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This past summer the New Horizons spaceship did a fly-by of the dwarf planet Pluto.
The pictures are out-of-this-world. Here they are.

I practically get goose bumps when I see a picture that has traveled over a

billion miles.

This picture came out this week. Look at the craters

New Horizons blasted off from earth on January 19, 2006. Its launch speed was faster

than any other space craft in the history of the world.

SLIDE Heres a picture of the launch. New Horizons reached a speed of 37,000 miles per hour.
I did the math. That is 606 miles per minute and a little more than ten miles per second. If we
stood outside of Davenport and watched something speed through the sky at ten miles per second
we would hardly even see it.
Imagine the energy of that rocketthe energy of the blast-off that could cause something
to fly at 37,000 miles per hour..
Heres the thingthe energy that caused New Horizons to blast-off is nothing compared
to the energy shared with us by God. If you and I had personally watched the launch of New
Horizons on January 16, 2006 we probably would have said, wow. That word is nothing
compared to the wow we experience when we blast-off with God. Gods energy, Gods
presence, the love of God shared through Jesus Christ. When that that sacrificial love is captured
by a group of people. Wow. God is our ultimate Blast-Off. Today in this sermon I want to
show how our relationship with Jesus Christ can literally send us out of this world.
I know that many of our thoughts are on the carnival that is going to take place after
worship. I cant wait for the carnival. Give me your attention right now. I want to show you
how we can blast-off.

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With that introduction I want to encourage you to get out this brochure that is in your
bulletin. Today we heard my most favorite ten verses of the Biblethe last ten verses from Acts
2. I wrote a Bible Study for you this week on Acts 2. I encourage you to read Acts 2 this week.
In the middle of this brochure is place to take notes. I believe God will say something to you
that youll want to remember. On the back is our congregations prayer requests.

Yesterday Amy, Hannah and I visited Grandmother. Today is her birthday. She

turned 101. Shes doing well.

She was born on September 13, 1914 at her home on a farm near Mantorville, MN.


generation has experienced more advances in technology than any other generation in the history
of the world. If you lived in 1914 and could be teleported through time to 2015, you would
hardly recognize the world.
SLIDE This is a picture of a 1914 Model T Ford. The first Model T had a 20-horsepower, fourcylinder engine. It reached a top speed of about 45 miles per hour, got about 13 to 21 miles per
gallon of gasoline and weighed 1,200 pounds. It has a crank to start it up.
I recently purchased a Subaru Forester. I dont know how fast it can goprobably over
100. It consistently gets 28 miles per gallon. If I wanted to I could start it while sitting in my
living room. The technology in this car is amazing. When I put my Forester on Cruise control it
practically can drive itself. On Friday I was driving to the west Metro and I decided to try an
experiment. I wanted to see if I could make it to my destination without touching the accelerator
or brake. I almost did. The advances in a car are incredible. The day of a car that drives itself is
not that far. Cars between 1914 and 2015no comparison
Recently Amy got a bad infection on her finger. She doesnt know how it happened. Her
finger swelled up and caused her a lot of pain. She had a few moments where she was ready to

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cut her finger off. She went to the doctor and the doctor gave Amy an antibiotic. It was healed
in two days.
In 1914 antibiotics hadnt been discovered. Penicillin wasnt invented until 1928. When
people got an infection they couldnt get a pill for healing. .
The life expectancy in the United States in 1914 for a woman was 57. Do you know
what life expectancy is for a woman today? 82. Life expectancy for a woman has gone up over
50 percent in a hundred years.
Think of all the ways we can connect to people that didnt exist in 1914. On my I-phone
I can contact anyone in the world through voice, E-mail or text. I can learn more about you on
your Facebook page than my grandmother probably knew about her neighbor.
Im amazed at these technological advances. They fill me with wonder and even awe.
Life is so much easier in 2015 than it was in 1914. We have a very good life.
Heres the thing. Because we have a good life, we might fool ourselves into thinking that
we dont need God. We dont have to rely on God in ways that people did 101 years ago.
We might pray for safe travels, but at a certain level we trust the cars in which we drive.
We might not need to pray for healing for a finger because we can take a pill. We might believe
that we dont have to rely on God because we can rely on ourselves and what weve created. We
still might believe in God, but because life is good we dont have this desperate need for God.
Next week Im starting a sermon series called Conversations with a honest skeptic. I
cant wait to share this sermon series with you. For the past few weeks Ive been doing video
interviews with people who are skeptical about God and the church. Ive been doing all sorts of
reading about the history of skeptics. In this series were going to look at some of the common

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beliefs that skeptics have about God. We want to understand these beliefs and then think about
how we could respond to them.
As Ive done these interviews Ive discovered that most people have some sort of belief.
I had an interview with a persona lovely personwho described herself as an atheist. When I
had a conversation with her, I discovered that she wasnt an atheist. She was an agnostic. An
agnostic is a person who isnt sure about God. An atheist doesnt have a belief.
In this faith community we want everyone to be a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ.
Our starting point for being a disciple is recognizing our own desperate need for God. Let me
ask you a question. How desperate is our own need for God. On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten
being the highest how high is our own need for Jesus Christ.
Heres the thing. We can live a good life without God. But its impossible to blast-off
without an active relationship to Jesus Christ. We need God to blast-off. We need God. Our
world needs God.
The story that we heard today makes the point. Acts 2 is my favorite chapter in the Bible.
If you ever want to know about my vision Chain of Lakes read Acts 2.
There are a lot of amazing parts to this chapter. One amazing part is the difference
between the people at the start of this chapter compared to the end of the chapter. At the start of
the chapter the people were demoralized. Jesus wasnt physically with them anymore. They
werent sure about their future. Then (then, then). Then the Spirit moved. It was like a rocket
launch. Blast-off.
Youll read about what happened this week. It was bewildering, it was amazing, it was
literally like something had happened that was out-of-this world.
People were confused with what happened.

