D-Day: It’s Just a Matter of Time

Picture was taken at the National Archives and is offered Royalty Free by Historylink101’s World War II Picture Section. Pictures can be found at the D-Day Picture Page.

From John Ortberg’s If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat:

One of the most powerful 30 minutes of film I’ve ever seen is the opening sequence of the movie Saving Private Ryan. Veterans Groups say it’s maybe the most realistic picture ever given of the brutal suffering that those soldiers faced. It’s on D-Day, June 6, 1944. An unbelievable price was paid to gain just a toehold, just a few feet of Omaha Beach in Normandy. And that price was paid in blood.

At the end of D-Day, at the end of that one day, in one sense, nothing had really changed. The vast majority of Europe was still as it had been the day before, under the power of the swastika. Evil reigned through the whole continent. There was only this one little plot of ground, a few feet of sand on an obscure stretch of beach in one lonely country. But that one tiny stretch of land, that one tiny little beach, that was enough.

The truth is, at the end of that one day, everything was changed because now there was an opening, just a crack—a tiny little crack at first. But it would get a little larger the next day, and a little larger the day after that, and a little larger the week after that. And the forces would get stronger every day.

There still was a lot of fighting to do and a lot of suffering and a lot of dying. But from that day on it was just a matter of time. Then the day came when Paris was liberated. And then the day came when all of France was liberated. Then the days came when the concentration camps were overrun and prisoners were set free. Then the day came when Hitler destroyed himself in the bunker. And judgment came to that particular beast as it always does, as it always will. And then came V-E Day, victory. And then victory in the Pacific and the soldiers could come home. The war was over. The enemy was defeated. But really, the truth was that victory was all sealed on D-Day. It just took a while. The battle raged for a season. But after D-Day, victory on V-E Day was just a matter of time.

The Apostle John says this earth has fallen under a dark power. And then one day a woman gave birth to a son, a male child, who was destined to rule all the nations. He taught about and lived in a kingdom. He lived a kind of life that the rest of us had always dreamed of, but hardly dared hope for. Then one day, at a cost that none of us will ever fully understand, He took upon himself, on the cross, all the brokenness, all the suffering of D-Day, and all the suffering and all the sin and pain of every other day in the history of the human race since the Fall.

After the Sabbath day, before Jesus’ friends went to care for his body, the stone was moved. In one sense, nothing had changed. Pilate and the chief priests were still in charge. Caesar still reigned in Rome and didn’t even know the name of this obscure Messiah in some remote country. Nobody knew at first except a couple of women, but that was D-Day. Now there was an opening in this fallen world. Tiny at first—no bigger than the entrance of an empty tomb.

But now there was an opening, and the truth is, friends, every time you resist sin, every time you proclaim the Gospel, every time you give a portion of your resources for the spread of the kingdom, every time you offer a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name to the poor, that opening gets a little larger, and the darkness gets pushed back a little more, and the light gets a little stronger.

That’s why we exist as a church. That’s why we are called to struggle and pray and work and suffer and labor because one day liberation will come, make no mistake. There will be a lot of fighting and a lot of suffering and a lot of dying, but D-Day already happened when hardly anybody was looking. And at the end of that one day, everything had changed, and now it’s just a matter of time.

Rooted & Growing

This past Sunday, we launched our new Rooted series with “Rooted in God’s Story.” We talked about different stages of growth and what we can do to continue to grow and get more deeply rooted together in Jesus. Here are the different stages and what you can do to grow:

SEED: As a seed, you are exploring who Jesus Christ is. You have not made a commitment to follow Him, but you are curious. I would encourage you to read this article: “Got Eternal Life?” It will help you understand more fully who Jesus is, how your sin can be forgiven, and how you can have abundant life now and eternal life forever. If you have made a decision to follow Jesus, I would highly encourage you to get baptized

SPROUT: You have become a follower of Jesus. Your roots of faith, trust, and obedience are growing. I would encourage you to explore a tool called “The Commands of Christ.” It will help you understand the basics of what Jesus is calling you to, how you can live out your faith, and how you can begin to Jesus them with others.

SEEDLING: You are continuing to grow. You have withstood a few storms. You are getting more experienced in studying and applying God’s word. You are growing in a more regular prayer life. You are connecting more deeply with other followers of Jesus. During this Rooted series, I would encourage you to read through and study the book of Colossians. You can see the series schedule HERE. I would also encourage you to download and read these study notes on the book of Colossians.

MULTIPLYING. You are a mature follower of Jesus and you are multiplying to gospel into other peoples’ lives. You have weathered many storms, and you can’t help but share God’s goodness and faithfulness with those around you who don’t yet know Jesus. Here is a resource I would highly recommend: Steve Addison’s What Jesus Started. It will help you continue to live out God’s mission through your life for the world around you. It will help you take personal responsibility for the spiritual lostness of the people God has placed around you. When Jesus opens the door for you to share His story, here’s an effective way to present the gospel: 3 Circles.

Lastly, here are some recommended study resources for the book of Colossians:

Dr. Tom Constable’s Study Notes on Colossians

Warren Wiersbe’s Be Complete

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Keep growing and going!

Rooted

In the Pacific Northwest, we love our trees—tall and green. Underneath the surface of the ground is a deep network of roots that allows the tree to live tall and green. Scientists tell us that up to 70% of a tree’s energy may go into what goes on below ground. That strong root system also helps those trees weather the storms.

As we study Paul’s letter to the Colossians, our roots will grow deeper into the good news of who Jesus is, what He’s done for us, and how we live as a result. Our roots will grow deeper into the calling of God’s mission upon our lives for the world around us… and we’ll do this growing together. Because being rooted and grounded in Jesus together allows us to stand firm and live tall in the storms of life!

Here’s the series schedule:

May 1 – Rooted in God’s Story (Colossians 1:1-23)

May 8 – Rooted in God’s Call (Colossians 1:24-2:5)

May 15 – Rooted in Real Faith (Colossians 2:6-23)

May 22 – Rooted in Integrity (Colossians 3:1-11)

May 29 – Rooted In Relationships, Part 1 (Colossians 3:12-21)

June 5 – Rooted in Relationships, Part 2 (Colossians 3:22-4:1)

June 12 – Rooted in Mission (Colossians 4:1-6)

June 19 – Rooted Together (Colossians 4:7-18)

For more information on Northshore and our Sunday worship gatherings, click HERE.

Join us at Sundays at 8, 9:30, and 11 am (Children’s Ministry available at the 9:30 & 11 am gatherings).

C.S. Lewis: Made for Another World

“Most people, if they have really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do acutely want something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning, can really satisfy. There was something we have grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in the reality. I think everyone knows what I mean. The wife may be a good wife, and the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and chemistry may be a very interesting job: but something has evaded us.”

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

New Series: Jesus For the Rest of Us

There are many remarkable things about Jesus. One of the most surprising is this: the people who had the least in common with Jesus were the very people who were most drawn to Him. They were the outcasts, the doubters and the broken. They were familiar with struggle and pain. Yet it was in the midst of their struggle that they encountered Jesus. In our new series, Jesus for the Rest of Us, we’ll discover following Jesus isn’t about getting our act together; it’s about recognizing the struggles in our own lives and inviting Jesus to meet us there.

Here’s the schedule for the series:

March 27 (EASTER) – The Hopeless

April 3 – The Doubters

April 10 – The Outsiders

April 17 – The Disillusioned

April 24 – The Broken

For more information on Northshore and our Sunday worship gatherings, click HERE.

Join us at Sundays at 8, 9:30, and 11 am (Children’s Ministry available at the 9:30 & 11 am gatherings).

Passion & Purpose

We began our new Viral series at Northshore Community Church and talked about Viral Principle #1: Passion. As we learn from the example of Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13-14, behind passion is purpose.

In John Bishop’s book Dangerous Church, he captures this singular purpose well when he writes:

“In the early church, there was one, clear, encompassing mission—spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church did other things, of course, but these things were done to strengthen the church and building up the community so they were able and equipped to the do the one thing that defined their primary mission: seeking the lost and sharing the gospel.”

Behind a passion for Jesus and His message is the focused purpose of spreading the viral good news of Jesus!

New Series: Viral

When something goes “viral,” it spreads contagiously by circulating from person to person until it takes on a life of its own—whether it’s a microscopic pathogen, a YouTube video, or a revolutionary idea. The message of Jesus went viral, growing from 1 to 33.8 million followers in a little over three hundred years. The Apostle Paul was a significant agent in the viral spread of this revolutionary message of love and hope as he multiplied followers of Jesus, leaders, churches, and church planting movements. In our new series Viral, we’ll explore six foundational principles from Acts 13-28 and discover how the message, mission, and movement Jesus goes viral.

Here’s the schedule for the series:

February 14 – Viral Principle #1: Passion

February 21 – Viral Principle #2: Obedience

February 28 – Viral Principle #3: Intentional (Special Guest Speaker – Nate Hettinga)

March 6 – Viral Principle #4: Relevance

March 13 – Viral Principle #5: Multiplication

March 20 – Viral Principle #6: Sacrifice

For more information on Northshore and our Sunday worship gatherings, click HERE.

Join us at Sundays at 8, 9:30, and 11 am (Children’s Ministry available at the 9:30 & 11 am gatherings).

Re:solution

This is the time of year when we reflect on how last year went and where we want this year to go. It’s a time to reflect, refocus, and restart. But it’s also a time when self-improvement can become self-absorption. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, what if there is a better way and a better question? What if the question is not “how can I become a better person?” but “how can I make this world a better place?” Re:solution will help us move beyond the typical focus on ourselves to a better way of focusing on the people and world around us.

Here what we’ll explore this January:

January 3 – The Better Question

January 10 – Reach My Financial Goals

January 17 – Break My Bad Habit

January 24 – Improve My Relationships

January 31 – Get My Life Together

For more information on Northshore and our Sunday worship gatherings, click HERE.

Join us at Sundays at 8, 9:30, and 11 am (Children’s Ministry available at the 9:30 & 11 am gatherings).

RACI Decision-Making Matrix

One of the most important things that leaders and teams do is make decisions. If you’ve ever been involved in decision-making for a team or organization, you know that clarifying and communicating the process is critically important.

I have found the RACI “responsibility” model to be very helpful for the teams I lead and serve on:

  • Responsible– who has the responsibility for the project or process
  • Accountable– who is ultimately accountable & has the authority to make the decision
  • Consulted – who needs to be consulted in the decision-making process
  • Inform – who needs to be informed of the decision that’s been made

Here are some variations on this responsibility model and matrix.

Have you used this process before? Has it been helpful? What would you change or add to the process?