Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sermon Series - Book of Acts (1st 6 Sermons)

Southpoint Community Church
May 27

Today is 50 days after Easter, Pentecost - the birthday of the church. Jewish historians believe that the giving of the Law occurred 50 days after the celebration of first fruits (what later became Easter). 50 days after feast of first fruits/Easter is the giving of the Law and the celebration of the new covenant.

“We (The SCC family) are a people that the Holy Spirit has gathered and put together to follow Jesus into the world to be His witnesses in ways that are wonderfully creative, supernaturally empowered and heroically sacrificial. We are the ‘revolutionaries’ of our day turning an upside down world right side up by winning the lost and making disciples. We will join the revolutionaries in our history refusing to quit, give up or be deterred. We will make our life count…living as dying men to dying men.”

The 1st church had no money, no buildings, and no organization. The early church was not afraid to advance in places where it was not invited. The first church lived as dying men to dying men.

Michael Green - In 30 Days (book on Acts)

The people were obedient.
The people were in prayer. Acts 1:12-14
The people were in unity (one accord). Acts 2:1 - "they were together in one place" (notice the redundancy). They were together together.
They were open to the Holy Spirit. Am I open to something that God has never done before and would scare me if He revealed it to me?

June 3
Acts 2

Acts 2:37 - "...cut to the heart..."
There is a difference in what it takes to become a Christian than being a Christian. Acts 2 tells us what it means to become and be a Christian.
Christianity is the activity of God.
The harvest is ripe.
The people were hungry to be together and in fellowship. In Acts 2, they took Christianity out of the Temple.
2 Tim 3:5

June 10
Acts 3

"While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's." Acts 3:11. The man clung Peter and John.
The body of Christ must extend itself to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Since we are blessed, we need to bless those who are in need. This comes from God's covenant with Abraham.
Healing of the crippled man at the Temple Gate is the first recorded miracle of the apostles after Jesus' ascension.
Use It
God was (and is) still working miracles after Jesus' ascension through the apostles.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:11-14
We don't need to convince others that miracles in our lives happened. We believe them and live like that happened.

June 17

Acts 4:13 - "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13 ESV)
A common man who lived an uncommon life.
A man with a testimony is more powerful that a man with an argument.
Peter and John had uncommon courage
Peter and John had uncommon camaraderie, fellowship. The apostles were defined by the group they ran with, not just what they did.
They had uncommon conviction. A set of Biblical values that transcend the values of the world. Rom 8:35-39

June 24

Acts 5:1-11. The devil's first internal attack on the Church.
2 elements of counterfeit faith: prosperity gospel, moral therapy from the church without actual changing lives.
The cure for these is the "fear of the Lord." 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. Acts 5:11 After this, we see great signs and wonders and performed.
Fear of the Lord - an overwhelming desire to please God more than a desire to please man.
How to bring a fear of the Lord into your life
Acts 5:28-32 A revelation of the cross
Psalm 119, Psalm 1 Hide God's Word in your heart and meditate on it day and night
Choose to obey the Holy Spirit
Set your priorities straight - what you talk about the most is probably what you prioritize the highest. What you talk about the most is probably what you are worshipping, what you are serving.
When the fear of God comes upon God's people, revival happens. Acts 5: 41-42 "Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus."
Col 2:15 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

July 1
Acts 9

Acts 9:1-22
Saul represents the person who we think cannot be reached or the people who we think aren't meant to be reached by us.
Stephen was a waiter (Acts 6), a server. Stephen didn't just serve physical food; he served the Gospel, the Word of God. 1 Cor 3: 5-8.
Share your testimony
Tell someone the Good News
Pray for people who need Jesus
Be consumed with the glory of Jesus. Stephen's face shone like the face of an angel (Acts 6).
Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32)


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Christianity, Acts, New Testament

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Imagination, inspiration, innovation + the intersection of science, technology, government, business, art, and education. 

TEDMED is a "great gathering of innovators and leaders who are passionate about the future of health and medicine." 

Imagination - an amazing cast of great thinkers, scientists, clinicians. There remains a sizable gap between the research/study/theoretical and effective practical applications, exceptions including Rebecca Onie, Mark Hyman, Bud Frazier/Billy Cohn, among others. What can we as industry do to close the gap between the theoretical to the practical, especially those of us in the health solutions industry where we have such an opportunity to positively impact people's lives?

Innovation - it may be difficult to look for immediate applicability from an amazing experience like TEDMED back to a company, but the 2 biggest opportunities I saw were in how we think and an indirect application on our organizational behavior. When you see the invention of aircraft with fixed wings despite almost universal evidence of moveable wings in nature, you can see remarkable evidence of people who thought about solutions differently. Or look at Bud Frazier & Billy Cohn - the durability of a man made pump has proven inadequate in the long term for heart replacements, so they have been working on continuous flow replacements. And their patients come in without a clinical pulse. It's about moving from "why didn't I think of that" to "why didn't I think like that?" 

Organizations can learn much from design & systems thinking, as well as other behaviors. For example, in the powerful talk given by Virginia Breen & Elizabeth Bonker, we see Elizabeth demonstrate the amazing power of listening. Profoundly autistic and unable to speak, Elizabeth portrays how it's not all about what we have to say that is important to learning and communication, but what we do with the ideas of others and what is happening in our surroundings. 

