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Showing posts from May, 2008

Jim and Casper

I listened to the sessions from the CE conference with Jim Henderson and Matt Casper.
I still can't wait to read their book, Jim and Casper Go to Church.

Conversational Evangelism

I starting listening to the sessions from the Conversational Evangelism conference yesterday.

A few take a way points so far are that there is a disconnect between Jesus and the church. Non-Christians and non-church attenders don't always have any problem with Jesus, but they have lots of problems with the church. There is a perception that church goers are out of touch with regular, non-church-going people. Jesus wasn't this way at all.

Another key is that as a Christian, you don't need to add evangelism or a missional focus to your already busy life. What you need is a new life(style), like Jesus.

A Christian is not someone who just goes to a lot of Church meetings, who just studies the Bible, just shops at Christian bookstores, and who just watches Christian television. A Christian is someone who follows Christ, who has Christ in them and who is in Christ. Evangelism is not about inviting someone to a meeting to hear and see someone else, although that's not …

Gad

And of Gad he said,
“Blessed be he who enlarges Gad!
Gad crouches like a lion;
he tears off arm and scalp.
He chose the best of the land for himself,
for there a commander's portion was reserved;
and he came with the heads of the people,
with Israel he executed the justice of the Lord,
and his judgments for Israel.”

Deut. 33:20-21

The tribe of Gad was one of the fiercest, bravest tribes.
Gad means troop or raider and Gad sounds just like good fortune.
Gad was Jacob's seventh son, borne from Zilpah, Leah's servant.

Aaron

God spoke to Aaron, "Go and meet Moses in the wilderness." He went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron the message that God had sent him to speak and the wonders he had commanded him to do.
So Moses and Aaron proceeded to round up all the leaders of Israel. Aaron told them everything that God had told Moses and demonstrated the wonders before the people. And the people trusted and listened believingly that God was concerned with what was going on with the Israelites and knew all about their affliction. They bowed low and they worshiped. Exodus 4:27-31

I have a few thoughts to share about Aaron, Moses older brother in the Bible.

I have focused on Moses, how he ran away and lived in the desert all those years, until the burning bush. Moses had been saved from the killing of all the babies and raised in the royal household, and later ran to Sanai. Aaron stayed in Egypt among his enslaved people.

When God calls Moses from the burning bush, whi…

Responding to what God is doing

Praise the Lord!
Thank the Lord because he is good.
His love continues forever.
No one can tell all the mighty things the Lord has done;
no one can speak all his praise.
Happy are those who do right,
who do what is fair at all times.
Lord, remember me when you are kind to your people;
help me when you save them.
Let me see the good things you do for your chosen people.
Let me be happy along with your happy nation;
let me join your own people in praising you.
Psalm 106:1-5, NCV
Hallelujah! Thank God! And why?
Because he's good, because his love lasts.
But who on earth can do it—
declaim God's mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?
You're one happy man when you do what's right,
one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
include me when you save them;
I want to see your chosen succeed,
celebrate with your celebrating nation,
join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!
Psalm 106:1-5, MSG

Praise the LORD! Oh giv…

Cherry Blossom

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:19a

The Cherry Blossom tree blooms only once a year in the spring. Each flower only lasts for two or three days. A group of trees can have it's blooming period last up to 14 days.

Some thoughts I have are that when "opportunity knocks", you have to respond quick. "Suddenlies of God" happen and you've got to respond. You've learned to wait and wait.
Suddenly, what you've waited for is here and it's Carpe Diem time!

Are you appalled by sin?

Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.

Ezra 9:4

When was the last time you were appalled by unfaithfulness to God?
Have you ever gathered together because you and the others were all trembling at God's word?

There is great joy in returning to God, in walking with God, in sharing life together. But there is also a clear revelation of stuff in us and stuff we do or hold onto that needs to go. If you truly encounter God, then you have to be changed. Repentance is part of genuine revival. The fear of the Lord is real. The Lord who is gracious and merciful, kind and loving is also awesome and terrifying. To be out of synch with him or to be holding onto a sinful practice when he comes is a terrible thing.



Hezekiah's 41

Hezekiah was a good king in Judah. Good but not great. He did many good things, but did not finish well. He was 39 years old, looking at turning the big 4-0, When he got a visit from Isaiah the prophet, telling him that he would soon die. He immediately prayed to God that he was not ready to die and could he please have more time. God spoke to Isaiah again and he went back and told him that God says you've got 15 more years. Hezekiah believed Isaiah, but asked him (to ask God) for a sign that he'd really be healed (in 3 days). God gave him a choice of two ways the sun would slow down or speed up in terms of time or shadows and Hezekiah chose the harder one which God did, of turning the shadows or time backwards- no one knows exactly what happened- the text is a little unclear, but God did do something miraculous.

So, all seemed well. Hezekiah had done all these good things and he got healed and had this sign done and God had also wiped out this invading Assyrian army t…

If you're alive, there is hope

Anyone who is among the living has hope —even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

Ecclesiastes 9:4

It seems obvious that if you are alive, there is hope. The lion is the most majestic of creatures, while the dog (in Bible times) is among the vilest. The living vile have hope, while the majestic dead do not, as far as life-change. There is hope for the most despicable and lost. There is hope for the most dire situation while life holds on.

Jesus prays for his disciples

I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them.

My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.

I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.

I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.

John 17:9 (NLB, CEV, TMT, YLT)

At this crisis point Jesus is wholly employed on the behalf of his disciples, who are about to go out for good with Jesus message. He is high priest here, giving the second part of the prayer on the day of expiation for the the priests (Adam Clarke).

David Guzik's notes:

a. When Jesus says I do not pray for the world it is not out of unconcern for the world's plight. It was because of a focus on His own disciples. "He was praying for the instrument He was creating, through which He would reach the world." (Morgan)

Beware: your enemy is shrewd

they on their part acted with cunning...
Joshua 9:4a

The children of Israel were conquering the promised land city by city. They had just obliterated Ai. Then they had a massive meeting where all of Israel renewed their covenant with God.

The next thing that happens of note is that this rag dressed group of guys comes along, saying they are from a far off country and plead for Joshua to make a special covenant with them of peace. they hung out for three days and then the covenant was made.

When Joshua figured out that he had been deceived, he cursed them, but the covenant still stood.

What's the point of the story? If the enemy can't get you head on, he goes to the side where you don't expect it with deception. He tries to get you to agree to something through lies. Seems like a contract would be no good that you signed if it was "sold" to you on lies, but that's not true. Once you've entered in to the contract, it's hard or impossible to get o…