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Reflections from Advance 9.0- Podcast #51

advance podcast the ladder Feb 26, 2018

Twice a year, I head to a different city with my friends Les & Verick to co-host, co-lead, co-teach Advance, a workshop designed to help men move forward in life. The event began almost on accident a few years ago, and has grown ten-fold in just a few years. 

In this episode of the podcast, I share some reflections from 9.0, which just took place in Dallas, Texas. 

Here’s the list- in no particular order (the order I share them, but not necessarily the order of importance): 

ONE. The faith issue isn’t going away. In fact, it’s getting stronger- and I like it. The more I lean into who I am, the more I sense that the message of grace + freedom + empowerment is the message I’m destined to carry. It’s- I’ll be honest- the place I’ve struggled the most. It’s the Father’s unique deposit in me. 

TWO. We were down a man. And we were down because Verick embodied the message of marriage that he teaches so...

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Jesus Bled from His heart to heal my emotions- Podcast #50

emotional healing podcast Feb 19, 2018

 

In the previous episode of the podcast we talked about the finality of what Jesus has accomplished- that He has resolved every sin issue we have. 

“It's done,” Jesus said from the Cross.

Or- if you remember the nuance He added to the famous sacrificial word, Tetelestai.

Accept it, and your free. Don't accept it, and you’ve disqualified Jesus as your high priest and subjected yourself to the bondage of rule-keeping, shadow-chasing, and sacrifice- which can’t take away sin anyway and only serves to remind you of… your need for Jesus and the freedom He offers. 

 

He said He was done but then He did more!

Even after all things are complete, though, Jesus does more. Additional redemption comes.

We read in the Gospels that Jesus continued bleeding even after He died, even after sin was atoned for. Since we know that every place Jesus bled He redeemed something for us, we know that- even after His death- He still claimed more freedom...

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Do you qualify Jesus and disqualify the Law or qualify the Law and disqualify Jesus?- Podcast #49

If you consider Jesus your high priest, you disqualify the Law. If, on the other hand, you qualify the Law, then you disqualify Jesus. 

Sounds strange, I know. So let me back it up, and let’s see if we can find freedom from the rules + chains that often shackle us to religion rather than freeing us TO relationship. 

Why? Because these two are in conflict. And, at the end of the day, you were designed for relationship- not rule-keeping.

Sacrifices reminded people of sin but never fixed the problem 

Sacrifices were made in Israel every single day. Yes, bigger offerings were made at the three larger feasts on specific days (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles), but the sacrificial fire never went out. 

According to the Bible, sacrifice wasn't a reminder of grace but a reminder of guilt. It was a reminder of sin for the people (Hebrews 10:3), because it was impossible for sin to be removed by the blood of an  animal (Hebrews 10:4). 

You read that...

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Write the story you want to live- Podcast #48

In this episode of the podcast I want to tell you about something we just did with our kids, something that applies to me and to you… 

There’s a great passage tucked in the end of Proverbs that’s often misquoted. 

Solomon writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18).  

A lot of well-intended leaders use this to endorse their grandiose plans- “God wants us to have big vision,” they say. “He says so right here, so we’re going to build a bigger building.”

That’s usually how it goes, anyway. This verse is used for church building programs more than just about any other use I can fathom… 

And, though it’s true that we often dream and plan too small- particularly given the fact that our God is the Creator of the still-expanding universe (meaning, He is STILL creating), the word vision here doesn’t mean “big plans.”

The word vision here (in Hebrew- the...

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Look back to live forward- Podcast #47

perspective podcast Jan 29, 2018

Life must be lived forward. But, it only makes sense when we learn the lessons of the past. 

The final week of the year is a time when a lot of people sit down, assess the previous 365 days, and make some decisions about how things went in the recent past and what they might like to do in the near future. A sense of ease pervades the week almost by default (most businesses expect the hours to be slow- unless you’re in retail and doing the mad dash of post-Christmas returns). It’s the perfect time for reflection.

But I didn’t want to pause and reflect this past year. I knew from the outset the most of the goals I’d set for myself in the previous year didn’t come close to happening. And it wasn’t because I created HUGE, untenable goals, either. I hadn’t made it 5% of the way to some of them at all… 

That’s what I thought, anyway…  

  • Some of the goals included business goals like hitting a new rank in our...
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Jesus over-restores all things- Podcast #46

identity podcast salvation Jan 22, 2018

Grace doesn't just erase your past mistakes and give you a clean slate. It does far more. Jesus takes what the devil stole, redeems it, and then returns it to you with interest.

