New Attitude Memories

Story #1
Okay, so we are in the mountains of Tennessee. We stop at this white water rafting place with a restaurant, gas station and a few other things. Most of it is built in a log cabin motif. It’s butted up against a river, next to the woods. There’s this mountain man sitting on the front porch drinking a beverage and smoking a cigarette. His beard is down to his belly. (Those of you who lived circa 1975 will remember ZZ Top and get the picture.)Willy said, “I’ve never seen a beard that long.”I asked the resident porch sitter if he wouldn’t mind having his picture made with my friend Willy who has never been in the mountains of rural Tennessee. He kindly obliged and came over to the other side of the porch and put his arm around my Cameroon buddy and the pic was made……and a memory of a lifetime….

Story #2
Okay, so we are trying to leave the hotel. Stephen and Matthew Eastin, along with Mike Morency and me get in the elevator. We are on the third floor heading to the first floor. We hit the 1st floor button and the elevator goes up. Alright, no problem…maybe it was planning to go up. So we hit the 1st floor button again and it comes down to three and then goes back up again. So, not to be outdone, we hit the 1st floor button again and it comes down to the 3rd floor and then goes up again.By this time it is quite perplexing. The elevator is possessed and we’re never going to get off or out of the hotel, I surmise. I heard a song about this one time. I’m not one to be anxious a lot, but I’m curious as to how this could be happening. There are five or six elevators side-by-side and we pick the possessed one. After some deliberation someone concluded that Matthew shouldn’t be leaning near the elevator door with his backpack, which happened to be near the buttons. Mystery solved…

Na Eric Simmons

How do we discern “gray matters”? Maybe we should ask, “What are gray matters?” Eric Simmons did an excellent job unpacking this topic in some clear and practical ways. He gave us a list of gray matters, though not comprehensive, it helped us to think about the right categories. Here is a partial list:

Smoking, tight clothes, music, debt, sex in movies, TV, My Space, Facebook, Drinking, bars, gay people and more. How do we think biblically about these things? What does God say about things that are not black or white?

His outline was simple:

1. Groundwork for thinking about gray matters
2. Process for thinking about gray matters

He began with two assumptions (1) Being transformed into Christ’s kingdom radically redefines our identity in Christ. (2) There is no such thing as gray matters; we assume Scripture is silent, but it is not.

Keys to the sermon

Key #1: Let our default assumption be that God has something to say

Key #2: When discerning gray matters always ask the question “Why” when you want to know about this or that

Key #3: Find somebody ahead of you in your walk and seek their counsel and not somebody who you already know will agree with you. Find the person who you think will not agree with you, but they are spiritually mature

Key #4: We are made to seek socialization. We are social creatures. Therefore, ask yourself who do you want to imitate, be like, join-up to? Hint: Eph. 5:1

Good questions to ask when discerning gray matters

Will this reveal God’s glory?
Will this set me apart from sin?
Are we bearing the family image? (Christ)
Am I orienting my life around my Father’s pleasure?

This was a very practical message with immediate application today!

Na Joshua Harris

Joshua preached the opening message on Saturday night. Each speaker has about one hour to speak. This year’s topic is Discernment. Joshua gave us a working understanding/definition of discernment, which served as the framework for the other messages.

Two examples of future messages are Mark Dever preaching on “Discerning our Doctrine”and Al Mohler preaching on “Discerning our Culture”.

Joshua said discernment is the ability to judge well. The Latin definition would be to “separate apart”. This was an outstanding message that has served so many of our singles as they are now applying the other “discernment messages” in Community Groups and their personal time together.

Joshua said he had two concerns regarding the need for this message:

1. Discernment is not always easy
2. To have discernment is a matter of life and death.

His text was 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

His application text was Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

His application outline was as follows:

1. Resistance: Do not be conformed to this world
2. Renewal: Things can get old. We need to remind ourselves again and again
3. Action: Do what God is calling you to do
4. Gospel: Only by being free can we be transformed

Just awesome!

New Attitude…we arrived!

We arrived in Simpsonville at the Enterprise location at 5 AM and were off toward TR by 5:25. It looked like we were going to be running ahead of schedule for this trip, sweet. We arrived at the Spinx in TR at 6 AM. Katie Crumpton and Kaise Cassell were at the Spinx in TR along with Heidi and I was informed that the Spinx I told everyone to meet was actually in Taylors not TR.

I called Katie and Heidi brought them to the Spinx on 290 and we were all settled in. Several of the folks brought goodies for the trip. A couple of the girls brought some small bags for their particular rooms. Cinda Pratt brought enough goodies for everyone. …and off we went up 290 to 25 to 26 to 40 …

We pulled out at 6:30 and within the hour Sarah Payne was on the phone asking for a restroom break, unbelievable. I’m thinking this is going to take two days to get to Louisville. I’m now praying we can make it by the last session on Tuesday morning.

We were all refreshed and prayed for new attitudes and off we went again wondering when Sarah would call again, assuming it would be within the next hour. Fortunately we made it two hours before the inevitable call came. We pulled over and created the worlds longest restroom line to the ladies room of some rural BP Station.

The bladder gods prevailed and as we approached 12 noon I put in a call to the other van and the two cars in tow and asked if they wanted to push through to Louisville. At that point we were 70 miles away. Everyone wanted to push through so we did and we made it to Louisville at 1:15 PM, amazing. God is kind. We were all almost checked-in by 2:30 and the guys registered for the conference by 3 PM. There was one small hitch. They had six of our seven rooms ready. It took another two hours for Sarah, Christa Hobbet, et. al. to get to their room.

Laura Paradis and Christa Hobbet drove up in their car because they have to go back on Monday. Courtney was sleeping in their backseat. Rick and Patty Patrick was in the other car. Rick and Patty attend our Titusville, FL church. They came with their son, Justin, after spending a few days with the Britts. Justin rode in the van.

The conference begins at 7:30. Joshua Harris will be up to bat first.

May God surprise us…