It’s Time To Live Open

We’re starting a brand new teaching series this Sunday with our students that I’m super excited about.  My life has been changed in some serious ways with real accountability.  In fact, I have 3 guys I meet with on a regular basis who have complete access to any area of my life at any time.  I wouldn’t still be in the game without them.  I’m excited to see how this stuff can help our students build this crucial habit into their lives now.

Open_Main_Image

This series is based on the content of Craig Gross’ new book Open.  We’ll be pushing students and families to purchase their own copy of the book to take it deeper.
Here’s some more info on the series itself:

Despite our best intentions, temptation always seems to loom around the corner, threatening to derail us into a desperate world of secret behavior and covered-up indiscretions.  From families to relationships to the drama at school, we are suckers for bad ideas.

Why do we so often make poor decisions that can lead to life-shattering results?

Why do we promise ourselves to do better only to slide back into our old habits?

Why can’t we help ourselves?

The time has come for each of us to become accountable.  To experience the freedom, peace of mind, and overwhelming self-confidence that come from living a life free of secrets and lies.

In every area of our lives, it’s time to go beyond self-help…. It’s time to get accountable.

It’s time to live Open.

Part 1 – Sunday, November 3rd

Part 2 – Sunday, November 10th

Part 3 – Sunday, November 17th

Part 4 – Sunday, November 24th

 

Open_Book_Promo2

Advertisements

The Girl That Never Stopped Smiling

we were out doing some shopping a few weeks ago, and while shanna tried on a MILLION different things, i grabbed this picture of my daughter adelina with a new friend she just met.
the two of them got along so well with each other.
no fights.
no arguments.
no complaining.

something about this girl was remarkable.  she NEVER stopped smiling.  

even after hanging out together for about 45 minutes, and not once being offered adi’s balloon, the girl still showed signs of admiration and friendship.
without fail.

887416_10151337211198193_188430399_o

some days i wish my relationships with others could be like this.
and then i think about it a little deeper.
i tell the teens this often: when God made us, he COULD have made us like this little girl. he could have crafted us with a plasic-never-changing-never-frowning smile.  no matter what he did to us, we would never be disappointed. or like my favorite movie, he could have made us with a pull-string that always repeats “you’re my favorite deputy” everytime it’s released. God could have programmed us to ONLY give him love and admiration, like robots with all the circuits lined up properly.

but he wanted something more authentic.

and with that pivotal want comes the potential for evil, and disease, and war, and hatred, and sickness, and STD’s, and car accidents, and cancer, and drunk driving, and murder, and poverty, and sex-trafficking, and pestilence, and thorns on rose bushes.

in God’s mind, this whole authentic thing must have been pretty important.

to have one of his created humans walk up to him, and out of the blue – volitionally – with no sense of obligation – and while being surrounded by so many other temptations and opportunities and things to chase – to be able to say “i love you” and mean it… to God… that was worth it all.
he doesn’t want our fake allegiance.  with all the other options available to us, there’s a God out there who’s craving your life’s greatest commitment.
i don’t know where you’re at… but i can tell you from my own experience: it’s worth it!