Posts in Glory Minute

10 Things People Think About In Church

April 16th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “10 Things People Think About In Church”

A Blessed Holy Week to you all. So… What’s on your mind as you read this? What has you worried, anxious, uncertain, etc.?

From what I hear, and from what I myself experienced sitting in church, what’s on your mind comes into church with you. In fact, someone recently compiled a list of 10 things people think about when they are in church. Take a look:

  • Primary Relationships
  • Family
  • Health
  • Work
  • Money
  • Addiction
  • Spirituality
  • Fear
  • Hopes/Dreams
  • A Question/Decision

Folks in worship showed me they were listening by sharing with me what they think about. (So I guess they aren’t listening…) Their list included what’s for lunch, duties they have during worship, Tiger’s score at the Masters, and, my favorite, whether or not I will fall off the first step.

Bottom line- we bring a lot of ourselves, what’s going on, to church with us each week.

And from what I know about God, He knows that, and still does great work in our lives.

It’s not like going through TSA, where you need to get rid of it all, but rather it’s more like flying with kids- you have everything! And beauty is, it’s not like we need to clean ourselves up with God before He enters into our lives; in fact, quite the opposite. He enters into our worries, anxieties, uncertainties, and stresses and brings a word of hope.

So back to my original question. What’s on your mind as you read this? What has you worried, anxious, uncertain, etc.? Take a few moments, it will be worth it, to lift that all up to God in prayer. Bring it to a trusted Christian friend. Journal it out and process your thoughts in light of your faith. Listen to Christian music. It’s in these moments when God does some amazing work.

Isaiah 40:31: “…But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Pastor Brian

Little Big Things

April 3rd, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Little Big Things”

We all have questions for Jesus. Someone in the Bible had a great question for Jesus- “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28).

Jesus’ answer: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”. Then He adds, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

Bottom line- Loving God and others is the most important thing we can do. And they go together- we show our love for God best by loving others.

Yet what does that look like?

While we’re tempted to think BIG things, actually sometimes little things done in love can make the biggest impact. 

We recently captured stories of little things that were done in our lives that ended up making a huge difference. Click here to take a look at the video and see the impact.

What’s your little big thing?

Pastor Brian

What does Jesus ask of us?

March 14th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “What does Jesus ask of us?”

Quick Thought #1- In the next 24 hours, we will possibly experience the following: 62 degrees, thunderstorms, rain, wind up to 40 mph, snow showers, and 26 degrees. Meanwhile, in a nice contrast, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Quick Thought #2- Last night we experienced Lenten worship, enhanced by candles in a different space. It was a powerful evening. I am still hearing our voices singing out together.

We focused in on Jesus in Gethsemane, just before He would be crucified, and His ask of His disciples- “keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). I believe He asks this question for two reasons.

First, in a moment of dire anguish and loneliness, Jesus desired His friends to just be present with Him. Have you ever been in a moment of crisis and just wanted to not be alone? Perhaps that’s Jesus here. “Keep watch with me”.

But I believe there’s more to it.

Jesus would be spending these last few pre-arrest hours wrestling with God in prayer. He would be modeling for His disciples “what to do when you don’t know what to do”. He would reveal what honest and authentic and faithful prayer sound like. He would be calling out to God in anguish, sweating drops of blood, but also speaking words of trust and faith.

And He wanted His disciples to see this.

And they chose to sleep through it.

This Lenten Season we too are invited to “keep watch”. To attend to our spiritual health. To be present in worship. To Pray. Why? We don’t want to miss what God has for us.

Pastor Brian

Made in the Image of God, and Why I Quit Twitter (Mostly)

March 5th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Made in the Image of God, and Why I Quit Twitter (Mostly)”

Sunday we kicked off a new message series titled Made. We’re uncovering together the power of living in the reality that we are actually made and created in the image of God. The Big Truth from Week 1 was this- the reality that you are created in God’s image impacts not only how you view yourself, but also how you view others.

A recent op-ed by David Brooks was both challenging and super helpful. You can find it by clicking here, and I really encourage you to read it, it’s so worth it. 

