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Showing posts from September, 2017

Sky Links, 9-27-17

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8

These are clips from Darren Wilson's new film, Questions With God.










Darren Wilson, Chad Norris, and friends: Questions With God.




Hypocrites who call out heresy

Scot McKnight wrote about hypocrisy vs. heresy.  Today, we have so many Christians who call out other Christians on the heresy charge, when the real issue is hypocrisy.

Put together, Jesus accuses the Pharisees for “hypocrisy” because (1) they had abused their teaching authority by teaching false things, (2) not living according to what they taught, and for (3) their desire for power and control. In addition, (4) their teaching was a focus on minor issues to the neglect of major issues.

They flattened the Torah into a listing of God’s will while Jesus saw love of God and love of others as the center of that Torah. If the Pharisees saw love as one of the commandments, however important, Jesus saw love as central and everything…

Sky Links, 9-19-17

Discretion

Are you discreet?  Charles Pope wrote an article about priestly discretion.  Should you speak out or remain silent?  Or, should you just be careful?

"To be discreet most commonly means to be careful, prudent, or circumspect, especially in terms of speech. The word discreet comes from Latin discretus, meaning separate or distinct. To be discreet is not to be secretive; it is to make a prudent discernment about what to say to whom and when to say it. Personal, private conversations ought to stay that way."

On Priestly Discretion, Charles Pope.


Unreforming Leadership

Mike Frost asked the question, "Can the seminary produce visionary leaders?"  The answer is "no".

"Recently, I was teaching a class on missional church when, in a moment of unguarded clarity, one of my students said, “I like hearing about all these new ways of doing church, but I don’t know if I could do them because I’ve grown up in church and I love it.” The unspoken end of that se…

My Vacation Taught Me About Community

Live in harmony with one another.
-Romans 12:16a
I just got back from a family vacation.  We all lived in a condominium together for a week.  We had two sets of people who don't normally live together, so we had to learn to be together.
Every vacation time puts us into a different routine, in a different place sometimes with different people.  This one was just like that.  No one or no thing completely ruined it, but there were challenges and joys.
Even though it was completely predictable, I was was caught off guard once by the difficulty in choosing what to watch on television.  Four out of the five of us are first borns, who like to dictate what tv shows will be watched.
After the first disagreement, I realized that I don't need to control what we watch.  And I was immediately set free.  The next time there was an issue, we discovered the second tv and split into two groups.
You don't have to do everything together.  This is stating the obvious, but I think being able …

Tozer Quotes on Worship

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
-Exodus 15:2

My first memory of worship was when I was a little boy, and all the people were in the sanctuary singing The Lord's Prayer.  I can still hear the roar of all the voices, in unison, singing, "For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever!"  There was a pipe organ that did not overpower the voices of the congregation, but seemed to guide and blend with our words, towards heaven.
Everything I have learned and everything I have seen and experienced about worship starts with that childhood memory.  Christians have been offended and put off by different styles of worship.  How we worship has been in contention for a long time.
I recently picked up a book, Tozer on Worship and Entertainment, which is a compilation of thoughts from A.W. Tozer, by James L. Snyder; published in 1997.  Around 1987, I read a simi…

Admire Your Husband and Save Your Marriage

To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
-Ephesians 5:33

Did you know that there is no verse that says, "Wives, love your husbands"?  Most wives do love their husbands, and I would imagine, do not need to be admonished to do so.  But, husbands do need to be admonished to love their wives.

At least that's what it seems like.  Husbands need to get better at loving.  Husbands have the high calling of loving like Christ loves.

Wives seem to not need to be called to love better.  We are all called to love and to grow in loving.  Husbands get a special or particular command to love their wives.

Wives get a different command, direction or calling.  Wives need to be admonished to respect their husbands.  The wife is called out to respect or give admiration to her husband.

Many husbands, after a period of time in marriage, strangely, do not feel like spending time with their wives.  What happened?
I am reading Gary Small…

Living In God's House

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of Armies.
I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.

Even a sparrow finds a home,
And a swallow, a nest for herself
Where she places her young—
Near your altars, Lord of Armies,
My King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in your house,
Who praise you continually.
Selah

Happy are the people whose strength is in you,
Whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a source of springwater;
Even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength;
Each appears before God in Zion.

Lord God of Armies, hear my prayer;
Listen, God of Jacob.Selah
Consider our shield, God;
Look on the face of your anointed one.

Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than live in the tents of wicked people.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor …

Jesus Never Made Speeches (Learning to Teach Like Jesus, pt. 7)

After three days, they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. -Luke 2:46

Jesus never made speeches.  But when Christian leaders get up to teach, it is most always a speech they give.  We also call this a sermon, a talk, or an address.  You can actually get a doctorate in homiletics and be an expert on speechifying, in teaching the Bible.

Jesus did not teach through giving speeches, but we love to give and hear speeches, in order to teach or be taught.  If you go to almost any church, this is what we usually do.  But, it is not what Jesus did, nor what the Apostles did.

We kind of assume they did.  And we read the NT through our lense.  We impose our lifestyles, traditions and biases onto the text and see what is not there.

How would you like it if you found out that Jesus did not do sermon prep like we do and bring a sermon to people?

Some of the worst sermons you and I have ever heard were by preachers who did not prepare, b…

Everything Does Not Happen For A Reason

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified;and those he justified, he also glorified.
-Romans 8:28-30
One of the dumbest sayings is, "Everything happens for a reason".  Some people believe that they are comforted by this idea.  When disaster strikes or a loved one dies under unfortunate circumstances, they say this.
The 'reason' that I think is false and that makes the statement false is God's will.  The belief out there is that God wills tragedy: accidents, including kids being run over or even murdered.  No.  Everything does not happen for a reason.
I just finished reading a book that was mostly a beautiful story about a tragic event of a young man.  He died in a…