As part of our Onward series, we’re taking questions from the congregation related to ideas that come up in our sermons, class, and small groups discussions. Some questions will be covered in our Engage & Equip podcast, and others will be discussed here on the blog, so keep your eye out for more posts in both places!
Today’s question came after the first sermon of the series, focusing on the kingdom of God:
“Please explain the differences between Christ’s Millennial Reign, Heaven, and the New Heaven and New Earth.”
I’ll discuss each of these terms and how they’re related to one of the main themes of our series, having a kingdom mindset. Continue reading Questions from Onward: Heaven and the Reign of Christ
We live in a noisy world in which busyness is often treated as a badge. Even as we complain about our busyness, many of us would be lost without it. Conscious of it or not, it becomes a defining piece of our identity and worth — in our eyes and in others’.
In our world of constant movement, it can be frustratingly difficult to find consistency and intimacy in prayer. I’m definitely speaking from personal experience. In recent weeks, God has been teaching me about the lost art of attention and how to recover it in the midst of a world that competes for our focus with excessive volume and motion.
To sit in the presence of God in prayer is an act of love and obedience to be sure. It also has a lot in common with the ancient practice of Sabbath. Both are acts of trust. When we choose to step out of our busyness for a moment, we trust that the world will spin without our maintenance. We trust that our work was never really in our hands to begin with.
Speaking for myself, even when I finally sit down to pray, it’s not long before my mind drifts off. I fear that I have destroyed my ability to focus. Faced with the choice between a long exertion and a quick reward, I will consistently chose the latter. But just as I’ve trained my brain to be distracted, I can re-train myself to foster attentiveness. I can’t cure my distraction, but I can give God space to do it.
Continue reading The Lost Art of Attention: Making Time and Space for Prayer
A recent survey of new parents in Germany has suggested that the birth of a child is, on average, more traumatizing than divorce or even the death of a spouse. Nic asked me to write a bit about why this matters for us.
The survey was conducted as an attempt to shed light on the seeming discrepancy between couples’ stated desire to have two children and Germany’s persistently low birth rate that has rested at 1.5 for forty years. If the average couple says they want two children, why are so few doing so? Continue reading Self-Inflicted Trauma
Pastor Glenn Smith (of Metro Believers Church) is teaching a nine-week course on leadership. You are invited to participate at a reduced rate, and we highly encourage anyone from High Point to attend who is interested in growing not simply in the ability to lead, but in the ability to serve.
What: Madison School of Leadership
When: Thursdays from 7pm – 9pm, September 24th – November 19th (nine weeks)
Where: High Point Church (7702 Old Sauk Road)
Who: Taught by Glenn Smith, pastor of Metro Believers Church in Madison
Reduced rate for High Point Church members and attenders: $35 / spouse $17.50
(General cost: $50 / spouse $25)
Continue reading Madison School of Leadership
Persecution as Normal: After Acts
Currently at High Point, we are looking at the beginning of the book of Acts to understand what the “normal” Christian life is. This past Sunday, Nic gave us much food for thought on the subject of persecution. We looked at how persecution is part of the “new normal” for anyone who has accepted Jesus as their rescuer and undisputed ruler. We don’t need to look far to find evidence of this. Acts is filled with examples of persecution and abuse directed toward believers because they were faithful to speak out about the truth about Jesus.
Continue reading Questions on Persecution: Is Persecution a Good Thing?
In his popular book Peace Child, Don Richardson describes his experiences with the Sawi people of Papua New Guinea. At the time, this group was constantly at war with two neighboring tribes. When Don and his family decided they would need to leave because of the constant warring, the Sawi people and their enemy tribes came together to make peace. Continue reading The Power of a Redemptive Analogy