Brooks compares our culture to a piece of fabric, arguing that just like fabric is a series of threads woven together, our culture and community are individuals woven together. He then points to what tears us apart, as well as the efforts of many to be “weavers”, folks who build bridges and strengthen bonds. 

After reading and reflecting, I began to consider my use of social media, especially Twitter. I began to consider how much of what is on Twitter is “weaving”, and how much is “tearing”. What do you think I found? My feed, at least, revealed a great deal of tearing. In response, I’m almost completely ignoring it, and making my own little effort to be more of a weaver. I’m trying. 

My observation: we are in the midst of a culture that is living through a lot of tearing, and there is a significant hunger for authentic weaving. With this in mind, I observed Sunday’s Be Our Guest Breakfast as a significant weaving moment.  It was a room full of people woven together by our children’s desire to serve us breakfast. We shared a lot that morning, together, from delicious food, including authentic Indian breakfast dishes, to smiling kids, to actually sitting down and talking to other adults, and even including an exercise looking at our kiddos’ baby pictures and celebrating them as people made in the image of God. It was weaving, and we could sense it.

Be on the lookout, these next few days, for what tears. Perhaps try to put that away for a season. And then consider that which builds up and weaves. We all need it.

Pastor Brian

Can I know God personally?

February 28th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Can I know God personally?”

Sunday we wrapped up our Explore God journey. While I’m super excited for what’s before us in March, I must say- I loved the conversations that emerged from Explore God.

This past Sunday we tackled the very applicable question- Can I Know God Personally? Part of what we dove into in the discussion group was a video. It serves as a powerful lens by which we can view knowing and living with God. Take a look by clicking here.

Pastor Brian

 

What If I’m Not Sure I Believe the Bible?

February 20th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “What If I’m Not Sure I Believe the Bible?”

If you’ve hung with me at all, or visited Lord of Glory, I hope you realized this: I love the Bible, and we’re a church that loves to teach the Bible. We believe the Bible to be inspired (it comes from God) and inerrant (it has no errors). And it oozes practical wisdom. What’s taught within it has stood the test of time, it will help you navigate through life, and has power within it to change us. 

Yet you’ve probably noticed something else- we live in a culture that is increasingly skeptical of absolute truth claims. How can anyone dare to say that something is true? How can truth fully be known?

With this in mind, our recent Explore God question- Is the Bible Reliable– was totally on point. How do we as Christians who love the Bible speak of the Bible to an increasingly skeptical culture? How do we handle friends and loved ones with questions about the reliability of the Bible? Bottom line- if the Bible is truly foundational to who we are and what we believe, does someone need to fully accept the Bible as true before they take steps of faith?

Here’s the short answer that likely requires a great deal more unpacking than a quick email devotion- no.

We are Christians, not Biblicists. Our faith is ultimately in who Jesus is and what He has done in the cross and empty tomb. Think about- there were Christians for generations before the New Testament ever came to be. We love the Bible because it is true and tells of Jesus, but Jesus is ultimately our foundation and center.

So when we encounter questions about the Bible, hear them out. When appropriate, point out all the evidence that supports historical reliability of the Bible (there is tons). But ultimately, let’s point people to Jesus, and encourage them to meet Him as “the author and finisher of their faith” (Hebrews 12:2). 

For more on this, you can hear last week’s message here.

Peace to you,Pastor Brian

A Better Way

February 14th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “A Better Way”

I’m loving this Explore God journey, and I pray you are as well. This past Sunday’s Explore God question was this: Is Jesus Really God? And in an interesting twist of irony, what is a rather easy and straightforward question/ answer surprisingly turned into a tough message to preach!

Spoiler alert- yes, we believe that Jesus is really God. Yet the reality is that we live in a world where many folks don’t quite know what to make of Jesus. So the question really becomes- how do we make known the identity of Jesus as the Son of God?

Spoiler alert #2- I’m not convinced simply telling folks works.

