Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
AP Photo/Oded Balilty
Professor Avi Gopher from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University holds an ancient tooth that was found at an archeological site near Rosh Haain, central Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
JERUSALEM – Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.
A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said Monday they found teeth about 400,000 years old. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half that old.
Archaeologist Avi Gopher said Monday further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."
Accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out.
Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, says the find is "important," but it is premature to say the remains are from modern man. He says they are more likely related to man's ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.
Oh, the "facts" may be changing again? #heightofridiculum
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Since there is nothing new under the sun, it's a good idea to study history to inform the future, no? Well in this series by Justin Holcomb over at The Resurgence (www.theresurgence.com), several historical heresies are unmasked and laid bare for our benefit. It's crazy to see that what we know today as Oneness Pentecostalism is just a repackaged/rebranded form of the heresy taught once by Sabellius. Yup, there IS NOTHING new under the sun. Perhaps reading these articles will have you better informed for the sake of contending for the faith. At worse, perhaps we'll see aspects of our OWN theology that needs a reboot. Either way, enjoy and be blessed by the series. I know I am.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I heard about this pen while reading about the various things that you can sync with Evernote. I had never heard of this pen, but after doing a bit of cursory research, was WOW'd by what I saw. Imagine sermon note-taking, classroom or job training??!!?! Anyway, I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger on this, but I imagine it'll be coming to an educational venue near me really soon! My birthday *IS* coming up. When I get this, I'll report back as to how effective it is. The Evernote integration is beast IMO, but that's just one of tons of features that make this pen a good investment.....
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
To understand what it means to be who you are in Christ, you need to understand two concepts in Scripture: the indicative and the imperative.
The indicative informs us of an accomplished fact; it is what has already been declared about you. For example, “God in Christ has forgiven you.”
On the other hand, the imperative is a command or direction. In Ephesians 4:32, Paul gives us this command: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” The New Testament is filled with the imperative: we’re commanded to live changed lives.
The Motivation: What God Has Already Done
The beautiful balance between the indicative (who you are in Christ) and the imperative (who you’re becoming in Christ) is perfectly demonstrated in the verse we’ve been considering. The entire verse reads, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
The imperative, “Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving,” is firmly anchored in the indicative: “you’re forgiven in Christ.” This verse demonstrates a beautiful synergy that not only tells us what to do, but also plants within our souls the only motive that will empower God-pleasing compliance: what God has already done. We’ve already been forgiven in Christ.
Know Who You Are
In some cases, the New Testament writers couple indicative statements with both negative and positive imperatives; commands to stop doing one thing and to start doing another. For instance, because such-and-such is true about you (the indicative), you should put off this kind of behavior (the negative imperative) and put on this kind of behavior in its place (the positive imperative). Colossians 3:1-5, 12-13 provides an example:
If then you have been raised with Christ [the indicative], seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above [a positive imperative], not on things that are on earth [a negative imperative]. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory [the indicative]. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you [a negative imperative]. . . .Put on then [a positive imperative], as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved [the indicative], compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other [a positive imperative]; as the Lord has forgiven you [the indicative], so you also must forgive [a positive imperative].
So many of us cavalierly gloss over what he has done and zero in on what we’re to do, and that shift, though it might seem slight, makes all the difference in the world. Our obedience has its origin in God’s prior action, and forgetting that truth results in self-righteousness, pride, and despair.
As you study Scripture, remember that the imperatives are always rooted in the indicatives. God calls you to become who you already are in Christ.
This post is adapted from Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life.
Great reminder to keep first things first. Thank the Lord for the Gospel. The one that both rescued me and continues to reorient me to Christ!!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Kevin DeYoung|5:35 am CT
Out of Egypt I Called My Son
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matthew 2:13-15)
That last verse has caused lots of consternation. The Holy Family goes to Egypt, and this somehow fulfills Hosea’s reference to Israel’s exodus? As I mentioned last week, at first glance it looks like Matthew is connecting the dots by the slimmest of connections.
Here’s what we read in Hosea 11:1-4:
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
Clearly, Hosea, speaking for the Lord, is harkening back to the Exodus. He is remembering when Israel was just a little toddler of a nation and God delivered them out of bondage in Egypt. “Many years ago, by Moses and the plagues and all that, I called my son Israel out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”–that’s what Hosea 11 is about.