Let me explain...

The author of Hebrews tells us something strange. He says that the blood of Jesus speaks a better word on our behalf, now, than the blood of Abel did in the Old Testament (see Hebrews 12:24). 

Say what?

I was always thought- and actually taught- that since Abel died when his brother Cain killed him, his blood cried out for vengeance and justice (see Genesis 4:11-12). Of course, the flip side of this was that Jesus’ blood, on the other hand, cries out for mercy and freedom!

However, notice the following chain of events, straight from Cain and Abel’s story- 

  • The brothers both make offerings to the Lord before the murder, meaning both of them know Him (Genesis 4:3-4). 
  • God calls out for Cain after he had killed his brother (Genesis 4:6).
  • God was still speaks to...
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You can't out-run the grip of grace- Podcast #45

podcast salvation sozo Jan 15, 2018

There’s a phrase I used to hear a lot when I played sports: “It’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings.” 

I know. That statement is not politically correct. Still, it’s a kick back to the days of opera when the big gal got up and belted out the final tune, a song that sometimes lasted 20 minutes or more. You could anticipate that the end was coming… but there was still much time to go. 

After she sang… Well, then- and only then- was the show over. 

Coach after coach used to tell us that phrase to keep us focused- even while we were losing. Their point? It’s not over until the final whistle blows. Keep going. Even if you think it’s almost over, keep on… 

 

The highway to hell is never irreversible

With Jesus, it’s never over. Ever. Not even when the big gal is warming up. The highway to hell is never irreversible. 

Read Psalm 139. David says that if he ascends to the highest height,...

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Living the Presence of the Future... Now- Podcast #44

podcast Jan 08, 2018

If it seems that you sometimes "don't fit in," that's probably a good sign, right? Follow me here... 

One one extreme, a lot of people believe that this world is winding down, that the earth may actually be burned up by fire, and that the only hope we have is for God to start over. It sounds bleak, apocalyptic, and it creates a mindset that detaches us from the present in such a way that we no longer live like salt and light but live like an irritant- often by expressing our irritation with how things are going…

The reality IS that our world has a way of doing things, a blueprint that seems to be its norm. That’s true for the “big issues” (wars, political nonsense, etc.), but it’s true for small things, as well (the stuff of everyday life). But that doesn’t mean the planet is about to be judged, destroyed, or that it will even simply vanish… 

On the other end of the spectrum, there's grace... 

Grace isn't just an...

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Sons & daughters ≠ beggars- Podcast #43

podcast Jan 01, 2018

Someone told me that the Gospel is simply “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

On the surface, that sounds right. It connects to the idea that:

  • The one who has everything but NOT grace has NOTHING
  • The one who has grace and nothing else has EVERYTHING

But, I was reading the Bible a few weeks ago and something struck me that’s given me a new way of looking at things…

I came to this conclusion: The Gospel of Grace isn't about one beggar finding bread and telling others where to find it. Rather, it's about sons & daughters awakening other sons & daughters to the reality of the true riches their Father has already provided for them...

The back story

In 2 Kings 7 we read about Syria laying siege to Samaria. In ancient times, it was common for invading armies to surround a city and “block it.” No one come go in; no one could come out. Everyone was held hostage within the city walls. Well, everyone was sheltered...

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Your true form- Podcast #42

podcast Dec 25, 2017

Sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. In other words, it's not about legality (Jesus settled that a long time ago: it's about your creative design.)

No, sin isn’t just a “bad” thing, it’s far worse than that. In fact, the more I study the topic, and that more I gaze at the Father’s grace, the more I believe that the “moral” aspect of sin is the “least” important aspect of it. The greater issue is this: sin creates a distortion of our unique form, of the greatness we were given from the very beginning. 

I know- that sounds like an odd way to present a topic that’s usually presented as a right/wrong legal-type of standing we have with God. There’s more to it, though. 

(I know, too, the opening of this sounds harsh... you're used to radical grace here. Trust me... read on and you'll get a huge dose of...

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