This is part of a series of posts aimed at supporting and encouraging the volunteers of Lafayette Community Church.
What made the music for this past Sunday extra special and extra refreshing for me was that Jake Steffes took the lead on planning the setlist and coordinating the band practice. I still say it is a joy to work with Jake, and I know all the rest of the band appreciates him as much as I do. Thanks Jake!
This Sunday brought the second message in my series on conflict resolution called “f.i.g.h.t.” and there were aspects of it that were really personal for me.
If for some reason you missed it, Josh Brown has already posted it to our church website, so if you subscribe to our Audio Podcast or our Video Podcast you may already have it on your iPod or iPhone, or you can jump to the sermon page by clicking here http://lafayettecc.org/news/087-02-f-i-g-h-t-part-02-principle-i/.
What you might not know about Sunday’s message is that I was profoundly impacted by the story of the woman who poured the perfume all over Jesus when he was in Bethany.
You see, there is this principle about how to handle our emotions that I learned a long time ago from secular researchers, counselors, and my own experience, but I didn’t have any Biblical examples to either illustrate it or prove it. That’s a problem for me, because I want to teach you life-changing important truths, and I am convinced that truth, wherever it is found, belongs to God first of all, so I was planning on sharing it on Sunday, but I’m even more committed to helping you grasp the depth of the teaching of the Bible, so I didn’t want to share the principle without going straight to God’s Word for something more than a mere prooftext or silly illustration.
The principle is that we control our emotions with our thoughts, that the stories we tell ourselves in response to an external stimulus are what really produce the emotions more than the stimulus itself. However, there aren’t any teaching passages in the Bible that say, “how you think determines how you feel.” There are a lot of passages on responding properly to your feelings and a lot of passages on controlling your thoughts, but there isn’t any direct teaching I could think of regarding the direct link between thoughts and emotions.
That’s why on Saturday night, I went to Jen and asked her if she had any ideas because I had nothing, and her first thought was the story of the woman with the perfume. It was like one of those lightbulb moments when I realized that the story provided a great example, but it ended up being even more than that.
Racing back to my office, I sat down and started looking at the different accounts in the Bible of the same event, and I had an even bigger epiphany. All of a sudden these facts all came together to me in blazing detail:
- The woman with the perfume was Mary, the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus rose from the dead.
- The event happened in Bethany.
- This was John chapter 12.
- John 11 was the chapter telling us of Lazarus’ death and revivication.
- This super-expensive perfume was “burial perfume” owned by a woman whose brother was dead just days before and hadn’t been used!
When God shows me things like that in His Word, I often find myself with my mouth hanging open sitting there in stunned silence with a deep sense of awe and gratitude to God.
See, in that moment, I realized how much more of the story Jesus would have known than anyone else. In that moment I realized that this was far more than a story of a woman doing something nice for Jesus and the disciples getting annoyed. This was a story of the immense ignorance of 12 men in the face of an intensely personal moment where a woman poured out onto Jesus the perfume that she never had to use because Jesus brought her brother back to life!
The story you tell yourself of other people and their motives totally changes how you feel about them, and to tell the wrong story, a bad story, or even a partial story, is to treat them like something less than human. There are so many complexities and so many things going on, that any story I tell myself about someone else is at the very best only partially right.
Remember, I know myself only a little bit. I know you even less. If I look at you through the lens of me, I’m most certainly wrong about you!
That was only part of my message on Sunday. If you didn’t get to hear it, I highly encourage you to go check it out.
- Tough pill to swallow.
- I need to deal with the conflict within myself so that I can move forward in my life and relationships with others.
- Thanks for always picking messages that relate to real life! I love learning something or having food for thought instead of hearing the same sermons I’ve heard my whole life!
- I need to control my emotions, and my stories! What a great service. I can control my thought and tell myself a “good story!” Praise be to God!
- Wowza – I flat out loved the Mary – perfume story! Relevant to conflict! “She was simply extravagantly in love with Jesus.”
