Last night was my final night teaching at the Inversion Fellowship. This has been my post the last 3.5 years and most every Thursday night from Fall 2005 until last night have been spent with my friends there. We are finishing a series entitled Walk On - A Call to Endurance in 2 Timothy and last night I preached from chapter 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
My message was entitled Endurance has an Ending (Don't Punk Out) and treated the beginning of Paul's last words to his padawan learner Timothy. It was a fun night, an emotional night and a night in which I pray Christ was honored. Throughout the evening my inverted friends brought some special blessings to my soul.
First, some fun knuckleheads wore some Jesus Junk t-shirts in solidarity with me. I have been wearing this sort of shirt and mocking them this semester to have a little fun. Well, three Inversion folks showed up last night wearing their own. You know the shirts - the ones who take the John Deer logo and make it say "John Three" or take a Starbucks logo, change it around a little and the quote a verse from the book of He-Brews. Well intentioned gear that I find profoundly stupid. Well meaning Bible belt youth groups tend to dig this stuff as creative outreach. As you know Jesus died for "MySpace" in heaven - good grief. But I felt the love to have some peeps join in the fun.
Additionally, this crazy bunch of folks have been training to run in the Music City 1/2 or full marathon coming up this weekend here in Nashvegas. These guys have made "Team Inversion" shirts with the cause they are running for being "Jacob's Well" - the shirst are killer and I was super humbled by their raising funds as a team for our little church plant heading to New Jersey. Team Inversion - I've got big love for you. Here's a picture - that sweet baby blue has both Jacob's Well and Carolina on my mind.
They also made us a nice collage with the graphics of each teaching series we have led here over the past few years. Can't wait to hang that on a wall in my dark basement office somewhere in Jersey! Finally, to all of you Inversion people - thank you for you love, your spontaneous words of encouragement, your notes and your care for our family. Most importantly, we thanked Jesus last night. The crucified and risen one who calls us to live revolutionary, upside down lives as we struggle forward in his mission for his glory in the world. I will close with a few challenging words from the greatest person who ever lived.
Matthew 10:38, 39 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 23:11, 12 The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Mark 9:33-35 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 1:14,15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”