Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shaking Foundations

Have you thought about the words Jesus used, "Our Father Who art in Heaven"?

Take a moment and ponder the magnitude of those two simple words - Our Father...Do you see it?

WE take them for granted. But, put yourselves in the place of the hearers of those words for the first time in history. For centuries they were told to not take the LORD'S Name in vain. They were told of the miracles of YHWH in hushed, reverent tones. HE was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was inscrutable.

And then, "Our Father". *SNAP* Religious foundations were shaken to their core.

For the first time since the Fall, the Creator was...FATHER! Intimate, familial.

And Jesus didn't say MY Father - He said OUR Father. *CRACK*

These two simple words forever changed how we could think about God, how we could perceive we could KNOW Him.

He indeed IS knowable and desires an intimate relationship with His children. He is, after all, OUR FATHER.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jehovah's Witness

Had some JW's visit our house yesterday. Of course I hid from them and acted like I wasn't home - I know, I'm a coward. Just didn't feel like debating them in my doorway.

They left a tract in our door. Unlike them, I can read literature from places I might not agree with and not become "tainted" (?) by it.

Anyway, while reading through it, I realized that they were using as their basis for a particular doctrine the book of Ecclesiastes. And I just wonder if we should use that book in formulating a deep truth - especially the conclusion they were drawing from it? I don't know. Also, they drew from Psalms. If we are going to proof-text, I'm sure we can find anything that will fit our particular view. However, doesn't it depend on the context?

What if the Psalmist was just making a rhetorical point? Again, I don't know. But the argument they were making just seemed specious and reaching to me.

Latest Church Sign

"Righteousness is Right - Try it!"

How about "Christ is Your Righteousness - Receive it!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Season's of Our Life

I was FB chatting with a friend this morning about my experience when I went to a Sunday night service at my mother's IB church recently.

THAT season of my life is over. That is, for me, I no longer see that as something I would ever see as an obligation or even having any value - again, FOR ME. It has been honed to a sleek "service" that you could predict at almost any church in the country.

And I wonder, how much true Life is there? Oh,there are a lot of smiles and good music, but is there really anything under the surface? I asked this exact question recently to someone who still goes there - if he were to openly question a deeply held Baptist distinctive, how long does he think it would take for people to start to pull away from him?

I think he would be shocked how shallow and conditional those relationships really are - I've seen it for myself. Start asking HONEST questions, and people become really uncomfortable, and people don't LIKE discomfort, so they just avoid it...and you.

Like I've said before, I couldn't have begun this journey if I had remained at my church. I am thankful for God's leading in my life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Walking by Faith

(Thanks to Steve McVey for this video)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Marrying Kahlil Gibran and AW Tozer Together

Thanks to Jamie for re-introducing Kahlil Gibran to me after many years.

I came across this quote from him, "All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."

This reminded me of a quote by Mr. Tozer, "God is always bigger than anything God can say, because words are inadequate to express God and what God can do. Any promise God ever made, God has to fulfill it. The reason being, God is so great, His heart so kind and His desire so intense and tremendous that language does not express it. Not the Greek, not the English, no language expresses God. It cannot. If language could contain God then language would be equal to God"

To "marry" the two together, the written words that we have in front of us are merely CRUMBS compared to the actual MIND and GOODNESS of God.

WORDS cannot contain all that God thinks or says, but are merely a minute TASTE of the entire thing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore

Here is a link to Jake Colsen's (nee Wayne Jacobsen) book, So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore.

It's in PDF form and a short read.

One of my favorite books of all time.

From the website:

So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore
is Jake’s compelling journal that chronicles thirteen conversations with his newfound friend over a four-year period and how those exchanges turn Jake’s world upside-down. With his help, Jake faces his darkest fears, struggles through brutal circumstances and comes out on the other side in the joy and freedom he always dreamed was possible.

If you’re tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it really means to live deeply in Christ, you’ll find Jake’s story will give you hope for your own. This book probes the difficult questions and offers some far-reaching answers. It just might turn your world upside-down as well!

The Second Call

The second journey begins when we know we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the morning program. We are aware that we only have a limited amount of time left to accomplish that which is really important – and that awareness illumines for us what really matters, what really counts. This conviction provides a new center. We share the determination of John Henry Newman who, as his second journey comes to a close, heads home, sensing, “I have a work to do in England.”

For the Christian, this second journey usually occurs between the ages of thirty and sixty and is often accompanied by a second call from the Lord Jesus. The second call invites us to serious reflection on the nature and quality of our faith in the gospel of grace, our hope in the new and not yet, and our love for God and people. The second call is a summons to a deeper, more mature commitment of faith where the naivety, first fervor, and untested idealism of the morning and the first commitment have been seasoned with pain, rejection, failure, loneliness, and self-knowledge.

The call asks, Do you really accept the message that God is head over heals in love with you? I believe that this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually. If in our hearts we really don't believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the Cross.

From The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning