Monday, August 29, 2011

Marriage Problems Concluded

This past Sunday Pastor Rob concluded our study of 1 Corinthians 7 and the marriage problems that Paul addresses in this passage.

"Do it God's Way" -- 1 Cor. 7:1-7

"Consider Singleness" -- 1 Cor. 7:8-9, 25-38

"Avoid Divorce" -- 1 Cor. 7:10-24, 39-40

You can find our Community Group weekly discussion guides - here.
You can find a commentary on 1 Corinthians 7 written by Pastor Dustin and his team - here.

If you have a family member, friend or neighbor who is married or single, you should share this study with them.

Live the Gospel, Love the City, Be the Church

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Working out problems towards a marriage solution

As a Vintage church family we are studying 1 Corinthians 7 and marriage problems that Paul addresses in this passage over the next 3 weeks. I'd encourage you to connect to one of our Community Groups and gather with us on the weekends.

This past Sunday Pastor Rob discussed biblical marriage - listen to "Do it God's Way"

In response, I'd like to share two links with my married friends to begin to incorporate this week:

****Thanks to my friend Jason Dukes for posting these on his blog.

Look through these lists.... be sensitive to the Spirit's work in your spouse's life.... and have fun discovering more.

"But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another." -- 1 Corinthians 7:7

"this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become 'one flesh.' This [Marriage] is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband." -- Ephesians 5:31-33 [The Message]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dating in Marriage.....Really?

As a Vintage church family we are studying 1 Corinthians 7 and marriage problems that Paul addresses in this passage over the next 3 weeks. I hope you will connect to one of our Community Groups and gather with us on the weekends.

As a part of this study, Pastor Rob, Annabeth, Sarah and myself are hosting a date night for married, engaged and dating couples on Friday night August 26th. We want you to take a night and come enjoy a date with dinner, dessert, a fun activity and conversation regarding the importance of dating within marriage.

As Pastor Rob has mentioned, an important aspect of every marriage involves friendship. This is because marriage is relational at the core. So together husbands and wives must constantly cultivate their marital relationship. At times this can be really tough, but other times this can be really fun.

We Bricks are proponents of setting a consistent time each week to learn about each other. A majority of the time this involves an evening, when we focus solely on one another. Other times this is a hour over a cup of coffee or Sucre gelato. We have found this to be an effective way to grow closer together as spouses and friends.

4 reasons that I personally advocate date nights:
  • Dates are fun - let’s be honest, life is draining. Most of us work long hours in jobs that easily consume our entire life. But is that paycheck really all that there is to life? When I was in high school, my mom always encouraged me to enjoy time with friends & Sarah because “you’ll work the rest of your life.” She was right. Some days work is a real toil. So I’d encourage you to escape the strains, struggles, stresses and deadlines at least once a week with your spouse by trying a new restaurant or a coffee shop.
  • Dates open communication lines - Sarah and I like each other so much that we usually try to eat dinner together a couple nights of the week. The difference is that most of those nights we usually have work, chores or errands to complete after dinner. For example, tonight after our dinner I am now sitting in bed writing this blog as Sarah sleeps. But our weekly date night is a particular night when we intentionally focus on each other.
  • Dates produce greater sexual intimacy - According to psychologist Kevin Leman in Sex Begins in the Kitchen, sex is a powerful experience that creates strong emotional connections between partners. (pg.21) I completely agree and would add that good sex comes within a marriage in which both spouses are emotionally connected. Personally, I have discovered there is a reciprocal relationship between the two. An exclusive Redbook poll says: 70% of couples end an evening date intimately. Now the ultimate goal of a date night is not the bedroom. Instead the goal is engaging one another. This involves discovering how his/her week has been, dreaming together about your future and discovering where he/she has been challenged in his/her relationship with God and others. But remember that you both will end every night in bed because this is where most people sleep. Therefore this gives you the opportunity to enjoy your spouse (sexually) after learning something new about them (emotionally). So if you are currently frustrated either emotionally or sexually maybe discuss if there might be a correlation that might lead back to the opposite side of the same coin which you need to work to improve.
  • Dates treat your wife like she deserves - I’m unapologetically a romantic because this is what I have found that Sarah desires from her husband. In response I take lead to plan a majority of our date nights where I surprise her with new restaurants, hold her hand, buy her flowers and snuggle with her. For one of our couple friends they go sailing, play sports and ride bikes together. Husbands do you know how your wife feels/receives love? Take a night to ask your wife; listen and communicate your love through that way.

