1040 Documentary Screening…

1040 is an explosive documentary that focuses on the rapid changes in Asia and the significant shift of spiritual landscape in the area known as the “10/40 Window”- the regions between 10 degrees and 40 degrees North Latitude on the eastern hemisphere. My friend Jaeson Ma went on a  journey through the Asian countries in the window, showing the dramatic changes happening on the ground…

Jaeson & his team will be here in Austin on Thursday evening to host a screening on UT’s campus. I hope you will all join us if you are in the Austin area as we focus not only on expanding the kingdom in Austin, but the Nations. Click Here to go to the Facebook Event page for Austin and find all the details you need to know…Check out the 1040 Movie website (link above) for more information & the full story behind the movie. If you are not in the Austin area, but would like to host a screening in your own city CLICK HERE to get in contact with the 1040 movie team. The team will be finishing up their 9 city Spring Tour very soon, but I am fairly certain there will be many more opportunities in the near future. Check out the 1040 Movie trailer below…



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Joint Simple Church Gathering…

The Churches Come Together…

The Sunday before last we had a “Joint Simple Church Gathering” at our place. One of our student church planter elders at the student church in Arizona was in town, and joined us to share testimonies of what God is doing there. We were all equally edified as we shared stories of how God is moving in our different simple churches all over the city and country. It is beautiful to see these young passionate students pursue Jesus in such a radical way. There were several people from about 6 different simple churches present. Several of those new churches were started as a direct result of Student CPx here in Austin back in August! We have the privilege of being in a community with several of the leaders from those churches, as well as shepherding them as they are sent back out into their individual contexts.

On another note:
We’ve had people visiting us here in Austin almost every weekend for the past month and a half. It’s been awesome for friends and family to come see what God is doing here as the testimonies spread across the country. Brad McKoy, one of the elder’s on the student church national elder team, and Jim Erb, a spiritual grandfather of ours have been here with us the past few days to pour into us and the students. The Taylor’s then joined us this past weekend to relax and enjoy Austin. Our place is open for anyone to come visit! Do it!

I am excited about the next few months of life for us. They will be busy, but full of fun and the kingdom.

Enough of the Talking…

“When you stop thinking like a beginner, and start thinking like an expert you cease to learn.” –Alan Hirsch-

Talking is something we are really good at as American Christians. In our insecurity we gain endless amounts of knowledge about who Jesus is. We study, read books, go to school, and do all sorts of things to validate ourselves as God’s children. The problem is at the root we have neglected to find our validation in who Jesus is to us as an active part of His Body, His Bride, The Church. We replace the commands of Jesus to DO His will, and resort to merely becoming experts at knowing His Word. We even take it a step further by creating our own doctrines and theologies in order to lambaste those who might threaten our comfortable Christian lifestyle. We know our five points, “ecclesiology”, eschatology, theology, and doctrine along with a defense to anyone who might challenge us in this comfortable certainty we have created for ourselves. How certain can we really be if what we claim to know never leaves the Starbucks table where we sip coffee while enlightening our young up-and-coming “disciple” who we have fooled into thinking we are brilliant? We now have a new convert whose salvation is sealed by the passing along of our fancy words and deceptive knowledge. (1 Cor. 1:20 – 1 Cor. 2:5) This new “convert” who we think is “grounded” in knowledge of the Word & doctrine through our passing along of information may not be as grounded in either as we thought. There is definitely a root issue here seeded in how we truly make disciples of Jesus, but an even deeper root of how we allow ourselves to be discipled first. We can only make disciples to the extent that we allow ourselves to BE discipled.

When our pursuit of Jesus becomes hijacked by our pursuit of defending the particular doctrine that was handed down to us we cease to be disciples and start to be defenders. Whether we have become greater defenders of John Calvin’s five points, Bill Johnson’s healing or eschatology theology, or Mark Driscoll’s view of what it means to “be a man” we have ceased to pursue Jesus and His kingdom. While the above men are all great men of God they are mere men; one of them is dead. Jesus came back, and that is why we worship Him, and pursue His kingdom over any other man who ever walked the earth, right?

Many believers spend more time arguing doctrine with other believers than they do living out the doctrine they claim to believe. We fall into the trap of becoming very comfortable and sure of what we believe. Anything that challenges that, or is in any way different MUST be wrong because we have an explanation for everything in our doctrine for what we do or do not believe. But wait, aren’t we supposed to “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”? (1 Peter 3:15) If that verse popped in your head I challenge you to go read the entire book of 1 Peter in context, and see if Paul is using this verse to urge “God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1) to defend themselves against other believers who might have different doctrine. Being sure of what we believe is not always a good thing…

Can you think of anything in your life that you used to believe, or think as truth that you have come to grow away from due to God pouring out more grace on you? I hope we can all say yes. For example, were any of you raised like I was thinking the idolatrous lie that alcohol is “the devil”? There are thousands of examples we could reference. Surely we do not claim to have this whole God thing figured out…? How arrogant. Surely there are things we once clung tightly to that are no longer worthy of our tight grip. Why then, do we continue to allow ourselves to fall into the same trap over and over again? It is the trap that causes us to release our grip on one thing as we grow in our understanding of the kingdom, but quickly cling to another-perhaps with more strength than before. We become experts on what we “know that we know that we know”. We cease to be students of our great teacher. After all, we have Him figured out already, right? It’s in our doctrine.

