Friday, August 29, 2014

The Gospel Is about Race Relations Too

This video clip from Mark DeYmaz, of Mosaic Church, talks more bluntly -- with grace, just more openly than we normally politely do -- about race and injustice in America. No its roots, but its cure, which is our responsibility not the government's.

Well worth the 11 minutes to watch. May I dare you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

He Felt Our Sorrows

Is the Gospel relevant? It is as relevant to our lives as the newspaper or its online equivalents. Lately, we've been hit with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and the recurring Israel-Gaza conflict, with over 2,000 dead and no proper end in sight -- just to name two out of thousands of conflicts right now. How does the Gospel apply to all these? Here are a few

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saul the Persecutor

All this recent action by the Islamic militia, the IS, taking over territory and killing anyone who disagrees with them, reminds me of a character in the early church named Saul. He thought he had a corner on the Righteousness market, and wanted to stuff it down everyone's throat on an 'or-else' basis. God had other plans...  Acts 9 tells the story.

 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

It ain't over till it's over. And there's no ruling out that the persecutors themselves will be converted by seeing a vision or being confronted by Jesus himself. Then what would happen?  We don't know but it's sure worth praying for!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. (Rev. 22:20).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Marvel-ing at a True Super-hero

When I was a lot younger, I read the comics and watched TV shows like Superman and Batman (not always with the permission of my parents) and marveled at the strength of these more-than-humans and their ability to stay calm in almost any tough situation. Now I see Marvel(tm) comics or see the ads for movies with Hulk, Thor, Captain America and the others and I realize these fantasies

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Brings Joy to the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 4:30 says "And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live." Last Sunday looking at this verse, we asked questions like what brings grief to the Holy Spirit and why that is. The next interesting question was, "What

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Make Up -- by a young girl

An amazing spoken-word poem by a young woman with a ton of insight and a great talent for wordplay. The message:  You are beautiful without the chemicals.
Fathers, let's give that message to our girls. Brothers, be strong in validating our sisters as the daughters of God. Husbands -- we validate our wives every day by the way we give them love and honor as our sisters in Christ, beautiful just as they are.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Relationship First

God says "I am the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, who set you free from slavery" before he tells them anything to do. God says "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" over and over. He is first of all about relationship, and only secondly about directions, commands and obedience.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

God Doesn't Change the Rules

The summer camp where I volunteered last week got all the young male campers out into the woods for a rousing game of what is loosely called "Capture the Flag." After 45 minutes without anyone capturing anything except scrapes and muddy clothes, our Fearless Leader decided to mix it up a bit by changing some of the rules. After the new rules didn't work out, somebody else had an idea about a different rule change, and off we went again. After another hour of more confusion on the rules, we ended the game, all glad for one thing:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sons and Daughters, not Slaves

From another blog, a post quoting John Stott's commentary on Galatians:

Here's the quote:
“The Christian life is the life of sons and daughters; it is not the life of slaves. It is freedom, not bondage. Of course, we are slaves of God, of Christ, and of one another. We belong to God, to Christ, to one another, and we love to serve those to whom we belong. But this kind of service is freedom.
“What the Christian life is not, is a bondage to the law, as if our salvation hung in the balance and depended on our meticulous and slavish obedience to the letter of the law.
“As it is, our salvation rests upon the finished work of Christ, on His sin-bearing, curse-bearing death, embraced by faith.”