Remember a strong marriage comes from constant cultivation. If you think calling it date night is cheesy then call it something else, but make sure to take time to develop your relationship.

A Vintage Date Night with the Wiltons and Bricks

  • Date: Aug 26th
  • Time: 7pm - 10pm
  • Cost: $40 per couple
  • Includes dinner by YoBreaux, dessert by a local pastry chef, and a Big Artsy painting session
  • Address: Vintage Uptown 4523 Magazine Street, NOLA
  • Bring your own beverages

**Parents get a babysitter for the night and come join us for this time of fun.

There's not a better deal out there August 26th, so sign-up at a gathering this weekend!

Monday, August 15, 2011

How does the Gospel change my ___________ ?

Have you ever asked yourself this question: "How does the Gospel change my _______?"
Maybe the blank is your life, heart, marriage, relationships, church, life purpose, neighborhood or city.

To answer this question you must first know what the is Gospel. This means you must understand who Jesus is, what Jesus did and therefore what that says about who you and me are and what you and me do in response. Thankfully God has answered this question through Scripture, which is why every person's greatest need is to hear and respond to the Gospel.

Since this is the case I wanted to share with you a link that came across my twitter feed early this morning - Advance 2011 media -
This is a media page for the teachings given at Advance 2011, a conference that happened in North Carolina. You can download each of these for free.

I would encourage you, as I tweeted this morning, to use these to redeem your commute this week. I haven't listened to any of these yet and will be doing this myself.

Listen to 1-2 of these this week and watch how God will transform our hearts for our communities and cities.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Serve Tuscaloosa

This past spring tornados ravaged cities like Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri. In the aftermath homes and businesses were severely damaged and even destroyed. Thankfully, volunteers from around America have responded over the past couple months. But much work and rebuilding still remains in these cities.

As a Vintage Church family we are going to Tuscaloosa August 17 - August 20 to serve a devastated community alongside Circlewood Baptist Church. We are leaving after work on Wednesday evening, working Thursday - Saturday and driving back Saturday evening. This is a great opportunity to "be the church" in our region [country].

Cost: $25 [includes transportation, breakfast, lunch, water and a love offering for Circlewood]
Items to bring: sleeping bags, work clothes, closed toe shoes and money for dinner.

There will be sign-up sheet at our worship gatherings this weekend.
-Uptown -- Saturday 6pm, Sunday 9am and 10:30am
-Metairie -- Sunday 10:30am

To help Circlewood minister to their community clink here

Go BE the Church

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A story of being Christ-like in our community

As a Vintage Church family we have been discussing our identity. "Go BE the Church" is one of the phases we most frequently use as we close out our gatherings at Vintage. The concept of being the church is of vital importance as we discuss who we are as a church family, and we are able to accomplish this only by the power of the Gospel. Being the church happens in our everyday lives with those in our neighborhoods, at our workplaces and in our circle of friends.

I recently had an opportunity to hang with Chaz Churchwell. This guy was someone who God used in a big way during the early stages of Vintage Church. Check out a story and a challenge from his time being the church in New Orleans.

***I misquote the percentage of Evangelical Christian in this video. 1.1 million people, with 7% Evangelical Christian.

I love the passion with which Chaz still speaks of our city, New Orleans. To follow God's work in San Diego through this new work for the Gospel check out Restore San Diego Now

Go BE the Church

Being Christ through out Campus

I had the privilege of teaching our Vintage Uptown Campus family again this weekend at our worship gatherings. We are closing an "Identity" Series. This has been a rich time of growth as we have talked about who we are as Vintage Church. This weekend I walked through Acts 10 and applied the truth from this passage into what being the Church in our community, city, nation and world would look like.