Two images come to mind- First, Jesus is with his disciples, near the end of his life. They are sitting down to a meal, and it’s likely true that they are eating on the floor, with the food in the center, and with them in a reclining position. Worst part- their stinky feet were likely by the food, which begged the question- who is going to wash the feet so they can best enjoy the meal?  Looking around, they realize there is no servant around. At that moment, Jesus stands up, wraps a towel around his waist, and serves them by washing their feet. And in doing so, He reveals how radically different He truly was. Most people allow power, control, and authority to go to their head, but not Jesus. We believe He had this power, control, and authority, yet chose to use it to serve. 

Bottom line- We believe He is the Son of God, yet He’s not going to force it on anyone. Instead, He’ll serve and love until we dig deep enough to discover who He is.

Enter the cross, the ultimate act of service and love.

Second image- A group of us went to Feed My Starving Children on Saturday. The ministry is awesome, both in terms of the impact it is making on worldwide hunger and in its work to share the mission of Jesus. All week, secular entities are participating in packing events. The Christian aspect of the ministry is present, and folks are invited to pray over the food. But no one is forced to. Instead, the vision is to serve and love until folks dig deep enough to discover who Jesus is. Sound familiar?

You can hear last week’s message here.

Peace to you,Pastor Brian

Is Christianity Too Narrow?

February 6th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Is Christianity Too Narrow?”

Sunday’s Explore God question was a tough one: Is Christianity too Narrow? At the crux of the question is this: what are Christians supposed to think of non-Christians? And here’s the challenge- because Christianity presents an exclusive way to salvation (Jesus Himself says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”) the tone and tenor of Christians can sometimes be off-putting. In an attempt to honor the teachings of Jesus, we can paint ourselves as “insiders” and others as lesser-than, as outsiders.

Jesus frowns.

There has to be a better way.

Jesus also said, “I have other sheep that are not (yet) of this pen. I must bring them also” (John 10:16). Let those words soak in for a moment. There are people, in our lives, who Jesus views as “his sheep”, who are not yet in the fold. So are they really outsiders?  

Jesus has indeed made a narrow way- it’s through Him. Yet in a beautifully divine twist of irony, that narrow way is at the same time open to all. It’s a narrow door, but it’s wide open. And we want as many as possible to walk through.

So the best question and challenge becomes this- what’s the most winsome way to make this known? Through painting others as outsiders, as lesser than? Hardly. When I meet someone who was brought to faith in Jesus Christ through another’s judgment of their life, I’ll perhaps rethink this. But I’ve never heard that testimony. Instead, we give love, grace, and mercy with reckless abandon.

Just like Jesus did for us.

Remember the empty chair, and let’s prayerfully look for the Holy Spirit to open doors this week.

You can hear last week’s message here.

Peace to you,
Pastor Brian

Explore God

January 24th, 2019 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Explore God”

Are you aware that a long time ago, Jesus prayed… for YOU!? It’s recorded in the Bible, and it’s part of what’s called “the Upper Room Discourse”, what Jesus shares with His disciples just before He is arrested. Part of that prayer includes these words:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (Jesus, John 17:20-21).

Jesus has a hope and a prayer for us, did you catch it? It’s that His church, all who believe in Him, might be one, experiencing unity and community. 

Is that hope and prayer realized? If you look around, you’ll see many ways in which it’s not (yet) realized. Churches fractured, denominations doing battle within and without, and churches feeling isolated and disconnected. In many ways, the hope of Jesus has a bit of a ways to go.

Yet part of what excites me about Explore God is that it’s an answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, as nearly 1,000 churches are presently in the midst of this common initiative. (Trust me- it’s not easy to get almost 1,000 churches to do anything together!) So think about it, exactly what we are diving into in worship and in small groups is exactly what thousands of other believers across our region are also experiencing. Jesus is surely smiling!

And the hope behind Explore God also brings Him joy- helping people explore God’s character and identity and grow closer to Him. I hope you’re being blessed by this journey.

Join us on Sunday, in worship and in small groups between services, to tackle this week’s question: “Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?” This is the most challenging week of them all, look forward to tackling it with you!

Have a blessed day! 

