Job’s Dark Night

“Job demonstrates that God is after our honesty and not our perceived notion of holiness.” – Pastor Rich Villodas

If I’m being totally transparent, I thought I was going to be watching a sermon that had some ties to WandaVision. I had already planned out how I was going to arrange the notes; what dynamic poses I was going to draw Wanda and Vision in and really I just needed to points to drop in. I was wrong and this sermon had so much more to teach me. You would think at this point I would have learned to not come into a sermon with expectations of what I am hoping to gain from it but rather just let the experience happen as God intended it. 

What a sermon though; Pastor Rich was describing my exact experience in cherry picking Psalms that would fit my mood or personality for a given moment. I am fortunate to be in a good place but there are way too many around me that are hurting right now and this sermon is such a great appeal to pray for them in a way that is empathic and useful. I can’t do it justice; I recommend checking it out.

Thanks to Pastor Rich and NLF for a moving and God-filled message!

Not Feeling It Part 2: Depression

“If you are alive you are not done. You are still here because God has something for you to do!” Pastor Ron Frisch

I headed over to New Jersey to check out Bridge Church and the “Not Feeling It” series they have right now is ON FIRE. 😳 I am 100% in favor of the church talking about tough topics like depression head-on. I feel like there are way more people in the church dealing with anxiety, depression, and a bunch of other stuff than we can even imagine. I wouldn’t look down on anyone who is dealing with these issues in the same way I wouldn’t look down on someone who is dealing with heart disease or a broken leg. This sermon is pulled from 1 Kings 19 and speaks to the process of Elijah fleeing to Horeb. I tried to line up the stages with the specific verses but ran out of room. I highly recommend just reading 1 Kings 19 and then head into the sermon.

I may have to check out this past Sunday’s service on Conflict Resolution because that sounds awesome as well!

Thanks for making the Bible real Pastor Frisch and Bridge Church! 🙌 Appreciate you!

P.S. I tried to get this quote in there but at one point Pastor Frisch said, “We are a note-taking church, it’s important to write things down!” You know I’m all for that! I might need to put that in the book!

The Revolving Door of Righteousness

These are my notes from this last Sunday’s service of my home church at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

Pastor Jonathan preaching from Judges and laying out how time and time again we mess up but true repentance is turning away from that thing that causes us to stumble.

I’ve always loved how Erwin McManus describes this – I can still recite (well…paraphrase) this whole part of a speech I heard from him from over 15 years ago:

“Were the boundaries of the garden of Eden so small that Adam and Eve had to stand next to the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Likewise; why do we keep hanging around the things that seek to destroy us? Adam should have swept Eve off her feet and said, ‘We’re building a raft and we’re cruising; the earth is our playground.’”

God bless you friends!

P.S. Usually I tend to highlight the Pastor and notes from the sermon but I realize how much of a role other people play in creating an entire service; I’ll try to highlight them a little more when I can! 🙌

Alisa Childers Podcast #96

“As Bible students, we have to be careful that we don’t read into the text what we want it to say – we have to let the text speak for itself.” @allengparr

The thing I really like about podcasts is the feeling that I get to hang out with a couple of interesting people as they talk about something that I really don’t have any authority to speak about. The @alisachilderspodcast is no different and I’ve been listening to them at various time throughout the last month. While this conversation in particular was wide ranging (like babies in heaven, the prosperity gospel, and slavery) this quote from Allen Parr really stuck out to me. I used to be the kind of person that would use the Bible in a tactical way to prove a point I was making rather than just digging into what the actual words were saying. In fact, I didn’t really read the words at all. It’s frustratingly easy to be a Christian and never really have to pick up the source from which all of this flows.

There’s a ton of great episodes, I can’t draw them all, but I’ve learned so much in digging through them. Thanks Alisa! 🙌

Joshua: The Whole Story

I’ve followed Pastor Dean Inserra on twitters for a while and I really have appreciated his perspective on certain things! I wondered over to City Church Tallahassee and caught the Sunday Service on Joshua and it’s awesome! I imagine most churches that are reading through the Bible (like ours) are probably at Joshua right now so it was timely that my home church sermon and this one are on the same topic.

Sometimes when I do these things I try to reflect afterwards on whether or not I caught the Pastors’ full intention and this could be one where I missed it. As I’ve read through Joshua recently I was struck by the violence that you never really hear about and I really appreciate how Pastor Dean brought it into perspective when talking about Gods judgement and Gods grace. I’d highly recommend checking out the whole sermon; I’m sure you’ll be blessed as I have been!

Also – I’m terrible with geography and learned today that “Tallahassee” does not end with a “y.” 😅

Choosing Space for Hobbies

“Choosing Fun, making space for hobbies in your spiritual life is actually going to be a deposit in who you want to be in the long run.” @anniefdowns

I’ve sketched a few episodes of the @preachersnsneakers podcast – he interviews some really interesting people and this one was no exception! I’ve got a pile of books to read already but I’m definitely going to add “That Sounds Fun” by Annie F. Downs to it. I identify with this quote so much because it’s exactly what I’m doing here. I’ve tried the “make art on the internet” thing quite a few times and it always failed because “getting paid” was my measure of success. When I changed it around to “I’m going to try and honor Jesus and enjoy it” is when I really started to feel not success but joy. I don’t feed my family with what I make from creating sketches but I definitely feed my soul.

That last sentence was a little gooey. You know what, I’m going to leave it there! 😅 Thanks for another awesome podcast – I appreciate what you do! 🙌

Psalm 144:4

Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow. -Psalm 144:4

I’m constantly struck by how short life here really is. Whenever I think about holding back forgiveness, holding on to anger, or building up my pride I think about how little time I have here and how it shouldn’t be squandered. 

I commonly use the phrase “tick tock” and it has nothing to do with dancing on the internet but everything to do with the counting down of my time. There’s not enough time for an amazing life AND a whole bunch of bitterness and regret. It’s not that I choose to let it go; I choose not to pick it up to begin with. ☠️

Looking for Offense

“The more offense I was picking up, the more exhausted I became.” Jason Ewart

I was starting the series “Trigger Happy” from @hopelakecountry and man did this quote pop out at me. It’s so true – both in the finding of offense and the exhaustion of picking it up. I’ll likely sketch out the whole thing but this was one of those things that pastor Jason said that made the light bulb came on. God bless you friends! 🙌

Where the Healing Begins

This morning I headed over to New Beech Grove Baptist Church over in Newport News and watched guest speaker @revmikeadams deliver a great sermon about reaching around our boundaries and reaching for Jesus. Can’t argue with that! Some great quotes, I couldn’t get them all in here. Thanks for a great sermon Pastor Mike!

Crappy Christian Podcast Episode: 98

“If Jesus is agreeing with you on all the issues and beliefs you hold then it’s possible you aren’t following Jesus but a glorified version of yourself.

Jesus isn’t supposed to look like us, there is something about Him and what He invites us to that makes us uncomfortable. If you’re not uncomfortable you might be missing something.

We’ve got to lean into that tension.”

Sarah Bauer Anderson

I just keep finding awesome content out there about Jesus and this week I’ve been listening to episodes of the @crappychristianco podcast!. So much good stuff presented in a way that’s actually challenging and though provoking.

This interview with @sbanderson was awesome and really opened up the struggle that I have sometimes in that I want Jesus to agree with me on issues that he may not agree with me on. I appreciate that the tension spoken about here isn’t the tension of arguing with someone else but rather coming to terms that we may not always be right about things we’ve always thought we’ve been right about. I’ve found this to be especially true with politics; the more I dig into any specific issue the more I find nuance and gray. I’m finding it’s way more important to come down from the one-liners and noise to where the details and the people affected by politics actually live. It’s hard not to have empathy when you can place an actual person in line with the politics you hold.

Maybe that’s how we get out of this culture of calling people we don’t agree with “evil” or “deranged.” 🤷‍♂️

So much good stuff. Blake is an amazing host and I’m sure this podcast will show up on this feed again! 🙌