Listen here

Acts 10 is simply a story of 2 men in whom God is working through the Gospel to transform lives.

The 2 Men
  • Cornelius - a God-fearer, a Gentile who needed the Gospel
  • Peter - a Converted Christian, who shared the Gospel
In Acts 10, God is showing us that His Church will include all people from all nations. This is because our God is a global God that is working throughout the world through His Spirit. He is also working through sending of His church, an important note is that he sent Peter to share the Gospel.

It is particularly intetesting to note that America has become a global nation with people from across the globe moving here. Many American cities, from San Francisco to New Orleans to New York to Miami to Chicago, are experiencing explosive growth from people of all countries. I have heard that America is quickly becoming a majority-minority-nation.

Here are some of the ways that I have seen this in New Orleans:
  • Restaurants from every country in the world [Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, American, Mexican, French and New Orleanian]
  • The Magazine Street pavers who I have met that don’t speak fluent English.
  • The chef of my favorite Mediterranean restaurant speaks very broken English.
  • The large number of Asian students studying at Tulane and Loyola.
  • A drive from Nashville to Louisiana shows that there is not an overwhelming majority race living in Uptown.
  • The Hispanic population has doubled in Metairie over the last 10 years.

I believe that God is working in these demographic shifts for His glory. And this provides the Church a great opportunity. In Acts 10, God works in 2 men in order that the the Gospel can transform lives. Note what Peter shares with Cornelius - "The Gospel says":
  • the forgiveness of sins is available for every person in every nation [v. 35]
  • the forgiveness of sins is possible because of what Jesus Christ has done [v. 39-40]
  • the forgiveness of sins comes through believing in Jesus Christ [v. 43]
I'm thankful for the way God is working through the Church in New Orleans. More specifically I'm thankful for God's grace in the life and ministry of Vintage Church over the last 3 years. I hope that we will continue to pray for God's favor and grace.

This fall I'm praying we will apply the truth of Acts 10 in 2 primary ways:
  • Individually
At Vintage Church, all mission and ministry begins with the individual. This is because every person who is saved by the Gospel is then empowered through the Gospel to be a witness for the Gospel.

I've encouraged our campus to begin to ask "Spirit-sensitivity" questions last week.
This week I encouraged them to begin to ask this one question:
  • Who is my Cornelius?
- Someone who looks different than you ~ racially
- Someone who thinks different than you ~ religiously
- Someone who smells different than you ~ economically

  • Corporately
As a family we also want to take time when we unite together to serve our community, city, nation and world. So here's some of the plans for this fall:

- Serve our Community
One of the biggest ways that God has worked in our community over the last 3 years has been the outside volunteer teams that come every summer and daily serve our community. As a campus we are going to gather 3 Saturdays this fall to serve our community, doing many of the same things that these groups have done throughout the summer.

- Serve our City
There are about 1.1 million people in the Orleans, Jefferson & surrounding parishes. NOBA has shared that about 7% of the population in the Orleans and Jefferson parishes are connected to an evangelical church. This has led Pastor Rob and myself to begin to pray for more churches and campuses. This city needs thousands of more churches. As we prayed, God worked. On September 9, 2011 the Vintage Metairie Campus will launch. God has already been moving and transforming lives since January. We're excited to see how God will continue to work in this community. Check out Vintage Metairie webpage for updates.

- Serve our Nation
As a church family we want to be sent like Peter was to other Corneliuses that are in cities throughout America. An opportunity in August is a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We are going from Wednesday Aug 17th to Saturday Aug 20th. I will be giving more information and details soon about this trip.

So there's our prayer along with some of the plans for the fall. I pray God will work in you and through you in whatever city or country that He has placed you.

One final thought: below is a video that I believe gives a visual picture of our Identity journey.

This is who we are, this is what we do as Vintage Church

Go BE the Church