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Men: Drunch is Wednesday Night!

July 11th, 2017

Chris Morton

giphy-3

Men’s Story Night returns Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30pm, at 1307 Karen Ave.

We’ll do two things at Men’s Story Night:

  • Eat Drunch (Breakfast-for-Dinner)
  • Listen to each other

Questions? Email Chris.

About Drunch

We’re making breakfast-for-dinner! Some items you might want to bring include:

Some possibilities include:

  • Pancake/Waffle mix
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Morning Star Breakfast Patties
  • Biscuits
  • Frittata
  • Fruit
  • OJ
  • Cinnamon Toast
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Refresher About Story Night

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit.

Click HERE to read a one-page description of what to expect at Story Night.

This video explains what we mean when we’re describing “storytelling.”

The Learning Circle from FloodSanDiego on Vimeo.

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. Please email Chris if you can participate.

See you Wednesday!

Celebrating Our Victories—and Building on Them

July 10th, 2017

Chris Morton

What victories have you experienced since being a part of Austin Mustard Seed?

Perhaps you have learned new and challenging truths about following Jesus. Perhaps you have seen an old prayer finally answered. Perhaps you have made new and meaningful relationships.

As we grow and mature as a Church, it helps to ask the question “where have we already seen God at work?” and “how can join what we see him doing among us?”

Family Meeting: Lunch, Sunday, July 16

Next Sunday, in lieu of our normal after-Liturgy-lunch, we’ll stick around for a “working lunch”, where we discuss these ideas together.

Plan to join us in dreaming and praying about how to build on what God is already doing among us.

 

Song of Solomon 8 (Sermon 2017.7.2)

July 5th, 2017

shaneblackshear

Kevin Jordan shares from Song of Solomon 8.

The Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon) is a passionate love song depicting the love shared between a bridegroom and his bride. Traditionally, though, it has also been understood to be an allegory or a picture of God’s love, particularly the love of Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) for His bride, the Church and the Church’s love in response.

Song of Songs 8:6-7:

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy
unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

From Kevin:

In the words of the Apostle Paul from Ephesians 3:17-19, “I pray that (we), being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that (we) may be filled with the measure of all the fullness of God.” Amen.

How many of you have ever been bullied by the strong hand of death?

At the age of eighteen I left home to go to college. . .and I never again saw my mom healthy. Within a
year she was dead, her body ravaged by cancer. . .

Death, like a bully, pushes in uninvited, wreaking havoc in our lives, leaving in its wake tremendous pain
and grief. . .

Some of you in this room know exactly what I’m talking about: You too have been struck, stung, even
slammed and wounded by the strong hand of death.

Have you ever been pursued, captured, and held captive by the Strong Hand of Love, the Strong Hand
of God’s Love, which according to the Bible here in Song of Songs 8, is “as strong as death”?

“I could never myself believe in a God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One
Nietzshe ridiculed as ‘God on the cross’. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was
immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully
before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing
round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a
while I have had to turn away. And in my imagination, I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted,
tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding
from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is God for
me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He
suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark
against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine
suffering.” (John Stott, The Cross of Christ, pp.335-336).

Have you been set free from the strong hand of death?

Do you know the Strong Hand of Love—God’s love in Jesus Christ?

Play

Wednesday: Women’s Story Night

June 26th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us and that means Story Nights!

Our first Women’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers. (For address and information, email us at info@austinmustardseed.org.)

We’ll do two things at Women’s Story Night:

  1. Eat Food
  2. Listen to each other

How Story Night Works

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease email us and let us know if you’d like to participate.

Matthew 7:21-29 (Sermon 2017.06.25)

June 26th, 2017

shaneblackshear

Shane Blackshear shares from Matthew 7:21-29 and discusses faith, doubt, and how the body of the church can and should help us establish the rock that we build our house on.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Play

Matthew 6:24-34 (Sermon 2017.06.18)

June 22nd, 2017

shaneblackshear

This past Sunday, Ashley Blackwell led us through Matthew 6:24-34.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount

