

    I am a mom of six, and I take this parenting thing very seriously. When I am asked to share about marriage and women’s roles in marriage, I ask myself, “If I could have had only two concepts shared with me or two concepts I could share with my daughters, what would they be?” Read more →

    SEX: The Joys and Pains

    Over the next few weeks, as a church, we will be examining 1 Corinthians 7 and specifically focusing on Sex, Singleness and Divorce/Remarriage in our sermon series #RelationshipStatus.  This past Sunday, we looked at SEX: A Spiritual Battle; with that in mind, this week’s posts will provide more personal reflections/experiences from others on this topic.   

    My Journey

    Six years ago, my husband and I struggled with sexual intimacy.  As a woman and wife, I was devastated. Doctors weren’t sure what was going on until a year into our marriage. They gave me several medical diagnoses due to painful intercourse. Three years and 60 lbs later, I was told I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is a life-long disease causing: cysts on the ovaries, an increase in testosterone, weight gain, excessive hair growth, and infertility due to an irregular menstrual and ovulation cycle.  Ahhhhh!! Deep breaths. So many times I would tell myself that, but I never knew whom I was talking to because in the midst of all of this myself was fading. Can you imagine the stress and communication breakdown our marriage endured? My testosterone levels were so high, I often felt out of control. I mean overly aggressive, moody and sometimes abusive.

    Read more →

    Monkey See

     This week features posts from Angie Lewis.  She is the wife of our lead pastor, Dhati, and proud mother of six. Angie’s unique voice and perspective promises to encourage and strengthen those who read. We hope you enjoy and are blessed.

    Everyone in our family has memorized the verse about not doing evil for evil or insult for insult—1 Peter 3:9,“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” One night, we put the kids to bed by 7:30 pm. Note: they are in their room—not because they are tired—but because we are. The boys are allowed to play in their own beds and talk, but not to get up. Nathaniel, on this night, disobeyed. He got up and threw a toy at Brayden’s head. Who knows if he was being mean or not? But we do know he likes to throw everything! So, I can assume that he didn’t actually mean to hurt him, but he did. Brayden starts crying. I head upstairs to shut down all of the commotion. As I walked up the stairs, I hear another big thud, and then Nathaniel begins to cry. “What happened?” I asked. Dhati Jr. (DJ) proudly answers, “I took care of it, Mom. I just did evil for evil. Nathaniel threw a toy at Brayden, so I threw a toy at Nathaniel.” The huge smile across his face told me that he thought he did the right thing. I held back my laughter. I explained that ‘evil for evil’ was actually a bad thing, not a good thing. I had discussed this very thing with all of the children while we memorized the scripture. I thought that everyone had a solid understanding of the text that we worked so hard to hide in our hearts by committing it to our memory. DJ was so disappointed by his misunderstanding. Hmm…I guess memorizing doesn’t necessarily give you an appropriate view of its explanation.