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Showing posts from 2015

Gaining (Glorious) Weight - 2 Cor 4:16

What Is Your Axehead?

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Today I was reflecting on that story about the Axe head that dropped into the water by a prophet Habitat for Humanity volunteer (2 Kings 6). Elisha hears the concern "it was borrowed" and helps out BY MAKING THE AXE HEAD FLOAT! That's cool in itself but there as something that stuck me this time unlike before: There is no concern I have that is too small for God. That truth hit me so hard tears came to my eyes because of the beauty in its contemplation, "My God cares ... About everything ... About me."

I can imagine the Axe head came off by stupidity, but perhaps it didn't, maybe it just came off. I can imagine the prophet whispering "Uh-oh!" To his friend and both fishing for it in their hands and perhaps stepping on it like idiots and pushing it under even further like I would do. However, let's say it was the worse case scenario and everything bad and wrong and screwed up did happen--I was an idiot and stood too close to the water and "…

Grace Extensions

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AS GRACE EXTENDS  SO THE GLORY GOES 2Cor 4:14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that asgrace extends to more and more people it mayincrease thanksgiving, to the glory (revealing? Fame? Beauty?) of God.
I am somewhat new to the hair style scene. At least to the scene that requires extensions. I asked my wife about a lady's hair and how beautiful it was and she remarked back, "Oh you mean her extensions?" After an explanation I was lead to believe that the extensions were not a part of the lady's real hair, but it did make it look more beautiful.
Extensions not only are for making things longer and more attractive but also for assisting in our getting across or over something that is in our way--a hindrance or hurdle. Take extension ladders for example. When you slide the extension part of the ladder up for use it allows for us to be able to reach much higher t…

GLORY WASHED & IN YOUR FACE

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2COR 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Gospel (open statement of the truth) + veiled conscience (by Satan) + those who are perishing  = opportunity for God to shine His light!  = seeing the light…

Incarnate vs. Excarnate

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Michael Frost shared in an interview* about his book, Incarnate, discussed what the Church can do to counter the "defleshing" character of today's digitized culture. He speaks about the "excarnation" of our disembodied social networking and how it contributes to such things as violence and porn.

"My concern is that many people don't think hard enough about the way technology is shaping interpersonal relationships," Frost states, and believes "we need to live fully embodied existence, in community, and in place." 
I totally resonate with what Frost is saying not only by observation in the church I worship in but also in my own home. I personally do not believe the worship service is a place where we allow our children to sit next to playing a game or having earbuds in on a device. You might disagree that this is no different than writing, drawing, coloring, but I see a big difference. You can listen to what is being said while doing the la…

SonTanned

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THE GLORY SHINE –or- SON-TANNED ON the 10th of September, we remember Moses’ descent from Mt. Sinai. What once came with glory, a glory that was displayed on Moses’ face--a radiance that disabled people from looking Moses in the eye--not only came to an end but was drained of its glory because something better was to come along: the permanent ministry of the Holy Spirit in working righteousness. Let’s not forget why Moses’ face shone = because he had spoken to the LORD. The people could not look intently into Moses’ face so he put a veil over his face so people would not be afraid to come near him; but when he spoke with God he would take the veil away. In Exodus 34:28-35, we read that Moses wasn't even aware that his face had become "radiant" ["horned" = to push with horns, so there was a radiant quality that pushed]. And so it is with us.
We can hope in this "pushy glory" because it is eternal yet present with us—we are experiencing something from God…

Waiting Around Sloppy

Most of us are just waiting around in life. Oh, we have a schedule to keep, make lists perhaps, have a pretty good idea of how the day is going to go; but most of us don't initiate anything. It's a "get up out of bed then live life until we go back to bed" sort of existence. We may gain something from being with friends, family, getting that paycheck on Friday, sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays, but when Monday comes back around its "same o, same o." I wonder if people tire of this "do it again" existence. 
Jesus told a parable about some guys who were just waiting around. In the parable the master hires the guys to go work in his field and they seemed excited to do so...for pay. There is more to this parable but I wonder if this waiting around problem isn't new to my day ... To me?
I have been feeling like I have just been waiting around. It's safe, just waiting. Besides the Bible gives a promise to those who wait ... Who wait upon the L…

A Joshua-Veneered Judges

Without challenge there will be no growth. Without expectation there will be no challenge. Why is it that we think if we expect "too much" out of people they will turn away? Didn't Jesus issue commands and ultimatums? Why should His Church not remind His people of these things?

I was challenged by a statement from someone in Sunday School that people "like" the way things are going. This "liking-ness" caused me to ponder the "state of the union" and internalize a "declaration of dependence" for the name of Christ. I repeat, Without challenge there will be no growth. Without expectation there will be no challenge. I do not want to bow down to "likingness" as the test for spiritual growth. What I see in fruitfulness is sporadic unquestionable commitment.An abandonment to the statements of Christ across the board. This is reflected in the hard work of hospitality we lack in our home-model of being the body of Christ.

What …

Rethinking the Youth Pastor

I read an article recently that put into words some of the things I have been thinking about regarding youth pastors, more specifically, should churches hire "youth pastors" any more. April Diaz's comments were on track with several things I have been contemplating after growing up in church (18 years of embeded ministry) and being involved in youth ministry (volunteer+part-time+full-time ministry) for around 30 years.

You can read the article here: http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/articles/redefining-the-youth-worker

Here are some highlights from that article:

Hiring a "Student Integration Pastor"
Changing the title from Youth Pastor of Director of Youth Ministries isn't enough, but one that reflects the "Philosophical Shifts" the church is seeking to make.

Integrating teenagers into the life of the church is an "all-church" mentality, project, and overall big idea.

Creating a third culture = a “new way” of not doing ministry but of bei…

I Believe I Can ... Not Fly ... Yet

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My 5 year old did something a couple of years ago that still has me wondering, but I might have figured it out today. Funny how itty-bitty kiddos can do that to educated adults!

Our friend and neighbor Tom came over and walked into our house. Jonathan was SO excited when he saw Tom that he screamed, "TOM!" and then, while at top scream, head stretched to the ceiling, and looking like he wanted to fly, tried! But obviously failed.

The realization that he didn't fly came across his face with confusion--and it is that act and look that has stuck with me. HOW could this kid think he could fly?

I have moved on (a little) to thinking more about the belief leading to fearless action, however trial it was and however leading to error it became. What would I do if I believed in some things THAT much? Sure, I could have some bruises, cuts, scrapes, and such; but what else might I gain? I actually might succeed and do the proverbial walk on water! After all, Peter did.

One thing i…

This Otherwise Category [James 2]

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"Just Thinking About Jesus"

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I was wondering today about how I could start meaningful, spiritual conversations with others whom I know are not Christians but perhaps once were. I wondered how I would come across if I was deep in thought and he or she asked me, "What are you so deep in thought about?" and I replied, "I was just thinking about Jesus." I wouldn't want it to be annoying, just bridging.

I was reading over an article adapted from The Evangelism Study Bible, that explored responding to people who have had a bad experience with Christianity. I found their five reminders worth repeating and good for keeping in the back of your mind, once practiced in your "holy imagination" (aka, spiritual reflection).

1. Don't be defensive. Remembering that it isn't so much that you do not agree, but HOW you disagree that will stick in their minds when they walk away. Take into yourself their comments as if you were the one who did them wrong and then reflect it back to them; wit…