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Showing posts from August, 2016

Pastors

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
- Jeremiah 3:15, Ephesians 4:11 (KJV, ESV)
"Pastor" is one of the most common words in Evangelicalism or Protestantism.  I quoted the verses above to illustrate two things.  Pastors are always mentioned in the plural and pastors are metaphorically, shepherds.
A human pastor (singular) is never mentioned in the Bible, outside of Jesus.  It is always pastors, plural.  The NT knows nothing (does not teach) about a single, solo, human pastor leading.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you have probably seen a pastor having severe  problems.  Whether it is a stress-out, …

The Church is a Crossover Network

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
-1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)
The Church is a crossover network.  Crossing over is the ministry of Jesus.  And the whole Church is a network of connections with a common center of gravity and purpose which is Christ and his mission to disciple nations.

The Church is a crossover people.  We go to people who are unlike us.  And we reconcile people to one another and to God.

The ministry of the Church is the ministry of reconciliation.  The Church holds the power, the hope, and the wisdom that all peoples need.  The Church travels across boundaries into different cultures, classes, ethnicities, races, and creeds.

The whole Church has many individual tribes who are all one in Christ.  We are different tribes, but we are not tribal, because love in Christ is our center of gravi…

Zechariah 14 Is Not About The Second Coming

On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,which faces Jerusalem on the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge valley, so that half the mountain will move to the north and half to the south.  -Zechariah 14:4

I saw this idea that Jesus' feet would 'touch down' on the Mount of Olives, some day, in the future, at his second coming.  I grew up in a local church that strongly taught dispensationalism, which I do not believe in today.  Here is what I do believe.


Zechariah 14 is not about the second coming.  The day of the Lord, spoken of in verse 1, is not the end of the world, but a judgement day.  And when that judgement day came and the Lord's feet touched the Mount of Olives, that is was not the second coming, as we conceive of it today, but happened around 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Zechariah 13 does talk about Jesus:
Sword, awake against My shepherd,
against the man who is My associate—
this is the decl…

Declarations and Admonitions

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13.  Paul writes this:
If I speak human or angelic languages  but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy  and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains  but do not have love,  I am nothing.
And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,  and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love,  I gain nothing.
Love is patient,  love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful,  is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish,  is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things,  believes all things, hopes all things,  endures all things.
Love never ends.
But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, …

Sky Links 8-26-16

Jesus wept. -John 11:35


Stop Saying This To People Who Are Suffering

Tim Lawrence wrote a post about a cliche that people, even Christian people, say; that they should not say, because it is unhelpful, and it is often hurtful.

That trite phrase, that you should stop saying is, "everything happens for a reason".

Tim wrote this:
When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone—anyone—into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror. Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words:

I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you. Note that I said with you, not for you. For implies that you're going to do something. That is not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to listen to them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful.…

Do You Love Me? Feed My Lambs

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?"" Yes, Lord," he said to Him, "You know that I love You." "Feed My lambs," He told him.
-John 21:15
Being a Christian is all about love: being loved and loving others.  Being a leader is all about serving others, through love.  We have his love and we show his love by serving others in practical ways.
The basic and indispensable qualification for Christian service is love.  In this conversation between Jesus and Peter, we learn again, that love is the foundation of the Christian life, of the good news, and of Christian service.  
Peter might be identified as a leader or even the leader in the church. We have an obsession with leadership in the church today.  But there is no calling to leadership, but only a call to service.
Jesus says to me and to any of us who are his followers, just like he said to Peter, "Do you love me?  Then f…

Happiness, Anger, and Your Liver

Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. That’s why my heart celebrates and my mood is joyous; yes, my whole body will rest in safety.This is a good life—my heart is glad, my soul is full of joy, and my body is at rest.
Who could want for more?So my heart rejoices and I am happy;  My life is safe.Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. -Psalm 16:9 (HCSB, CEB, MSG, NET, NIV, ESV NKJV)

A secure person has healthy emotions -  healthy happiness and sadness, joy and anger.  Our heart is the seat or inner place of our love and our liver is the seat or inner place of our anger.  Healthy, normal people experience love and anger, and because of this, they walk securely.