 We also see the enormity of the challenges created by researchers when they are unwilling to share their data, research, and findings. Having worked in large corporations my entire professional life, I have witnessed (and unfortunately practiced) the "knowledge is power" mentality. Silos are erected, barriers and obstacles are created, competition can arise, and the greater good suffers. This is evident in corporate cultures and organizational behaviors and disappointingly in clinical research, where the ultimate good can be jeopardized - our health & well-being. One example of brazenly knocking down these kinds of barriers is seen through Katie Couric's Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) foundation, where no one is eligible to receive funding unless they will commit to sharing their data and research findings. Forced collaboration, yes, but unfortunately necessary. 

Perhaps the most pervasive theme at TEDMED was that of inspiration. To witness first hand Ed Gavagan's near death story, to sense the energy among thousands noticeably rise as Todd Park speaks, to hurt as only a parent can when Virgina Breen speaks is to be inspired that we can indeed change the world. Working together for good of individual & societal health and well-being is noble, necessary, and achievable. Hopefully, none of us exposed to the wonder that was TEDMED 2012 will ever again succumb to the challenges, obstacles, or barriers that are thrown in front of us.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Notes From Parables of Jesus Sermon @southpointcc

The Unjust Steward - Southpoint Community Church

Luke 19:11 -27 - The Parabel of the Minas.
Different but similar parable to parable of the talents. Both talent and mina were weight measurements. Talent - about 8-10 years wages; mina - about 4 months wages. Parable of the talents is about God's generosity; parable of the minas is about our faithfulness.
We serve an extravagantly good God. God gives me things I don't deserve. Never take for granted what God has blessed us with. If I'm not grateful, I won't invest my life properly.
We are expected to make more of what we've been given. Simply holding on is not an option. Jesus does not present the Gospel without a commission. With the message of salvation comes a commission. I don't need salvation, I need a Savior.
We live in the time of the now and the not-yet (the Kingdom is here, but not yet fully. 1 Peter 1:6-8). Absence is an important part of both parables. John 20:29.
God is not a severe or hard man.
How am I investing my testimony?
What am I doing to grow my faith?
What am I doing with His children?
Am using my money to leave a legacy?
What am I doing to strengthen my marriage?
Am I ministering to God's saints?
God has given me great gifts. Don't give Him back what He gave me. Give Him back more.


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Well, I Made It

My wallet is safe. Last month I wrote about a challenge our group at work created to make health improvements during the month of January (ixn-ay on the esolutionr-ay). In addition to group encouragement, accountability, good-natured sabotage, and a risk to our personal fortunes, we also tried to look at adding things to our lives rather than taking away.

Me? I committed to eating 2 or more servings of fruits or vegetables at least 5 days a week. Well, my feelings on fruits and vegetables are well documented (short version, I'm not a fan). But it's something I know I need to improve.January got off to a great start and I was rocking through the first week, fell slightly behind due to an out of town wedding, got back on the horse and was tracking nicely until I was almost completely derailed during an out-and-back trip to San Francisco last week. But I buckled down and I made it with a day to spare.

So I feel good about the accomplishment, didn't notice any obvious health benefits (but that's kinda the point - we rarely see the costs or benefits of our health decisions immediately), and don't have to buy lunch for a bunch of over-achieving braggarts. I stuck to my stalwarts - apples, melons, broccoli, salads, carrots, and pineapple. And most importantly, I didn't snap and have to kill someone.

Next month - replace diet Cokes with a full complement of water.

Now where did I put those Reese's Cups?


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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Small Steps to Improvement

Ok, I've never been big in New Year's resolutions and 2012 is no exception. It seems so cliche' to commit to making major changes to your life based on the calendar. A new year does of course provide an appropriate time for reflection and looking ahead, but it seems to be a hollow reason to resolve to make wholesale changes, especially when most resolutions are too generic (be a better parent, be more organized) or are overly burdensome (lose 50 pounds, work-out every day, and read a book a week).

We've been doing some research at work on why we do some of the things we do (and why we don't do some of the things we should do), especially when it comes to our health. We have spent a lot of time on behavioral economics, gamification, competitions, and individual motivators. So in the spirit of a new year and making small, sustainable improvements to our health behaviors, we have created a group challenge where we each have set small, individual goals for January in areas of our personal health.

My goal is to eat 2 or more servings of fruits and/or vegetables 5 times a week. I will admit - I could go the rest of my life and not eat another fruit or vegetable. I've never liked them and it feels like a chore almost every time I eat them. So while adding 2 more servings is not huge, it is a sizable step for me but it will not get me to the recommended daily amounts.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this is how our group dynamic impacts our individual goals. I found it interesting that for most of the commitments people made, they felt confident that they could meet their goal because they usually succeeded when they put their minds to it. It's interesting because people are trying to address habits they haven't been able to affect, but are confident that they will be successful. I am that way also, but believe the group competition will be important for me (I don't like to lose and I'm cheap - we do have lunch riding on the outcome).

I'll keep you posted on my progress and more importantly, how trying to make incremental improvements in a group setting impacts our success.


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