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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Traveling with the viewpoint of God

It's fun to travel. I love it. It's great to visit new places, hear new sounds and meet new people. It's good to get away. But it's also good to get home, for there is no place like home!

I would suggest to you that it's only good to come home if there is someone there to ask you, "How was your trip?" Traveling is fun when we know that when we get back home, there will be people with whom we can share our experinces, both the good and the bad. We are traveling with their eyes, and their ears, so that when we return home they can share in our stories of the road.

There is an analogy to that in life. We are pilgrims in this life, travelers on the highway to heaven. We are on a trip, and it's nice to know that what awaits us is God. What awaits us is a God who can't wait to hear our stories and watch our videos and see our pictures and hear about the friends that we made.

So, in a sense we are traveling with God's eyes, God's ears, so that when we arrive in heaven, you and I will be happy to return home, and there is "no place like home."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

the importance of touch

A picture speaks a thousand words. So true. But so does a touch. A touch speaks volumes in our lives. It's so true that when we are children we receive a lot of hugs, but as adults we back off from that.

Many times a touch can give more life than words. A friend giving a hug during a time of grief. A slap on the back after a good joke. A handshake that says I care about you. A wiping away of tears during a difficult time. These moments of touch are very poignant and powerful. They restore, they reconcile, they reassure, they forgive, they heal.

Have you ever noticed that when people touched Jesus they many times were healed? The Bible says in Luke 6:19, "and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all."

When we express love to one another through a touch, it's God's love flowing through us to those around us - and brings life and healing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The stillness of being in God's presence

God says in Psalms 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." We are all busy. We all need these words. To fulfill that we immediately think of "getting away". Getting alone. Driving to a secluded spot with a Bible and a pad of paper and pencil. Just God and me.

Yet for most of us that "ain't going to happen." Yet we can keep an inner stillness even while we are going about our day. Through the business, work and pressure of the day.

It's important to keep a still place wherever we are in the marketplace. While I am sitting at my desk, I take five minutes to pause, to reflect, to remember a scripture that I read that morning, to get an instant recharge from the presence of God.

Without that life can turn us around and everything starts spinning. We become drive by going everywhere but at the same time ending up nowhere.

But it's in the stillness of God that he guides and directs us on a daily basis.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Knowing yourself

what does it mean to "know yourself"? So many times when we seek to "know ourselves" we do that through analyzing ourselves by various means and methods. We think that we are machines that can be taken apart and put back together at will.

There is tremendous value in exploring in detail our past experinces, what brought us to where we are today. But here's the deal: we will never completely understand ourselves and be able to explain ourselves fully to others.

How can I fully "know myself"? By realizing who I am in Jesus. Through solitude, silence and prayer. Through getting in touch with my spiritual center in God. That is not something that can be analyzed but only known through my daily communication with God.

Monday, March 21, 2005

being friends with ourselves

Are you a friend with yourself? Do you love who you are?

These are important questions because it is very, very difficult to delvope good friendships with others unless we are friends with ourselves.

How do make friends with ourselves? We have to start with a true understanding ofwho we are. That we each are talented but yet limited, generous but also worried about the things of life. In other words we are complex. And many times we don't even know why we do certain things, much less have other people tell us why we respond the way we do.

Only God can reveal our true nature. Only God can help us truly become friends with ourselves and reach out to others in loving relationships.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Yesterday was an interesting day in the legal system. Robert Blake received a not guilty verdict by reason of reasonable doubt. Scott Peterson gets a death sentence. Both were guilty (and they deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law) - one gets off and one goes free. Our legal system is inperfect. By contrast, God's legal system is perfect. It's interesting to me that while we can never ultimately know who is guilty or who is not (unless the evidence says otherwise - maybe that comes from watching CSI) God does. God is the ultimate jury and judge. I'm thankful that my destiny is in the hands of God and not men for God is a God of grace, his judgement is perfect, and as I come to him and confess my failures he is faithful and just and right and perfect in forgiving my mistakes and cleansing me from all my impurities. Grace and peace this day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

God's sovereignty

The media has really attached themselves to the story about Ashley Smith talking down Brian Nichols by reading the Purpose Driven Life to him. He allows her to leave, she calls the police, and he is taken into custody. There are some who are saying that all this unfolded according to God's plan. Is that correct or not?

John MacArthur said, "It's an incredibly wonderful story of how God used a borken lady to stop a guy who could have killed again and again." But he cautioned against interpreting the incicent as an "unfolding God's plan," because no one really knew enough about the two people, what really happened between them and whether they truly committed themselves to God. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

function of the church

The fuction of the church is to give us an opportunity to express our individual relationship with God on a corporate level in worship. It also gives us an occasion to show love to one another on a daily basis. We spend a lot of time on the "how to". However, we must learn to "be" before we can "do."

Monday, March 14, 2005

yesterday's teaching

Again, we are using this as a time of experimentation. Do we want to open this up to the congregation as a tool to respond to the teaching and answer questions? I am open to that on the basis that we examine the content of the teaching - not necessarily the style.

Let's take yesterday as an example.

Any thoughts or questions or failure? How did the teaching speak to you? What was the one thing that you took away from it?

Let's all try to respond to this, again to further our ability to use blogs.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Love God love people

our goal is to love God and love people. What is your mind does that mean? Is everythign we are doing serving to loving God and loving people. I sense that there are some things that we can trim. Are we truly being the body of Christ?

I pose the questions for everyone to answer in order for me to get a feel of working this blog. Would appreciate the responses so that I can get used to this in order to open it up to the congregation later on. What about using it as a tool for responses to the teaching on Sunday morning?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

working with a blog

I am really interested in using this as a tool to communicate with our congregation as to questions concerning the Bible, social issues, and world events. It would not be a tool for counseling as the posts are open for everyone to read. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

starting a blog

what does everyone thing of being a "blogger?" I am really interested in finding out who responds to these and how it works. Anybody out there can get me some feed back?