Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Isaiah 45:18-25 For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. "I am the LORD," he says, "and there is no other. I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found...For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to me. " The people will declare, "The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength."
COMMENT: I can't improve on this. What a bold and audacious act - to declare such words in a time of transition, when God's people have known nothing but absence, loss, and displacement in exile. In times like these, God's people remember and confess: "The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength." Today, in a failing economy... at the end of a season of personal transition, loss, and displacement... when the cries of despair would drown out the whisper of hope... these words, however audacious, still sustain - for they are the words of the living God - offering a future that is filled with hope.
Soli Deo gloria
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ephesians 5:1-2 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
He was a good minister with 9 years experience behind him, but new to this congregation. His wife and their three pre-school children had won the hearts of the congregation during the first 3 months of pastor/people honeymoon. The church embraced his children, shared their love with the pastoral family in very tangible ways, and listened with joy and receptivity to his creative "new style" of preaching. Life was good. It was heaven on earth!
But then, all hell broke loose. One of the children's workers made an unwise decision and, for a brief moment, lost track of one of the children in her charge. No one was hurt, and the children's worker, a new Christian, was deeply remorseful. The child's parents were gracious, understanding, and forgiving. Only a few people even knew what had happened. In an effort to protect the young Christian children's worker, the pastor, after putting several safeguards in place, chose to keep the children's worker in the ministry she loved. But Sue would not let it go. She wasn't even there when it happened, but she was sure she was right and this pastor was endangering the children... so she started her campaign. Board members were called and fed misinformation. District leadership was notified and an investigative committee was created. Lines were drawn and another permanent tear occured in the body of Christ.
Several months later, the church is much smaller, but, says Sue, they are stronger in spirit. The young Christian who worked with children is no longer part of that fellowship - or any fellowship for that matter. Rather, she is looking for love in all the wrong places these days, trying to drown the memories of a broken faith. The pastor is finding new life in a new church in a new denomination.
And they'll know we are Christians by our...
Soli Deo gloria
Monday, January 26, 2009
Mark 3:13-15 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons.