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Showing posts from July, 2017

Sky Links, 7-29-17

Haddon Robinson recently died. I became acquainted with Haddon Robinson through the Radio Bible Class program and thoroughly enjoyed his winsomeness, brilliance, humility and obvious love for communicating the book.

Quotes from the Preaching Today eulogy, Honoring Haddon Robinson: "Have you had any new insights about preaching recently?" He replied, "I've discovered that our brain works on a ten-day creative cycle. So, if a person wants to prepare their best sermons, they need to begin their preparation at least ten days in advance. This will ensure a person will hit their creative peak somewhere in that cycle."
“One who can explain a passage clearly and apply it to life accurately gets credit for being a genius.” He didn’t want to be considered a genius, of course—in fact, he once said that he felt akin to the donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem—but he was brilliant at explaining the Bible clearly and applying it to life accurately. 
“Land the plane! The…

Despising Jesus

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him.
-Isaiah 53:3
Do you feel like you are dismissed ('dissed'), considered worthless, unworthy of attention?

The word despised in Isaiah, is the Hebrew word, baza, pronounced "baw-zaw".

Baza means:

To despise, hold in contempt, to be despicable, to be vile, worthless, to cause to despise, to disesteem, contemptible, think to scorn, vile person.


You might ask, "Why would anyone feel this way, respond this way or act this way towards Jesus?"

Gentle, wise, kind, loving, healing, compassionate, honest, godly, and in fact; God.

Why would we despise Jesus?
Two words:
Self righteousness
People who hated Jesus were self-righteous, morally superior.  Self-righteous, morally superior people do not like the message of justification by faith.  That message says we are all bad, only God is good, we can d…

I Saw The Lord

For David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

I always let the Lord guide me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
-Acts 2:25
-Psalm 16:8
-Isaiah 6:1
-Revelation 1:17-18

Have you seen the Lord?  Do you live in the reality of seeing him?  Does he see you?

Seeing the Lord changes your life.  It changes how you see everything and everyone else.

Have you seen him?

When I have seen him, it changes how I see others.  Seeing him transforms me.

Seeing the Lord is not something abstract or something for later.

Seeing the Lord is not something …

Baptism Notes and Bio

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
-John 1:29


I was baptized by Paul Cox, a Presbyterian Reverend, when I was about 5 years old.  Based on the traditions of that church and my parents wishes, they waited till I was 5, so that I could be baptized the same day as my brother, who is 2 years younger than me.  My father would have also had the occasion to be baptized in that season, because he had just come to faith in Christ; while my mother was already a believer and would have had the opportunity to be baptized either in the Congregational Church of her childhood or the Brethren Church of her teen and early adult years.
Years later, when I was in high school, I was forced to go to confirmation classes, at our Covenant Church.  The class culminated with baptism for those of us who completed it; but was optional.  And I opted not to do it.  
A few years later, I attended a Foursquare Church, and the…

Notes on Baptism From Witherington and Dunn

John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
-Luke 3:16

Ben Witherington: "it is no wonder that we have been debating baptism for two thousand years now, with no sign of the debating abating.  The New Testament does not answer all our modern questions about baptism, and it especially does not answer questions about what to do with Christian children when it comes to baptism.  As Dunn said earlier, the popular notion that conversion necessarily precedes baptism and should be seen as a seal or testimony or even a confession to conversion and commitment previously made is nowhere clearly stated in the New Testament.
Unfortunately, baptism is one of those contentious issues that pushes us so that we can not and do not allow the silences of the New Testament text to rest in peace.  We fill in the gaps with our own theo…

God Arises

God arises. His enemies scatter, and those who hate him flee from his presence.
-Psalm 68:1
God is a warrior God, who does battle against his enemies and it is happening today.  Psalm 68 speaks this message and tells the story of how God is a warrior God.  When we read this psalm, we are invited to join in on this reality.
The Bible is not just a history book and a book on how to live.  The Bible is full of invitations in to the reality of what God is doing today.  Our lives are not disconnected from the history and the story of God.  
Quite the opposite is true.  We are invited into the story.  God's story is going on and we can take notice of what God is doing.  The alternative is to shut our eyes, ears, minds or hearts and say with the fools, "There is no God".
A message for today is, "God arises".  Do you see it?  Did you know that?  Are you aware that God is moving?
Did you know that God is not just waiting in heaven?  God is at work and has been at work.…

