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Praying toward Personal Renewal

March 20, 2012

Hello Everyone ~

I’m thankful to each of you for your commitment and participation in our Discipleship Initiative at Citylife. It has been a real joy, initially as an outsider and now as an insider, to watch this ministry – but more than that – you! – its people, grapple with gospel-dynamics from week-to-week.  For all of its simplicity, the gospel is thick and rich and full of traction – and yet it demands significant Spirit-driven reflection and sensitivity to apply it rightly to our hearts.

This week we’re jumping into the theme of “personal renewal” within our discipleship clusters.  Personal renewal might be summarized as the Holy Spirit led process of getting the gospel “down deep” into the whole of our human personality – heart, mind, will, and emotions.  Personal renewal is what happens when the gospel makes deep inroads into life of an individual.  And the results (or fruits) of renewal are gospel-love, joy, conviction, repentance, rest, and delight, to name but a few!

As you begin your projects this week, remember that the goal of your labors isn’t the labor itself.  The “end” isn’t busyness or another Christian task.  The goal is our being shaped into the image of our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  The end is our being made holy by the power and grace of a God who has given everything, even his very life, to grant us true meaning and significance.

This week, think biblically.  Think creatively.  Pray boldly.  God wants great things to happen at Citylife and in our city.  As you pray and plan, invite the Holy Spirit to be your guide.  Jesus promised in Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!”  What an amazing guarantee.

I look forward to being with you again on Sunday.  If I can assist you in any way, please don’t hesitate to email me,


ps – Consider tapping into a few of the great resources available at the Gospel Coalition’s website.  I think you’ll find them thoughtful! 


Crossroads Questions 2/20/2011

February 23, 2011

Josiah VanderMey and Heather West ask some questions about the sermon from Sunday.  Check back soon to hear a response.

around the web: appreciate it

December 1, 2010

As December commences and the semester is wrapping up, it might be the most important time to stop and remember all the wonderful things we were thankful for over the long weekend. If you need a little help, check out Appreciate It, a new website that asks people to reflect on 2010 and post what they’re most appreciative for. The publishers hope to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records for longest sentimental holiday letter, so everything is posted in one long continuous list, with answers ranging from “God in all his forms” to “dark chocolate” to “my family” to “free TV on the internet”. There’s really never a bad time to be grateful for what we have.

around town: let’s talk about sex

November 10, 2010

What do Christians and sex have in common?  Why don’t Christians believe in premarital sex?  What is the meaning and purpose of dating?  Is marriage for me?  What’s so bad about lust?  How does God see sex?  Why is sex pleasurable?  What does the Bible say about relationships?  Is virginity outdated?  How will I know when I meet ‘the one’? ‘Till death do us part?  Is marriage relevant to college students?  How far is too far?  What does it mean to love your significant other?  What does a God-centered relationship look like?
These are all questions that we hope to shed light on this Friday, November 12th. Northeastern at Citylife is hosting a panel discussion about relationships, sex and marriage at 7 pm at King’s Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street.
Do you have a question?  Submit it anonymously via

art & design: learn something every day

November 10, 2010

Learn Something Every Day was started by UK based design studio Young. Drawn with copic markers, the project features a daily hand-drawn image of a random fun fact. Check it out if you’re a fan of trivia and Snapple caps.

god & life: pondering the fifth commandment

November 5, 2010

Honor your father and your mother

The bible says “Honor your father and your mother.”  It doesn’t say, “Honor your father and mother when it’s convenient or when you feel like it.”  It doesn’t even say, “Honor your father and mother when they deserve it.”  It simply says, “Honor your father and your mother.”  This includes stubborn parents, over-protective parents, thoughtful parents, insensitive parents, emotionally distanced parents, emotionally smothering parents, supportive parents, absentee parents, married parents, divorced parents, healthy parents, even broken parents.

Honor your father and mother. Read more…

film & music: the shawshank redemption

November 5, 2010

There are times when people get together — parties, special events, late-night hang outs — that are most likely to generate ‘lists’. You know, like “What are the top 3 ways you would NOT want to die?” or “If you could take one book (sometimes at ‘Christian’ events this is interrupted by the injunction against using the Bible as your answer) with you to a desert island, what would it be?” Inevitably, for me and my friends, one question comes up:
Read more…