Well I don’t know who reads this anymore.   I know my Grandmother does.  Love you Grandmother.

To everyone I wanna say don’t get too worried about the title to this post.  Sometimes I write to vent and remember. 

But man.  I’ve had a year.  A year of a lot of little annoying things.  A year of angry parents that believe their lying children.  A year of angry relatives being verbally and financially abusive.  A year of random strangers losing it on me for honest mistakes I’ve made.  A year of neighbors yelling, and even drawing a gun on me.  A year of people hurting me.

All of those things has caused me to become very sensitive.  The smallest of gestures from an angry driver causes me to feel hurt and anger that I shouldn’t feel.

Today someone who has been getting on me a lot, did again today.  And it turned into a huge conflict that it didn’t need to.  

I feel like I walk around and people see me and say; “You know who I wanna misunderstand and abuse today? That guy.”.

Please excuse my exaggeration.  Let’s be honest though, it feels good to exaggerate when the world gets us down.  

And so today, I was driving around, feeling depressed, beginning to think, man maybe I am just a jerk.  Maybe I am just a terrible person.  I must be, because this has been happening all year.  I must deserve all this negativity and hurt.  Thinking maybe this life of Christ like-ness ins’t something I can handle.  Maybe I need to get real comfortable somewhere and just chill for the rest of my days.  Perhaps sit on a beach somewhere and sell sun lotion for the rest of my life.

I am beginning to give up on myself, and not like myself very much. 

And as I was at my wit’s end.  A friend texted me a couple verses from Psalm 27. This friend has never texted me verses, and is actually a new acquaintance and has no idea what my past year has been like. 

Psalm 27:11-12[11] Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. [12] Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.

God has moved in my life for a long time.  More often subtly than obviously.

I have found though, that as I get to my wit’s end in life, he seems to speak to me in a way that’s a little louder and a little more obvious. 

I love you God.  I’m over it right now.  Thank you for speaking to me when I’m done and depressed.  I need you this next year.  Help me to rely on you.  Stop the breathing out of violence against me.  Convict me where I need to be convicted, and encourage and strengthen me where I am weak and depressed.

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Why I Love Phoenix

May 7, 2014

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If you haven’t seen it by now, a writer for Vice.com wrote an article citing all the reasons he hates Phoenix.  A lot of people I know are passing said article around like it’s a Buzzfeed article about Jennifer Lawrence.  Which hurts my heart because I grew up in Phoenix and love Phoenix deeply.

A big problem of this article is it only captures some very fringe things about Phoenix.  The author does a terrible job actually commenting on the heart of Phoenix.  He comments on things about Phoenix that basically anyone with google could say.  Because of his off the mark comments about Phoenix, I feel the strong need to write an article about why I love Phoenix (and the greater metro Phoenix area).

First Reason Why I love Phoenix; The Food is Amazing. 

Let me start by saying I’ve been to many cities, states, and other countries, and call me biased, but Phoenix has some of the best restaurants in the world.  Talk to any native, and they will tell many ways you can get fat.  Talk to more natives, and they tell you ways you get eat healthy and love it.

Have you heard of Pizzeria Bianco? Yeah me too because it’s amazing!  Oprah named it her favorite Pizza Place in America.  Oprah, who if you’re not familiar with is basically the most powerful woman in the world, and I also have it on good authority that she has pretty good taste.

That’s just one of several hundred amazing restaurants.  Places like Chicago Hamburger Co. (Bob the owner, learns people’s names), Cibo, Chino Bandido (they combined Chinese and Mexican which fused into amazing somehow), House of Tricks, Four Peaks (I don’t even like beer and I like the Beers they Brew, oh and then their food is good too), Liberty Market, Postino’s Cornish Pasty, La Grande Orange, Pete’s Fish and Chips (I think there is crack in that sauce), Green, Haji-Baba, Filiberto’s, Basically any Mexican restaurant, Bobby-Q’s, and I could go on, but that is just some of the restaurants all over the metro area that are amazing.

I dare you to not have at least 29% body fat while living in Phoenix.

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Secondly, there is so much to do. 

Sure there’s a lot of malls in the Valley, but that’s not all there is to do.  There’s theaters like the Herberger, concert venues, paintball arenas, water parks, Mill Avenue, Old Town Scottsdale, a miniature six flags we call Castles and Coasters, catch a basketball/baseball/football/hockey games (even watch WNBA if you want, Go Mercury! Or even Spring training), arcades, parks, hiking, swimming basically throughout the year, sneak into five star hotel hot tubs easily, roam around Downtown Phoenix and open random doors and see what happens, First Fridays, biking, dine in Movies, see Alice Cooper and John McCain around the Biltmore sometimes, and basically have fun all the time.  Sorry for the run on sentence, but there is just so much to do in Phoenix.