I am not against doctrine. I do not dare come against the need for being grounded in the Word, and having “sound doctrine”. My pursuit with this article is to challenge what we think “sound doctrine”, and being grounded in the Word means, along with how we “attain it”. Most of us think we are “grounded in the word” by having a well read/versed man with a degree teach the scriptures to us on a weekly basis. Or, we listen to “lots of sermons and podcasts online”. Even better, we spend all day in commentaries & Systematic Theology books so we can use big words to win an argument against someone with “different theology” than us. Or my favorite, the ability to robotically repeat what Matt Chandler and Mark Driscoll believe about things. We think having sound doctrine means being able to explain everything about God, and the Bible in any context.

Sure, there are some non-negotiables, but the doctrine of many becomes a huge list of non-negotiables, certainties, and attempts to explain away or wrap our heads around the things of God that our human minds cannot comprehend. Perhaps the only non-negotiable we should have is the fact that Jesus is Lord through His death, burial, and resurrection for the salvation of man to pursue ushering in the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven; all of this is through the leading of the Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus, the Son, through God the Father for intimacy with Him.

I would submit that we come to learn the Word, form the doctrine we believe, and grow in intimacy with Jesus through getting out into the world to radically pursue Him. This is a lifelong process. Our “doctrine” and learning to be grounded in the Word is constantly shaped as we set out to be on mission with our King. The “problem” with this is that following Jesus gets crazy…

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

Christ said we would see “greater things than these”. Then, He gave us His Holy Spirit, and a commandment to make disciples. Arguing about doctrine with other believers not only causes division and disunity among the body, it also does not cause unbelievers to trust Jesus as Lord.

There is so much talking, and so little being, and doing. There comes a point in many of our lives when we can no longer sit around simply knowing God’s word, and what we believe about this and that issue. That point is when we embark on an adventure with Jesus that causes us to wonder what we had been doing all that time, and praise Christ for the measure of Grace He has poured out on us. It is throughout this journey that we are forced to be grounded in scripture to avoid the schemes of the enemy. It is this adventure that shapes and molds the doctrine we come to believe as the Holy Spirit speaks to us and brings revelation through scripture.

This pursuit of Jesus is not meant to be a comfortable, or easy one. When we start really following Jesus, and taking the things we say we believe seriously by doing them things might get a little dangerous. After the danger comes and we continue to press into the Kingdom we will begin to learn what it truly means to call Jesus Lord.

Stay tuned for “part two” where we will dive into some real-life examples of how Jesus continually shapes our “doctrine” in a healthy way as we pursue life on mission in the context of community.

A Few Things…

I have been working on an article to be posted on the homepage of www.shapevine.com in the next couple weeks as they push through a “new look”, so I haven’t had a ton of time to post here. Shortly after the article comes through on shapevine I will be posting it here. In the meantime I wanted to share a few random things with you all…

My incredible wife recently started a blog. You can access it HERE. Morgan is an extremely passionate wife, mother, and follower of Jesus. Her blog will encompass everything from following Jesus as a natural outflow of everyday life to natural child birth, and  organic/healthy eating. She has yet to post anything from this past Easter weekend when we got some sweet photos of Eliza taken, and went to the Zoo. So, I’m gonna beat her to it…

And from the Zoo…

And she’s OUT.

CLICK HERE to go to the facebook album & see all of the Easter photos taken by Keri Duckett – www.keriduckett.com

On a last note, I NEVER talk about politics or anything like that on this blog. However, I received one of those forward emails today from my aunt and HAD to share it. It’s a mixture of funny & REAL. It’ll get ya thinkin’. Disclaimer: this does not in any way reflect my personal views on politics or healthcare…does it?

Private Enterprise Vs. Government, you decide…

1 . Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
2.. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco +
K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private Employer,
and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in
mind they did this in only 15 years.
8. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super
Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 Years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur At a
Wal-Mart store. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work
for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to Fix
the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans Democrats, Republicans,
EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature, It is now
official you are ALL corrupt morons:

*   The US. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to
get it right and it is broke.
*   Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right;
$1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the
poor” and they only want more.
*   Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to
get it right and they are broke.
*   Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it
right and it is broke.
*   The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on
foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24
billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to
get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our
throats while overspending our tax dollars
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

=/ Don’t get mad… =) I couldn’t help myself. Stay tuned for when I get “back to my regularly scheduled broadcast”.

A New Kind Of Disciple…

A disciple of Jesus…what does that mean? It goes much deeper than someone who “calls them self a Christian”. If we are disciples of Jesus we will DO what Jesus DID. He made disciples, and then told us to do so…so, if we claim to follow Him, we will go and make more disciples. That means we will also Baptize those new disciples into the kingdom of God. Below is a beautiful picture of this generational discipleship that’s hitting neighborhoods and campuses all over the country and world!

Zach & William live in our apartment complex. I met them soon after we moved in, and we have been in discipleship relationships since then. Zach’s roommate Kyle Baptized him tonight. Then, Zach Baptized a guy he’s been discipling named Jose, along with his other roommate William! This beautifully illustrates the call for disciples to make disciples as a normal part of the culture of following Jesus. Jose, who was Baptized by his discipler, now knows that he is to “do as his teacher did”. Since his discipler Baptized him, he is now empowered and released to go and do likewise; this will hopefully create a spiritual down line of disciples!  Zach & William are going to pursue Jesus with us in this apartment community and trust Jesus for a new church to birth from the Harvest as more disciples are made!