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Showing posts from February, 2014

Carried or Borne Along to Maturity

Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about the Messiah, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead actions, faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
-Hebrews 6:1-2 (ISV)

Did you know that we are carried or borne along to maturity?  That is what Hebrews 6 is really saying.  God is the one who carries us to maturity, who bears us along to it.  Like a boat on the ocean, carried along by the waves and the winds.  God carries or bears us along to maturity.
This also reminds me of bearing fruit.  There is no straining to grow, on the fruit's part.  
I was listening to Greek Scholar, Dave Black; on The Pastors Perspective program (Feb. 24th).  He and Don Stewart talked about the translation of Hebrews 6:1, where it says, "pressing on" in the NASB.   A better, more accurate translation, according to Dave Black, is, "car…

Starting Late, Fully Blessed

“The kingdom from (of) heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing to pay the workers one denarius (the usual day's wage) a day, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock (the third hour), he saw others standing in the marketplace without work. He told them, ‘You go into the vineyard, too, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So off they went. He went out again about noon (the sixth hour) and about three o’clock (the ninth hour) and did the same thing.

About five o’clock (the eleventh hour) he went out and found some others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why are you standing here all day long without work?’ They told him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He told them, ‘You go into the vineyard as well.’
-Matthew 20:1-7 (ISV)

I have been to college four times.  I always noticed a few students who looked old enough to be grandparents.  These older people were walking parables of the idea th…

California Here I Come

California, here I come right back where I started from.
Where Bowers of flowers bloom in the sun.  Each morning at dawning, birdies sing an' everything.  A sunkist miss said, "Don't be late" that's why I can hardly wait.  Open up that Golden Gate, California here I come.
I am from California and I just vacationed in California.  I took my family to the Yosemite area to see my friend on his birthday.  He is someone I have known for half of my life and he was twice as old as me when we were first friends.  He is a dear friend, but also a father to me.  I don't think that 'discipler' is a real word, so I sometimes refer him as my mentor.
More than a discipler, he is a disciple of Jesus himself and we shared life together.  It's appropriate to call people by what they do and are, such as spiritual father or mother; but the most appropriate word is brother.  We birth and we father, but we are all brothers and sisters.  My older friend who discipled …

Rickshaw: Power Source

But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; He bestowed this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God’s will.
-John 1:12-13 (The Voice)
A rickshaw is a mode of human powered transport.  A person pulls you, while you sit in a two wheeled carriage.  Rickshaw is short for jinrikjsha.  It is a Japanese word that means human power source.  The rickshaw likely originated in Japan, possibly invented by a missionary, to transport his disabled wife in Yokohama in the 19th century.
The picture of the rickshaw is a picture of what drives you or what is your power source.  What drives you?  What is your power source?  We are all driven by something and we are all empowered by something.
In John, chapter one, we are told that Jesus is the light who came into the world that he created.  The world, for the most part, did not recognize him.  They refused to listen to him.  They rejected him.  They did not welcome him.
But some d…

Sing to Each Other

When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All these things must be done to build up the church.

Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts.

The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
-1 Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16 (CEB)

I thought about this song by The Carpenters:
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong That song admonishes everyone to sing.  I thought of titling this post, "shut up and sing".  What if we sang more in church or when we gathered, whether in twos and threes; or with hundreds?  I do not have in mind longer song services, worship sets, or times; but the "each other" mentioned in these two verses, that are describing gatherings.

What is the purpose of the church gath…

Sing To The Lord A New Song

Sing to the Lord a new song!
-Psalm 33:3, 96:1, 98:1, & 149:1; Isaiah 42:10
When God works in your life it is always fresh and new.  God is about redeeming us.  He does new merciful work in our lives every day.  New mercies, new deliverance, and new redeeming works call for new songs.
Even though we have and sing older songs that are good, we should have new songs to celebrate the new, and there will be fewer and fewer old songs on our lips, because there will be more and more new ones.  We don't throw the old ones away, but God constantly gives us new songs to celebrate the new things He does.  
God is always inspiring new songs.  At one time, each song was new, and celebrated God's work for the people of that time.  If you look up a favorite old hymn, you might find that the same poet or song writer, of whom you love their song; wrote hundreds of other songs.  Each of those unknown songs were new and fresh, new songs, at one time, and graced the people who sang them.

Sky Links, 2-10-14

Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
-Isaiah 43:8

Are you curious about the history of communion?  Read The Snack We Call Supper, by David Servant.

Judeo-Christian Hope Is Rooted in God (Optimism isn't)  The Prodigal Kiwi(s) posted this quote from Henri Nouwen on, "Living With Hope":
“…Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things-the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on-will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfill God's promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom...."
Meet Donald Miller  This is a talk he gave two years ago.  Here is the link. I like what he's saying:

This past week, Donald wrote about how he personally does not connect with God through singing in church.
I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all. I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s true. I was finally able …

You Will Celebrate

Yes, you will go out with celebration, and you will be brought back in peace.
Even the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you; all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
-Isaiah 55:12

When you come out from that place you have been in, you will be celebrated.  It will be like a party.  It will be like a welcoming home.  Have you seen the videos of the soldiers being greeted when they return from over seas?  They are being celebrated and congratulated.

God not only wants us all to end well, at the end of our lives; but also to transition well, as we come out from and go into new seasons.  Some people have been suffering in a hard place for so long, that they can not imagine how they will get to the other side of the river, so to speak.  They can not fathom what a new place, a new placement, a new assignment, a new life in this life would be like.  They have been giving up hope.  Their hearts are sick.

Consider Sarah & Abraham or Elisabeth & Zachariah, w…

God is My Fearsome Protection

The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is his name!
The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.

The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
-Exodus 15:3, Deut. 1:30, 31:8; Psalm 18:34, Psalm 27:1 (NLT)

God is a warrior.  God makes war on our behalf.  God makes us into warriors.  God is our weapon and our protector.  God is the edge of the sword.  God is awesome.  God invokes fear and terror.  Awe and awesome are words that should be reserved for God alone.

For further study, these seem to be two good (scholarly) books on this topic.  I have friends that have read these:

God Is a Warr…

Sky Links, 2-2-14

Mommy Wars?

I read this post by Matt Walsh that garnered three million views and over twelve thousand comments on his blog.  In his follow-up, Matt wrote:
"To stay-at-home moms: Once, several months ago, I wrote this post about you. It was a simple expression of gratitude for stay-at-home moms, particularly my wife." I'm going to take Matt at his word, that he was not trying to pit people against each other.  It is funny how some people interpret it that way.

Who Are You Doing It For?

Have you ever done something that was complimented, then you were tempted to do it again; and if you did it again, you might have felt weird that you did it to get attention, or you were baffled that lighting did not strike twice?

Regi Campbell wrote about The Laws of Applause:
Everyone likes positive feedback. Everyone. Some take it in stride, some feel so bad
about themselves they can’t receive even the smallest compliment, and some soak up applause like the desert does rainfall. When …