Showing posts from August, 2011

Message to Christian Bloggers from the Scripture

"Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old." - Matthew 13:52

Mainline and Evangelical Lexicon Differences or Similarities

I'm actually creating this blog for the purpose of receiving responses.  I want to hear from the people on the world wide web what they have learned about the differences in the lexicon or dictionary of evangelical and mainline Christians.  From my experience dancing between and in both worlds, I have discovered that often these two practices of Christianity will talk past each other even when they are discussing the same thing.  I think there are times when representatives of each perspective will agree with each other even though they don't really agree.  There are other times where representatives will be having heated arguments and they are saying the same thing, but using different terms.  So, I want to hear what you have heard - how do you translate the conversation?
For example.  My evangelical friends may ask, "When did you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?"  While my mainline friends would ask, "When did your faith become your own?&qu…

Imagine the Word alive!

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.” Matthew 13:1-2 (NRSV)
Do you ever just sit and imagine Scripture?Visualize the words as if they are taking place right before you.Imagine yourself as a first-hand witness to the events that are taking place?
I sat down to read Matthew 13 today and paused and imagined.I invite you to imagine with me the first two verses of this chapter.
“Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.”
Hear the ocean waves lap against the shore.Smell and taste the salt of the sea as it infiltrates the sky, your clothes, your nostrils.Do you hear the birds?Then look, observe, Jesus just stepped out of the home where he spent the night. He takes a step out the door, pauses, and breathes deeply. Scanning the horizon, his eyes lift to the sky in a silent prayer, then he takes a humble step into the deep sand that he and his…

Ready for a life change of pace?

No wonder it is so hard for me to slow down!

As I've previously mentioned, I am going through the workbook "The Significant Woman" during my daily devotional time.  Today I'm on the part where one discerns her uniqueness.  I like the approach this book takes, as it not only takes into consideration gifts, skills, training, and passions, but also includes relationships, life experiences, and core values.

I've just completed the section on life experiences.  I've done a similar exercise before, but what is interesting about this exercise is that it has you break down your life experiences by identifiable age categories.  I feel like I've lived a long and full life already, but when I look at the break-down of ages I see that I fill only four out of the twelve boxes.  I've accomplished a lot in my first 30 years!

What is especially interesting about this break-down is that I see that I've been operating at a very fast pace since 7th grade and that m…

Jesus' testimony about Himself. John 3:16

I just realized that John 3:16 is Jesus' words about himself prior to his crucifixion and resurrection! Crazy, huh!  Jesus, in a private conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who admits that he and his fellow Pharisee's recognize that Jesus is a teacher sent by God, gives this lengthy testimony to his own identity.

- Jesus speaks of what he knows and what he has seen.
- Jesus has chosen to speak of earthly things, recognizing that if they can't believe the earthly things it will be difficult for them to believe the heavenly things.
- he speaks of the future has if it is already past - "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven"
- he basically identifies himself as "the Son of Man."
- he claims that as the people were healed by looking at the snake Moses lifted up in the wilderness, so those who look at him when he is lifted up like the snake will be healed/receive eternal life.

and it goes on from there.  Just take a look at…

Fear of Normalcy

I've just begun reading through the facilitator's guide for "The Significant Woman."  I realize as I finish this first chapter that I am afraid of normalcy.  I am terrified of living a normal life.  I feel that if I do, I will have failed.  I will have failed God, failed my family, and failed myself.

I believe this fear comes from a deep sense that I am called for something great.  Is that too arrogant of me? This sense of calling leads me to always be watching for that thing that I am called to do and leaves me with the question "Have I already completed it?"  There is a part of me that wonders if I have already done what God destined me to do and if so, will the rest of life be boring?

Recently I heard a story on the radio about a man who had been respected as a faithful/devout Christian who did not finish his life well.  I fear that too -- not finishing well.

In many ways I think the older I get the harder it is to be a Christian.  As I depart from the …

Who is Jesus? According to Matthew 12:

In many ways Jesus was a regular guy, he walked through the grainfields with his buddies, broke the religious rules of his day, debated the law, and had siblings and a mother who demanded his attention.  But Jesus wasn't and still isn't your regular guy.  He had the authority to interpret the meaning of the Sabbath, cure the sick, release the demonized, confront the religious leaders, call a hypocrite a hypocrite, and predict his own death and resurrection.  In his humility and gentleness he fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah while seemingly simultaneously condemning those who uttered words carelessly and produced bad fruit. Jesus was and is greater than the temple, greater than Jonah, and greater than Solomon in all his wisdom. Jesus brings the kingdom of God to the people by the power of God's Spirit and invites us to be a part of that kingdom!

Big Idea: Jesus brings the kingdom of God to the people by the power of God's Spirit and invites us to be a part of that kin…

Moral or Ethical Dilemma: Do the right thing, even when it is tough.

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.’ But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, “I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,” you would not have condemned the innocent.For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’
Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, ‘Is …

Do you judge?

This is a devotional I wrote for our church daily e-devotional:

"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'” - 1 Samuel 16:7

As a teenager I held tightly to this verse. When I felt judged by my peers or socially inadequate, I would remind myself that God doesn't judge me by my outside appearance, but God judges me based upon my heart.  And in regard to heart issues, I felt like I was doing pretty good.

Now as an adult I've begun looking at this verse differently. Instead of seeing it as a prop to my self-esteem, I view it as a standard in my interactions. Do I see other people with God's eyes or do I evaluate people based upon the standards of the world?

When I meet the teenaged girl dressed all in black do I take the time to discover she has a very compassionate heart and a pol…