Having God's protection, living a life of worship towards God, loving you…

It's Me!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
-Galatians 2:19-21
I was thinking about my troubles, my struggles, challenges, and relationships; basically every negative aspect of my life.  Is it spiritual warfare?  Or did I take offense?  Or am I just sleep deprived and have a stomach ache?
Maybe all of the above.  You know the phrase, "get a life"?  Well, how about, "get a new life"?  That is kind of what Galatians 2:20 says.  I groused and grouched.  But when I stilled myself, turned to the Lord, and listened, Holy Spirit gave me my verse, again, for the umpteenth time.  
And that verse says: "When my heart is weak, I cry out to you from the very ends of the earth: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.&q…

Silent Prayer

I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.
-Psalm 62:1
Have you tried silent prayer?  It has two components: You don't tell anyone but God, and you primarily pray without speaking out loud.  It is counter-intuitive and powerful.
All the words are here, describing silent prayer, in Psalm 62:1, and are amplified and further explained in the rest of David's song.  I wonder what the tune was like.  To be blunt, this is a song about people wanting to kill you, but putting your trust in God to save you.
I have prayed about hundreds and probably thousands of things over the years.  The most important or biggest things were crisis things and impossible things.  I know about praying and talking to others about the prayer request, then waiting, seeing, praying, talking, living, waiting, and praying some more.
There are prayers of request, petition, supplication, thanks, lament, grief, and anger.  There are also declarative prayers and prayers that involve binding and loosi…

The Little Things - Like Money

Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.
-Luke 16:10

This proverb from Jesus is a commentary or a side note on a parable he just told, about "the dishonest manager".  The ESV & HCSB title the story that way, but the NLT & NIV call it "the shrewd manager".  Eugene Peterson has, "the crooked manager".

Some Bible experts say that this is the hardest parable in Luke, to interpret.  There is difficulty in seeing what Jesus point was, with possibly asking us to emulate a dishonest person.  But, as is often the case, the context helps us understand the text.

The context is a story about a person and their money or resources.  It is the story of allocation or investing assets or commodities.  It is a story of how to manage or do beneficial process in a financial crisis.

In the story, the manager did good business right before he lost his position.  He was a seller o…

God Arises

God arises. His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from His presence.
-Psalm 68:1
Do you see God arising?  We pray, "God arises!", as a declarative prayer.  He is arising, and we bless what we see the Father doing (John 5:19) just like Jesus.
"God arises", is a statement of truth; like saying, "God is on the move".  We are not petitioning God to come, but we see that he is already here.  We are announcing that God is here, so that we can do something.
We see and do.  We do not just see and enjoy the sight, nor do we just see and learn, all in the thinking realm.  Real learning is in the participation.  
I declare, "God arises".  Do you see?  I will help you see if you do not see God arising.
Can you see, can you hear, and can you sense God arising?   If so, what do we do?
When we see God arising, we: Repent.  Jesus message was not to accept him into your heart as your personal savior.  Jesus message was not to believe in the cross and …

Loves Me Live A Rock

My mama loves me
She loves me
She gets down on her knees and hugs me
And she loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And she loves me

-Paul Simon
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is a rock for all ages.

-Isaiah 26:4 (CEB)
So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.
-Luke 15:20




Love is pretty much the antidote or answer to everything.  That makes sense when you consider that God is love.  The whole message is that God loves us, which is why Jesus Christ came.
God's love.  Father's love.  And we love because God loves.
Loving our children teaches them about God's love.  My mom has told me hundreds of times, "Remember your mommy loves you".  Sounds silly, but it is a blessing.

Raising children?  "Train up a child in the way he should go", is what the Bible says, so that is what we do.  Train…