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Showing posts from May, 2017

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

There is a proverb that says, 'a stitch in time saves nine'.  It means that it is better to act on or deal with problems immediately, because if you wait and deal with them later, things will get worse and the problems will take longer to deal with.  That is what the Cambridge Dictionary says.

Here are some other phrases that describe what 'a stitch in time saves nine' means:

Sort out problems that arise immediately and it will save you a lot of extra work later.Sew one stitch now, so you won't have to sew nine stitches later.A little effort expended sooner to fix a small problem prevents it from becoming a larger problem requiring more effort to fix later. A little preparation can eliminate the need for repairs later.If you sort out a problem immediately it may save extra work later.It is better to deal with problems immediately rather than later as things will worsen and take longer to amend.If you fix a small problem right away, it will not become a bigger probl…

Stop Fighting and Learn to Love

Like yanking the ears of a dog, so is one who passes by and gets involved in another person’s fight. -Proverbs 26:17 (CEB)

Recently, I got more involved in social media.  It is hard for me, because of the fighting.  I want to be involved but not feel beat up, nor ever be unkind to others.
I believe in civil discourse.  I believe in conversations, discussions and even debates.  But I worry that we, myself included, often have a listening deficit.  
Because of this, we sometimes have 'dialogues of the deaf'.  We just do not hear each other.  But hearing is loving.  Even if we do not understand, listening is the loving start to authentic relating.
I saw the Barna report, that was released a week ago, Why People Fight Online.  It seeks answers to some of the same questions I have and might be helpful to you.
Years ago, for the first time, I heard a Christian leader use cuss words in a dark parking lot where he had to know that other Christians were also on their way to their cars…

Ordination, Offices, Function and Authority (2)

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”
-Matthew 20:25-28
In churches there are structures of governance.  If you walk into a church meeting, you might ask, "who is in charge?"  And when someone writes, speaks, prays, counsels or does music; somebody might ask, "by what authority?", or, "who authorized you?"
Some people make these questions more important or a bigger deal.  You mention an author that you read and people might ask who they are or where they are from and what group they are attached to.  And it gets difficult to describe the affiliations or make-up of someon…

It's So Easy to Fall in Love

There is a song by Buddy Holly, called, "It's So Easy (To Fall In Love)".

Is 'falling in love' in the Bible?  And do we marry our spouse because we fell in love with them?
One story about falling in love, in the Bible is the story of Jacob and Rachel.  He had 'love at first sight' with her.  Then he met her dad.
The problem with falling in love is that it is as easy to fall out as it was to fall in.

A person says they got divorced because they 'fell out of love'.  And then there is the statement: "I love you, but I am not in love with you".
Somehow, 'the feeling', has been lost.  There is more to love than the engulfing experience of falling and feeling 'in love'.  
As a young man, one day, I saw a couple where the wife was in a wheelchair, disabled; and her husband was pushing her along.  And I had an epiphany where I saw true love.  C. S. Lewis made the point in his book, The Four Loves, that deep love is not only lo…

I'll Be Home For Christmas

By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home.

When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.

By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.

Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. 
People who live this way make it plain that th…

Ordination, Offices, Function and Authority

They came again to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked Him,"By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?"
-Mark 11:27-8
Have you thought about ordination?  Maybe you have a desire to serve and you have older people who you hold in high esteem and you want to be like them.

I think that how we view ordination and church officials depends on our tradition or tribe we have been apart of.  There are denominations and traditions which are heavy on government and there is a whole range of governing styles, practices or models.  At the other end of the spectrum, we have what we could call 'simple' or 'organic'.

Heavy and complicated, careful and cerebral government in the church might be too much of a maze or a set of hoops to jump through.

I understand that safety is the 'good' reason.  But the simple perspective is a very high vi…

Hail The New

Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
-Isaiah 43:19
God is doing something new.  You can miss it.  God is providing a way.
God is doing something.  But to experience it, we must see it.  If our eyes are shut or we do not look, we will not see it.
God is active.  We first have to get our minds around the idea that God is always on the move.  God is not just the God of the past.
God is also not just the God of of the past and of the future.  God is the God of the present.  He came and is here now.
God is doing something.  We should be looking for what God is doing today.  We are too often fixated on what God did and will do.
God is doing something today.  He is doing something new today.  He is not changing the past, but doing something new in the present.
God has always been actively working among people to help them.  Before Christ, God's people got in trouble, faced enemi…

Humble Yourself If You Are Rich and Be Proud If You Are Poor

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.  But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
-James 1:9-11 (NIV)
I grew up in an 'upper-middle-class' community.  We weren't rich, but we weren't poor.  My parents were born during the great depression and were children during the second world war, then grew up during the boom-time of the nineteen fifties.
Prosperity has continued to increase all around what I can see, during my life and I am probably middle-middle class.  Talking about 'class' is a crass thing to me.  I have wondered about the idea of trying to get rich or having more money, to somehow become fulfilled.
I have discovered through my life so far, that money does not bring happi…

Sky Links, 5-6-17

Have you ever wondered how the Methodist movement went from 'hot' to 'naught'?  

Alan Hirsch wrote a post called, "It Slayed the Momentum of the Methodists":

In the opinion of Stephen Addison, a missiologist who has spent much of his professional life studying Christian movements, the key to Methodism's success was the high level of commitment to the Methodist  cause that was expected of participants. This cause declined to the degree that the movement had moved    away from its original missional ethos of evangelism and disciple making and degenerated into mere religious legalism maintained by institution, rule books, and highly professionalized clergy . In fact, although Methodism in America had experienced massive ex-ponential growth (35 percent of the population in around forty years), two critical “movement killers” were introduced into Methodism in America that effectively hamstrung the movement. Heightened Educational requirements. In 1850 the leaders…


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
-James 1:5-8, 4:8 (NIV)

In James, chapters one and four, James uses this peculiar word, 'double-minded'.  I'm not sure I have ever heard it spoken outside of 'Christianese' conversations.  Every preacher that quotes this verse has to explain it.
'Double-minded' literally means 'double souled'.  James was the first person to use this word in Greek writings.  Scholar Douglas Moo wrote, "James, who uses this same term again in 4:8, has probably coin…


Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. -Matthew 5:9 (CEB, NLT)
Peacemakers seem like rare birds today in Christianity.  But maybe it is the fighting and even brawling that gets the attention and makes it seem like we're all unpeaceful.  Actually, a wide swath of Christians are peaceful.
The nature of Christ and the movement of Christianity is not necessarily characterized as a peace movement, but, as a cooperation movement.  Christians cooperate with God and with one another.  We show people how we do it and invite them to join in.
The identity of being children of God lends itself to cooperation with God and with one another.  The nature of cooperation is the opposite of selfish ambition, vain conceit, suspicious projections onto others and fighting.  When we all know we are children of God, we are then set free to cooperate with one another.
Peacemakers are m…