8.21.2015

Grace Is Free...

Grace is free.

But just because grace is free does not mean that it is cheap. 

Grace may not cost you and me anything, but it cost Jesus His life. Jesus came to earth over two thousand years ago. As God in human flesh, He lived the perfect life and then died on a cross to pay the price for our sin. 

We deserved to hang on that cross, not Jesus. It was our sin that separated us from a holy and righteous God, our sin that made us guilty and deserving of spending eternity in hell. 

But because Jesus loves you and me so much, He had mercy on us and took the death sentence upon Himself that we so rightly deserved. That’s grace. 

And because of God’s grace there is hope both for today and the rest of eternity.

8.14.2015

What Is Grace?

During a British conference on comparative religion, experts had gathered from around the world to debate those things that made the Christian faith unique. Slowly, the experts began eliminating one possibility at a time. 

Some thought it was the incarnation that made Christianity unique, but as they discussed this, it became evident that there are other religions that claim gods appearing in human form. Some suggested that the resurrection is the only unique element to Christianity, yet as they studied they found accounts in other religions of people returning from the dead. 

As time passed, the debates grew more heated. C. S. Lewis, whom many believe to have been one of the greatest Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, strolled in. 

Lewis had heard the shouting from down the hall, and as he entered the room he asked, “What’s all the rumpus about?” His colleagues told him of their discussions as to what made Christianity unique from the other world religions. Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy, it’s grace.” And after further discussion they finally all agreed. 

Grace sets the Christian faith apart from every other world religion. 

What is grace? Simply put, grace is God’s unmerited favor. You cannot earn grace; you cannot do anything to deserve grace. It is simply God doing something for you with no strings attached. God’s grace is solely motivated by love: deep, abiding, unconditional, sacrificial love.

5.06.2015

Mother's Day: A Day to Celebrate & Mourn

As we count the days down to Mother's Day, I know for some, it is a wild card.  Mother's Day is something that I have come to celebrate and even enjoy over the years.  But early in my adult life, it was a day of torture to endure.  Celebrate was not a word I would use for the day.

Though Mother's Day was intended to be a day of celebration, it can often be a reminder of past hurts and current trials.  As we celebrate with our families, please join me in praying for those who who will struggle this weekend because of an abusive or traumatic childhood. Maybe they have loss their mom or a child.  Especially for the families that are struggling through infertility, who often keep it a secret and suffer right under our noses. 

The Church is called to celebrate and honor all of life, to give thanks together and to mourn together.  Please don't misunderstand me, celebrate this Sunday! Rejoice with your family and truly enjoy the day.  Laugh and have a great time, it's totally cool to do that.

But if you know someone who will struggle this weekend because of Mother's Day, just consider taking a moment from celebrating to give them a call, to give them a hug and let them know you are thinking and praying for them. Take time to honor them. They won't expect you to fix it, but knowing you care will mean the world to them.

4.22.2015

Practicing Biblical Hospitality

Join us this Sunday at Casa Ishee as we practice our Missional Rhythm of EATing and hospitality.  As a tribe, we strive to share at least 3 of our meals each week with others inside and outside the church.  Once a month, we gather as a tribe to practice this act of hospitality together.  Hospitality is key in missional living and must be lived out in the church as well as outside the church.  This is a time to gather, take a deep breath together and share life.

We'd love to share Sunday with you.  Everything gets started around 10:30am with a time of reflection and prayer.  Our feast starts at 11:30am, so bring your favorite side dish and drink.  We hope the weather is nice enough to spark up the grill, see you Sunday.

For more information about gathering, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.

11.11.2014

Operation Christmas Child

Join us this Sunday for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox party. 

For more information, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.

10.26.2014

Tired? Worn out? Burned Out?

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-32
This passage could not sum up the last 6 years of my life any better.  It nails me to a T.  I was done with religion, or what I thought was "proper" religion.  I remember telling Amy that I was done. I quit vocational ministry and gave up on my "calling."  I was going to go make sandwiches or toss chicken wings for a living, but I wasn't going to be a pastor any more. 

God, of course, changed that.  Being a pastor wasn't the problem; I was the problem.  The way I knew how to do my job was the problem.  Maybe the system was the problem.  I thought not working was the solution.  Then Jesus hit me with it.
"Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it."
The real problem lay in my example.  I was watching how everyone else did ministry, how they did "religion."  I took my eyes off my true inspiration; I stopped looking to Jesus as my example.

I was doing what those around me were doing, as they were having breakdowns and relational fallout.

I was doing what the next great author suggested.

The last thing I was doing was the very first thing I should have been doing, walking and working with Jesus.  Watching Him do it, seeing how He went about life, not ministry, but life... all of life.

This journey started right before my 30th birthday.  I am 36 now and have 4 years until 40.  Most people dread 40, but I excitedly await it as I believe it will be my greatest decade yet.  I am a work-in-progress, enjoying how Jesus is molding and sifting me.

I like what I see.

I am losing weight, the lightest I've been in my 30s.  My mind and perspective are shifting, taking on a more holistic approach to life.

Are you tired?  Are you worn out?  Are you burned out?

Do these questions resonate?  Crashing and retreating is not the response.

Walking and working is and  we just need to change what walking and working look like.  That's my journey. Let me know if you want to join our tribe of former burn-outs.  Life is getting better!

10.22.2014

Neighborhood Cookout

Join us this Sunday at Casa Ishee as we practice our Missional Rhythm of EATing.  As a tribe, we strive to share 3 of our meals each with others inside and outside the church.  Once a month, we gather as a tribe to practice this act of hospitality together.  Hospitality is key in missional living and must be lived out in the church as well as outside the church.  This is a time to gather, take a deep breath together and share life.

We'd love to share Sunday with you.  Everything gets started around 11:00am, so bring your favorite side dish and drink.  We will grill up some chicken and hot dogs for the kiddos.  See you Sunday.

For more information about gathering, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.