Month: November 2014
November 29, 2014
“The Bible tells a story of a people who lost their connection with God. They were like a country that used to have electricity running through its wires. The Law that was supposed to build their character, teach them holiness and define boundaries in their relationship with God, became nothing more than one more oppression in an oppressive society. Rather than a goal of being perfect in love, they’d become sticklers for perfection. That pursuit made them angry and bitter people. They were starving, spiritually. Imprisoned by a system of obedience that stole their smiles.
Live like that long enough and either your heart grows hard or you start longing for life beyond the borders. Paul didn’t exactly long for that life, but when he encountered it on a road between cities he found it irresistible. Jesus himself walked Paul across the border into freedom, where Paul discovered those things like love, joy and peace that make life worth living.”
November 27, 2014
“There are things that you and I can never do for Christ and the kingdom by ourselves. We have to be a part of a body, a community. This is especially true in the use of our money.”
November 22, 2014
“Every time you think you’re the only honest person left, every time you think there are no good men or no good women left, God who is the One and Only whispers back: You’re NOT the only one. The One And Only has the ideal number of people to surround you, to advise you, to walk alongside you, to make you realize that there are a lot more trustworthy people than you realize because God is at work in every life on the planet!”
November 20, 2014
“Our use of consensus would not be a litmus test, nor a safeguard, nor an effort to prove something. It would be a spiritual ingredient of our relationship. We would be committed to hear each other, learn from each other, and bring forth the best in each other. Consensus would not mean that the many would hold out, or gang up on a few until they abandoned their position, or came around to what a majority wanted to do. It meant that God’s will was so important to each person that nothing else mattered.”
November 19, 2014
“Bearing a cross is humbly accepting difficult circumstances over which we have no control. Taking up a cross is embracing the will of God and choosing that which is painful when we could do otherwise. It is voluntarily suffering that which we find distasteful because to do so will further us along the path toward Christ. It is doing the good we know to be right and true, not only when it is convenient, but when we find it most inopportune.”
November 17, 2014
“This Thanksgiving and Christmas, we need food pantries and nonprofit organizations, churches and kind social workers, homeless shelters and business donations, we need Good Samaritan funds and people who order a coffee in the drive-thru for the guy with the sign at the intersection. The Church is really good at putting programming in place.
Only when you’re at the end of your rope, it’s not always programming that you need. In fact, programming can be a tool to distance ourselves from uncomfortable need.”
November 15, 2014
“Come to me, all ye who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest…” Do you need rest? Are you yoked with Christ?
November 13, 2014
“To discern God’s will, two basic understandings must be fixed in one’s prayer life and personal theology: first, God is good! If you don’t hold that basic conviction, why would you want to know God’s will? Second, communication with God is possible.”
November 12, 2014
“Did your family have a kid’s table? Mine did. This was actually a fun experience, but as you age, you wonder when you might be given a chance to sit at the real table. Though we can joke about these memories, in reality there are people in our world who are wanting and waiting for their chance to gather around the table. This Thanksgiving let’s remember to invite all to the feast and to the table of grace.”
November 10, 2014
“Despite my excellent undergraduate education preparing me for Christian ministry, despite my thoroughly-enjoyed seminary training, I don’t remember any discussions on how to provide pastoral care during a plague. Of all people, though, Christians must be conversant in the language of mortality, fluent in the evils of death and the beauty of resurrection, articulate in tragedy and triumph. What else is the rhythm of the church year for, but to practice us in the art of living the pattern of Kingdom life, of Christ-life, of birth, death, and resurrection? We must talk of these things if we have any hope of acting on them, putting hands to ideas. We must all find our inner Mother Teresa and touch the dying – even if you choose to wear three layers of gloves.”