Saturday, November 03, 2012
Saturday, August 04, 2012
I just had one of those infrequent interactions with an institutional church. I was part of a memorial service for a long time brother in Christ. A few days after the event I was the happy recipient of what I would call a "touch of warmth" from the church. This "touch" came as a form letter. It listed their service times and they were sure to thank me for worshiping with them. "How touching and personal" I thought tossing this waste of paper into the trash. Another reason the institutional church has no appeal to me. Nothing says we love you and care about you like a well crafted form letter complete with a high quality signature stamp.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
In Jesus Christ is all that we need to live a full and happy life. I am fairly confident that most Christians would agree with this statement. So why is it that we, the church, act as if Jesus were not enough? Many Christians will not let go of the law. They still cling to such Old Testament concepts as tithing and holy days. Others become obsessed with theology and pet doctrines such as "King James Only" or "Calvinism".
The message of the church is pretty clear; "Jesus is not enough for us". Just like the ancients before us we long to have a god we could see and touch. Israel wanted a human king rather than have God as their king. The church too desires a king in the form of a pastor rather than the Holy Spirit. Living by Grace is not enough for us, we need a library of self-help books and church programs to prop us up.
Jesus is enough. I need no other shepherd. I need no buildings or holy days. I need no labels or pet doctrines. I need no law but love, no rule but grace, no king but Jesus.
Is Jesus enough for you?
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Jesus is not nice. He can be blunt, even rude.
- A woman came to him for help and he insults her ethnicity.
- He tells another woman that she doesn't know what she's talking about when it comes to religion.
- He has no respect for the clergy, even to the point of mockery.
- He has no sense of decorum in the house of God.
- He tells his best friend that he speaks for Satan
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
For Christ sent me, not to give baptism, but to be a preacher of the good news: not with wise words, for fear that the cross of Christ might be made of no value. 1Cor. 1:17
Paul certainly had focus. He had a laser sharp focus. We believers get so obsessed about baptism, communion and the right way to do church that we lose of our central mission. We are here to announce the good news to the poor, to bring healing to the broken and recovery of sight to the blind.
Now that Easter is past are you getting ready for Pentecost? Let's ask the Jesus to refresh us with His Holy Spirit and set us ablaze with a passion to bring the great news to the world.
Don't worry if you don't have a lot of fancy words, the cross speaks for itself.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
I have always believed the Gospel is to be offered freely without charge. It bugs me when I see so-called ministries charging for their services. Up until now I did not have a word for this activity but the other day I came across the term Simony. It's an old word, but I think it's time to revive it in Christian circles. Can you imagine Jesus offering his "Sermon on the Mount" audio series for a one time gift of a hundred dollars? How about Peter charging fees to provide coaching to church planters? It would have been ridiculous then and it's ridiculous now.
Come Lord Jesus and separate the sheep from the goats.
Like wolves they feast themselves on your people and satisfy themselves with your lambs.
They speak from their own minds with boasting words and for a fee prophesy lies.
But you Lord, offered yourself freely for the sake of love.
You poured yourself out and gave all for your bride.
May we follow your example and give our all to you and you alone.
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."Jeremiah 23:1
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
He could have remained far above us in his holy heaven. Angels attend him and perfection surrounds him, but he did not remain removed and aloof; God came down to us. In fact, he actually became one of us. He shared in our pain, our sweat, our grime.
He could have written us off. He could have decided we were not worth the effort. If we destroyed each other, that was our problem. Love compelled him. Love could not sit idle while humanity continued it's steady slide into self destruction. Love had to intervene.
He could have just sent us a bible and left it at that, but that would not do. He could have sent an angel or a prophet but he did more than that; he came in person. He did not want to just tell us the message of salvation he decided to be our salvation. He wanted us to see, feel and know clearly that he loves us and wants us to be with him.
Behold, the Word made flesh. God among us.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Every year our family celebrates Advent. It's a great way to lead the family in our devotion to Christ. We light the candles, read scripture, sing hymns and discuss the deeper things of life. I believe every man is pastor of his own family and that church-life begins at home. That may sound a bit chauvinistic in this modern day, but it has been my experience that most christian women have a strong desire for their husbands to take the lead in spiritual things. If you are tired of the commercialism of the holidays, perhaps it's time to make a change?
How do you take the lead in your family to prepare for the advent of the king?
Friday, September 10, 2010
Outlive Your Life, by Max Lucado
When I first saw this book I was a bit wary of the title. I was wondering if it was going
to be another one of those positive self-help books promising happiness and roses if we
follow the authors ten step plan. I was surprised to find a book that actually challenged
my thinking about living out my faith. The real life stories of every day people
doing awesome things was encouraging and scary at the same time. Encouraging
because these every day Joes or as Max called them Mr. Pot Roast, were just like me
and scary for the same reason. I was inspired by the interspersion of prayer at the conclusion of each chapter. If your a couch potato with no interest in helping others then this book
is not for you, but if you have any inclination to live beyond yourself this is
a good place to start. You can make a difference just by buying the book. The profits
from the book are going to be donated to World Vision, so go ahead, Outlive Your Life.
I was provided a copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson. If you have a blog and
like to read/review books check out their program at http://booksneeze.com.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I'm not sure I have ever met a real prophet, I may have and not known it. I do have some thoughts on what a real prophet would look like.
- A real prophet would speak by the Spirit and have no need of human dramatics.
- A real prophet would point people to Jesus and make Christ the center of attention.
- A real prophet would speak about real things, not just empty wish fulfillment.
- A real prophet would be hated by the world, because the world hates the one he speaks for.
- A real prophet would not be quick to speak in Jesus name, knowing he will have to give account for every word.
- A real prophet would not need to advertise, his reputation would precede him.
- A real prophet would not appeal for money, he knows who meets his needs.
- A real prophet would not manipulate or control people, we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.
- A real prophet would accept feedback graciously, because the church has the right to judge prophecy.
- A real prophet would make mistakes, he is just a brother after all.
- A real prophet would admit he made mistakes, he knows there is only one perfect with all knowledge.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
I've been recently introduced to a HC blogger in the Portland area. His site is a good read. I like the title: "The Ekklesia in Southern Maine" It's exciting to read the adventures of a fellow traveler out here on the fringes of this thing we call church. I pray that the Father may direct Dan and company through the spirit of wisdom and knowledge in Christ.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Billy Grahams update of his 1992 apocalyptic commentary, conveys a message of hope and warning. Using the metaphor of gathering storms, he presents a way out and a place of safety for those willing to embrace the truth. Billy artfully draws comparisons between the four horseman of John's revelation and current events. Generously sprinkled with insightful anecdotes from his many years in ministry, I found this book to be an overall compelling read. Billy Graham does one thing and he does it well; he relates the gospel to the times he is in. He pulls no punches when it comes to addressing the needs of the human heart.
I'm not usually a fan of doomsday books, but when I saw that this one was written by an elder statesman of the faith, I thought it would be worth a look. I would say that this was not really a commentary on the book of Revelation as much as a backdrop for the Gospel message that Billy has preached for so many years. A message I am convinced the world needs, more today than at any other time. I was touched and inspired by his stories, drawn from a life lived to the full.
The book did suffer from thematic inconsistency at times. I found the switching of metaphor's to be a bit tedious. It seemed to vacillate between a bible commentary and an evangelistic sermon, but I guess that's what Billy does best; preaching the gospel. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting to ask questions about the gospel.
I was provided a copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson. If you have a blog and like to read/review books check out their program at http://booksneeze.com.