The Weather is Usually Amazing. 

I know Phoenix is somewhat like living in an oven, during probably a solid 5 months, however the longer you live there, the more you get used to it.  Also it’s a great excuse to wear flip flops (of which you’ll become a connoisseur) t-shirts and tanks tops.  The rest of the year is usually amazing.  If you’re from a cold place, our winters feel like your spring.  If you’re from Phoenix all you need is hoodie for those 50-60 degree winters.  In the Spring, you get to smell the Orange Blossoms all over the city which causes even Sith Lords to leave the Dark Side.  If you live in Phoenix long enough, you regain that childhood feeling of loving when it rains. What’s more you gain that child hood feeling of wanting to play in the rain, and guess what? You end playing in the rain because you won’t get too cold.

Orange-Blossoms

Fourth, The Phoenix Suns 

No explanation needed I hope.  Just look into Goran Dragic’s beautiful eyes.

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Fifth, The Phoenix Suns Gorilla. 

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Sixth the Cast of Characters you see in Phoenix. 

Just drive down Indian School Road, and look at who is walking around town.  There’s a guy that walks around in a Superman suit.  There used to be an adult man that walked around in full size baby clothes.  Guys that stand on corners dancing.  A guy that walks around Phoenix in what can only be described as a strut, and is always sunburned.  All kinds of other amazing people, that it wouldn’t do justice to if I tried to explain here, rather than just letting you see for yourself.

Finally, I love Phoenix for the People of Phoenix. 

The people of Phoenix are a diverse group.  You get all kinds of view points, religious backgrounds, ethnicities, stories, tastes, and differences.  And yet, all these people come together to make a desert town flourish. There are many innovators seeking to do business differently.  There are many truly starving artists honing their craft.  There are true lovers of Jesus trying to live like He did.  Refugees who live with new hopes, and seeking new opportunities.  Hard working immigrants that are loving and sacrificing for their families. Mormons who are possibly the nicest and kindest people group in the city. Freak show enthusiasts.  Underground hip hop artists, and students from all over the country.  To top it all off, there is a general “laid backness” to the people of Phoenix, which is always a great thing to have in a community of four million people.  We’re also a people loving people.  Politics aside, the average Phoenician I know truly cares about the people around him or her.

It’s true that Phoenix has people from all over the country, but why would they be there unless Phoenix had something to offer them?

You can tell me you hate Phoenix, but don’t just look at the fringe and external characteristics of Phoenix.  Spend some time getting to know and love a city where so much good happens.

There are so many more things I could say, but I’ll just leave you with this great picture.

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Looking for a King

July 19, 2013

Trayvon Martin. Mansanto. Snowden. 

These are all issues where it seems there is an injustice happening.  Obviously not to everyone, but to a good portion of U.S. citizens, we see these issues and say something has gone wrong.

I watch a lot of documentaries.  I also listen to a lot of This American life.  Very often in these programs I get to hear all about all kinds of American tragedies.  Things I had no idea was happening.  Things that leave me disgusted, and hurting.

A lot of times these documentaries show me an injustice happening due to the law.  Basically because there is so much red tape, or because rich companies get special considerations, something horrible is happening to a people group.

Now I know that some of what I am hearing is bias.  But I also know that a lot of what I am hearing is true.

And so I get to the end of these informational shows, and I feel hopeless.  I feel like there is nothing I could do.  Recently in a program I heard about a man that actually had some clout in the government who could possibly make a difference at changing an American injustice, and yet he’s had little to no impact, after working for years on a particular issue.

What can I do as one man?

I also see business owners and mangers oppressing the people they hire.  Firing people on a whim.  Drinking at work because they can.  Choosing to care about the bottom line more than caring about the fact that they work with free people not slaves or robots. 

Once again it feels like there is nothing I can do.

I feel hopeless and my heart cries out to God, and says we need our perfect King Jesus to rule and reign and issue justice.  That’s very often where I stop.  I just think to myself, one day Jesus will be here. 

Jesus isn’t reigning in a physical way over Earth yet.

In fact he left us here.

So do we just wait?  Do we just say “marana tha” or “Come Lord”?

I don’t think so.  I know that before Jesus left one thing he said was “Seek First the Kingdom“.  The Kingdom that we are seeking should be a place that looks like Jesus is the king there.  This must be what we do in light of all the injustice.