But look again at Matthew. “Out of Egypt I called my son” here refers to God hiding Jesus away in Egypt to avoid Herod’s decree and then calling him back from Egypt when Herod is dead. This seems to be unrelated to anything Hosea was talking about. How can Matthew say this flight to Egypt fulfilled the words of the prophet Hosea when the two events seem connected by no more than the word Egypt? How can this possibly be a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy?
Swing and a Miss
That’s a tough question and one that has generated a lot of bad answers. Some, with good intentions, have said “Look, Matthew says Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, so it must be that Hosea is a direct prophecy about the Messiah and only about the Messiah. Hosea knew he was predicting something about the Christ.” That does try to make sense of Matthew’s language, but you really have to get creative with Hosea to make it look like he was knowingly predicting a Messianic flight to Egypt.
Others have suggested that Matthew was just making a loose connection between two events that had to do with Egypt. He’s just playing free association with Biblical prophecy. “Jesus came out of Egypt. Here’s something in the prophets about Egypt. So let’s put the two together.” Not only does this make Matthew look a bit silly and throw into question some basic beliefs about biblical inspiration, this sort of loosey-goosey prophetic fulfillment simply doesn’t fit with the rest of Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew, more than any gospel writer, goes to great lengths to show that Jesus’ birth, life, and death, are rooted firmly in the Old Testament. Jesus was born of a virgin (fulfilling Isaiah 7:14). He was born in Bethlehem (fulfilling Micah 5:1-2). He was sought out to be killed by Herod (fulfilling Jeremiah 31:15). He was preceded by John preparing the way (fulfilling Isaiah 40:3). He healed diseases (fulfilling Isaiah 53:4). He spoke through parables (fulfilling Psalm 78:2). He came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey (fulfilling Zechariah 9:9). Matthew is very deliberate with his use of the Old Testament. So his citing of Hosea 11 must be more than just a connection with the word Egypt.
Jesus as the True Israel
So how do we make sense of this prophecy in Hosea and fulfillment in Matthew? The first step toward understanding Matthew’s purpose is to look more carefully at the word “fulfill.” The Greek word is pleroō. And it simply means to fill up. That’s what Matthew is at pains to demonstrate–that Jesus was filling up the Old Testament. Sometimes this meant very specifically that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah’s birthplace would be in Bethlehem and Jesus was, in fact, born in Bethlehem. There you go. That’s fulfillment. But fulfillment can be broader than that. It can refer to the filling up of the Old Testament; that is, the bringing to light what previously had been in shadows.
Take Mark 1:14-15, for example. “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” When Jesus said “the time is fulfilled,” he did not mean “right now a specific prediction of Scripture is coming to pass.” He meant, “with my preaching of the gospel, the time has been filled up and the kingdom is here. The Old Testament is reaching its climax.” Likewise, I don’t believe Matthew thought Jesus’ flight to Egypt was predicted in Hosea 11:1. But I do believe that Matthew thought Jesus’ flight to and return from Egypt was filling up Hosea 11:1.
So what exactly is Jesus fulfilling, or filling up in Matthew 2:15? Jesus, as Matthew correctly understands the situation, is filling up the redemptive historical purposes of the nation. In other words, Matthew can claim that this Hosea passage, which talks about the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt, is fulfilled in Jesus, because Jesus is the embodiment of Israel.
Matthew looked back and saw an analogical correspondence between the history of the nation Israel and the history of the Messiah…the Hosea 11:1 quotation by Matthew is not an example of arbitrary exegesis on the part of a New Testament writer. On the contrary Matthew looked back and carefully drew analogies between the events of the nation’s history and the historical incidents in the life of Jesus (Biliotheca Sacra 143:325).
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus is cast as the true and faithful Israel. Matthew is retelling Israel’s well known story, but he’s putting Jesus right in the middle as the main character in the story. Jesus is the new Israel.
