Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
OK, yesterday I wrote about belonging to God, and realize some may read my opening as contrasting belonging to God with having right theology and doctrine...and I'm sure many would say you can't belong to God without right theology and doctrine.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In human form He brings the message that God tried to communicate to his people for thousands of years. He fulfills the law that God gave His people, that they couldn’t obey.
Jesus is the Word of God, He embodies all that God wants to communicate to us. The Bible is where we go to learn about the life of Jesus.
God speaks to us through Jesus, especially the words and actions of Jesus, that we read in the New Testament. If we want to know God’s heart, God’s desires, God’s plans, God’s wishes, God’s perspective…we’ve got to know Jesus.
We've got to read His words, and learn about the events of His life. We’ve got to let His words and thoughts enter and fill us. We’ve got to meditate and ponder and pray—and as we do that, we listen, and allow His spirit to speak to us.
If we want to hear God through Jesus, a great place to start is Matthew 5-7, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
Here He summarized beautifully what God has to say to us. The bottom line is to love God and love people. We can spend hours dissecting that, asking exactly what does that look like for us as individuals, and as a church; but that's the starting point. Love God, and love people. If everything we do meets the criteria of those commands; we can’t go wrong.
As we ponder how God speaks; I am challenged to really make time and space in my life to listen and just be with Jesus. I sometimes get so caught up in ministry and theology, that I miss out on the real experience of connecting with Jesus, my savior, my creator, my friend, my father. I am reminded over and over that it always comes back to silence--making time to be present with Him.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Ok, I don’t want to get all political, but I have to say that yesterday was profound. I voted in the VA primary, and it was the first time in over a decade that I was really excited about voting for a presidential candidate.
As a pastor I try to be accessible to all people; and don't want to say things that will put up walls. I respect people, even with different opinions and perspectives--heck, my wife and I rarely agree when it comes to politics, and I love and respect her deeply.
Anyway, I am excited about the history being made here. There is a good chance we will have our first female or African American president. There is a good chance that our next president will take steps to get us out of the civil war in Iraq. These are exciting possibilities to me.
It is so rewarding to participate in this process. In the midst of a hard week, voting gave me a lot of joy and hope.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Why do I see images of places that I long to go to, be in, experience, live in; yet I stay here, in a city that I don’t really love, that feels heavy and crowded and busy and rushed.
I love the beach and blue water and mountains and trees and waterfalls. Why do I live in a place that doesn’t really have any of that? I look at pictures like this and am filled with longing. I remember times when I have visited places filled with such beauty.
Sanibel Island. We vacationed there three years ago, and it was wonderful. White sand, cool water, waves, shells, amazing seafood. We spent days walking on the beach gathering shells, biking along paths, looking at incredible plants and flowers and trees and animals.
One morning I got up and rode to a local coffee shop to get some work done. I imagined that I was a famous writer, that I lived on the island, and spent my mornings writing in the coffee shop; listening to the stories of both locals and tourists.
Then I thought, why couldn’t I just find a job in a place like this, and be in beautiful surroundings all the time? Would I grow weary of the beauty of nature if I lived there? Would I tire of the beach and ocean? Would it lose it’s mystery and magic?
I don’t know, but I would like to find out. I’m starting to think that life is too short to wait to try and risk and experiment and pursue dreams.
Then I realize that is a lot of what we are doing here at Convergence. We are trying to risk and experiment and pursue dreams. I love what I am doing. I think it’s just the location or setting that I wish were different.
My life has been marked by moves to new places. Maybe there is another one not too far off—and maybe next time I will look at the world around me and choose someplace that grabs my desires and dreams the way this beach does.