Category Archives: Processing Messages and Sermons

Braveheart and Bible Study

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Post that I never published from March..

Yep, I’m talking about Braveheart in a chic Bible study. Not too far fetched since Mel Gibson did produce The Passion of the Christ. But, I think we should leave Mel out of this…one. See how I did that? Digressed in about .256 seconds!

Did anyone else go to a Christian college where it was basically required that every guy on campus watch Braveheart every weekend? Honestly, I can not believe I am about to make a Braveheart analogy. Maybe it’s the two boys that I’m raising. Anyhow…

We were studying Exodus 14 the other day. Talking about how the Israelites had just marched on out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership.  The actual number of people that left Egypt was staggering. Obviously, why the entire book is called “Exodus”. The entire slave population of the Egyptian people departed. The Egyptians realized what had happened and decided they were not okay with their decision. Maybe a few days of making bricks on their own didn’t go over too well. So, here the Israelites are, marching out of Egypt into the wilderness with Moses and following a cloud by day and a fire by night. Crazy set up, right?

So, they are coming up on the Red Sea and realize that the Egyptians are coming after them in chariots with horses. Now, here’s what is going to happen: God is going to tell Moses to lift his hand and the Red Sea is going to part and the people are going to march on through on dry land. Then, the Egyptians are going to get swallowed up in the Sea. Victory!

However, in verse 10, the people don’t know that. They just see a big old huge sea in front of them and their very recent captors pounding down on them. So, they are probably expecting something from Moses like “Okay, let’s grab these rocks and these sticks and we’ll suddenly have all kinds of weapons that we don’t have and we’ll just start fighting and we’ll win!” Nope. Verse 13 says that Moses says: “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation fo the Lord which He will accomplish for you today…the Lord will fight for you keep silent.”

As we were discussing this section of the Chapter, I had a rush of flashbacks of the scene in Braveheart when the enemy is about to pound down on William Wallace and his crew. (I found a link on youtube. I think I’m allowed to link to their site on my blog.) I know this may not fit exactly; but I think I’m track here. But, I’m talking about the scene where the enemy is coming in slow motion on their horses. It’s oh, so dramatic. Wallace & his crew in all their blue face paint. Instead of telling his crew to start running off like mad men, he starts yelling: “Hold…..Hold….Hold….” You can see the anticipation. You can see the urgency, the “do something” looks. The tension is insane! He waits until the last second when the enemy is pounding down on them and finally gives this crazy guy-warrior yell and they all reach down and pick up the spears & begin to defeat the enemy.

I can’t get this scene of the Israelites (or rather the scene I’v embellished in my head of the Israelites in this chapter) and the scene of Braveheart out of my head.  So much packed into this section of scripture. My Bible teacher, Jolie, visually stood with her hand in front of her and talked about how Moses tells the people to “see the salvation of the Lord” and how intentional it is. I loved illustration.

When pain is coming from every angle possible. We truly can stand in the face of it all and fully feel every moment and emotion to our core; but resounding louder than the chaos- the Peace of God- the Power of God is present. And even bigger than William Wallace or Moses before the Red Sea is the God of the Universe who is Omnipotent and who has legions of angels who could be released at any moment. And sometimes, I think that happens, I think when it’s all coming and I start jumping up and down and asking God to please fix this or that, and I tug at him like my 4 year old tugs on me when he wants something, and I scream and I yell as if he’s not paying attention…I’m missing it. I don’t want to miss the Peace of knowing my Omnipotent God.

When we see the chaos- the glory of God is even more beautiful. When we are weak – the power of God is more magnified.

* I also have studied some more and realize that there are different interpretations of what God really told Moses to do here and what He was saying.

Etymology of Encourage

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Pastor Stovall Weems, the lead Pastor at Celebration Church, spoke to our staff this week. He made a side comment during his time with us that started to give me a holy haunting. He said when we encourage someone we are inspiring courage. We are en-couraging. It’s the truth. That’s the etymology of encourage. To inspire courage.

Well, that’s more the definition. But, I like saying etymology. Wikipedia says: encourage (from Old French encouragier, from en- “make, put in” + corage ‘courage’, from Vulgar Latin *coraticum, from cor “heart, daring”) + -ment

Obviously, we all sort of know that. It’s nice to give encouragement. Words of affirmation are part of the love languages. For every negative comment say 10 nice things. Right?We also have heard many times that our words are important. The choice of our words even more so. The motivation and intention of our words- well, now we are really going somewhere.

I do not believe that I have ever intentionally thought about inspiring courage with my words. Nor have I considered encouragement to be a moment of inspiring courage. I have thought of giving motivation. I have thought of supporting with Read the rest of this entry

Warning Light

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Discouragement is the warning light in our soul that we’ve lost eternal perspective.

My pastor, Greg Surratt,  said this in a message a few years ago. He has graciously told me that I don’t have to keep referencing him every time I say it. But, it has so profoundly influenced my thoughts that I can’t help but claim it’s author. It’s not something that sort of crept into my mind, swirled around, and then became familiar language, and resurfaced as my own thought. Nope, it was refrigerator magnet material from the moment these words fell on my ears.  So, with all my respect, Pastor Greg, it’s your quote and I’m just loving it, and also going to keep giving you credit!

Often in my life, I see the pattern of perspective shift. I’m frustrated with something going on. I become discouraged and pretty soon, I’m surrounded by my self-pity and yucky-ness. A lot of times discouragement gives way to all sorts of challenges. This is when my Read the rest of this entry

DNA of Joy: Happiness and Joy

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Pastor Greg shared an incredible message at Seacoast this weekend, in a series called DNA of Joy.

To follow suit of trying to stay focused, I’m posting two things that are resonating with me from this message and a combination of something that Pastor Greg asked Pastor Stovall Weems to share with our staff this week during a staff meeting:

Happiness is based on the facts. Joy is based on the Truth.

He explored the aspects of our happiness being based on the facts that surround our lives and what is happening to us. Joy is only possible from the truth of God’s word. What we believe produces joy, what is happening to us in inconsequential for joy to resonate.

The fruit of the Spirit….the source of being filled with the Holy Spirit is what produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

I can not will myself into these things. I can not offer the list of these virtues to anyone in my life without the filling of the Holy Spirit, they are the fruit of this evidence in my life. Not of my own works.