Sky Links, 6-28-13

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
Before they call, I will answer;
while they are still speaking, I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24

Everyone is waiting for something.  We get tired of waiting and we wonder why it is taking so long.  We might ask what is wrong with us.  I was very encouraged by this post, My Times Are In Thy Hand, by Janet Peterson.

“My times are in Thy hand…” Psalm 31:15.
One thing I’ve learned is that God doesn’t always work on our timetable.  In fact, HE rarely does.  But in a single moment, God can change your life!  All throughout Scripture, we see examples of how God was working behind the scenes and instantly turned things around for HIS people.  Scripture tells us HE is the same yesterday, today and forever which means HE can instantly turn things around for you, too!
Beloved, you may be going through some difficulty today, but be encouraged because your times are in God’s hands...more here
I also was encouraged by Janet Peterson 's word from the previous day, on prayer, called Flip The Switch:

God has wired his world for power, but HE calls on us to flip the switch. 

Most of us struggle with prayer.  We forget to pray, and when we remember, we hurry through prayers with hollow words.  Our minds drift; our thoughts scatter like a covey of quail.  Why is this?  Prayer requires minimal effort.  No location is prescribed.  No particular clothing is required.  No title or office is stipulated.... more here
God is a covenant God, which means that even though God is all powerful, he works with us.  Our passivity in prayer is a problem and a victory for the enemy.  Praying turns the power on down here.  Worship and praise are sung prayers.  Prayer is connecting with God.  Why not spend more time in prayer?  Jesus is praying for us right now.  I want to find out what he is praying and pray that.

To Preach Or Not To Preach

What is the outcome of this, brothers and sisters? 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.
-1 Corinthians 14:26

Scholars in learning research tell us that we only remember about 10% when we hear a teaching.
Maybe the lecture is not the best method of learning.

In preaching, we want our listeners to learn something, but we also might want to impart something, or be a catalyst of change in lives.  But is the sermon the best way to do this?  Leonard Hjalmarson wrote on the topic of preaching, authority, learning and growth; this week.  Here are some ideas of how sermons or preaching can work today in our culture:
  • preaching has to become interactive so that the entire body participates
  • preaching has to move from lecture halls to small rooms
  • learning and growth happens in community, where learners  know each other
We still have “experts” or professionals among us: those who have more training and wider reading and thus represent both the Word and the wider tradition, and who evidence teaching gifts and are thus “elders.” But because we enter a shared process of discernment, we move toward becoming an interpretive community. We invite the Holy Spirit and the Word and the Body into a dialogue in the gifted Body. We make context a part of that dialogue, because the important questions we bring to Scripture are generated by the mission environment. Moreover, we exercise faith believing that the Spirit will lead us into all truth and that this is a living and temporal process.
And because we are no longer passive, but active and engaged, we have the opportunity to learn through all our senses. We know that effective learning is more than rote and more than hearing: it must engage our whole being including our emotions. Conversation and debate generate emotion (we could learn from the Jews on this). We both think and feel our way into truth that is lived.
In this way we do not move beyond authority, but we recognize that authority is a complex reality that is authorized in at least three ways: by Text, Tradition and living Temple (Community). The Spirit of God dwells among the people of God to create God’s future. This perspective is a return to an older understanding of authority and Apostolicity. It moves beyond truth as propositional to an older sense of truth as Troth – truth as aleithea in its root sense of an unveiling. Truth must be embodied, and implies both relationality and covenant.
- See more at:
What happens in church meetings is that it becomes an anonymous, passive experience.  What if preaching or teaching or interactive meetings where everyone had a chance to share, were in a circle or around a table, where we all looked at each other?

This interactive, community, synergistic, body-life meeting does not work in bigger settings.  The bigger settings become lecture halls where we nod off.  I imagine that we preach for growth.  But preaching does not produce much growth, so it becomes, "we preach, because that's just what we do".  What Leonard's article says is that preaching used to work better, when the world and culture was different.  Now we need more interaction, in order to learn or grow.

preaching has to become interactive
 More here.