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Peter stood to restore order. He explained that what had just happened was the
movement of the Holy Spirit. He went on to share with them the story of Jesus. He told them
that prophets who had lived many years ago had predicted that Jesus would come. He was the
Messiah. He had died, but death couldnt capture him. He was raised from the dead. Then God
put Jesus at his right hand in heaven. This was the story.
When this crowd heard Peter preach they were cut to the heart. They were touched.
They were moved.
Did you all hear about the Taylor Swift concert this weekend. Taylor Swift is one of my
favorite artists. We were celebrating my grandmothers birthday, so we didnt go to the concert.
I can imagine what it felt like to be at the Excel Center. There was an energy and enthusiasm.
Something was moving through their collective hearts. Im not talking about Taylor Swift
anymore. Im talking about what was happening to the people in this story in Acts 2. The
people were cut to the heart. God had blasted off in their hearts.
They asked the question, what should we do? Peter told the people to repent. The
word repent comes from the Greek word metanoia. Ive taught you this before, but repent means
turning. It is a turning to God. Its a constant turning to God. Repentance is a one-time Ive
accepted Jesus into my heart moment. It is much more than that. It is a daily turning to God.
Every day we turn; every day we go deeper; every day we become more of who God wants us to
When we turn to God repent we experience things that we can never experience through
a good life or through technology. We blast-off.
There are a lot of things that we receive from God that we dont receive from a phone.
Let me share four gifts that we receive from God.

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When we repent we are able to receive and give forgiveness. Relationships are not that
different in 2015 compared to 1914. They are hard. When we are having a hard time in a
relationship an app on a phone isnt going to help us. Instead were called to download God.
Technology wont help us forgive. But God will. We can blast-off
When we repent we are given the gift of salvation. We cant download an app for
salvation. Instead were called to download God. Technology has extended our life, but it wont
help us live forever. We receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you are interested in
salvation I would encourage you to open up the gift that is Jesus Christ. Through salvation we
can blast-off.
When we repent we discover our own identity. I have a term called the Inspirational
Intersection. The Inspirational Intersection is a process of discovery. We discover the
intersection between what God wants us to do and what we want to do. At this intersection is a
place of tremendous passion, and imagination, and love. We cant download an app to find this
place. We discover it when we down load God. When we discover our Inspirational Intersection
we can blast-off.
Finally when we repent we have a role model for our life. Jesus Christ is our role model.
He teaches us how to love. We can read books about how to conduct our life. I can give you
four words for you to conduct your life. Love as Jesus loved. If you find yourself having to
make a hard decision right now, just remember those four words. Love as Jesus loved. When
we live out those four words in our life we can blast-off.
When we blast-off we connect to something that is out of this world. We connect to God.
Our lives are completely different. We live with an assurance and a lightness that we cant find
anyplace else. When we see pain in the world we dont judge it, we want to help.

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At Chain of Lakes we want to be part of a movement to end homelessness among

teenagers. What motivates us is our faith. We want to see the Kingdom of God here on earth.
We want to see our world blast-off.
Last week I asked people to share knowing Jesus changed my life. I had the privilege of
reading what many of you wrote. I wanted to share one response I received.
By having Jesus in my life I have learned to accept and love people for who they are, including
myself. By accepting my flaws and knowing my strengths and weaknesses. Jesus has also
opened my eyes to nature and the beautiful wonders of creation that so many of us take for
granted. With all the pressure and expectations from social media, Jesus accepts and loves me
for who I am. Jesus teaches me how to be compassionate and how to be a good friend and
mentor. By sharing my gifts with others and showing people the word of God, I feel worthy.
Isnt that beautiful? Heres the thing. This could have been written in 1914 or 1814 or 114.
These words are timeless because Jesus is timeless. This person has blasted off. They are one of
billions of people in the history of the world whose lives are different because of their
relationship to Jesus Christ.
This is what I want for all of you. At Chain of Lakes Church we want to be a movement
of people connected to Jesus Christ who want to change the world. Are you with me?
Let me close by sharing two resources to help us blast-off.
One is this prayer card. As a reminder of this day Im going to ask our ushers to hand
everyone of us this prayer card. I want to challenge you to put this in a place that youll see
often. If youre a guy, put it in your billfold. If youre a gal, tape it to your mirror. I wrote a
short prayer on the prayer card. I want to encourage you to pray it every day this week.
Here it is:
Today I repent and turn to you. I offer my life in response to the grace shared
with me through Jesus. On this day may my actions reflect your love. Help me bless people in
an extraordinary way. I look forward to working with other to create your kingdom. Through
my faith may I blast off.

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The second resource is that I want to encourage you to dream. Ive given you this green

How would I like my faith to blast-off?