What if we decided to live justly?  What if we decided to start businesses and chose to lead them like our just King would?  What if we chose to fight oppression by showing grace towards the oppressed?  What if we became politicians that were honest and just at whatever cost to our aspirations?  What if we realized that the good King we are waiting for, is moving in us through the Holy Spirit? 

What if our whole generation decided living like our King matters more than the American dream?

I think people would surely see Jesus then.

Perhaps so many would choose to follow him, and then finally our good and just King would return. 

So because the great gay debate has recently arisen due to Obama being the first president to approve gay marriage, I have seen a lot of articles, two Facebook statuses, and one crazy YouTube video about bigotry towards people who are gay.

But this post is not going to be about that.  I just want to talk about something else I see people talking about in relation to this issue.

Arizona State University is where I went to college.  It is a great place full of average students, hey-ohh!  One of the awesome things about ASU is the amount of religious or non-religious ideas being shouted in the center of campus.  A bunch of crazy Christians saying masturbators are going to hell, and a bunch of atheists saying all sorts of stuff in response.  I think all this is awesome, because who doesn’t like crowds of yelling people? ( It is sad to see people misrepresent Christ, but that’s an opinion and blog for another time.)

One particular evening I saw a guy holding a sign up that said: “GOD HATES SHRIMP! LEVITICUS 11:9-12” 

Now being a lover of God, the Bible, and shrimp, I had a hard time with this sign.  So I went up and talked to the guy holding it.  He explained to me how this part in the Bible says not to eat certain water animals, and shrimp fit the description.  He said this shows that Christians just pick and choose what they want to believe.

And at the time, I had no good reason why he was wrong.

Later on I found out that in Acts 10, God tells Peter it’s okay to start eating all these things that were once unclean.  Recently I saw someone respond to an article that cited this verse by saying; “so what then, does God change his mind? Perhaps its time he changed his mind about homosexuality.”

I want to answer that one person’s question.  I don’t think God changes his mind.  But God has changed how he has interacted with us throughout history.

So the story goes, God made people, they disobeyed, he cursed, they lived sucky lives, God called out Abram, and made a nation of people through him, they get enslaved by Egypt, God freed the people with Moses as his spokesperson.

So God gave Moses all these laws for the people to follow.  And some of that law is the dietary law we saw.  I don’t know why but He forbid eating certain foods, and if people ate these certain foods, they would be unclean.  Perhaps God did this for their safety, perhaps to show that God’s people were a people set apart, just like God is set apart from all creation.  Whatever the reason was, shrimp wrapped in bacon was a no-no and would make people spiritually unclean.

Eventually Jesus enters the scene.  Now I believe our boy Jesus to be the son of God. And if you don’t, that’s on you, but to understand my worldview, you have to see that I see Jesus as God.

Now Jesus lived a perfect life.  Not just morally perfect.  He lived the law of the Old Testament perfectly.  You wouldn’t catch Jesus eating shrimp wrapped in bacon.  He was clean.  Completely clean.

People talk a lot about Jesus’ death and resurrection and the results of those awesome acts of God.  But the way he lived also has implications for our life.  Jesus lived the perfect life we couldn’t.  He lived the clean life we couldn’t.

And so when we put our faith in Jesus, not only is sin taken care of by his death, but God begins to see us how He sees Jesus.

And part of how He sees Jesus, is that Jesus is clean.  Jesus’ life has made us clean.  Jesus did a new thing for us.  He made it so we are now made perfectly clean in him, and not only that, but I believe his life and death made those animals clean, in God’s eyes.

Jesus did a new thing.  That’s why we can now eat shrimp and bacon.

I don’t think God’s mind changes when he is given new information.  Because you can’t give God new information with him being God and He being all-knowing and such.

But God did a new thing in Jesus.  God does different things throughout time.  And the biggest and best thing that has happened was sending Jesus to earth in the form of a baby.  That baby grew up and did a new thing.  Jesus tore down the old walls of religion, and Jesus made things clean with his life.

That’s my God.

Not some weird being that changes His mind about a bunch of things when given new information.  We can’t always understand Him, which is good because He is an infinite being, so my finite self should never be able to fully understand all that He does.  

There are things that God forbid the people of Israel from doing that we can do  now.  And there are some things He forbid back then and forbids now, that I can’t change.  I have to trust Him in all that, but I can’t change or lie about what He has done or said.