The Warrior God

God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the desert,
Selah.
-Psalm 68:7
God is the Warrior God.  That is what Psalm 68 is all about.  God is at war for his people.  This is something we need to understand.
God is on his way somewhere.  God is leading his people somewhere.
God is leading us out of bondage and into freedom.
God is leading us from death to life.
God is leading us from alienation to becoming a nation.
God is a person who is with his people, standing before them and leading them.
God's people are not ever left alone, but are led by God himself.
This has always been God's way, from the beginning through today.
God is leading each one us us and all of us together somewhere.
This is something to reckon with and understand in your life.
And there is only one who is the True God.  Only one and that one is plural, three in one.
God is at war with all the other false so-called gods.
Only the one True God gives life and saves people.
The face of…

Hope

ז Zayin

Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

ח Cheth

Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
I say, “The Lord is my portion,
therefore I will put my hope in him.
-Lamentations 3:19-24

I have a couple of flower bushes, by the back door, that had a beautiful bouquet of flowers, when I planted them back in February.  Even though I've fed and watered them, I noticed this past week, that there were no flowers.
But this morning, a fresh new yellow flower caught my eye, and then I noticed several purple ones.  Yellow is the color of hope.  Purple is the color of royalty.
You might know the song, "The Steadfast Love of The Lord", which is taken from Lamentations 3.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases His mercies they never come to an …

Renaissance

You, God, showered abundant rain; you revived your inheritance when it languished.
-Psalm 68:9
God is going to do a new thing (Is. 43:19) in the church (1 Tim. 3:15).  It is going to be a renaissance.  It is going to be completely new.
New birth (1 Pet. 1:32 Cor. 5:17) is going to happen with God's church (Gal. 1:13).  It is going to be so new that we need to get it that the structure has to change or become new, so that we can participate in the new thing God is going to to.  This is Jesus' lesson of the wine and the wineskins.
New wine requires new wineskins.  The new wine will burst the old wineskins.  We are tempted to take our old containers or our old and present structures and go forward, to God, and say, "Yes, fill me up", or "Yes, renew our church".
But Jesus says that we need new containers for the new wine.  The new thing will simply break the old container.  And there will be a mess and the new thing will not work.
Many of us want revival and…

Happy Landings

So, at each stage refreshed, they will reach Sion, and have sight there of the God who is above all gods.
-Psalm 84:7 (Knox Bible)

On the 4th of July, we ran out of gas on the way home.  The gas gauge was reading wrong and it was a complete surprise.

The car sputtered and the warning lights came on.  I had less that ten seconds, more like four or five, to find a spot to pull over.  I pulled right into a spot in the neighborhood, beside the boulevard.

It was the one open spot.  It was as if that spot had been saved for us.  Hours earlier, that neighborhood had been jammed and packed with cars and people, who were there for the block parties.

When something like this happens to me, I don't jump for joy or yell something out.  I just have a calm peace.

You know the one when people say they prayed for a good parking place at Target and there is it, one saved for them, up front, near the entrance?  I think God is with us even more, when we can't find a spot or when we have to tak…

Born Free

For freedom, Christ set us free.  Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
-Galatians 5:1

Christians are born free.  We are freed to be free.  To be a Christian means to be set free.

We are set free from the bondage to sin and to religion.  When someone becomes a Christian they are set free to be free, in Christ.

Becoming a Christian is not just about believing the Bible, but about believing in Christ.  Being a Christian is being a person in Christ.

The freedom that Christians are born into, is freedom of conscience.  Christianity is inside-out.  Christ in you.

When we participate in the process of someone coming to Christ, to be be born from above, we are all about leading them to him and not to us.  It is wonderful if we are so immersed in Christ that people see Christ in us.  But our goal is never to make disciples after ourselves or our brand, but of Christ himself and let him take this person where he wills.

The freedom that Christ sets us free to is freedom …