- Chapter one starts with the genealogy of Jesus. The very first words, in Greek, are “biblos geneseos Iesou Christou”–a book of the beginning of Jesus Christ. Now why is that significant? Well, because that word geneseos is a form of the word genesis, as in the first book the Bible. I don’t think Matthew is trying to be tricky here, but surely he knew the first book of the Bible and realized that when he begins his gospel with “a book of the genesis of Jesus” he is, at least, strongly suggesting that this story of Jesus Christ marks a new beginning for the people of God. The story is starting over. This suggestion is supported by another parallel with the first book of the Bible. Genesis is broken up into ten toledoth sections. Ten times in the book of Genesis, we read “these are the generations (toledoth) of…” Interestingly enough, these toledoth sections are, in a couple of places, translated into the Greek Septuagint with biblos geneseos (Gen. 2:4; 5:1), which further points in the direction that Matthew understood Jesus to be a new generation, a new genealogy, a new beginning for the nation of Israel.
- Not only is Jesus the new Genesis, his life embodies the new Exodus. Shortly after Jesus birth, he was rushed away to safety to avoid the wrath of a jealous king who had ordered all the young boys to be killed. Where else does this happen in the Bible? Exodus 1. Pharaoh fears the Hebrews and so he orders that every baby boy be thrown into the Nile. But Moses was spared because his mother hid him in a basket in the river. Likewise, Jesus was spared Herod’s decree because his mother hid him in Egypt.
- Following right on the heels of Jesus’ exodus out of Egypt, we come to his baptism in the Jordan in Matthew 3. Again, I don’t think Matthew is trying to be speak in secret code, and he certainly isn’t making the stories up, but he has arranged the material in such a way as to retell Israel’s story, with Jesus now as the true Israel. So just like the Israelites left Egypt and then passed through the Red Sea (baptized into the sea according 1 Cor. 10:2), Jesus too leaves Egypt and passes through the waters in his baptism.
- Just to point out one more parallel, think what happens to the Israelites after they pass through the Red Sea. They wind up in the desert where they wander for forty years. And where is Jesus in Matthew 4 after his baptism? He is in the desert about to be tempted after having fasted for forty days and forty nights.
Matthew clearly wants to portray Jesus as fulfilling Israel’s history and bringing it to a climax. Matthew didn’t think Hosea 11:1 was a direct prophecy about Jesus and his family going to Egypt. And Hosea certainly didn’t mean it as such. The passage is about Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt and about her subsequent idolatries and adulteries. Matthew understood that. He wasn’t trying to give Hosea 11 a new meaning. But he did see something Messianic in Hosea’s words. Jesus would be the faithful Son called out of Egypt, filling up what was lacking in the first faithless son, Israel. From his genesis to his exodus to his baptism in the Jordan to his forty days in the wilderness, Jesus was identifying himself with the covenant people. He was the embodiment of Israel.
With Him He Was Well Pleased
And so when Jesus fled Herod and went to Egypt, it brought to a climax the work of deliverance that began in the Exodus of Israel and was now coming to completion in the Exodus of Jesus. That’s why Matthew can say “this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet.” But whereas the first Israel, God’s son, broke the covenant and deserved God’s wrath, when God beholds his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, he says in Matthew 3:17, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Far from being a barely connected prophetic fulfillment, this word from Hosea 11 filled up in Matthew 2, is a robust piece of New Testament theology. This text says something weighty about the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who came to complete all that Israel was designed to perform. All the adulteries and idolatries and rebellion and waywardness that characterized Israel would be recast in the true Israel Jesus Christ. God sent his Son to do himself what his people could not do for themselves. This is the meaning of fulfillment of Hosea 11 and the true meaning of Immanuel, God with us.
Thank God for Jesus!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
This Saturday, Dec. 4 marks the one-year anniversary of the 7-8 hour craniotomy that removed a malignant cancerous tumor from my brain and started a year of radiation, chemo and recovery. To say that we’ve been doing some reflecting as a family would be an understatement. So on the one-year anniversary here are a few random thoughts I’ve had:
He really is enough.
For years I have taught that simple sentence to people, and I believed with everything in me that it was true. Seeing it personally has been another story, like the difference between seeing a picture of the Grand Canyon and actually seeing it. I found out on Nov. 26 that I had a mass on my frontal lobe, on Tuesday Dec. 1 that I was going to need surgery soon and that the scans “didn’t look good,” and on Dec. 4 had a good portion of my right frontal lobe removed. I’ll be honest, that season was terrifying, and we wept. I wept with Lauren, my friends, family members, partners in ministry and by myself. Leading up to the surgery if I saw one of my children, particularly my oldest daughter Audrey, it was a fight to hold myself together. Under all of that fear and all those tears there was this quiet confidence, this firm foundation, this unshakable promise, and we never lost it. The world would sink in the days and months to come but we continually found our footing in the truth that He is in control of all things and loves me deeply (Romans 8:28-39).
The only thing that matters is I am His.
If you ask people about me, depending on who they are, they will tell you I am a husband, father, preacher, leader, son, brother, friend, etc. When we were prepping for surgery, they went over this long list of things that were “possibilities.” I could lose the ability to speak, walk and lose short-term or long-term memories. The list was much longer, but I think you get the point. I am primarily known as a pastor and preacher, but here’s the truth that slammed into me when I was wrestling with God over this surgery. One day I am not going to preach or pastor; one day I am not going to be Lauren’s husband or my kid’s father. All the things that define me here will be gone, and I will simply be His. I’m still meditating on that. That’s all I really am…His. Now, while He gives me breath there are sermons to preach and people to shepherd, children to impart the glory of God to and an extremely beautiful wife to love. All these things are shadows of a greater reality. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 2:17)
If it’s not by grace alone, I’m in a lot of trouble.
Jonathan Edwards was right to resolve, “to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.” The thought of dying, though repulsive to most of us, brings an uncanny clarity to life. I was told in mid-December that what I had was fatal and that the average lifespan was 2-3 years after diagnosis. So I have at max, 2 years left (I want to quote Twain here on statistics but don’t want to answer the e-mails and complaints in the comment section I would get). When you hear that kind of news, you do some real soul searching and here is something disturbing I found out about me. I don’t trust all my motivations in ministry. Now don’t get me wrong. I deeply, deeply love the God of the Bible. I love to proclaim Him and think about Him and talk about Him to anyone who’ll listen, but I learned in college that when I do that, good things happen and by good things I mean good things for me. People want to hear me teach; they pay me money. I’m actually “famous” in some circles. What a dangerous culture we live in. In some places being used powerfully by God can get you killed and here it makes you “famous.” Hear me confess this. I like it. I like that people download me, watch videos of me, want my take on things and I believe that there is a part of me (that’s hopefully dying) that likes it not just because it makes much of Jesus but makes much of me. That is an embarrassing truth about me, and I have fasted and prayed that God would put it to death. So to quote Lecrae “If Heaven ain’t a gift then I ain’t getting in.”
I suck at praying.
I didn’t think I did before this. I thought it was a strength, but I was wrong. When you realize that all you are is His, you realize or at least I did, that I don’t stay connected to Him as I have been commanded to. I would spend some time praying in the morning, but my life wasn’t saturated in it. I lived like I put my time in and now I can handle this. So again, I confess that I went into hundreds of meetings over my first seven years as pastor of The Village without asking for direction and wisdom, without asking for power and clarity. Although I knew I wasn’t wise enough, experienced enough or seasoned enough, I went and tried to be what they needed. I have grown exponentially in this area this year and I’m hoping that when I’m done with my race, I would be known not just as a faithful preacher of God’s Word but a man who communed with his Father without ceasing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If God grants me another 100 years, I couldn’t begin to thank all of you who have prayed, encouraged, sent me cards, letters, books, money, prayer blankets (BTW I sat under everyone of those blankets and received your prayers in Jesus’ name), pictures, paintings and poems. Things came in from all over the world, and the entire Chandler family felt the tangible love of God made visible through His saints.
If I kept going this would be too long to be considered a blog so I’ll stop here for now and write some more next week — including one of the biggest, most painful lessons I’ve learned.
Christ’s blessing to you all,
- Nick Stevens @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:50 pm
I love you, Matt. God, through your teachings, saved me. Watching you struggle has taught me how to live, and how to love God more. You are a clear example of how not to waste one’s life.
Thank you for your humility. Having you shepherd us is a gift that we don’t deserve.
- Michael C @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:01 pm
I podcast you’re sermons, but don’t attend your church. It is your confessions and weakness that are your best thing. Sometimes I want God to blow people up to. I say that because you have taught me to live and view EVERYTHING through the lense of the gospel. I had a general idea that I needed this hermeneutic that said to run everything through the gospel but didn’t know how to get from living in my reformed head to my heart. What I learned from you is to live constantly repentant to Jesus, my wife, and realize that only his grace will protect my family from my iniquity. You’ve taught me to glory in NOTHING but the blood of Christ. I fail daily and he saves daily. It is from that foundation that I lead and love with prayer and thankfulness. In that vein, I constantly encounter his love. Thank you for being weak, mouthy, and broken. Rage on brotha.
