Month: October 2015
October 29, 2015
Jesus reminds us that if we keep a seed in our hands and clutch it with a closed fist, it will never grow. We must open our hands and let go of the seed. The problem is that many of us are living with closed hands. When we live like that, nothing can grow either within us or within others.
October 26, 2015
I think the deepest appeal of Wesleyan theology is that is heartily affirms a God who is truly good and sincerely loves all persons. God does not determine, God empowers, enables, encourages. And the message that God loves us and wants to empower us to love him back, as well as each other is a message of great hope. No one has been “passed over” or determined by God for eternal misery and damnation. To the contrary, there is hope for everyone, and the resources of grace are available to transform even those persons who may seem most hopeless in our eyes.
October 24, 2015
Our Lord said she had great faith because she wanted just a little. “Just a little from the Lord’s table will do me.”
October 22, 2015
For example, we often describe a “sacrament” as an outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace, but then we limit ourselves by thinking of sacraments only in terms of the two which Christ established: baptism and the Eucharist. Wesley, on the other hand, prodded us to think more deeply and expansively about all the means of grace which, for Wesley, is a much larger category than baptism and Eucharist. John Paul II makes the point that Christ is not the only one who provides sacramental means of grace. There are sacraments which flow from the Father and the Spirit. We will actually explore how marriage is the primordial sacrament later in this series. But, for now, let us lay the groundwork that your physical body itself is a kind of sacrament. It is an outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace, because we have been created in the image of God.
October 21, 2015
You may never know the great power that a simple word of love can have on a person, but I encourage you to share love with others. It will never leave my memory. Though a lot of time has passed through the years, the memory of a mentor’s words at a critical time in my life will never fade.
October 19, 2015
For many of us, when we read the Bible, we read it from the perspective of people who need encouragement, therapy, challenge, hope, or even love. These are all good things that we do, indeed, need. But usually these needs arise from a larger situation that involves someone or something hurting us. For example, we need encouragement because a boss is berating us. We need therapy because of a conflict in our family of which we see ourselves as the victim. We need challenge because we find it hard to keep pressing on. We need hope because our situation seems hopeless. And we need love because we lack self-esteem.
Again, these are all fine. But I wonder if they don’t eventually become habits of reading that blind us to other things we may need.
October 17, 2015
The heartbeat of the Church is Christ. We’re only here because of him; because of his love. Christ is the reason we are. Christ is all our reasons.
October 15, 2015
Fall is a season of celebrating God’s bounty, and gratefulness should overflow and splash out onto everyone you come in contact with. Yet, there is an urgency to autumn. You are driven to harvest what you have planted. To reap what you have sown. To store up the results of spring’s work and summer’s care. To feast on a harvest of righteousness, if that’s indeed what you’ve planted and nurtured. Though a physical fattening up for the winter is no longer something we North Americans have a need for, it is imperative that you fatten your soul on spiritual disciplines throughout the spring and summer, but especially in the fall, if you expect to survive the soul’s winter.
October 14, 2015
“I hope you’ll always remember that God loves you so much—more than I can even say—and has a wonderful plan for your life. We at the Church are here to help you discover the special life that God made you to live.”
October 12, 2015
We carry our great preachers around in the corners of our soul. They wait there to surprise us. They wait there to revive us.