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An Open Letter to Restoration Road Church on the eve of my Sabbatical

Brothers and Sisters, I love our church.  God has planted and grown something very special in this place.  This is not the result of dumb luck or a detailed strategy.  It is purely the result of the grace of God.  I feel blessed to be a part of this church and humbled to be one of its leaders. Near the end of May, my family and I will begin an extended Sabbatical in accordance with [...]

By |Categories: Uncategorized|

WE NEED A PASTOR | Vision pt.3

How many pastors does one church need? Before I became a pastor I often wondered what exactly a pastor did with all of his time.  Did he sit and study the Bible for 40 hours a week? Did he go from home to home checking in on each family in his church?  Did he knock on every door in his neighborhood or spend every minute evangelizing at coffee shops? Did he wander in the wilderness [...]

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MINISTRY: WHAT WE DO | VISION Pt.2

The church is more than a place where Christians just happen to hang out on Sundays. It is more than a once-a-week event, more than a religious outing, more than a Christian club. The church was not an addendum to God’s plan for salvation, in fact, we believe it is central to it. Jesus did not die for a person, he died for a church—a specific group of people—through whom he would continue to restore [...]

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MISSION: WHO WE ARE| Vision 2020 Pt.1

This past Sunday, our church gathered for a family meeting.  The purpose of the meeting was to update the church on our current health, and cast vision for the next few years.  We discussed some important needs and shared some exciting opportunities.  In a series of blogs, we will share more details about each part of our VISION 2020.  The booklet can be downloaded here and audio can be listened to here. The first, and most [...]

By |Categories: Church Plant 101, Restoration Road News|

A Way to Pray

Brethren, I have to EXHORT YOU TO PRAY FOR OTHERS. Before I do it, I will ask you a personal question. Do you always pray for others? Guilty or not guilty, here? Do you think you have taken the case of your children, your church, your neighbourhood, and the ungodly world before God as you ought to have done? If you have, I have not. For I stand here a chief culprit before the Master [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Re:Sermon|

Sanctification 103: The Holy Spirit & Me

This third blog about sanctification has one simple point: Everything was done by Jesus, not so that you could do nothing, but so that you would desire and be able to do something. That "something" is gospel-inspired, spirit-empowered, pursuit of righteousness and fight against unrighteousness.  The purpose of this pursuit is, ultimately, satisfaction in God.  I would agree with John Piper whose life is devoted to the belief that: God is most glorified when I am most [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Theology & Bible|

Sanctification 102: The tools and how they work

Our sanctification began before CREATION. According to His purposes, to the praise of His grace, God SET APART a people to be saved from sin.  Sanctification is completely accomplished  (IN OUR SOULS) through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, increased throughout life in our flesh by the Spirit (IN OUR BODIES) , and completed at Jesus’ return. There some argument over prepratory sanctification, minimal argument over positional sanctification, and a lot of argument over [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Theology & Bible|

Sanctification 101: The Different Kinds

For the last several Wednesdays, our church has been spending time exploring the theological concept of sanctification.  Simply stated, the idea behind sanctification  is that of "setting apart" someone, or something, for special use. Biblically, this primarily describes the act of God who separates or consecrates something as holy.  The first instance of this happening is when God sanctifies the 7th day of creation—recognizing it as holy.  The secondary meaning of the word involves the idea of “moral” [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Theology & Bible|

“Submission” for the Single Ladies

After preaching on Biblical Womanhood last week, I received some excellent questions from some godly single women in our church.  None of them expressed issue with the sermon, but they all desired a better understanding as to how some of principles of marriage may apply to singleness. A Good Word Used Badly One question that came up centered on the idea of "submission".  And although this concept was not highlighted in my sermon, it is [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

“Helping” for the Single Ladies

Yesterday,  I preached a sermon on Biblical Womanhood from Genesis chapter 2.  Preaching these kinds of sermons always feel like trying to navigate a minefield.  One wrong step and "boom", you are hated or misunderstood by the women in your church. Even though the Scriptures are quite clear about biblical manhood and womanhood, anyone who teaches on these topics must speak with tremendous amounts of grace (especially if they hope to be heard the same way). Unfortunately, many [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

On God, Science, and the Age of the Universe

This past Sunday I preached a sermon focused in the six days of creation.  I began the sermon by reading Psalm 19.1-2: The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handwork.  Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. The point of beginning with this Psalm was to remind us of the true purpose of creation—to make much of God.  Essentially, instead of always asking HOW [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon, Theology & Bible|

The world needs Genesis right now

We began our series on the first 11 chapters of Genesis this week.  I am becoming more and more convinced that the Book of Genesis is probably the most important book ever written.  There are 66 books in the Bible and few, if any of them, make sense without a basic understanding of Genesis.  Yet, I find a growing number of Christians unfamiliar with the story of God.  They wrongly believe that they can jump in the [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

