Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2017)

Top 20 Quotes from Catalyst West (2017)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the opportunity to attend the Catalyst West conference this week with some of the team from Central. I’ve had the chance to become friends with the President of Catalyst and that has made these experiences even more special. Catalyst is a great shot in the arm of encouragement and connection with other church leaders.

Below I’ve selected twenty of my favorite quotes from the event. Each of these quotes is my best representation in writing of what they said verbally or a summary thereof. Any errors in wording are my own.

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Don't Feed the Dogs from Central Christian AZ on Vimeo.

Don’t Feed the Dogs

This weekend I taught at Central on one of Paul’s most interesting passages in the book of Philippians. For most of the book he’s speaking poetically about joy. In chapter three he confronts a group of Christians who are standing in the way of it for others. Throughout it all, I unpacked how we should avoid allowing our activity for Jesus to eclipse our view of Jesus. Whenever you add anything to Jesus you end up diminishing Jesus.

Big News for Our Family

Big News for Our Family

This upcoming May will be my twelfth anniversary of being on staff at Central. It has been an unbelievable journey for me and my family. When I started on staff I was finishing up my undergrad degree and was about to get married. I began as a fifteen-month intern and had no idea how long I’d be on staff here. Now we have five kids and we’ve been married more than eleven years. And now we also feel God is leading us to a new opportunity for the next season of ministry.

I realize this likely comes as a shock to many of you. I know it did to me. Yet I’ve felt God moving in my heart and it has been repeatedly confirmed in Michelle as well. We sense God nudging us away from the safety of what we know and love in order to experience a new chapter in our lives. And here’s the crazy part… we don’t know where that is yet!

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The Gospel According to Doctor Strange

The Gospel According to Doctor Strange

Before kids, I used to watch a ton of movies. These days I have to be a bit more selective. Movies tend to be more of a way to relax than to ponder life deeply, but I was surprised to find myself reflecting on the recent movie Doctor Strange. This movie is part of the Marvel universe and I actually knew next to nothing about it before seeing it. However, this is a beautiful story in which the gospel emerges in numerous different ways.

Doctor Strange begins the movie as a narcissistic surgeon. While we may not have his talents or his money, most of us can relate with his natural desire to think first of himself. Early on he gets confronted with this in order for him to develop in new ways.

The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.

Dr. Stephen Strange: Which is?

The Ancient One: It’s not about you.

Sounds like something Jesus said in Luke 9:23. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Indeed, this might just be the simplest and most significant lesson for each of us to learn.

But hands down my favorite part was toward the end. *If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to give you a spoiler so keep this post in your browser and go watch the movie first if you want to be surprised.*

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How to Survive a Shipwreck

How to Survive a Shipwreck

I had marked Jonathan Martin’s book How to Survive a Shipwreck as one to read for months before I actually did. Martin writes as a prophetic poet. At times it seems he speaks another language entirely. One you can recognize but often don’t know how to speak. The transparency and vulnerability in which he tells his journey invites all of us to seek God in an authentic way. Martin walks the reader through how to journey with God through the heartbreaking seasons in your life.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

The waters that drown are the waters that save.

There is no going back down the birth canal when the Spirit of life is pushing you forward, despite yourself.

There is nothing quite so scary as the Holy Ghost, because we intuitively know that to make room for this Spirit is to make room for our own upending.

On the other side of the storm that tears you to pieces is a capacity to love without doubt, to live without fear, to be something infinitely more powerful than the man or woman you were before it happened.

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Not All Solutions are Equal

Not All Solutions are Equal

This past weekend I spoke at my friend Trevor’s church in Mason, Ohio. They’ve been doing a series this month on my book Redeeming Pleasure, and I had the chance to preach the last weekend. I brought books with me to sell but needed to stop by my bank to get cash for it. Specifically, I needed $5s and $10s to make change for people. When I Googled to find the nearest Wells Fargo branch, I was disappointed to learn they had all permanently closed within a few hours drive. My friend Caleb was with me so I asked if we could use his bank. The only problem was that all of his bank’s branches were about to close early for the day since it was Saturday.

That left us with a more creative option, to go to Walmart and get cash back from a purchase. I walked up to an employee and explained what I was trying to do and asked if she’d be able to give me cash back in certain denominations. She looked confused and told me she couldn’t open a drawer to see what was in it till I made a purchase. I asked her which drawer she’d been using and what she thought might be in it. I told her I was from out of town and couldn’t get cash from my bank. She then asked me what bank I use. When I told her it was Wells Fargo, she said they didn’t have any nearby. Yes, I’m aware of that. Hence why we are having this discussion.

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