Advent is over. The time of anticipation of the Incarnation has passed and the Savior has come.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Advent is over. The time of anticipation of the Incarnation has passed and the Savior has come.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Here is my Christmas wish: that families be conscious of those who for whatever reason are not able to be with their families, whether the distance is physical or from family dysfunction. Yes, I know that Christmas is a big family holiday, and it is important to spend time together as a family, but if a family knows a single who will be alone, why not make that person a part of your celebration? Christmas day can be a very long day if you are alone, what with everything closed. After the family phone call, which may or may not be rewarding, that makes 15 hours and 30 minutes of the wake time of December 25 to deal with.
Trust me, that is a long time.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The crisis, I will argue, developed gradually over the course of several decades. We are not facing a short term business cycle downturn, but the working out of long-term social, political, and economic trends. The crisis, in many ways, is the culmination of an era--the baby boomer era--rather than of particular policies or presidents. It is also a bipartisan affair; both Democrats and Republicans have played their part in deepening the crisis. On many days it seems that the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Big Oil owns the Republicans while Wall Street owns the Democrats. By understanding the deep roots of the crisis, we can move beyond illusory solutions such as the "stimulus" spending of 2009-2010, the budget cuts of 2011, and the unaffordable tax cuts that are implemented year after year. These are gimmicks that distract us from the deeper reforms needed in our society.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Now while both P and C were definitely engaged in somewhat codependent fixing behavior, I was wrong in responding with so much anger. Do I need to make amends by apologizing or do they need to realize that they were trying to control and fix? I don't think I can try to do them both at the same time because it takes away from the sincerity of the apology to offer a criticism of their behavior. Yet it would be good for them to know that while their hearts were in the right place, their techniques left something to be desired.
I was all set to apologize tonight in writing but I forgot to follow through. So I figured I'd do it tonight in person. Well C. wasn't there and my first thought was that it was on account of our conversation and I felt responsible for that. And as soon as P. was near me to talk she started asking me what action I took and something else which sounded like more fixing--I ignored it. And I was like, is my saying sorry for reacting to fixing the most useful thing to do? So I held my tongue with the apology.
As I say, a problem.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on.
nor his ear too dull to hear.
2 But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4 No one calls for justice;
no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 They hatch the eggs of vipers
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are evil deeds,
and acts of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet rush into sin;
they are swift to shed innocent blood.
They pursue evil schemes;
acts of violence mark their ways.
8 The way of peace they do not know;
there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;
no one who walks along them will know peace.
9 So justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10 Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
among the strong, we are like the dead.
11 We all growl like bears;
we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none;
for deliverance, but it is far away.
12 For our offenses are many in your sight,
and our sins testify against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13 rebellion and treachery against the LORD,
turning our backs on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,
uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14 So justice is driven back,
and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The LORD looked and was displeased
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18 According to what they have done,
so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
and retribution to his foes;
he will repay the islands their due.
19 From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
that the breath of the LORD drives along.[a]
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
declares the LORD.
21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Lyrics and Music: Leila N. Morris
“Called unto holiness,” church of our God,
Purchase of Jesus, redeemed by His blood;
Called from the world and its idols to flee,
Called from the bondage of sin to be free.
“Holiness unto the Lord” is our watchword and song.
“Holiness unto the Lord” as we’re marching along.
Sing it, shout it, loud and long,
“Holiness unto the Lord,” now and forever.
“Called unto holiness,” children of light,
Walking with Jesus in garments of white;
Raiment unsullied, nor tarnished with sin;
God’s Holy Spirit abiding within.
“Called unto holiness,” praise His dear Name!
This blessed secret to faith now made plain:
Not our own righteousness, but Christ within,
Living, and reigning, and saving from sin.
“Called unto holiness,” bride of the Lamb,
Waiting the Bridegroom’s returning again!
Lift up your heads, for the day draweth near
When in His beauty the King shall appear.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
It's been a long time since I've been to a conference geared to ministers.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
32 And everyone who calls
on the name of the LORD will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the LORD has said,
even among the survivors
whom the LORD calls.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Scratch this newly minted United Methodist too hard and you find a Nazarene, a person committed to the idea that the Full Gospel includes the idea that the Holy Spirit works in the yielded heart to make a person look and act more and more like Christ.
It's funny, but since starting to attend a United Methodist church, I have come to appreciate this core doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene even more, as well as the wesleyan way of thinking and dealing with information. I am frequently thankful that I did not get saved in a Baptist church--I think the many places where Baptists are inflexible, and the rule against women in ministry would have annoyed me enough that I would have stepped on toes and it would have gotten unpleasant.
Joel 2 comes to mind especially this part--God is speaking through the prophet:
And afterward I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, men and women, I will pour out my Spirit on those days. (vv. 28-9 NIV)
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Cell phone picture isn't very clear but even so the styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s are in evidence...
Here they are posing outside the cell blocks.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Atheists--go find someplace else other than the comment section of news articles and photo essays about the tornado in Joplin to push your arrogant agenda. Your put downs and rudeness do absolutely nothing to help anyone.
You regularly object to calls to prayer or posters who state they are praying for the folks in Joplin and you mock God as you ask questions. You say prayer is doing nothing. So what is your mocking doing? Has that given anyone a drink of water lately?
I respect your right to question God, prayer, providence and all that. News forums, however, are not the best place to do it, especially when you are rude and stand behind your anonymous internet selves. Go down to your local coffee house, or better yet, a house of worship and ask your questions in person, under your own name.
If you really want to be of service, instead of spending time trying to dissuade people of "superstitious faith", go give to the charity of your choice that will help the people affected by the violent weather of the past weeks.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
I often agonise over how to share Christian faith. Being one who came to faith in an evangelical denomination, the importance of sharing one's faith and carrying out the mission of telling the world about Jesus was put front and center.
As I have matured as a Christ follower I have come to the conclusion that for the majority of people they are far better off thinking about sharing faith by doing and considering these three things:
1. Model: Witness--not lawyer. You are telling what has happened to you---what Christ has done for you, not arguing for Him. The Holy Spirit will guide you through the sticky spots, but preparation for the task of witnessing is not a bad thing. Which leads us to...
2. Be ready. "Be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within you" a paraphrase of 1 Peter 3:15. Know your Bible well enough that if you can't remember it, you can find it. Read an apologetics book or two--there are lots of them out there. Talk with friends who you know to be non- and nominal believers about spiritual things if they are willing, not trying to "convert" them--just listen! Know what your church offers and be ready to speak well of what your church community is good at or can do well. And remember the last part of Paul's instruction to Timothy--do it with "gentleness and respect." (NIV) This leads to the last point...
3. Live like Christ. Show the Fruits of the Spirit. Maybe this is just on my mind because we are having a sermon series on it right now, but if you live in a way that looks like Christ, people will wonder why and how and all that. When people ask, be a witness, just tell your story, naturally, like you would tell any story!
I would also add be humble, honest and authentic. Point to God not yourself, your pastor or your church.
So a conversation--a chance remark leads to a mention of a ministry, which leads to a exchange of info which leads to interest...you just never know how the Spirit will move or how He will guide! I was so blessed! :)
Monday, May 9, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:1-31 NIV