He is a God that has done different things throughout time.  And I think He does things that way to show His greatness.  God is great, and He loves us.  That’s crazy to me.  I am glad he put shrimp back on the menu.  I am more glad at how He did it.

He is My Promise.

February 20, 2012

Well.

Do you guys ever get frustrated by parts of your life?

Yeah me too.

And a few days ago I was on a particularly long drive alone, and I had just spent a day engrossed in some things that reminded me of stuff in my life that I wish I could change.

But they are things that aren’t so much in my control.

We’ve all been there, wanting to date someone but they’re not Christian, or having a bad job situation, family life, a financial emergency, or a boring academic path.  And we all might be doing our best in this situation, but time and time again we find ourselves very drained our hopeless by whatever it is.

And it might seem stupid, because there are people in the world with so many other problems that are far worse, that they can’t change.

In spite of that, I still found myself a bit drained and frustrated by a particular situation I have while I was driving.  I didn’t have the radio on. And I felt like God was leading me to pray and talk to him about all this stuff.  Now lately I’ve been trying to pray in intentional and somewhat structured ways, so this was leading me to something a bit different and more casual.

I found myself eventually saying to God; I need your help, when are you going to show me which way to go? or what to do? I need you to help me in my frustration.

And then I sat in silence for a bit.  And then I turned some music from my ipod on.

Soon this song I haven’t listened to very  closely before came on, and I felt like God was responding to my prayer with this song.

The song is called “Promises” by Joel Auge.

Joel Auge is singing as if he is God, and so the song is heard by us as if God is talking to us.

The chorus of the song is;

And I am your promise 
I am your strength 
Have no fear 
The King of love is here 
Oh the King of love is here 

And the song goes on and says other roles God has in our lives.

I just felt like God was using this song to tell me that this is what matters.  That in spite of whatever situation I am in, that He is my promise.

That because of what Jesus did with his perfect life, sin absorbing death, and God powered resurrection, I get the promise of God.  I get the promise of relationship with God, and that same God becomes my strength, and that God loves me so greatly, that he is the King of Love in my life.

I felt very quickly God was showing me he cared about my frustrations, but that He was far bigger than they are.  And what I have in Him, is far greater than any problem I have.

I hope and pray that what fuels my thoughts are these things about God and not my frustrations.

Life Freaks People Out

December 16, 2011

So I am this stage in my life where myself and my peers start making decisions about what they want out of life.  We are graduating college, getting married, choosing career paths, and moving places, to name just some of them.

There is a curious thing that happens though.  We all start freaking out.

Now I can understand why this happens, we are finally out of the institution of school that has controlled our schedule for years, and my guess is that lack of structure frightens us.  Honestly it’s change that freaks us all out.

But I write this post as a Christian Man.  And as a Christian man I don’t know if these things should freak us out as much.

I think what happens is we think we have to grow up and be the hero of our lives.  Or that some person or job or life experience has to be the hero of our life.  And if we don’t have that thing, or if our ideals aren’t lived out then we will be damned, not to hell, but to a life of mistakes and misery.

Friends.  Jesus is our hero.  

I think though that sometimes we think if we aren’t making the right decision in certain instances our life will be ruined.  Sure, there are good and bad decisions, but I sometimes I think we give the choice of life circumstances too much power.

Christian brothers and sisters, I see this quite often in you and I have this to say to you;

Do you know that Jesus is with you to the end of the age and further?

He’s not with you if you only make the right decision.  He’s not with you only if you choose the right job, person, or place to live, he’s with you because He is good, and is with you no matter what.

So perhaps you make a bad decision, perhaps you picked the wrong _____________ (you fill in the blank).  Jesus is still with you.

Jesus is the good life.  Connection to Christ can sustain you more than any career, person, or place can.  Trust me on that.  He is the living water.

Now I know we shouldn’t make sinful choices.  We should make Spirit lead choices, but no matter what choices you make, Christ will be with you, and whether you make a good choice or bad choice, God can redeem your poor decision making to be something good.

Have we forgot God is all powerful?  Have we forgot His Spirit is in us?  Have we forgot the curtain is torn and we now have  access to our King?

So are you afraid of making decisions? Fine, I can track with that.  But seek God.  Seek his council, and know that He will be with you no matter what, and in everything He should be what we look toward to sustain us.  When we do that we become crazy people where all life is good and God is always good.

Don’t fear what this world could do you, or what you could do to yourself, because Jesus is bigger than all that and will always be with you.

Just to warn you this is the nerdiest blog title I’ve made to date.

