Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Last night, I met with the lead church planters and some of their key ministers in our area for a little get to know you powwow. It was quite refreshing. Conversations were edifying and encouraging as each revealed their passion, focus and desire to reach people for God and to participate in the redemption of the lost sheep of His pastures. I think what I appreciated the most was the intention of all at this meeting to truly seek to partner in ministry together. Now, I know that there are many churches and pastors/ministers out their who get together regularly and seek to unite in prayer and devotion to God however, an understanding of true partnership is substituted for an attitude of self promotion. On the other hand, I also know of many stories where churches were strongly divided and truly believe that it is their job to convert Christians from one way of church to another. Yes, I used the word convert. (more…)

Advertisements

Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm of all, only 176 verses. However, the beauty of this passage, as is the case of the Law, is not in its keeping but in its meditation.

What would happen, if we took the Law (Old and New) and read it, dwelt in it, meditated on it, memorized it and let God work through it. What if instead of reading it proof texting it, guilting with it and judging with it we were to use it as a tool for transformation, trusting that in it God’s mercy has been revealed and that in it Christ, reveals its power by epitomizing it in death, burial and resurrection for us.

Perhaps, this wise guy is mistaken but something tells me that if we were to dwell in Spirit breathed Word of God for our own internal well being and informing that we would find its redemptive power at work in us. Is this an oversimplification, I don’t know but when was the last time you picked up God’s Word to listen for his whispering voice as it claims your heart. I know as a preacher and teacher, all too often, I come to the text looking for a Word for the body, perhaps, I should listen more for my own soul, heart, mind and body.

God help us (especially me) to listen! (more…)

The words ring so true! Yet, so rarely are they uttered from my lips.

My prayer is to love and acknowledge my love for him more each day. Is there power here? Can we really say these words to Jesus, to God and even to ourselves and continue to live untransformed lives? I wonder what would happen if we substituted positive self talk for Jesus loves me and Oh how I love Jesus talk. Could the fact that he first loved me, make me love others even more, speak more kindly, extend more patience to my children, my wife, the church, the lost.

Can you and I utter these words and continue to ignore the poor, the homeless, the widow, the orphan and the sinner? Again, we love because he first loved us. Where is the pride in our ability if we can’t do it alone?

Sing with me!

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,

BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED ME!

Amen

Quotes from Pilgrim Heart

Posted: Apr 26, 2007 in Theology

“Today many theologians and church leaders are calling us back to robust practices of faith as expressed in early forms of Christianity. A fresh look at Scripture and the experience of the believers through the centuries teaches us to practice an embodied spirituality within living communities. Evidences of a spiritual renaissance are not hard to find. Throughout North America, in small towns and in large cities, we see promising signs of spiritual revival; and the evidences are even more pronounced in other quarters of the world, especially in developing nations and in the southern continents. We are on the threshold of an we era in the history of Christianity, when disciples from many ethnicities and traditions are converging at a common point in understanding. Despite their disparate origins and histories, believers seem to be arriving at a consensus that a full-bodied, Christ centered spirituality is what we most need.

The growing emphasis upon an embodied spirituality should be good news since most of us make such poor angels anyway. It’s a relief to learn that God expects us to be only human. However, be forewarned. The way of Jesus, practiced “on the ground” and in the body, is truly radical. Once we expose the Platonic and Cartesian threads within the fabric of our faith, once we remove the modernists contaminations of our practice, once we return to this earthy, biblical spirituality, we will find ourselves both liberated and disoriented. Our spirituality will most surely look feel, and wear differently. We will begin to think of ourselves as human beings in new ways; and, by extension, we will rethink our relationships to God and what it means to follow Jesus. The invitation to begin again is the hallmark of the Christian message: We are fallen; we are broken; yet we are loved, and Jesus continually invites us to begin…again.” (Tippens, Darryl; Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life, pg 16-17)

which words? (John 1)

Posted: Apr 4, 2007 in Theology

It’s Wednesday now. My mind is racing from the upcoming weekend. It is a weekend where my neighbors will be coming over to our house, to dine with us, to break bread and share in the wine with us and to worship with us. And yet, what do i have to offer? Which words will speak into the lives of those who step under our roof?

    Truth be told, there is something that plagues me each and every week. OK, everyday. It is the fact that somehow i am called to be relevant with my words. i mean, the truth is i know how to speak relevance into the life of my churched brethren. i know the message they need to hear, how to “bring it” and how to bash them over the head with a grace oriented message that sends chills down their spine. When i preach to the church, it is clear to me the error of our ways and our lack of externally focused living. And so, i set out to afford a message from God that exhorts and (tries to) encourage the church into living life as ministers who simply try to share the love of God through Christ. Instead, i am afraid that i speak to my own weaknesses and ineptness at knowing how to live and walk as Christ. Father forgive my prideful words.

    But, today, here i sit in Savannah, TX. Given the opportunity of a life time. To practice what i have preach. To share the gospel with those who do not know Christ. To encourage and exhort them to a new way of life. Here i am surrounded by “christians” who have found our Lord and Savior at some point in their life but today have little to no relationship with God and his people. Here i sit among the hopeless, those seeking to find earthly relationships that will fill the void of our hopeless and dark world. People who want nothing more than a flashlight and a friend who will walk with them on the journey through the dark and treacherous world.

    Yet, i find that in this dark world, my words are just as empty and just as meaningless as ever. i speak, hoping that something i say, a word, might transform the lives of those next door. Forgetting that i am just a mere seed planter, hardly worthy of being called a disciple let alone one worthy of untying the sandals of Christ. And so i prepare, i labor, seeking to create the perfect setting, with the perfect songs, with the perfect words that will speak powerfully into the darkness. Yet, what i find is silence that resounds in the depths of my stomach. My words are inadequate, my preparations fail me, the plans of what i think is best, most attractive, most relevant and most orderly and easiest to control fall into the pits of darkness like lead balloons…

    …but wait, can you hear it? Ever so slightly, it rises to the forefront BUT it’s not my voice. It’s not what i had prepared OR where i intended for this time with my neighbors and friends to go. Can you hear it? It is barely noticeable at first. “In the beginning God created…”  The sound rises. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Then another voice speaks, “If you need anything don’t hesitate to call.” And another, “i don’t know what we would have done with her, she has been there through the most difficult time of my life.” And yet another, “Can you please pray for me as i am recovering from my addictions?”

    i am reminded, that no matter what i say, no matter how faithful i seek to be. My words were not in the beginning. i have yet to create something from nothing and i have yet to offer a word that wasn’t there from the beginning. For it is the Light of humanity, that speaks beyond the fleshly words that i seek to captivate people with, that resemble the darkness more than the light, that only God and his Word, his Son, reveal in the simple loving actions of a community seeking to live in relationship with him by loving because we are the first loved. It is in those moments that the light overcomes the darkness and reveals the path less trodden. Here, though narrow, those lost in the darkness find curbs that are well defined, the asphalt is freshly laid and we can see without feeling around for in the dark where we are heading. Here, a “christian world” finds that it is better to have flood lights on the straight and narrow than a key light on the wide and winding roads of this life. For here Jesus is our focus and the fire that leads us from our captivity to the flesh.  Here God guides us into a life transformed by the warm rays of  the Son of God. Praise be to God for His Word, Jesus Christ!