Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Sunday we kicked off our new series WITH. I am very excited about this series. There are all sorts of fun things going on. This past Sunday, we started our "text and win" contest. At the start of service, the band plays a song whose title contains the word "With". The first person to text the name of the song and the artist wins a prize. Travis Crafton won on Sunday, being the first to figure out it was "Only Want To Be With You" by Hootie and the Blowfish. Jeff also tossed out some cool t-shirts and informed the crowd that they could pick one up after service.

Sunday's message was titled, Who Are You With? Below are my notes. For the full message, click here.

People with strong relationships live longer and are more able to battle illness than those who are isolated.

"It is not good for man to be alone." Genesis 2:18

I-It Relationship: one person relates to the other as an object; it's all about MY desires and wants (i.e. The church wasn't meeting my needs. I wasn't getting fed.)

I-Thou Relationship: both people's needs and desires are equally important; serving others and meeting their needs

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 : how would you like a relationship like this? Paul uses the word "agape" which is love that focuses solely on the needs of the other person.

Douglas Copeland quote from Life After God: "Now, here is my secret. I tell it you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again. So I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give because I no longer seem capable of giving. To help me be kind as I no longer seem capable of kindness. To help me love as I seem beyond being able to love."

We need God to help us love and to help us make relationships all that they can be.

Emmanuel = God WITH us (Jesus)

Jesus was all about being with us, being present at all times. When he left, he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell IN us so that we would never be without him.

God created the church to be where we get 1 Cor 13 relationships.

Will you start or continue to do life in/with the church?

You don't drift toward community but toward isolation. Deep relationships don't just happen.

*Pick one relationship to focus on improving for the next few weeks.

Personal application: I do desire to love others like 1 Corinthians 13 describes. I can't imagine what relationships would be like if we all tried to love like that. I understand that with a love that always trusts, always forgives, and is patient that there is plenty of room for abuse by others. I think that's why more people don't try to love this way. I desire for our church to be a place where people feel welcomed and loved and motivated to love and serve God more. I guess it starts with one.

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