The Comeback

ComebackWe all need a comeback.

In his latest book,Louie Giglio shares several stories, from scripture, from others’ experiences and even his own life, to underline the fact that at some level, everyone needs a comeback. It could be a huge comeback, where huge obstacles are overcome with God’s help. Or, as he states in an early chapter, “it may be a deeper sort of comeback, where Jesus redeems the worst of our circumstances for his glory and our best.”

We all need a comeback.

One of the more powerful parts of the books was when Giglio shared about the comebacks in his life. He shares with some vulnerability a time in his life when he needed a comeback, where he needed God to move in his life and help him overcome a setback. One of the refreshing parts of his personal story was that it wasn’t instantaneous. God didn’t swoop in and deliver him from his struggle with a quick stroke of His brush. It was a process, where God taught him and grew him.

I think at times we want God to come in and, in a moment, solve the problem we are experiencing. While I believe God can do that, it doesn’t seem to be the way He chooses to operate. Giglio’s story shows a dependence on God to move and the process God took him through.

As Giglio shared stories from scripture, I found the chapter on Samson to be so relatable. While Samson had uncommon strength, he displayed the same problems many of us face. He made poor decisions, sometimes more than once. He had areas of weakness where he continued to stumble. While Samson had some pretty remarkable victories, he also had a number of just bad choices. Isn’t that the story of a lot of people? We experience success, but then it’s followed by a bad decision, missed opportunity or some level of failure. What we see in Samson is that despite his poor decisions (where we may be wondering what Samson was thinking when he did what he did), God still uses him. God still offers Samson a comeback in the midst of his missteps and struggles.
The Comeback is also pretty quotable. This was probably one of the more powerful statements in the book: You may not run the exact race you thought you would be running, but God still has a race for you.

That’s a good description of the message of the book. Whatever our race might look like or where we are on the journey, we all need a comeback and God is working for our best and for His glory.

I was a little behind the news on this, but was impressed how Louie Giglio handled the situation pretty well. I saw several tweets on it before I had a chance to read the article.

Really like this quote Giglo gave: “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

Passion 2013 Live Stream

passion2013I’m starting out the new year in the office with the Passion 2013 Live Stream playing in the background. I listened to the live stream last year from Passion 2012 and was excited when I saw it was available this year.

Passion 2013 is a gathering of college age students and leaders in Atlanta, GA. They meet for worship, community groups, teaching and to raise the cause of freedom for those caught in modern-day slavery.

For those of us who couldn’t be there (or maybe are past the college age demographic), the live stream is a great way to be a part of what is going on. Check it out this week. Passion runs January 1 – 4, 2013. Click here to check out the Live Stream.

Passion White Flag

The Passion movement has grown over the past 14 years. This year they moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and I followed some of it through their Passion Live Stream.

They released their latest worship CD called “White Flag.”  I’ve been listening to it through the day. Some of my favorite songs are “White Flag,” “Jesus, Son of God,” “One Thing Remains” and “Lay Me Down.”

Check it out and get a copy of it!  Good stuff that I hope we will be singing in our church in the coming months.

Power To Raise The Really Dead

On the way to the office today, I was listening to Louie Giglio on the Passion City Church podcast.  He was teaching out of John 11 about the resurrection of Lazarus. Louie was not only giving the background of Lazarus’ sickness and death, but also the larger story of Jesus and how He was heading toward the cross.

In talking about the burial practices of that time, especially as it pertained to the climate of that part of the world, Louie talked about how quickly decomposition set in, which lead to the use of the spices and perfume on the deceased.  If you know the story of Lazarus, you know Jesus didn’t arrive until four days after Lazarus passed.

Now, if you grew up in the church, you have heard this story numerous times.  You know how it ends.  Lazarus died, but Jesus brought him back.  For some reason, the reality of “dead for four days” really set in as I listened.

If you have seen the move The Princess Bride, you may remember when Wesley’s friends take Wesley to Miracle Max because they believe Wesley is dead.  Thus, they need a miracle.  After checking him, Miracle Max says, “He’s not dead; he’s mostly dead….mostly dead is slightly alive.”

Lazarus was really dead.  There was no mostly about it.  He had been in the tomb for four days and we have to believe that the decomposition has set in.  He was really dead.  Yet, after those four days, Jesus speaks and Lazarus walks out.

It was a good (and needed) reminder that Jesus has power to raise the really dead.  What is problematic to some about the story of Lazarus is why Jesus waited four days.  It doesn’t change Who He is and what He is able to do.  I need that reminder that Jesus has power to recompose what has started to decompose.  He can bring the dead back to life.

Passion 2012 Live Stream

I’ve been on the live stream of Passion 2012 today as kind of the background for my day.  Passion is a gathering of literally thousands of college students at the Georgia Dome.  Not sure how many people are actually there, but the place looks packed.

Been able to listen to Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Matt Redman lead worship and heard bits and hear Francis Chan, Beth Moore and John Piper read scripture.

One of the coolest parts was the “How Great is our God World Edition” performed live during session four.  Pretty cool.

You can watch previous session on the Passion 2012 website.  Would be a cool place to be.

Pit is Short, Story is Long

I was listening to Louie Giglio’s podcast today and he was speaking about the life of Joseph.  He began by looking at the position Joseph had as Potiphar’s right hand man.  It looked like Joseph had it all – God’s favor, position, success.  But then Louie went back to the time when Joseph’s brother were so angry and jealous of him that they first wanted to kill him, but instead sold him as a slave.

While Joseph did receive God’s blessing, he also spent a lot of time in the pit.  Then Louie made this statement – the pit is short, but the story is long.

It is easy for us to look at the whole life of Joseph as we flip through the pages of scripture and see how God used him in a great way.  The pit was just a couple of pages in our Bible.  But for Joseph, that was a huge chunk of time, a big bite out of his life.

It is a great reminder to us that as deep as our pit might be, it is short and God’s story is so long.  Where we struggle is that we don’t know how deep the pit will go our how long we will be in it…and we want out ASAP…if not sooner!

When we fall into the pit – or are even put there by people close to us – we need the reminder that the story is long.  And God is the author of the story….and He is still writing our chapter.  The pit is short, but the story is long.