Millions Murdered on Social Media Everyday

When you read the headline, “Millions Murdered On Social Media Everyday” did you believe it? According to Jesus’ teaching on anger, it’s true and we should beware of directing anger towards others.

Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”

Learning to handle anger is an important part of maturing spiritually. We’ve been talking about seed at Northeast Community Church. In a seed is the potential to become what was sown (see the Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:1-9). If you are a follower of Christ, your primary goal in following Him is to be like Him. When the seed of anger is sown it has the potential to turn into murder.
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Race & the Church

Race and the Church

Our church (Northeast Community Church​) began with a handful of friends who probably wouldn’t have hung out or met if we didn’t have Jesus is common. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be able to build lasting relationships with people who didn’t look like me, but what I share with these folks is so much more than meaningful friendships. Their hearts have been knitted to mine, and I consider every person at NECC my family (really). In building these relationships I’ve genuinely come to love so many people from varying walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, generations and socioeconomic status. Every Sunday I get the honor of standing in front of a room full of people, who have allowed me to pastor them from the Scriptures on how to live as a Christian amidst our culture.

Which brings me to my point … the current status of race relations in the US stands in stark contrast with the reality that I experience in my circles of influence.  I have had quite a few conversations over the past few years with people who share the same racial category as I do as well as those who do not. And I have come to the conclusion, we have a discipleship issue in regards to race in the church.
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Sin Definitely Divides

Human interaction has been greatly impaired by sin. The ‪#‎gospel‬ informs us how to interact with one another through counter-intuitive, counter-cultural “LOVE”.

Because we have all been impaired by this sin disease, we all need a Savior to teach us how to love one another properly. This is exactly what Jesus came to do.

The gospel is both cross-cultural and counter-cultural at the same time. It’s cross-cultural because the good news of God’s love transcends any cultural nuance. It’s counter-cultural because it goes against our natural urges as a society.

Counter-cultural does not mean that we separate ourselves from the world we live in; rather we seek to reveal the gospel message in those areas where it is lacking. We reveal this message not through words alone, but through living in such a way, that God’s love is known to everyone who will hear it.

‪#‎ElevateCulture‬ ‪#‎TheGospel‬ ‪#‎MakeDisciples‬

4 Great Blog Resources for Church Leaders

In my quest to become a better leader of the people that God has placed in my circles of influence,  I have come across a few leadership sayings that lead me to believe that good leaders are avid learners.   Since leaders are learners I find myself reading from wide variety of resources of which my favorite are blogs.

I like blogs mainly because of their conversational style and brevity.   I can plow through a blog post within a matter of minutes and leave with a few high points to chew on for the rest of the day.   Of the blogs that I frequent here are 5 that I recommend to any church leader who is looking for some valuable insight.
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How to Live Like Christ Intended

I often encounter Christians who seem to be clueless about how they should be living as followers of Christ.  They believe that a list of though shalt nots is the only thing they have to offer the world.   The irony is that the most popular verse ever quoted is John 3:16, which introduces us to the concept of God loving the world so much, that He gives His son as a sacrifice for us. (Read the entire dialogue with Nicodemus 3:9-21 for a bit of context)  Jesus was also clear to his followers when he said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  The brilliance of this verse floors me to think about it.    Jesus is basically saying if you love me show me by doing what I say do.   Which begs the question, What did he say we should do?
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Getting Things Done + Evernote

Personal productivity.

I can very easily be pulled in different directions, and admittedly I haven’t been much of a productivity dude since I left the IT arena.   The daily emails, calls to return, and tasks were getting the best of me, while serious things began to fall through the cracks.

I had to find a way to capture thoughts, get things accomplished in a timely manner, and find solace from my busy days.   So I called on “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“, and book written by David Allen to help me figure out how I was going to organize my life.  Getting Things Done (GTD), is an interesting system to be more productive.   The primary concept of the system, is to get the things out of your head and into a safe repository, so that your mind begins to trust those things will get accomplished, which frees you up to be more productive.

I thought let’s give it a shot.   So I bummed the book from a friend, and in typical Shawn Weekly fashion, took forever to read the book.   However, once I finished reading up on the system, I thought that it was something that could help me overcome my busy man’s syndrome.

I then had to find a software that would allow me to put the concepts into practice.  While GTD doesn’t recommend that you use software, the Tech guy couldn’t resist.   I was already splitting time between Evernote, Any.Do and Google Keep to capture things, but I couldn’t decide on which one to be my primary repository.   I was also starting to journal in Evernote, so Evernote got the nod.

A quick Google search brought me to a system devised by the guys at braintoniq called “The Secret Weapon”, http://www.thesecretweapon.org/.   To be honest the two systems GTD + Evernote, have been a great combination.

 

Open Letter on Martin Luther King Day – 2015

Dr. King Multi-ethnic ChurchTo my Christian brother’s and sister’s on MLK day:

Dr. King was born Michael King, but his father Martin Luther King, Sr. changed his name in honor of the German reformer, Martin Luther. I wonder if his father could have imagined the reformer his son, would become? 51 years ago Dr. King said, “it is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”

How much have things changed within the Christian community? Laws have changed to give all U.S. citizens the same rights, but have our hearts crossed the boundaries that are no longer there? On this Monday morning, as we remember Dr. King’s legacy, let’s not sanitize the struggles he faced. Let’s not pretend that his work was welcomed by the masses. Both blacks and whites opposed his methods, and criticized him publicly. Let’s remember the climate in which he fought so that we don’t get complacent, and believe the work he started is done. Let’s remember he was hated and despised, yet he fought on for what was right. Let us continue to remember the path he blazed prior, to his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech.
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