2008/03/29

New Wineskins With Old Lessons

These are challenging times and as I was praying about this, I was reminded that the transition we are experiencing may be as significant as the infiltration of Assyria and Babylon into Judea and Israel. I would like to think that I have a say in my own destiny but that is not often the case. The idea that everything that had become secure in their religion was being destroyed from these enemies beyond their boundaries caused doubt about God's care for the Israelites.

As the foundations of America continue to erode (not the fault of the politicians but I BELIEVE it is the judgment of God), we must redefine what it means to worship and obey. The future depends upon our learning from the despair of the ancient Israelites that even though circumstances are changing, God is still in control even if we lose the type of worship that has become so comfortable.

2008/03/28

True Integrity

True integrity goes beyond human communication and involves the very Truth of God. We think we are being honest but it is easy to deceive ourselves into thinking we are truthful when in reality we are communicating at a level in which we think the other person is informed. When their questions or comments expose our limited expression of truth, we are forced to confess the truth or we hedge with comments or use avoidance that diffuse our masked truth in order to save face.

As we continue at this level of integrity, we are deceiving ourselves and the Truth continues to knock on our hearts and minds, calling us to repentance. If we ignore this call, we learn to live a life of partial truths, which compromise our witness. Christ is calling us to live at a higher level of Truth which is impossible without the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

2008/03/25

Becoming Like Children

All that is good in life is found in a toddler who has been surrounded and nurtured with love. Their ready acceptance of people and their desire to please are attributes that should be maintained through out life. Their desire to learn and listen, constantly opening themselves to more knowledge, are focused on information but more importantly on relationships.

Even their acts of disobedience should be seen as attempts to learn. When one responds to these with loving direction, they learn trust and assurance along with their "discipline."

This may be one of the reasons Jesus stated that we should become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

2008/03/17

Losing the Meaning of a Holy Day

We are approaching the most significant day on the Christian calendar, Easter.

Is this day any more than just another holiday, a day to have sometime off of work? Is it more than a day to mark the transition from winter to spring and the benefits of the season which are colorful as a multitude of hues sprinkle the landscape?

How will the populace know of the meaning of the resurrection of Christ, if we continue to separate the church population from the general public? It is no longer a time in which people will be attracted to the church but it is a time in which the church needs to be attracted to the people.

Christ's commands should ring true in our ears, "GO into all the world and make disciples!" He also challenges us to bid the populace to come, but they will not come unless we GO!"

2008/03/12

PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES, It Must Be an Election Year

Nature recovers from its long winter nap as we observe the signs of spring popping around us. The browns and grays of January and February give way to the greens and yellows of April and May.
If life were just this simple. We could take the current mess that surrounds us and allow it to die. Then after a period of time, when the past problems are no longer pressing, we could start afresh. It maybe this is why bears hibernate each winter.
If one were to believe the persons running for the presidency of the United States, it could be concluded that if they were elected as president, we would be gaining this fresh start. After a period of several years, all of the current problems would have disappeared. IF we benefit from any of their campaign promises, we would have few if any concerns for the future.
The challenge of the presidency—as compared to running for it—is the difference between feeling the heat of the sun on a warm spring day and attempting to live on the sun. If one is not facing the daily decisions of a president, one can expound on how things would be so much better if the buck stopped with them.
At the end of their term, the next set of candidates will change little in their rhetoric as they again promise us a fresh start under their leadership. The process is cyclical with the only changes being different candidates espousing their opinions and promises.
The good news is that there is a way in which the old can be put death and a person can experience newness in life. This promise was made by a person outside of the powerful, political elite. It was made without a national chairperson to oversee the process.
As Jesus made his claims, he emptied himself; he became death, so that we could experience life from a fresh perspective. This life is not lived in the public spotlight but rather in the daily relationships of family, friends, and neighbors. Rather than promises of plenty, we receive assurances of peace. Rather than promises of significance, we receive assurances of love. Rather than promises of cooperation, we receive assurances of life.

2008/03/07

Servants of Christ GET BUSY!!!!!!

I can not help but reflect on a mother who took the life of her young child. Granted it appears as accident with the mother losing control of her temper. However, an entire family pays the price for one incident (at least as far as I know it is an isolated occurrence). Now four siblings and a husband will be without a mother and a wife, IF she is found guilty.

Those of us who adhere to being followers of Jesus Christ must lay aside so much of the busyness of the church as we have determined the work of the church to be and become involved in the lives of people. In a culture in which personal expression becomes increasingly vogue, it is mandatory that the church speak truth into the lives of people.

Jesus challenged the religious leaders of his day by noting that they win converts to their lifestyle rather than developing a loving relationship between God and people and between believers and our neighbors. It is time for church people to march in obedience to the work and calling of Jesus.

2008/03/03

TENUOUS: Life is

The frailty of life is driven home each time I visit our local children's hospital. They handle some of the severest cases from around the state and they do admirable work. However, the sad fact remains, our children die from a variety of causes (some probably preventable) in a land that considers itself to be one of the most civilized nations on earth.

Is there not something that we can do to alleviate these dire circumstances? My hope in humanity continues to erode as we tolerate drunk drivers, abusive persons, child predators....I see only one hope for the human cause and it is the investigation of the person of Jesus Christ...not the Jesus of the Western church but the Jesus of the Bible! It is time for a renewed faith to permeate the Bride of Christ.