Great post, Matt. You’re an inspiration to me in many ways, but most in that in all things you glorify Christ. Praising Him that you’re still with us. Here’s to 32 more years of ministry! Be blessed, brother.
- minstrel @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:03 pm
For your honesty and your boldness, your humility and your vulnerability, your clarity and your humor and your fortitude — I am grateful to our Creator, my brother.
May he sustain you and those who love you, in every season of your life, and bless you with peace, wisdom, strength and healing.
My prayers, today and each day….
I believed everything you said before this, but after watching you walk through this, you’ve got even more credibility in my book. Thank you for walking through most of this in a public arena- you’ve inspired a whole bunch of us. One of my volunteers had her first chemo treatment today. She’s been watching how you’ve walked through this storm. Your strength has given her strength.
- Eddie Lee @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:05 pm
May God continue to bless you brother!
- SA Youth Minister @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:12 pm
I’ve never met you, never been to any of your church services, just heard about you two years ago and heard one message of yours, but you are a vessel being used by God. Thanks for being a “light”.
Hope to meet you one day, either on Earth or in Heaven!
- Marlo Haft @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:20 pm
Pastor – so great to hear/read your heart and where the Lord is bringing you. We are so thankful to be a part of the Village.
Your statement, “That is an embarrassing truth about me, and I have fasted and prayed that God would put it to death.” has given me a whole new perspective on fasting. I believe my fasting in the past has been with a heart of “Lord, here’s what I need” and not “Lord, what would you have more me, what do you want me to do”. Such conviction. Thank you for you leadership. The Haft Family loves y’all.
- Joseph Swenson @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:23 pm
To God be the glory for all the ways He draws us and loves us. Thank you for pressing in and encouraging us in Christ.
- Zach Harms @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:32 pm
i suck at praying, too. i love having a pastor who strives for transparency.
when i first started attending the village almost a year ago, i fell in love with the body of Christ He graciously provided me. i “have grown exponentially” under your shepherding and selfishly prayed that God would not take you home. i prayed, “God, your servant speaks to me, he speaks to your people… let him stay and lead us… for our joy and for Your glory.”
love you brother, thanx for visiting Denton
- elaine black @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 5:38 pm
Thanks so much for your openness and honesty. I have listened to you for over three years now after stumbling across you whilst I was in Paraguay and needing sermons in my own language. I am now back in the UK continuing to follow God’s call on my life and downloading your podcast each week.
You are famous to me yes and I thank God for having had the chance to listen to you and be taught by you over the years.
I am now embarking on a new venture and becoming a foster carer at the age of 54 and a granny to a gorgeous little girl.
I often stumble and fall short but truely know God’s grace and the love and sacrifice that was made for me and I am moved to tears often when listening to you.
I pray for your continued recovery and for you family too.
Gods blessings this Christmas time from England.
Yey! Learning is great. God is awesome.
Great post! I, honestly, didn’t know you from Adam until T4G in April. I was so moved by your talk and the preceding prayer for your healing that, frankly, I’ll never be the same. Since then I have made it a point to pray for you often.
I do have one question. How is it that every pastor I have ever seen has married way out his league? And since I have married out of my league do you think that may be evidence that God is calling me into ministry? Haha! God bless you, man!
Matt, I am thankful for your transparency. These are all lessons I need to learn myself. Thanks for this post.
Your faith is very encouraging, brother. Prayed for you today.
Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us Matt. I will eagerly await the next installment! You have such a gift for describing the world and it pierces the heart of so many. Thank you for being so transparent through all of this! Thank you for allowing us to join you through this difficult time.
- Holly Mason @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 6:27 pm
“One day I am not going to preach or pastor; one day I am not going to be Lauren’s husband or my kid’s father. All the things that define me here will be gone, and I will simply be His” –
Oh sweet Father in heaven.. that we ( starting with me) would ALL chew and chew and chew on this truth! Its really all so simple. He loves us and we are His. May we be brought back to the simple, powerful, bottom line reality of belonging to Him and clinging tightly to just Him. I can not think of a single sermon you have done that honors the Lord more than what you said here… “Simply His”. Much love to you and your family.
