Monthly Archives: November 2009

Bringing Life

While I know it may seem odd at first and even a bit sacrilegious to some, this clip made me stop and think.  What does it look like to bring life to our world?  After all, isn’t this what we have been called to do?  Our creative God, created us in His image and called us to partner with him in the ongoing creation of the world.  He has called us to be the ones that bring life to the world.  Both physical and spiritual life.  Maybe the folks at Guiness are on to something.

To learn more about the Guiness company and the way that they have been involved in bringing life I would recommend the book The Search for God and Guiness.  You can read a short review here.

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Thankful

As I sit in the stillness of this early Thanksgiving morning, I have been reflecting on  all of the the things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for big things like God’s grace and mercy.  For His patience and goodness.  For His holiness and desire to make me holy.  Did I mention His patience.  I am thankful that He loved us enough to join us, to live among us and die for us.

I am thankful for my wife and kids.  For their smiles and laughs, for their love, for knowing that we are in this for the long haul and that we are always there for each other.

I am thankful  for extended family and for friends that are like family.

I am thankful for heath, for jobs that more than provide for our needs and allow us to use our giftings and strengths.

I am thankful for our home.  For our kids to have a place to grow up, and for us to have a place to share life with others.

I am thankful that we live in Colorado.  For sunrises and sunsets, blue skies and powder snow. For mountains and elk.  For the breath taking beauty that God surrounds us with each day and that I shamefully take for granted all too often.

I am thankful for little things – french pressed coffee, smartwool socks and fleece pullovers.  For my iPhone and my Mac.  For bacon & eggs and biscuits & gravy.  For good music and for great podcasts, for high speed internet and all the information available at the click of a button.

And I am thankful you stopped by to read this.

What are you thankful for?

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Matthew’s Begats and God’s Big Picture

This morning I picked up the Scriptures and started reading through Matthew’s account of the Gospel.  I didn’t get far before I had to stop.  For those who are familiar with Matthew’s book, you know it starts off with a genealogy, the family tree of Jesus.  Now I wouldn’t recommend that you start writing a book this way.  It is not the most attention grabbing beginning and there is no obvious hook to keep you reading.  However, as I was reading through this list again I was amazed at not just the names, and there are some big names in there, but at how much detail had to happen for this list to come together.  I was left in awe.   Just how big is this picture God is paining in his word?  Just how big is He to arrange all the details to bring about its completion?

As God put together just the right plan to bring about the birth of His Son, so too has God brought about your entrance into the world and the events that shape and make you who you are.  Take a moment to ponder the God who creates and orders and brings His plan to fulfillment this morning.

This is a video of Andrew Peterson singing through Matthew’s words.  May this song get stuck in your head and cause you to reflect on God’s greatness today.

 

 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Jesus, Scripture

Mass Produced Disciples

Why has the church fallen for the lie that bigger is better, that more is the goal?  The bigger the church congregation, the larger the youth group, the more successful the church.  We are trying to mass produce disciples, which goes against everything we know and believe to be true.  In schools we know that the lower the student/teacher ratio the more effective the teaching is and the better the students are able to understand and put what they are learning into practice.  If the church were to adopt this strategy, perhaps some of our mega-churches would not be held up as examples and church growth talk would not be about numbers, but about actual growth in the people of the church.

After all, Jesus did not try to train thousands at a time, but picked 12 to walk with daily.  His  investment in the few eventually had a real impact on millions, but he didn’t try to do reach tens of thousands at a time.  Discipleship cannot work the way we are trying to do it, and we see the evidence in the stats about the church today.  Perhaps it  is time to look to the past to find the model for the future.

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Filed under Christianity, Discipleship

By faith . . .

On Saturday I put up a post about Martin Luther and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Today I want to look at some of the practical implications that this split has had on Protestant church.  One of the major areas of disagreement between those Reformers and the Catholic church was the understanding of grace versus works in the role of salvation.  Protestants believed that Catholic doctrine taught that salvation was achieved by faith and works, thus you had to earn your salvation.  In response, the doctrine of Sola Fide, “by faith alone”, became  one of the cornerstones of Protestant theology.

Unfortunately, over time the practical result has been a separation of “faith” and “works” and the idea that obedience is not a necessary part of salvation.  After all, Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

But in Chapter 2, James says: Continue reading

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Questions