  • “Trust involves the juxtaposition of people’s loftiest hopes and aspirations with their deepest worries and fears.” Jeffry A. Simpson
  • “The way we relate to people, situations, and even God is determined, to a significant degree, by the nature of our relationship with our parents when we were very young. This doesn’t mean that what happened when we were little children is totally determinative and we are locked into roles and perceptions for the rest of our lives, nor does it mean that sinful behavior is excusable and should be blamed on your parents. What it does mean is that we do need a clear understanding of the hills some of us have yet to climb along the highway of both emotional and spiritual maturity.” Tim Clinton and Joshua Straub, The God Attachment
  • “In the face of many of the things I interpreted as a kid as being a negative commentary on my self-worth, the Lord showed me that I am loveable and infinitely precious in His eyes. And he caused me to experience this. In the face of the abandonment I experienced, the Lord said to me, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’…My question still remains, but Christ has won my trust in Him by showing me His beauty – the beauty of a love, a grace, a tenderness, a gentle strength which no mere human could ever match. He won my love and trust through the healing compassion of His eyes and the warm understanding of His embrace. He provided an understanding in the heart which the mind could never grasp.” Greg and Edward Boyd, Letters from a Skeptic
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Wednesday: Men’s Story Night

June 13th, 2017

Chris Morton

The summer is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our first Men’s Story Night is Wednesday at 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker (details here_).

We’ll do two things at Men’s Story Night:

  1. Grill Food
  2. Listen to each other

About Grilling

Kevin will have the grill fired up, but we need to bring the fajita makings! Please email Chris and let us know what you can bring. We need:

  • Protein (Mushrooms, Beans, Chicken, Steak or Surprise Us)
  • Vegetables
  • Buns
  • Sides
  • Drinks (for all ages)
  • Chips
  • Salsa/Guacamole/Queso
  • Dessert

About Story Night

Story Night is a chance for one person to share a story, and for the rest of us to practice listening. This is a sacred space where we grow closer, and where we learn to hear the guidance of God’s Spirit. 

Two storytellers are needed to share about a recent or powerful moment in their lives that they are still processing. You can read a one page description of how the storytelling works herePlease let Chris know if you’d like to participate.

Trinity Sunday (2017.06.11 Sermon)

June 12th, 2017

shaneblackshear

Chris Morton discusses Matthew 28:16-20

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Story Night: 3 Reasons You Do NOT Want to Come

June 12th, 2017

Chris Morton

Every Summer at Austin Mustard Seed, we gather in groups of all men and all women, for the purpose of telling stories. The goal is that by telling stories, you’ll learn what God is calling you to do, and how you might do that.

We’ve done this now for four summers. It is consistently a sacred space where we encounter God and discover more about our vocation.

But it’s hard—and it’s not for everyone.

Here are three reasons you should NOT come to Story Night this Summer.

You Don’t Like Eating

At Story Nights, we always share a potluck meal. Sometimes we grill mounds of meat and vegetables. Other times we make fancy brunches of sous vide eggs, french toast, and breakfast tacos.

If you hate eating good food, you might not like Story Nights. If you aren’t a fan of relaxed times to build relationships while sitting together and having a tasty beverage, then you should not come.

You Hate Listening

At Story Night, we ask two people to share a story from their lives. Afterward, we try to discern what that person can learn. The way we do that is by asking open-ended, non-directive questions. During this time, no one can share their personal opinion—just listen.

Listening is so hard that most of us never do it. You can get better at listening by coming to Story Night and practicing. If the hard work of learning to listen is too much for you, then you might want to stay home.

You Have All the Tools You Need

One goal of Story Night is to equip us to have important conversations throughout the week at Austin Mustard Seed. You’ll leave with a new skill for helping your friends answer the question “what is God calling me to do?”

Perhaps you don’t want any new tools for helping others. If you are already great at this—don’t waste your time by coming.

If You Have to Come

If you absolutely have to come to Story Night, here’s what you need to know:

The next Men’s Story Night is June 14 6:30pm, at the home of Kevin Baker. You can bring a grillable to share.

The next Women’s Story Night is June 28 6:30pm, at the home of Melissa Summers.

See you throughout the week (if you want…)

This Sunday: Walking Meditation

June 7th, 2017

Chris Morton

In Matthew 28, Jesus says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That means that everywhere we go Jesus is up to something—and we get to join him!

Unfortunately, we don’t always know how to notice what is happening all around us.

This Sunday we’ll order lunch from Chipotle and practice a “walking meditation” in the neighborhood. The goal is to help us start prayerfully looking for where Jesus is already up to something, so that we can join him.