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Archive for July, 2009

Well, I am lying in bed with a fever the day before we are moving into our new home. Bummer. So, here is a blog post from McKay Caston, a fellow church planter in Georgia. Enjoy.

Thanks to Jon Huggins for lending me a wonderful book entitiled, Total Church: A Reshaping Around Gospel and Community, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, along with their companion volume/workbook, The Gospel-Centered Church. One line this morning that recharged my heart was this: “Union with Christ (ie, full, legal and relational acceptance by God) is not the goal of sprituality; it is the foundation of spirituality.” In other words, it is not the person who strives to be accepted (justified) who becomes spiritually mature. The person who becomes spiritually mature is the one who believes that he already is fully accepted by grace alone through the imputed righteousness of Jesus alone. So the foundation for growing more mature as a Christian is a continuous confidence in the grace-promises of God in the gospel. Or as the Apostle Peter says, the reason why I do not grow is because I forget that I have been cleansed from my sins (2 Peter 1:9). I believe, help my unbelief.

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Vacation From Blogging

I am on vacation this week and will be moving all next week (we bought a house!!!), so my blogging will be scarce. Just wanted to give a heads up to the six or so faithful readers of The Stewart Blog. I love you guys.

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Elijah Series Begins This Week

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From the Grace Foothills website:
We’ll be taking about a six week break from 2 Corinthians this summer to study stories from the life of the Old Testament prophet, Elijah. As we walk through 1 Kings 17-19, we’ll discover inspiration, encouragement and also a challenge to move into the lives of others. Although there are vast differences between this period of ancient history and that of the apostle Paul or our own day, our prayer is that we will see the same God, the same story of salvation, hope and grace overarching it all.

To grasp a deeper understanding of Elijah and his historical context read this Introduction to 1 Kings from the ESV Study Bible: 1Kings.pdf

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The King of Pop Is Gone

I was seven years old when Elvis died. I remember my Mom crying as she was listening to one of his records. She did the same thing one day in December of 1980 when John Lennon was gunned down by an out of mind fan. Music is so powerful and the musicians and artists that make music have a power that is kind of scary when you think about it.

I remember watching “Motown 25” on a May night in 1983. I was with my Mom and my older brother, Norm. We watched in amazement at the moves of Michael Jackson. His feet barely touched the floor. We knew that night that something entirely different was coming down the pipeline. As a child of MTV, I followed Michael Jackson’s career just like every other teenager living in the 1980’s.

And then the 1990’s came and Michael started to look a little weird. I was still liking the music though. But then things got very weird. It was difficult to watch. It was kinda like watching Elvis perform in the mid-1970’s when everyone knew he must’ve been abusing not only drugs, but food as well.

Someone told me this week that Michael Jackson’s father called him “big nose” when he was a kid. Then you look at the difference between his face in the 1970’s and the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s. Something tells me that Michael was looking for his father’s approval and he never received it, even after he became the biggest pop star ever. That got me thinking about how we relate to God sometimes. How often do we strive to win the Heavenly Father’s approval by our own self efforts and self reliance. I am more like Michael Jackson in that aspect. That is the screen saver of my heart. I continually forget that I already have the Father’s approval because of what Christ has done for me. His perfect life. His sacrificial death. For me. Credited to my account. The smile of the Father is on me because of Christ. I don’t believe Michael Jackson ever knew that for himself, but I could be wrong.

Say what you may about how jacked up and messed up he was. I still watch these videos through the eyes of a 13 year old kid growing up in Charlotte and I am still amazed.


And a few covers and other clips from Michael Jackson’s influence in pop culture:

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