- Delinda Gillham @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 6:46 pm
May God continue to love on you, Matt Chandler!!! Thanks for sharing with all of us.
Your openness and honesty in this post is something that I think most of us wish we could articulate. I remember hearing Francis Chan at one time when he walked away from the church in Simi Valley, CA make the statement that he became more popular than Jesus and realized that was not the way things were supposed to be. He was not trying to become famous or popular but he realized that he had and yet he looked at Scripture and saw that Jesus would sometimes run people off. For instance, when He told them about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, all left him but the 12. He then asked them if they wanted to leave too and we know they stayed.
I too agree with Jonathan Edwards that we should think upon death and do so often. Several times I have been on the verge of death and have come to gain a much better…understanding of myself…my weaknesses…my flaws…lack of faith and the like.
While I have never met you I have a great deal of respect for you, your walk, your realization of the true value of your life and knowing that you are His. Thank you for your transparency in this post. I am sure it was not an easy thing to share but I am confident that God is glorified through it and many wil be able to relate to your insight.
May the Lord continue to use you mightily as a tool for Him!
In His Strength,
- Angela Smith @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:39 pm
Thank you so much for sharing !! My husband and I live in Atlanta. My husband Charles had surgery for a brain tumor also. January 4th will be his ine year anniversary. He is doing a year of chemo at this time. God has been good thus far !! We will pray for you and your family and ask for your prayers for our situation in return !
Charles and Angela Smith
- John M. Kirton II @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:41 pm
I’ll quote Twain, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Also, Paul, “With God, all things are possible.” Matt, thank you SO much for your humility, humanity and manliness to admit what most would not be willing to do so!
I love this brother SO much!
- chris woolf @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 8:23 pm
i’ve got a mustard seed or two…and i will stand in the gap for a miracle of complete healing for you , here in louisville ohio. my friend sent me this , she attends your church.she loves Jesus and is blown away by your faith. i concur. be encouraged. here is something i am “chewing on” this week.
the key to this life is to go deeper in Christ, not be buried by the enemy.
peace….to you and your family.
i am so blessed by you bro. I’ll confess that your voice is very powerful in my life and you certainly are a degree of “famous” to me. But know this: your faithful, unfliching, sarcastic, passionate presentation of Jesus Christ is what points me to Him and not you every time. That’s the biggest thing i love about you is how you never pojnt to Matt or your church but to Jesus. Now, maybe i’m the exception … i probably am, but know from one of your biggest “fans” that, to me, it’s always been about Jesus and never about you, and that’s from someone who’s listened to almost every sermon of your i can find. I know we all have blind spots, but it’s your passion for Him that makes me love you so much bro, not you. Sure, you’re a cool hombre, and one day when i meet you i’m gonna give you a huge hug and try to get my photo taken with you.
May the Lord bless you and keep you Matt and continue to refine and shape you more and more into His image. Your ministry is powerful and vast and it is those things b/c of Him. Thank God for you bro.
Thank you for sharing with us. It has been a blessing to see you, your family, and your church grow through this year. May God bless you and continue to use you to His glory.
I have been following your progress since February of this year. My husband has been living (well) for 8 years with advanced lung cancer. In my book, “Cancer Journey: A Caregiver’s View from the Passenger Seat,” I write about the spiritual and emotional struggles that most people experience when facing a terminal disease. Your random thoughts could have been taken directly from my book. I don’t think it’s posssible to live life fully until you have accepted your mortality. We are now living the abundant life–even in the valley of the shadow of death.
- Michael @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 10:46 pm
Your tragedy has moved me. I’m struggling with addiction and it seems minute, compared with your problems. Know, the good Lord is shaken me to my my reality. God’s Blessings, Abba Father forgive me.
- Jeff R @ Thursday, December 2, 2010 11:04 pm
Simply amazing a true inspiration. My God continue to bless you and your family.
Wow. Awesome.thanks for your honesty and realness in what God has been teaching you and how you have been feeling. Brought tears to my eyes and made me realise how fragile I am,and We all are.God bless you for sharing.
sure I’m not the first to add the Twain quote to the comments:
“Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Also, I am a part time youth pastor in Farmville Va (it’s a real place, not a Facebook game)…I knew nothing of you before your sickness, but since then I have listened to almost all 8 years of your podcasts over the past year and have grown soooo desperate for Jesus through your teaching, life, and love of Him…through Jesus in you…thank you so much and praise HIM!