Sometimes though I feel like Ender from Ender’s Game.  It’s a book about a boy genius who is trained to fight an alien invasion.  I won’t get into much more of the plot because it’s a great book, and you should read it for yourself.

One thing I will get into is that in the book, Ender is always being tested.  Always being put on the next level of pressure.  His authorities are always trying to make him a better leader and warrior.  They amp his training throughout the book, always making it harder and harder, and even stacking the deck against him.

Sometimes I feel this way with God.

It is primarily in relation to my sanctification that I feel this way.  Now bear with me before you judge my theology.  Or even agree with me.

At times it just feels like everything in my life happens to make me better.  Rare is the rest I get from my continous sanctification (dramatic much huh?). Obviously there is rest.  I am just telling you guys how it feels.  Not necessarily the reality of the matter.

For example the last few weeks I have been diving into my unforgiveness and trying to figure out how to get it out of my life.  I realize of course I need God, however thanks to James Macdonald, I also can be apart of that process, if my heart is motivated by Christ likeness rather than whatever other motivations I have.

So yesterday I was struggling with forgiving a particular person, and feeling slightly convicted, but more inclined to hold onto my bitterness and sense of childish justice, only to arrive at an event this person was at.  I even felt when I was being convicted, perhaps this person will be at the event, but more than likely not,  and there they were greeting me with a handshake when I walked in the door to the event.

That’s why I feel like Ender Wiggin.  I feel like I am always being set up to be sanctified.  Set up on the hard path of becoming a better person.

And as I was slightly annoyed and angry yesterday thinking this is my life, I realized there was something fundamentally wrong with my thinking.

Something in me was thinking that somehow the results of sanctification were not as good as the results clinging to my bitterness and unforgiveness.

For one, that latter way of life is death.  It wounds inside.  It makes me an enslaved person.  It makes me a hurt person, ruled by my own unforgiveness on the inside.

The result of sanctification is however really good for me.  It’s making me a free man.  It is freeing me from the oppresive ruler that is my sin.  It is allowing me to live in freedom from the power of my sin.

So the result of God just letting me be, is not good, because I will choose slavery.  Which in turn makes what goes on inside my heart and mind a really bad situation for me now as well as later.  Where as the result of God’s caring about me, and then setting up my sanctification is to make me a man free from those hurtful things, so I can reflect his glory better, among other things.

Besides all that my own acheiving of my sanctification is just trying to prove to God I am worthy.  So when times of sanctification come up, I really need to invite the Spirit in me to take care of it, because I will fail at it.  And if I was trusted for my own sanctification in my life none of it would happen.  However because God is in charge of it, it actually happens, and it makes me a free man.  That’s pretty awesome.

I need to understand that.  God help me find strength in you.

Well a couple weeks ago I talked about moralistic preaching.

So why not talk about some other aspect of preaching this week?

This blog post is mostly for myself, but it’s open to the public. Haha.

Remember when you first heard the Mumford and Sons album?  I do.  It was at a time in my life where it seemed like every lyric in the song spoke to me in a way that resonated with not only what was going on in my life, but in my soul.

Now maybe you haven’t listened to Mumford and Sons, but I am sure there has been some cd out there or at least a song out there, that every time you hear it, or perhaps for a time in your life, its every lyric just made you say that is what is going on in me.

I want to preach that way.

When I preach I want to be able to bring the reality and truth of God’s word, and who He is to the people I preach to, in a way that stirs their soul.

I want to preach better than a song.

Songs do a great job of connecting to us.  The songs that deeply move us tend to be songs that connect to us deeply. (besides being well played songs)

And I think if I preach well, the same can happen.

I think that’s something that the world could use more of.

I am not talking about preaching sermons that just connect to people and move them so they get good feelings.

I am talking about proclaiming the word of God that has moved me and changed me so that what flows from my lips comes from a heart connection with Him.

I am talking about exalting who God is in a way that speaks to the eternity on our hearts.

I just think we can all preach, or proclaim who God is in a way that people can connect with as they would with a song.

Whether I preach this way in my everyday conversations, or whether I do it from the pulpit, I want to preach better than a song.

This requires truth.

Most of all it requires God.

Holy Spirit, make me a person that can preach better than a song.  But let it not be my skill that is better, but your moving in my life, and who you are.  Draw more people to you. 

In Amurrrica, everyone knows what’s best.

In our culture and country, it’s as if we are told when we are born; “hey you’re the smartest, and the best, and you should live life that way. Also celebrities are really smart too.”