Pastor Brian

Parties are Good for You

December 20th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Parties are Good for You”

Have you received any good news, lately? Good news can sometimes be hard to come by. And even when we receive it, sometimes we don’t quite know what to do with it. Let me explain…

Perhaps it’s a function of our fast-paced, what’s-next culture, but it seems like sometimes we’re just too quick to move on to the next thing. We receive the good news, process it, but are often quick to move on to what’s next. Or, perhaps it’s that we don’t want to celebrate too much because some not-so-good news might be on the horizon. We don’t want the other shoe to drop, so we mute our celebrations.

God, however, wants you to pause and celebrate.

We know this from how God interacts with His people in the Bible. He invited (commanded!) people to have week-long parties, called festivals, celebrating His goodness. The book of Psalms is filled with calls to remember and give thanks and celebrate God’s blessings. The New Testament draws people into worship, an intentional pause and inventory-taking of all God is working. God wants His people to pause and celebrate.

Bottom line- God is making it known to us that celebrating is GOOD for us!

It’s likely true that the next few weeks of your life might include some celebrating. It will include worship, parties, and more. Perhaps you’ll be tempted to think about what’s next, and to look ahead. From God’s counsel- avoid that temptation. Put on the party hat. Smile. Laugh. Savor. God says its good for you!

If you missed the message, you can find it HERE

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Another Hidden Gem

December 4th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Another Hidden Gem”

It happened again on a recent Sunday, and I LOVE it when it happens.  It’s usually in the lobby, but sometimes it happens in the parking lot or in a text/email. I’m speaking of moments where folks share with one another, or with me, how the Word of God impacted them and caused them to reflect or be encouraged or be challenged. And the best part? Nine times out of ten it happens simply from the text itself, and not what I shared about it.

Take, for instance, what happened just a few weeks back. We had looked in worship at how the Lord speaks about his church and uses the image of the human body to help us understand how each one of us is an essential part of it. It’s I Corinthians 12:12-27. I love this text, I love what it communicates, and I love what it means. But someone pointed out to me an often overlooked gem tucked within it. Ready?

“Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” (12:22).

With these words, we’re challenged to ensure we don’t let the worldly metrics of someone’s perceived value influence our thoughts on the impact they make on the body of Christ. (That’s a heavy thought, I know… might want to read that one again.)

I won’t give examples, but I will challenge you to let this text do to you what it did to me: consider what parts of the body we might be using worldly metrics to evaluate, and to cease doing so. The Body of Christ functions differently than the kingdom of the world.

And in case you’re feeling “weaker”, or “dispensable”, know with certainty that your Lord, your Pastor, and your church family knows better.

If you missed the message, you can find it HERE

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

If you Care…God Cares.

November 21st, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “If you Care…God Cares.”

A family sat down for their evening meal. It was warm, and they were hungry. It was the oldest son’s turn to pray, but his mind was elsewhere. Running through his mind was what would happen AFTER dinner- his first basketball practice of the new season. There was some excitement, for sure, but also a whole lot of nervousness. How would it go? Who would be on the team with him? Would he like his coach?

Distracted as he was, he began his prayer in the way he normally did. But midway through, he stopped. Turning to his parents, he asked a question that’s probably pretty similar to a question you’ve asked: “Mom and Dad, am I allowed to pray for basketball practice? Does God care about my basketball practice?” Without skipping a beat, and empowered by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the Mom replied, “Absolutely you can pray for that. God cares about your basketball practice. He cares about you, so if you care about something, He cares about that too. Pray away!”

Great job, Mom!

Whatever has you distracted today, whatever you are caring about these days, know with certainty that God cares about it as well. He cares about you so much that he went to the greatest length possible- giving up His only Son, Jesus, for you. If He’ll do that for you, imagine, if you even can, how much He truly loves you.

So whatever is before you these days, whatever weighs on you, bring that to the Lord in prayer. He cares, and has the power and desire to intervene.

If you missed Sunday’s message, you can find it HERE.

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Together

November 14th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Together”

Are you growing weary of all the fighting, discord, and antagonism in culture? I don’t want to presume to speak for you, but I’ll take a guess that your answer is a resounding “yes”.

