For those who weren’t able to attend my last sermon at Union, I had it recorded and edited and it gives you an idea of what the church I led the past eight years was like: a multi-ethnic, multi-socioeconomic and multigenerational community seeking to Love God and Bless the City. Enjoy and leave a comment if it ministered to you in some way.
Glad to have such a nice final service where I pastored for the past eight years. I’ll be posting the sermon video soon as well so stay tuned!
This incredible conference is happening in April and we want to see you there! If you are a pastor or leader who can bring others, I have a discount code for you when you register.
I recently wrote two devotionals for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership. You can read them here and there is the option to join thousands of other leaders to receive these daily.
A friend used Facebook Live to record my last service: music, prayers, sermon, etc. It was a beautiful last day at Union Church and I’ll post here on where we land in 2019!
After a challenge from Tim Keller in 2010 to serve urban centers, I have enjoyed leading and serving Union Church in downtown Los Angeles. This Sunday is my last worship service at Union and we’re going to have a special time reflecting on what God has accomplished and the continued assurance that His light will shine in and through God’s people to the neighborhoods in which we live. Join us if you’re in town! https://www.facebook.com/events/238272283722012/
I regularly lead or attend funerals in my role as a clergy person. Writing your own obituary isn’t just for when you get older. It can be an important exercise to reflect on the direction of your current life. Here is a resource to help you write what you want to be remembered for: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/wake-up-call-write-your-obituary.html
Henri Nouwen preached some incredible sermons at the former Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California back in the 1990’s. He shares some incredible insights on what makes us human, the meaning of life, and the ministry of Jesus.
Nouwen entices us to consider that we are more loved than we could ever imagine and that the Father is waiting for us to relax into his welcoming arms of love. When we embrace our identity as the Beloved of God, then we find our true selves and can authentically be the person we are meant to be. He warns us against valuing ourselves based on what we do, what we have or what people say about us.
Check out the videos here.
Bloomberg reported recently, “For many of the rich and powerful, funerals are becoming the final opportunity to flaunt immense wealth, competing with weddings and birthdays as a rite of passage worthy of a small fortune. They’re choosing to be laid to rest in $60,000 gold-plated coffins and ferried by horse-drawn funeral carriages or Rolls-Royce hearses. Some are even flying friends and relatives to exotic locales for destination funerals…“It’s become one last display of power and wealth.” Businessmen and billionaires are often aggressively competitive in life “and that doesn’t end when they think they’re going to die,”…Some are being serenaded by gospel choirs in great halls, amid a sea of their favorite flowers flown in by private jet. Others are flying loved ones abroad to watch as their body is pushed out to sea like Viking warriors and the boat set ablaze…Custom-made Rolls-Royce Phantom VII hearses and a fleet of 25 matching Rolls-Royce sedans owned by the U.K.-based A.W. Lymn funeral home are sought-after internationally…They “want to make a statement: Ride it in life, ride it in death.”…A crypt beneath New York’s Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral is available…It’s one of the last full-body burial spots in Manhattan and can hold nine caskets and 10 cremated remains…Three prominent families have already expressed interest… you can spend eternity in a gold-plated casket in the catacombs below a 200-year-old church could just be the zenith of a life well lived… for just $7 million.”
You don’t have to be super-rich to have your treasures in the wrong place. You can have $20 in the bank and still have your focus on the wrong treasures.
In Matthew 6:20 Jesus says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (NIV)
Jesus actually wants us to be wealthy—not on earth, but in heaven! His prayer for us is that the Father’s kingdom would come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To have a heavenly mindset regarding our possessions does not make us impractical or disconnected from reality but actually very connected to our life right now. Focusing on heavenly riches empowers us to trust God with our resources while on earth: feeding hungry people, running our businesses with integrity, caring for the environment as an act of worship and leading people to our Savior. Jesus wants us to have heavenly riches of people saved, people loved, people redeemed. So we hold onto our possessions lightly realizing that we can’t take it with us and instead invest them now smartly so that we will reap rewards that will never fade or waste away.
My latest blog series on paying attention in the Life for Leader’s devotional.