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Showing posts from September, 2009

Notes from Todd Hunter's talk on church

Todd Hunter gave a talk on, "The Church I Would Build", at the 1999 AVC pastor's conference: (these are notes of notes, edited for brevity).

On a personal note, I was privileged to walk beside Todd on our Journey's, 20 years ago; when we went on a ministry trip to New Zealand and Australia, with Todd leading our team.





Karl Barth: "Being the church for the sake of the world". (Todd) And my way of describing this phrase is, "God's missional communities".

From Miroslav Volf, "After Our Likeness":
No church without the reign of God.
No reign of God without the church.

(Todd) I would want a church that doesn't "dumb down" our faith, and that repeatedly tells our distinctive Christian story. We must remember that the church is a peculiar people that defines itself by an entirely different set of assumptions than those of the world. We need to realize that we are not helping seekers when we try to explain the Way of Chr…

Days of Awe

"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

The "Days of Awe" are the ten days between Rosh Hashana (last Friday) and Yom Kippur (next Monday). That makes tonight's Sabbath special. During these ten days, observant Jewish people greet each other with, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year," because the ten Days of Awe are about repentance, reconciliation, and introspection. It's a time to "do business with God" regarding past sins and start the new year right. It's a time to align and set your trajectory with God for the new year.

I went to Ezra 9:4 this morning:

'Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice."

From the Days of Awe article on the Religion Facts website:

"According to Jewish tradition, it is during the Days of Awe that God decides on each person's fate in t…

Winged and toothless

I got this idea that the enemy is like a Pteranodon. Pronounced "ter-AN-o-DON." The word means "winged and toothless." They were about 6 feet tall or long, with a wing-span of 25 to 33 feet. They were flying reptiles with a big beak. Being that large, they were no doubt very scary. You can imagine the screech from a creature that big. You can imagine the fear it would stir in you if it suddenly flew over you or your children, the elderly, the weak, or the infirm among you.

The idea I have about these Pteranodon's being like the enemy, and by the enemy I mean the demonic entities, is that the enemy's main strategy is to incite fear and to intimidate. His way is to stop people aligned with God from doing good or exercising their authority. He generally does this through scare tactics and intimidation. Like a little man behind a curtain with a big sound system and projector and smoke machines and weird lights (with mirrors), he is essentially toothle…

Renewal

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:27-31

If you are tired, weary, or burned out; wait on the Lord and renew your strength.
Waiting doesn't just mean to get some rest or to pause from your focuses, but it primarily means to attend to the Lord, just as a waiter does. Waiting is active. Waiters are on their feet most of the time. To wait on God is to pay attention or give your focus. Renewal comes from intentional a…

Remembering where you were brought from intensifies your celebration

And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt.
And you shall be careful to observe these statutes.
Deuteronomy 16:12

God wanted them to remember that they once were slaves. Remembering from where we were taken by God helps us be thankful and humble and generous. We are saved unto good works. God redeems us so that we can in turn act redemptively with God. Part of the statutes that it's talking about are remembering to include the tribal priests, the poor, the widows and the orphans. Inclusivity.

Mary Magdalene

Mary of Magdalene was a regular person, just like you and I, and Jesus changed her life forever. She decided to follow him to such an extent that she was there when Jesus hung on the cross and she was there at the empty tomb. Because of her curiosity and desire to watch over Jesus, she got to be the first one to see him after he rose from the dead and she was sent by him to tell the other guys.

Your story of what Jesus has done for you is a powerful thing and you get to choose how closely you will follow him. And those who follow closer get to have deeper revelations of him, about him.