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Happy Birthday to Us!

Posted by Curt on October 15, 2014

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We are celebrating our 4th Birthday this Sunday.  Isn’t that crazy?   Four years ago a group of strangers met together as a church for the first time.   It’s incredible to think about all the things that have happened since then, but I guess the coolest thing is this – those strangers have become a family.   We truly love you guys, and it has been a privilege to be a part of your lives for the past 1,460 days or so.

So we thought we should have a little celebration this weekend.  Folks are apparently baking cakes and yummy desserts in honor of this occasion, and we would love for you to join us for the party!   We will continue our Jesus is Better series – (for those of you who weren’t with us Sunday, we have moved into the book of Acts) and we will stay for a while afterward for fun & desserts.   How much fun and how many desserts?  That depends on you guys.   Your challenge is to bring lots of delicious confections.  I’m thinking if you guys bring enough desserts, the fun will take care of itself.

Seeing as this nicely coincides with the Ole Miss Homecoming game (BTW – How bout them Rebels??!?!!), I hope that some of you relocated Life people might be willing to stick around until Sunday afternoon.  We always love to catch up with you guys!   If you haven’t been able to be a part of our gatherings for a while, this would be a great night to reconnect!    Also – it’s always easier to invite people to church when you know there will be cake.  That’s scientific fact.

Can’t wait to celebrate 4 awesome years with you guys.

Curt

Friday thoughts

Posted by Curt on August 29, 2014

Hey everybody!  Hope this week is going well for all of you.

Our new series has started.  I know this doesn’t sound revolutionary, but we are taking a few weeks to simply talk about Jesus.   We want to focus on how great He is, with the hope that every one of us will discover that Jesus is Better than we ever imagined.   I hope you’ll be a part of our Sunday gatherings, and if you missed this weekend, hop on over to our podcast page so you can get up to speed.

As a part of this series, we are challenging everyone in our church to read through the book of John together.   We are reading one chapter a day, while intentionally asking God to reveal Himself to us through the Word.  Even if you missed the first few days, we would love for you to join us on this journey.  I’ll be tweeting out a reminder and a link each day, so make sure you are following @thelifeoxford on twitter if you want to be a part of this challenge.

Finally, we want to invite all of you to join us for our Fellowship Night after church this Sunday.   Bring some food that you can share, invite some hungry friends, and stick around after church to play games, eat, and build relationships.   These nights always result in incredible conversations and wonderful memories, so I hope you’ll be there Sunday!

We love you guys, and we are praying that every one of you sees our incredible Savior more clearly this week.

Curt

A Better Life

Posted by Curt on August 18, 2014

We are really excited about the new school year, as it’s always a time of growth and change.   I can’t wait to see our returning friends as they head back to Oxford.   It’s also such an exciting time because our church has this yearly opportunity to develop friendships with complete strangers.   As I think back over the past few years, it’s incredible that so many of you guys just wandered into one of our gatherings, only to become some of our dearest friends.    We have no idea who is going to walk through our doors in the next few weeks, but I believe that God wants us to be as friendly and welcoming as possible to them.  I want to challenge all of you who are a part of our church through these next few weeks.  Here’s what we’d like you guys to do:

1) Come to church.   I know the next few weeks will be busy, but I hope you guys will commit to be there each Sunday at 5pm if at all possible.  One of the best things about our church is our people, and we want new folks to have the chance to meet you guys!

2) Invite people.   This is, without a doubt, the easiest time of the year to ask people about visiting a church service.  People will be looking for ways to connect with other folks, and a casual invitation from a friend can have a huge impact.  Most likely, someone invited you to be a part of the Life – don’t you think you should pay it forward??

3) Stick around.   If you come to church, don’t run off as soon as we finish our service.  Some of the best things happen after we finish up our formal gathering.  So consider this an open invitation – if you want to bring some snacks or games to get the social wheels turning over the next few weeks, go right ahead!

jb1One more thing. We are going to start a new sermon series this week called “JESUS IS BETTER.”  Each week we will be looking at the life of Jesus, and discussing how incredible He is.   I know, it sounds pretty simple, but we are really excited about it.   The big idea is that however great we think Jesus is, the bible shows us that He is even better than we can imagine.   I’m praying that every single person that hears one of these sermons will have a new understanding of how special and extraordinary Jesus is.

So here’s where you come in.  We are asking you guys to help us to get those three little words out in town.   How cool would it be to get the phrase “Jesus is Better” trending in Oxford?   I want to encourage you guys to incorporate those words into your world somehow.   Get creative!  Tweet them, post about them, blog about them, write a song about them, make a video about them, or do something else artsy with them.    Just have some fun finding a way to let people know that Jesus is Better.   The sky is the limit, and I can’t wait to see what awesome ways you guys come up with to spread those three little words.

Have a great week!  Can’t wait to see you Sunday.

Curt

 

 

 

Important info about Sunday

Posted by Curt on August 1, 2014

Hey guys, we just found out that we won’t be able to use the BSU for our worship gathering this weekend.   After a slight amount of panic, we realized we had one really simple option.    So I wanted to let you guys know about the plan, because we need your help.

We will be gathering for worship at 5PM at Mount Zion Church.  This is a church that partners with us and has generously supported our ministry, and they have kindly offered their sanctuary to us for Sunday.   It’s a bit outside of town, but it’s always beautiful for an afternoon drive.  This link will take you to a Google map that shows the route from the BSU to Mount Zion.

We figured that we should at least offer to feed you guys who boldly make the 5 mile trek to join us.   We will be providing pizza and drinks after church in the fellowship hall.   Although it’s a last minute change, we should really have a great time together.

So what are we asking you guys to do?  That’s simple – help us get the word out.  If you know people that might be coming to the Life this weekend, please let them know about this change – maybe even forward them this email.   Whatever you can do to assist us in communicating this would be great.

Thanks for being so flexible,

Curt

Let’s Party

Posted by Curt on July 23, 2014

It’s crazy to think that summer is almost over!   In a little over a month, Oxford will be busting at the seams with the return of the student population.  As always, we hope to be able to make a lot of new friends once school begins and tons of new people descend upon our town.

We have a few more weekends left before everything kicks into high gear though, so we thought we should have another one of our fellowship meals this Sunday.   If you happen to be in town this Sunday (the 27th), I hope you’ll join us at 5PM for fun games and delicious food.

Speaking of that delicious food, we won’t have much if you guys don’t bring it.   So please bring a dish (or two), and maybe some beverages as well.   You guys always bring such creative and yummy treats to these meals, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with this weekend.

And while I’m making such bold requests, why don’t you bring somebody new with you.  Chances are you have a friend in town who might want to eat some food this Sunday night.  Be a pal and invite them to church, won’t ya??

Looking forward to seeing you guys,

Curt

Summer Party

Posted by Curt on June 6, 2014

Hey guys!

Just wanted to remind everyone that we are having a Summer Party this Sunday after church.   We are planning to stick around for a while after the service, and hopefully everyone can bring a refreshing summertime dish to share.   We will have some time to play games and relax together right after the service, so plan to stick around for awhile.   Be forewarned…I’ve heard we may be breaking out some Goldeneye N64 as well.

Some people have asked what we are celebrating, but it’s just an excuse to spend time together.  These informal parties are one of our favorite things to do as a church family.  Oxford should be pretty low key this weekend, so it’s a great time to invite new friends to church.   Everybody likes free dinner and games, right?!

It’s going to be a lot of fun!  Hope to see you this weekend.

Curt

Summertime is here!

Posted by Curt on May 28, 2014

 

It’s summertime in Oxford once again.    This is the time of the year when people from the Life begin to spread out all over the place.   We have friends who are spending their summer vacation in beautiful and exotic places.  We have many graduates who are looking for jobs and hoping to begin families.    This time of year is always bittersweet, but 2014 in particular has seen many of our dear friends move on from Oxford as they follow God’s plan for their lives.

Over the past few years, we have come to realize that our church family will never be conventional.   Many of our biggest fans and supporters live far away, and are rarely able to attend our worship gatherings.   With a ministry in such a transient town, we wouldn’t have been able to survive these first few years without this unusual support structure.   It is our prayer that we would be able to be a blessing to every one of you, whether you join us in Oxford or we simply keep in touch online.  Here are some things we are working on right now:

The Kites are in the process of recording an album of songs from the Life.  This is something we have been hoping to do for a long time, and it’s finally happening.  We hope it will be a blessing to you, especially those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to listen to these incredible musicians every week.  We will be sure to let you know when it’s available.

Our Small groups resume on June 3rd and 4th at 7PM.   If you are in Oxford during the month of June, please make a point to join one of these groups.   It’s a great environment to make friends and study God’s Word.