And to me the political season brings that out.  I don’t even know what season it is.  It’s hard to tell in Arizona.  But it seems like it’s the time in life where politcs are talked about a lot.  And everyone loses their minds.

Now I know writing this will probably endanger my blog with comments that say I just don’t get it.  And you are probably right.  That last part is not sarcasm.  I really don’t get it.  I know at some level politics can be a good thing for Christians to be apart of, and to care about,  however I have only seen the crazy side of that swinging pendulam.

So this blog isn’t about if politics are good or bad or whatever.

This blog is going to be about stewardship.

A Biblical stance on the government, is a government that issues justice for it’s people.

An Amurrican stance on government, is that the government is your provider of everything.

The Bible goes so far as to say that God puts those leaders in place above you.  (side note: Did God vote for Obama? o snap!)  Well I believe the Bible, and I think that God does place leaders in those positions.  What those leaders do in that position of authority is ultimately on them.

I say all that to give us a Biblical ground for government, as well as to say politics is a stewardship issue.

Say what?

That’s right a stewardship issue.

We think that we can tell people to steward things that aren’t ours to steward.

The reason I think it’s a stewardship issue is because a lot of times (forgive my judgemental observation) but those that are most passionate about politics, can’t even steward their own lives.

So my challenge is simple.  Do you steward your own life well?

God has given you a life to take care of.  In a lot of instances a family.  Or a car, or a job, or a hat.  And do you take those things that God has given you and use it in the way that God would use it?

Or are you too busy worrying about how others steward things while your life is a mess?

Do you have debt? Does your wife feel loved?  Do your kids feel known? Is your car clean?  Is Jesus known by your life and words?

If not, then in the words of Chef Ramsey Shut it down.

As Christians it would be awesome to have our life so well stewarded that the world comes to us for the political solutions.  But more often than not we run to the world with our political solutions, that have little to do with Jesus and more to do with donkeys and elephants.

If this is you let it convict you. If not, then keep on keeping on.  As for me, I am not against politics, I just see a greater need in my own life to steward the things I have before all my Facebook statuses are about politics.

Something I am passionate about is preaching.

When I was fifteen or sixteen my youth pastor asked me to speak to the youth group while he was gone on a mission trip, and I think it was then I found a passion and gifting that Christ had given me. 

It was probably not the best seeing as I misused the word debauchery several times as well as preached through the whole book of Galatians in one message.  Luckily God has given me a lot of opportunity and put great people in my life over the ensuing years to get better at preaching and fan that flame.

So back to what I was saying.  I am passionate about preaching.  I can also be very critical of it.  Sometimes over analyzing things preachers are saying.  Even when I prepare my sermon notes I really want everything I say to be Biblically true and sound, so I am careful with the words I speak so that I am not preaching something opposing the Gospel and the Bible. 

What I am most critical of is works based faith preaching or a preaching that promotes moralism in a way.  Basically a preaching that says something like “do this, because it’s the right thing to do.”  So maybe that’s not exactly works based faith, but that becomes the result of preaching moralistically I think.  And obviously it’s not always phrased like my example but honestly sometimes it is.

 The other side is a call to grace driven effort, which is the idea that because we have been accepted by God because of His grace, we are driven to run the race well.  That because of what Christ did we can’t help but be compelled to serve him by following His commands and living by the Spirit.   Which a lot of times is a promotion of those same morals that when preached a different way irk me.

I think it is important to define that line and be wary of it.  It can be a fine line because I think I seem to notice this slant towards moralism in preaching a lot.  (perhaps I am just too critical).  The reason this is an important line to notice is because if we preach moralism we are just preaching what a lot of other religions can agree with and get behind, and we don’t highlight the beauty and supremacy of Christ. 

So I think we can agree that preaching moralism is not a good idea.  Or not based in the Gospel.

My questions to preachers (Bible study leaders, Sunday morning preachers, missionaries, anyone that preaches) are; How do you avoid preaching moralism, and preach a grace driven effort?  How has that affected the people you have preached to?  How should we respond in our hearts when hearing preachers preach something that sounds moralistic, but by believing the best in them, knowing them, and knowing that’s not what they meant? 

My question to anyone that has heard a preacher is this;  What do you hear more of, a preacher preaching grace driven effort, or preaching moralism?  Or do you think the distinction is clear? 

This is a different post than I ususally do, but I am curious and would like to hear many opinons on this matter.  I already know my opinion on this matter, but I want to hear others opinions on this.  So let’s discuss here in this post among each other and see where the conversation leads.