- I just wanna praise God this morning and share that last weeks request was answered. Between wish counsel I received and last weeks message God used them both to right my heart and perspective heading into Mon & Tues, and both days were blessed and productive. Had God not intervened I would have created conflict where there was none and I would have allowed Satan to win the battle.
If you can’t tell that God is working in people’s lives to draw them closer to himself and to grow them up by comments like these, then I don’t know what will convince you! Seriously, join me in praising God for what he’s doing in people’s lives. Your work of service in the church, however big or small, is what makes stories like these possible!
What are we looking toward in the next few weeks? What is God moving us toward in the next few months? Here are a few things.
The Do List
Refresh Event is happening on October 27, 6:00pm
It’s THIS SATURDAY! Are you coming? Please make it a point to be there this Saturday evening at 6pm. Here’s a reminder of the details:
- You should bring a favorite snack, appetizer or dessert (or all three!) to share. This won’t be a full meal, but it will be a time to enjoy each other’s company around some tasty food!
- We will have a special guest band with a VERY special guest musician. Some of you will know this fellow, but others of you have never met him. Why? Because he was part of this church before it even had a name!
- I’m going to do my BEST to inspire and encourage you with a message from God’s word.
- We will end the evening with breakout groups around our ministries so that we can reconnect and strategize.
- Plus, we’re going to provide childcare and do all of this in 90 minutes so if you have to be home before 8, you can, but if you want to linger for a bit, you can do that too!
Again, it’s THIS SATURDAY! Make plans now to be there!
Photo Directory is finally coming
Many of you through the years have been asking for a photo directory and we are finally ready to start putting that together, here’s how it’s going to work:
- Alicia Allen, who also owns Justifie Studio here in Lafayette, will be taking appointment signups for a one-shot family photos. Pictures will happen right at the church building after a service starting November 4 unless you want a cooler background or environment for the photo.
- She’s going to give the digital file to me and I will put it on our password-protected church membership website with a cool interface to help us all put faces to names better.
- Then, if you want to purchase prints of that photo, or have other photos taken, you can arrange that with her directly.
Saturday’s guest band will also lead us on Sunday
If you want to know more about our guest worship leader, here’s his page: http://brianfraaza.com/
We need some volunteers to house band members on Saturday night. Do you have a guest room available?
Election Day Communion
On Election Day, November 6, at 7pm, I will be attending a communion service at Evangelical Covenant Church that is a community-wide effort being put together by a number of different churches to affirm that however the elections turn out, we know already who our King is! I’d love it if we could have a strong representation from LCC to affirm our unity with Christ’s body here in Lafayette. Here are a couple links to give you more details:
- http://electiondaycommunion.org/ — the official website for the movement
- http://teammglpw.org/node/110 — the local description of the event
TEAMM Mini Worship Conference
On November 10, at 1pm, TEAMM the local church association is sponsoring a mini conference and training session for worship leaders, musicians, pastors, and sound techs in Lafayette. I’ve personally put a lot of work into this event, so I would like to see some good LCC representation there. If you are involved in our worship ministry in any fashion, or if you are interested in the details and logistics of putting together a Sunday worship service, I think you should join me for that afternoon.
It will be taking place at First Assembly of God on Beck Lane, and it will run from 1pm till 5:30pm.
The Dream List
I have some big news… but I’ll save that for Saturday night.
Coaching in 20 minutes or less
I’ve been going through this coaching material with a number of people recently, and it seems to be making quite a difference in people’s lives. In fact, I’ve realized that it’s the kind of thing that can be done really effectively even with short coaching meetings. If you want to be coached, but you don’t think you have the time for it, let me know. We can work something out where we can do a coaching appointment in just 20 minutes over the phone or by Skype.
I’m making myself available to you especially because as leaders and helpers in the ministries of LCC, you are on the front lines and I want you to know you are supported.
Finally, I want to point you toward our experimental online prayer request board. It’s found at http://lafayettecc.org/members. You’ll need an account to log in, and if you aren’t part of our Prayer Team, you’ll only be able to see the public requests and your own requests. Let me know if you have suggestions for how it should work or if you’d like to join our Prayer Team.