Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Builder

This morning I was reading in Hebrews 3, and was struck by the beautiful imagery used in verses 1-4:

1And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. 2For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. 3But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. 4For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.

First of all, I love the focus on Jesus here. One of the primary themes of the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is superior in every way. Superior to angels. Superior to Moses. Superior to Abraham. Superior to Melchizedek or any other high priest who has ever lived. All these saints of old have been a part of the “household of faith” through the centuries, and the builder of this house is Jesus.

Verse 3 illustrates Jesus’ superiority when it says “A person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself.” Now, I’m no architectural buff, but this makes complete sense to me. It reminds me of a few years ago when Kristen and I stayed at a hotel in downtown Chicago. It was a new hotel that had just opened in the old IBM building at 330 North Wabash.

IBM Building

While reading reviews of the hotel, people kept referring to the building as a “Mies van der Rohe landmark building”. I had never heard of him, but it piqued my curiosity and so I googled him and came across a Wikipedia page that clued me in. Mies van der Rohe was a famous German architect who designed several high-rise buildings in Chicago. He is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

So Hebrews 3:3 makes perfect sense to me. Jesus is the Builder of everything around us, the things we can see and the things we can’t see. So let’s give Him the praise He deserves today!


Dragging the Garbage


This morning I watched a person take their garbage bin out to the curb. It was a curious sight because of how she was doing it. Instead of simply tipping it back and using the wheels, she was just dragging it flat on its bottom surface – the entire length of her driveway. She was struggling physically to get it done. Using the wheels to move it (as it was designed) would have been so much easier.


It made me think of the many times I have struggled when I haven’t lived life as God has designed. I was made to be in fellowship with Him. To find my completeness in Him.  I drag along, laboring simply because I’ve chosen to not walk in his design for me.


This isn’t to say life is struggle-free when I am daily waking with God; far from it. But I have the confidence of his presence when I walk with him. Peace. Strength. Joy. Wisdom. Contentment. Really good stuff! Even when life is hard – I’m okay.


When I am out of step with him I tire easily and invite a host of other maladies: discouragement, fear, worry,  anger, etc.  It’s a drag!


Let me encourage you – live life as God has intended you to – walking with him. He is the WHEELS that’s makes it a lot easier!





Touch The Sky

I’m loving this song recently! May we always remember that our strength comes when we stop trying to do it on our own and look to the one who is capable of far more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)



It Never Gets Old

To be a loving community where ordinary people experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

That’s our mission as a church, and nowhere is it more clear and evident than in hearing stories of how Jesus has changed the lives of men and women in our community!  Hearing these stories and celebrating this life change through baptism never gets old.  In fact, as we often say, these are some of our favorite Sundays at ACC.

On June 28 we celebrated the life change of two people in our church through baptism.  Watch the video below of their stories!



Blast from the Past: Seven Crucial Minutes



Continuing my series on favorite posts of the past 8 years, this was originally posted on April 22, 2008. It still holds true…


Research has discovered that most people who visit a new church basically decide within the first 7 minutes whether or not they will come back again; the first seven minutes! That means before they hear any music, before they hear any preaching – before the worship service even gets started!

So, what are they basing their decision on?

You might call it the vibe they pick up, the almost subconscious impressions they receive, like a gut feeling…

  • As they drove up, were the building and grounds neat and well kept?
  • Could they easily figure out which door to enter through?
  • As they entered, were they warmly and sincerely welcomed?
  • Did the lobby smell good like coffee or funky like mildewing carpet?
  • Did other people seem glad to be there?
  • Was the children’s area where they just dropped off their child fun and clean with friendly, reassuring staff?
  • Did anything suggest that we were expecting any first time guests?
  • Did anyone strike up a conversation with them? Did anyone seem to care or even notice that they were there?

All this in the first 7 minutes.

How is ACC doing with those first 7 minutes? I believe each new person that walks through our doors is a gift from God. God has given us the awesome opportunity to show them the life-changing power of Jesus Christ through lives of full devotion in authentic community. Therefore we have a lot of responsibility to make those 7 minutes as positive and welcoming and stress-free as possible.

It reminds me of the old cliché, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.



Blast from the Past: Sixty Years of Cussing

dick garnett

I’ve been blogging for over 8 years now. My first post on our ACC blog was in March of 2008.

I thought it would fun for the next month or so to highlight some of my favorite posts of the last 8 years. Today I feature a post from March 3, 2008. I love it . Please read it. Dick passed away this past January and I thank God for having him as a friend. He was a great guy!

The post was titled: SIXTY YEARS OF CUSSING.


Sixty years of cussing; in the Navy, on the job as a pipe fitter – cussing was just what everybody did. He could turn the air blue with his language! Dick did have his limits though. He tried hard to not cuss in front of women, NEVER in front of his mother and he avoided using the Lord’s name in vain.


Dick also has an anger problem. In his own words, he would “fight at the drop of a hat.” He could get upset easily and literally see red! One day a man followed him home after a minor traffic altercation they were involved in. Seeing the guy pull up in front of his home Dick greeted him at the curb with a gardening tool in his hands. The man left promptly – once Dick explained to the guy that if he stepped a foot onto his property he’d bury him with it!


While sitting down watching the Bulls game with Dick Sunday afternoon he shared with me just how much the passage of scripture we had looked at that morning in church had affected him – Colossians 3:1-17. The words of Paul jumped out at him: “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Col.3:8). The light bulb turned on as he realized there were things in his life that were wrong, that needed to change! He also told me how much God has been working in his life since he began attending ACC about 1 ½ years ago. As he eyes welled up with tears he expressed gratitude to God for the people and ministry of ACC. It was a very awe inspiring and encouraging conversation.


Dick is almost 71 years old. He is teachable, learning, growing, changing, confessing, testifying and desiring to be more like Jesus! He is currently learning to trust God and draw strength from him in the midst of some serious health issues. When I asked him for permission to share his story with you he said, “Sure, I’m not embarrassed. These things are fact. I can’t change the past but I can change the future. Maybe someone will be encouraged by my story.” He knows the change might not come easy but it’s what he needs to do. He knows God will help him.


Dick is experiencing “the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.”


How cool is that?