Our Sunday gatherings are still happening each week at 5PM.   As some of you have requested, we will also start up our sermon podcast again.   This summer we are doing a series called ‘Retweets,’ where we look at simple (yet profound) ideas from the Old Testament book of Proverbs.  Each week will be topical and Gospel centered, so we hope you will join us if you are in town.   These Proverbs are universally relevant, so it’s also a great time to consider inviting a friend to come to church with you.

On that note, let’s talk about this weekend.  As many of you know, the Ole Miss Baseball team is hosting a NCAA regional.  We are expecting Oxford to be bustling and full of people all weekend long.   If you are in town for this big weekend, we hope you’ll keep us in mind.  Our gathering is at 5PM on Sunday, and the BSU is within easy walking distance of Swazye field.  We will have the A/C going strong and some free cold refreshments.  Even if you don’t stay for the whole gathering, we would truly love for you to pay us a visit if you’re in town.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being a part of the Life.  God is doing great things through His people in Oxford, and people like you make it possible.

Hope to see you soon,

Curt

4 things 1/31/14

Posted by Curt on January 31, 2014

Hey guys. Here’s some stuff I’m thinking about this week:

1.  First of all, we are having a party this Sunday!  It was originally intended to be a celebration for our newest married couple, but they had a scheduling conflict.  Sadness.   You know how you deal with having to reschedule a party?   Simple – you throw ANOTHER party!   So we will do just that.  The Big Game will be on immediately following our service, and we will have food, games, and lots of fun.  We need a couple of things from you guys.

A)  Plan to stay!
B)  Bring a cool game (if you have one)!
C)  Bring some food to share.  We need you guys to bring your delicious desserts and party foods.  For those of you who aren’t amazing chefs – we always end up needing more drinks as well.
D)  Invite someone.   I’m positive that there are people in town who are wishing somebody would invite them to a Super Bowl party.    Why don’t you reach out and see what your friends have going on this Sunday evening.  Free food is a powerful force, my friends.

2).   I’ve been told that we need to make new t-shirts.  So we designed some that we think are really cool.   We are going to get comfy American Apparel shirts in really cool colors.  We are ready to put our order in, but we need to have a few more pre-orders before we can get them produced.   If you are in town, you can order a shirt for $20 on Sunday.  If you don’t live in Oxford, but you just have to grab one of these awesome shirts, send me an email.

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3).   We will be talking about relationships during the month of February.   There’s so much confusion in our culture when it comes to these issues, and we feel like it’s a great time for us to take a hard look at what the Bible teaches about romance, family, and sexuality.   It’s going to be an interesting month.

4).    Which Super Bowl commercials are you most excited about?  Here’s a handy page where they are being embedded.   For me, it’s always the geeky movie commercials.   Speaking of the Super Bowl and geeky things, here’s a picture to infuse some relevance in the big game for those of you who aren’t into football.

See you Sunday!

Curt

5 Things 1/22/2014

Posted by Curt on January 22, 2014

Hi friends.  So I’m dusting off the cobwebs of the good ole weblog.

5 things I am thinking about  – January 22, 2014

1.   New Semester!  I know many of you are really sad that it’s time to start a new semester, but I love this time of year.  There are quite a few of our people that we haven’t seen in over a month!!  I can’t wait for Sunday evening – it’s going to be a really great time.   We also started small groups back up a little early, so if you are looking for somewhere to hang out tonight (Wednesday), come see us at the BSU around 7.

2.  Super Bowl!!   First of all:  I totally called the Super Bowl match up last week.    I think it’s going to be a really fascinating game.    It’s always interesting to see how players choose to use this incredible spotlight to share their beliefs.   I loved this video where Mark Driscoll asked several Seahawk players “Who is Jesus?”   In fairness to the other team – this article about Peyton Manning’s faith is also very interesting.    When it’s gametime, I’ll have to cheer for Peyton.  He has been one of the best reasons to watch pro football for over 15 years, and I’m sure his career will be looked back upon as one of the best.  I hope he gets that elusive 2nd ring.

3.  The Life’s Super Shower.  Speaking of the Super Bowl and people who received rings (best transition ever, amirite?) The Life is throwing a wedding shower in honor of Blake and Kristen Johnson on Super Bowl Sunday.   We are so excited for them, and our church loves to bless our new families in a VERY helpful way – Cash Money.   So we are asking everyone to help us out!   On Super Bowl Sunday bring Dollars and Desserts (or other party foods) when you come to church.  We will have our regular worship time, after which several things will happen.  We will watch a sporting event, we will eat delicious desserts, we will play games, and we will celebrate the happy couple.  There will be something for everybody!   Please make plans to be there with us on February 2nd!