Sunday in worship we looked at an Old Testament narrative that seems like merely a kid-friendly, Sunday School story, but upon a deeper look, it reveals a powerful vision of how God wants His people to function. It’s the story of Moses looking over a battle that God’s people were engaged in, and every time his arms were raised, they would experience victory. However, anytime his arms fell down, they would be losing. As you can imagine, his arms grew tired. And God planned it that way! He planned it so that Moses would need to reach out to his friends, Aaron and Hur, who held up his arms, ensuring victory.

It’s a powerful lesson for kids and adults alike- we are meant to lean into one another!

Culture’s draw toward independence is breeding not only isolation and loneliness, I’d argue it’s actually giving rise to the antagonism and division we are seeing all around us. Yet God invites us into something radically different, and radically better- community.

Because of the work of Jesus Christ in our lives, so many of the divisions we see around us ought not exist among us. However culture seeks to divide, whether it be by gender, age, race, ethnicity, political leanings, socioeconomic status, or the like, the Christian knows and celebrates that the blood of Jesus shed for all of us does an incredibly unifying work in us!

The Christian, and the Christian church, ought to be the most radically hospitable and accepting entity out there, standing as a beacon of light and togetherness in an increasingly divisive culture. May it be so among us, we pray.

If you missed last week’s message, you can find it HERE.

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

dis(connected)

November 8th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “dis(connected)”

Sunday in worship we looked at a really neat scene from the Old Testament. It’s the story of God’s people working together in a beautiful way, each bringing what they had and what they could uniquely offer to the building of their traveling worship space as they journeyed together to the land God had promised to them. We connected that to our past, and our present, here at Lord of Glory, where all over the place people bring and have brought their gifts to advance God’s work among us. Another beautiful scene.

Yet we also talked about how this portrait of diversity coming together in unity is in short supply these days. In a culture of division, where some 70% of surveyed parents say they hope their kids don’t marry a spouse from “the other” political party, unity is hard to come by. And the result is an epidemic of loneliness that is felt across ages, races, and socioeconomic levels.

Enter then the church. Imperfect? Absolutely. Yet it’s a snapshot, a hope, of the sense of coming together that God envisioned for His people. I love seeing it among us here. I love how you’ll see among us diversity on many levels yet a spirit of unity around our primary identity as children of God. Beautiful.

It exists, thanks be to God, yet we can for sure grow in this even more. Sunday I challenged us to take two concrete action steps. First, reach out because you need it. When you find yourself struggling, lonely, jammed up, find a Christian you trust and open up. Second, reach out because your church family needs it. It’s likely true that you are aware of someone from within our faith family, or the larger Christian faith family, who’s journey is difficult. Reach out, pray, encourage.

This Glory Minute is a gentle reminder to you to take those steps. Have you given them a shot?

If you missed last week’s message, you can find it here.

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian

Practicing Patience

October 29th, 2018 Posted by Glory Minute 0 thoughts on “Practicing Patience”

Two quick stories from my life, and I’m guessing you’ll see what binds them together:

First, I recently requested a book from the library. It’s a new one, and quite popular, so I was 22nd on the list. After weeks of waiting, I received an email that it was my turn- yay! Unfortunately, by the time I read the email, the library was closed. I was frustrated… I don’t like waiting!

Second, early last week I was pulling out of a parking spot. Behind me, however, was a line of cars seeking to exit the parking lot, and the line prevented me from getting out of my spot. UGGGh! I didn’t like it… I don’t like waiting.

You likely see the common thread…

Patience is really challenging, and the more we get accustomed to everything in our lives being instant, the more difficult waiting will become. Can you identify?

Not too long ago, I read an article about patience as a value in Japanese culture. It’s taught early on, and highly emphasized in formative years. The result is that folks who grow up in this culture are exponentially better at waiting.

Our faith speaks of patience as a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). That is, the more the Spirit of God is at work in us, the more the gift of patience will be alive in us and flow out of us.

So if life has you waiting these days, find your way to where God is at work- In His word, in worship, in conversation, in prayer, etc.- and see if the Lord might increase patience in you.

That’s all for now- I’m headed to the library to get my book! Can’t wait! (haha)

Have a blessed day!

Pastor Brian