- Jessica Kelly @ Friday, December 3, 2010 12:02 am
I am so encouraged by this! Thank you, Pastor Matt, for walking so faithfully with the Lord through this! The flock you lead has been BLESSED in ways we will never fully know in this life because of your crying out to God during this time!
- Mairi @ Friday, December 3, 2010 1:22 am
Thank you, God, for all that you keep on bringing into our lives. Thank you for Matt.
- Tracy Forde @ Friday, December 3, 2010 2:00 am
Love you pastor Matt……in weakness…He is made strong…may He devestate our hearts for our good…for His glory. Thank you for not punting it….but in yer vulnerbility dying to self…showing me how He is better….and I am HIS. Thank you for being real…please don’t stop dying to you…so that He is made much
of…see you Sunday at 11 am.
- Jo Lynne Nugent @ Friday, December 3, 2010 6:08 am
I don’t know of you, your blog post came across my Facebook newsfeed, but your words were powerful, even profound, & acted as a mirror for me. Thank you for the lesson in which I saw myself, in not a very good light, and learned. God bless you.
- Mindy Gordon @ Friday, December 3, 2010 8:58 am
So let me get this straight…
Matt Chandler: lover of the Almighty; faithful and loving husband; devoted father; strong Godly shepherd of God’s church; God’s tool, being used in amazing ways for the Kingdom, and for His glory…
And that makes Matt Chandler:
a sinner saved by Grace.
We love you and pray for you daily. Thank you for your honest testimony. It means more than you know.
- Sheryl Jacobson @ Friday, December 3, 2010 9:00 am
Matt, my father was diagnosed this past summer with a malignant brain tumor in his parietal lobe. He too was given the sad and shocking news that this tumor is fatal and he had between 9 months to 2 years to live. I am sure I don’t have to tell you how nauseating those words were when the surgeon revealed to us that our dad,the leader of our family, was very ill, and he needed to go home and live each day to it’s fullest from now on.
I too have dug deeper in my soul searching, and I have found many things about myself that I do not like. Although I need to daily tell myself “What would Jesus do.” How would he handle this situation. I am embarrassed to say that I know he would be ashamed of me often.
I, like you, struggle daily with following through with daily prayer, trusting in him, realizing that in eternity, I would have a lot of explaining to do if the Lord took my life away today.
Thank you for your honesty, it touched my heart
Thank you for this honest, heart-felt post. Great insights into life, ministry, and faith!
Someone referred me to your site and told me that it could be of some encouragement to me.
My son Joshua died of a severe heart defect 51 days after her was born. He is the 3rd of my 3 children.
As I read this post, I found myself nodding and thanking Jesus for your words.
I just wanted to thank you for your words and for your openness. I look forward to continuing to reading more.
- Steve Cloud @ Friday, December 3, 2010 9:43 am
Thank you for being so candid, Matt. What a journey this past year has been. I pray that God will continue to shape and use you for His purposes. It is encouraging to hear about the glory of God’s presence, even in the midst of so much pain and uncertainty. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of that personal growth in your life. Too often, those of us who lead churches get caught up in “doing” ministry…and forget that when all is said and done, we are nothing but…”His.” I needed a reminder of that this morning. Praying for you, man. Hope you have an amazing week!
- Jared Still @ Friday, December 3, 2010 10:43 am
Thanks so much for this, Matt. It’s encouraging beyond words. Specifically to know you, and others with you, wept in the face of this. It’s so easy to see, or project, so much strength on leaders in your position. It affirms God’s greatness to know that He doesn’t just meet us all in the valleys, that He loving guides us through them for His glory, purpose and our joy is incredibly satisfying!
Thank you, Matt. Thank you for this glimpse of grace and for showing me the radiance of Jesus that shines through your words.
Amen brother, ive never got the chance to actually meet u but i want u know i love u much and u will stay in my prayers! God is really enough and he shows us much in our lives and im learning that same lesson many times in my 19 years of living! God bless u my dear brother and stay humble to our God in Jesus mighty name! My hat is off and i can trully say your testimony will change lives and point to the cross! I wish i could wrap my arms around u and your family! God is enough!
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This really blessed me. For a number of reasons, not the least of which was the glaring transparency of our brother. May the Lord grant me grace to see my own motivations as clearly and confess them as openly.