4.   Movie geek news roundup.   Batman vs. Superman is getting crowded, and has been pushed back to 2016, which keeps it from opening head to head with Avengers 2.  Probably a smart move.   Big Star Wars casting news is imminent, and shooting should begin happening in May.   Marvel is going to use Super Bowl ads to really show off Captain America 2 and possibly – fingers crossed – Guardians of the Galaxy.   Lastly, the BBC’s Sherlock is a worldwide hit, and I’m glad it’s getting the recognition it deserves.

5.  Love.   Just to let you guys know, several churches in town have planned to focus on love and relationships during the month of February.  We thought this was a great idea, and we are working hard on discerning which topics would be most helpful to our people.  This is an incredibly significant subject to all of us, so please pray for us as we prepare.  We hope you’ll make it a point to be with us each week, and to consider who you might bring along with you.

That’s gonna do it for today!  Hope you all have a great week.

We’d love to see you this Sunday!

Curt

Birthday Reflections

Posted by Curt on October 15, 2013

October 17th, 2010.

I stood anxiously in the PowerHouse, waiting to see if anyone would show up.   Pacing back and forth, I wondered if the enormous gamble we were taking was going to pay off.   We were moments from starting our very first service as a church, but there was no guarantee that we would draw a crowd at all.   Slowly, a few familiar faces trickled in.  Then a few total strangers.   With every person that walked through those doors, I felt the anxiety decrease.

Before long, we had around 4o people show up.  That might not sound like much, but it was huge for us.  For several years we believed God had been leading us to start a church in Oxford, MS.  That night we actually got to see the fruition of all those plans and prayers.  It was a night I’ll never forget.

I thought after we got the ball rolling that night, things would be easier.   My eternal optimism probably had me convinced that every person that came that first night would be back the next week.   They’d most likely bring all their friends.  I mean, why wouldn’t they?

The truth is, a few of them were never seen in our church again.  Quite a few of them stuck around for a while, but their education or occupation eventually moved them along.   In their place came new friends, and before I knew it, 3 years had passed.

It’s been an amazing, challenging, liberating, frustrating, and faith-building three years.  We have tried to remain faithful to the call that God placed on us, and we have endeavored to serve and love the people that He puts in our path here.   We want to thank you guys for allowing us to be a part of your lives, and for generously supporting this unusual church.  Yet as God continues to build our community in Oxford, we can’t forget about those of you who have moved away or supported us from afar.

The Life has made it this far because of an unorthodox support system, featuring numerous churches, our own members, people who have been blessed by our church, and even some generous folks who have never even attended a service.  Our vision to share our lives with people in Oxford in a simple, Christ-centered community has inspired all kinds of people to get involved and help us accomplish this mission.  I have been consistently surprised by the different ways God has shown His faithfulness to us.    If you look at the ‘normal’ statistics, our church shouldn’t have survived for 3 years.    But it certainly seems like God has a plan for us, and He has used all of you to help make this plan happen.

To all of you that were a part of that first night, I want to say thank you.  Your curiosity about this new church was so encouraging to us, and we are grateful that so many of you have remained a part of our community.

To all of you that have been a part of our church along the way , I also want to say thank you.  We have been blessed to meet so many awesome people, and we pray that your time in the Life was fruitful and helpful.   Thanks for being a part of our family and our story.

Lastly, I want to invite everyone to attend our birthday celebration service this weekend.  On Sunday afternoon at 5PM, we will gather for worship, food, and fellowship to celebrate our 3rd birthday as a church.  Every time we have a meal like this, I am so impressed by our people bringing such delicious and diverse food.  It’s something you don’t want to miss.

If you’ve never been to the Life before, there’s no better week to start.

If you’ve been a part of our church at any point during the last few years, we would love to see you this weekend.  It would be such a joy for you to be a part of this celebration as well.

(I know some of you will come to town for the LSU game; why not sleep in on Sunday and stick around for one more party before you leave?  Just a thought…)

The bottom line is, we’ve been abundantly blessed over the past 3 years, but the greatest blessing has been the incredible people God has brought our way.  We hope to celebrate this milestone with as many of you as possible this weekend.

We hope you’ll join us, and we would love for you to bring a friend.

Living the Life,

Curt