Monthly Archives: December 2008

Losing my eyesight

This is my Life Journal entry for today, 12/26/08. You can pick up a Life Journal at the Connections Table in the Cafe at Ephesus. This would make an incredible start to the new year; start regular plan of reading through Scripture.

Psalm 119:82 “My eyes fail from searching Your word.” Again in verse 123, the Psalmist writes of losing his eyesight while reading Scripture.

Even in this day of glasses and top-notch optometry, many years of reading or staring at computer screens can cause a loss of strength in our eyesight. Here the Psalmist (most likely King David), talks of his eyesight failing as he reads and reads God’s Word to us. Throughout Psalm 119, he talks of digging through Scripture, making him wise, lighting his path, giving him truth, giving him cause to rejoice. And in this verse we see why, he is constantly reading the bible, so much so his eyesight is failing. This past week I took some time off over Christmas. My current favorite thing to do when I have some time to myself is fire up Netflix Instant Viewing library and watch random stuff I’d probably never take the time to rent. Several favorites of the past week: Seaquest, Magnum PI season 1 and the original BBC production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I think actually came out as a precursor to the book. In the midst of staring at my computer screen so much I got some vicious headaches. Which caused me to think of a couple of things, 1) I’m getting a little older, 2) Are these old TV shows worth my time and my eyesight! The psalmist is not complaining about the loss of his eyesight, he’s noting how committed he is to God’s Word. We give our eyes to so much…how much do I really commit to God’s Word.

I’m trying to diligently follow the reading plan in my Life Journal and journal as well. The last couple of weeks leading to Christmas I fell behind. This passage has convicted and inspired me to “lose my eyesight” in study of Scripture. I prepare sermons weekly and do a lot of Scripture reading as a part of that prep, but for me there is something necessary and personal in regular reading and reflection on God’s Word, to the point of losing my eyesight in that pursuit if necessary. 

Lord, I re-commit to the personal time between you and me in Your letter to me. If I’m to lose my eyesight, let it be as a result of so much time spent in Your Word!

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Promoting our new church

This past Sunday we had our Christmas service. We’re a church plant that rents our facility on Sundays. With that we decided to do a special evening Christmas service in addition to our morning service and in lieu of a Christmas Eve service. I created a Facebook ad to promote the event. Over the course of 2 weeks we had nearly 85,000 “views” as recorded by Facebook. I limited it to only being seen locally (Charlotte, NC). Of that we had 27 clicks of the ad. From that, I did not meet anyone Sunday night who came because of the ad. We did have new folks at the service but all that I met had been invited by either someone in the church, family or others who know our church. So I’m not sure of the success of the ad. The positive in that is that we only pay per click so the total cost to us was less than $10. We’ve intentionally decided to be very low-key and grassroots with promoting and advertising our new church. Our 2 key methods of attracting new folks have been personal invitations from attenders and very basic 18″x24″ corrugated yard signs. It’s very low cost, and also very important, sustainable. We’re not relying on big events with high production value that we can’t maintain week after week. We do what we do with an eye to excellence and high value placed on quality content in music and preaching. That has been attractive in retaining most of our first time visitors. All that to say, it may be a while before we try Facebook ads again.

Tagged , , , , ,

Christmas @ Ephesus

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to invite you to our first Christmas @ Ephesus service! Below you’ll find the details and attached is an e-vite you can send on to friends, family and coworkers. I hope you’ll join us in Uptown Charlotte for Christmas @ Ephesus!

Join us for our first Christmas service at Ephesus! We will gather the evening of December 21st at Grace Event Center at 6pm to celebrate Christmas together. Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends and remember the gift of Jesus to us. We will celebrate with music and a candlelight service. Our evening Christmas service will be in addition to our regular Sunday morning service and will be in lieu of a Christmas Eve service. We hope you will invite friends and family to celebrate with us. Visit www.ephesuschurch.tv for more info.

Christmas @ Ephesus evite

Wrestle

This past Sunday at Ephesus we looked at David’s hurt and frustration when Uzzah died after trying to steady the Ark on its journey to Jerusalem. Seemingly God struck down Uzzah for not a really good reason, at least from our perspective. But that’s right where things get sketchy, when we start trying to answer everything from our perspective. At its core, that’s supreme arrogance. In this world of tolerance and correctness, we determine those things based on our own perspective. Who are we really? Even from a secular, humanistic perspective we’re not much. Just random chance evolution, destined to become worm food. Who are we to say what’s just and what isn’t? The same is true of our understanding of God. Who are we to decide what is just and what isn’t? It’s a tough concept, and one that Christians too often gloss over or pretend isn’t really a struggle. “We’re Christians and everything therefore, is peachy!” But we know in our hearts that’s not true. That’s why it was good to wrestle with those questions this past Sunday. We have to wrestle, constantly. Our faith demands, our purpose to our city demands. God who wants our authentic love deserves it. He deserves a people who wrestle and think and strive to better know Him. Honestly, it was a tough one for me, I had to wrestle with just putting together a coherent message that allowed us to journey closer to understand God’s justice. But I’m glad I did, I’m glad the Holy Spirit prompted me to go there. If you want you can check out the podcast here(will be up by the end of the week of 12/1). Keep wrestling!

PS: I mentioned a couple of great books on the subject, here they are

The Reason for God, by Tim Keller

Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis (an oldie, but a goodie!)

Tagged , , , , ,