9.15.2014

Baptism: Erin Pont


We are so grateful to celebrate the baptism of Erin Pont, her commitment to place Jesus as the Lord of her life is a great one.  Please pray for her and the church as we continue to think and act like missionaries right here in Austin.

9.07.2014

Baptism Celebration This Sunday

Join us this Sunday, September 14th for our Summer Baptism Celebration!  We will gather at 11:00 am at the home of Steve & Molly Pont to celebrate baptisms and share a meal together.

We are going to potluck it, so please bring a dish to share.  For directions, please send an email to info@lifechurchaustin.com.

Remember when Ernest Borgnine asked Jesus to heal his Servant!?

 5 "And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment." - Matthew 8:5-13
Did you catch it?

I've heard many people teach and reference this piece of scripture on numerous occasions with always the same basic application.  It is often used as a "faith" text.  What great faith the centurion must have had to trust Jesus to heal his servant, that he understood the authority that has been given to Jesus.

I want to take a different look at this passage.  The faith thing is dead on; it's quite obvious.  I want to draw your attention to something smaller.

If you haven't seen the 70's mini-series, Jesus of Nazareth, here is a clip of Ernest Borgnine portraying the Centurion who meets Jesus in Matthew 8.  Enjoy it!

A Centurion was a professional officer in the Roman army.  They would often have at least 80 men (even though Ernie says 100) in their command, with some leading upwards of 480 men.  Some Senior Centurions were tasked with leading upwards of 5,400 men.

In other words, they were important dudes.

So why in the world would a Roman Centurion, who oversees many men and probably had countless numbers of servants, journey to find Jesus, a Jew, to ask that He might heal one of his servants?

We don't know.  We don't even know this guy's name, let alone the servant's name!  All we can do is speculate what the Centurion's motives were.

Why would such an important guy do this?

I believe that it was simply love.  I think Ernest Borgnine nails what the Centurion thousands of years ago might have been thinking.  He loved his servant so much, he was willing to be an advocate.

If we reflect long enough, we too might find "wounded servants" in our lives who are in need of someone to stand up and advocate for them, to simply love them.

Who are sick servants in your life?  Who around you is in need of an advocate, someone who can go to the Lord and their behalf?  Who do you need to love?

9.01.2014

Life as Mission

How do you see your life in regards to mission?  Is it something you simply add to your already busy life?  When we take this approach to mission, we relegate it to a task that we must find time to "fit in."

If we choose take the posture of Life AS Mission, then we are always on mission.  Everything counts!  When we work, we're on mission with and for our co-workers.  When we're in our neighborhoods, we're in the mission field ready to Bless, Eat, Listen, and Learn.

So, what's your posture?

6.12.2014

FATHER'S DAY: No Coffeehouse This Sunday

It is Father's Day this Sunday, so do whatever you want and come hang out with us! We'll be at the Ishee Home for a community cookout. Chicken Fajitas, Sausage Wraps & Hot Dogs for the kiddoes... we'll get started at around 11:00am-ish!

See you Sunday and Happy Father's Day!  For more info, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com

5.19.2014

HEADS UP: No Coffeehouse This Sunday

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, so there is no way we would spend that in the coffeehouse!  We'll be kicking it outside with our "Freighbors" (a term I heard my buddy Matthew Allen use to describe all of his neighbor friends) with some good food and drinks!

Feel free to join us, we'll kick things off at around 11:00am on Sunday.  Hope to see you there!

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

3.30.2014

BELLS: Missional Habit #2 - Eat


Eat: I will eat with three people this week -- at least one of whom is not a member of our church.

The second missional habit I want you to consider embracing is that of eating with others. I’d like you to eat with three people each week.  One person from the church community and one person in your mission field (where you live, work & play).  The third is a wild card, it can literally be anyone.  Sit at a community table and strike up a conversation!

The invitation to share a table is a extremely important in most cultures. I’m calling you to embrace the habit of eating with three people each week. You don't need to re-invent the wheel here, don't make it complicated.  Keep it simple. You already eat three times a day, that’s 21 meals a week. I’m simply asking that you bring another person to your table for three of those. Or if you want to cut corners, you could bring three people to your table for one of them.

The point is, eating has always been an important habit for Christ followers since the beginning of the movement.  Not only do we value eating sacramentally, like the communion and the Lord's Supper, but eating missionally as a way to express love to those God's puts in our lives.

Love Feasts

A few weeks ago I shared about how Julian sent out a creed against Christians because he was tired of being out-served by the early church.  He actually decreed that all of Caesar's men where to "practice every virtue" of the early church, because he said so.  We know how that worked out. It didn't!

One of the things that really upset Julian, as he put it, one of the Christians' methods for "perverting" the empire, was their so called Love-Feasts or Service of Tables.

It seems that the early Christians must have focused so much of their lifestyle and ministry around the table that outside observers like Julian were confused as to the exact nature of any given meal.

How Not To Do It

Let's look at I Corinthians  11:17-22 and see Paul's response to the Corinthian church and how they conducted their meals together.
17-19 Regarding this next item, I’m not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I’m reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it.

20-22 And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.
Of course, we know the Corinthians were practicing a communal meal as part of their weekly habit, because Paul rebukes them for conducting it so poorly in Corinthians. He is outraged that their so-called love feast doesn’t express love at all, with certain people being left out and others appearing to eat in cliques rather than as a whole body of believers.

How We Should Do It

If we continue in I Corinthians 11, we see that Paul then goes on to offer them a form of words they should use when eating the Eucharist, which indicates that the Corinthian love feast included the Lord’s Supper at its heart.

Let's take a looksie at I Corinthians 11:23-34.
23-26 Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,
This is my body, broken for you.
 Do this to remember me.
 After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:
 This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
 Each time you drink this cup, remember me.
What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.

27-28 Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.

29-32 If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. If we get this straight now, we won’t have to be straightened out later on. Better to be confronted by the Master now than to face a fiery confrontation later.

33-34 So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord’s Table, be reverent and courteous with one another. If you’re so hungry that you can’t wait to be served, go home and get a sandwich. But by no means risk turning this Meal into an eating and drinking binge or a family squabble. It is a spiritual meal—a love feast.

The other things you asked about, I’ll respond to in person when I make my next visit.
Just sit across a table from three people this week, and... talk.

The table is the great equalizer in relationships. When we eat together, we discover the inherent humanity of all people. We share stories and hopes and fears and disappointments. People open up to each other and we can open up to them to share the same things, including our faith in Jesus.

I love what Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford say in their book, Right Here Right Now:
“Sharing meals together on a regular basis is one of the most sacred practices we can engage in as believers. Missional hospitality is a tremendous opportunity to extend the Kingdom of God. We can literally eat our way into the kingdom of God! If every Christian household regularly invited a stranger or a poor person into their home for a meal once a week, we would literally change the world by eating!”

The Great Example - A Sinner at the Table

Conversion flowered from communion. What a beautiful expression. We see it in Jesus’ attendance at a meal at the home of the tax collector Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10.
1-4 Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.

5-7 When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

8 Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”

9-10 Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”
His communion with the sinful tax collector led to repentance and conversion. Likewise, we should be as prepared to eat with sinners as a habitual missional practice.

Initially, all I’m asking is that you invite three people to share your table, at least one of whom isn’t a churchgoer. But what you’ll find happening is that people will reciprocate your hospitality.

You’ll start getting return invitations. And when that happens you’ve got serious missional traction.

Don’t judge the lifestyles or eating (or drinking) habits of your host. See the opportunity as a goldmine for missional relationship building. Let communion precede conversion.