Donkey Corralling is God’s Work

This past week we preached through the not-so-triumphal entry in Matthew 21.1-11.  This is the well-known passage where Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem. I find the first verses of this passage, preparing to enter, the most moving.  The disciples were curious as to why Jesus would ask them to go impress a donkey from a stranger.   What is even more curious is that they obeyed!  The disciples did not know why Jesus asked [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

Everyday is Sunday

Whether you are irreligious or religious—you must respond to Jesus. To paraphrase John Stott, you cannot have a moderate response to Jesus. In the Bible no one ever had a so so…”Hmmphh”…response to Jesus. If after today you understand the WHOLE story, who Jesus is and what He did, you better hate Him, hide from Him, or run to Him. And don’t stop short in the story… Those who are IRRELIGIOUS stop on FRIDAY with [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Re:Sermon|

A word for our men…

Men, I want to thank you for attending our PUSHBACK retreat this past weekend.  As several men shared, God is doing something powerful at Restoration Road Church.  Our church is not perfect; we are never perfectly balanced; we are never wise enough to not be desperate. Despite our insufficiencies and weaknesses, God has blessed us with an amazing church full of amazing people. With every passing day, God reveals more leaders who are willing to [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Note to Self|

RE:sermon | Who Jesus Receives and Rejects

RE:sermon is an effort to share the best thoughts from the most recent sermons.  Too often, some of the "nuggets" of truth get lost in the noise and length of the sermon.  Some of these need to be forgotten while others need to be repeated.  As Doug Wilson once told me, "If it is good enough to say once, it is good enough to say twice."  With that in view, the following quotes were taken [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

Hula Dancing and Jesus

I found this in an old sermon back from 2008. It made me laugh. I thought I'd post it for kicks... One Hula Dancing Boy The other day, my oldest son Fischer came home with a special flyer from this school. Apparently, a local group was offering Hula Dancing Lessons to boys and girls. For $120, my son, my one day going to be a man son, could experience 8 weeks of grass skirt hip [...]

By |Categories: Context & Culture, Re:Sermon|

Re:Sermon | Are you killing it?

Taken from Mystery of the Mind of Christ Your fight against sin begins with believing there is a fight to be had. Sin will either tempt you to not fight, to fight the wrong things, or to fight the wrong way. I've heard it said, 'Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. You can get very good at fighting the wrong thing the wrong way. Here is the right way: 1. Fight honorably – the [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Re:Sermon|

The trouble with talking about sanctification

The trouble with talking about sanctification is that our flesh always gets in the way. Even if we know that the ACT of God’s grace (justification) has secured our union with Christ, we wrongly believe that our communion with Christ (sanctification) is a work dependent upon ourselves. Without question, there is an inescapable tension between justification and sanctification; between our position of holiness and our practice of holiness; between faith and works. 12 Therefore, my [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Re:Sermon, Theology & Bible|

The Road Church Network | Redefining and Renaming

WHY WE PLANT CHURCHES  We believe our mission is to live out the Great Commandment as we fulfill the Great Commission.  Through the gospel, Jesus gathers us into a family of families and then sends us on mission into the world. Specifically, we believe we are called to make disciples and plant churches. This commitment requires the conviction that the Great Commission can be accomplished and will be completed.  Furthermore, it requires that pastors and churches view themselves [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon, Uncategorized|

Re: Sermon | Jesus says some scary things

The first time I preach a sermon, I always wish I could preach it second time.  The second time I preach a sermon, I always wish I could preach a third time.  I always feel there is more or less to be said, or much to be changed.  Such is the case with my last sermon titled JESUS IS SCARY  GENEROUS from Matthew 7.15-23.  "Scary" is probably not the most popular adjective to describe Jesus.  The truth is, [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

Fit for Twitter | Jesus is Narrow

Below are excerpts taken from sermon Jesus is Narrow (Text but not recording available).  In essence, the following 10 statements encapsulate all that I hoped to say in twitter-sized chunks.The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best description of a Christian. Sadly, because none of us live this description perfectly, few of us take it seriously.Jesus is not calling people to consider or admire Him; He is calling people to follow Him. There is no [...]

By |Categories: Re:Sermon|

Changing the Score Card

God continues to bring a phrase to mind through different men, books, and blogs: "Change the score card".  As a church planter, the idea of a score card is something a pastor never admits he is always thinking about.  Though no one is really keeping score, pastors can't help but feel as if there is.  Most days, we feel like we are either winning or losing the "numbers" game. They say numbers are important, but [...]

By |Categories: Church Plant 101, Leadership 101|

The Tomb is still empty | Because He lives, I live.

Jesus’s resurrection ensures our substitution |THE SACRIFICE IS MADEThe resurrection of Jesus proves that Jesus was received an acceptable substitutionary sacrifice.  Jesus was the sinless priest who offered the Himself. His sacrifice perfectly represented man and satisfied God.  The resurrection proves that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of God’s law on our behalf.Jesus’ resurrection ensures our propitiation | THE DEBT IS PAIDThe resurrection is God’s receipt that our accounts have been “paid in full”.  The ransom [...]

By |Categories: Discipleship, Re:Sermon|