Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birthers, Birth Certificates, and the State of Politics in America

Yesterday morning as I'm getting ready to walk out the door, get the kids to preschool, and get to my office to work, ABC News breaks in with a news bulletin.  Cut to George Stephanopolous who introduces the man who needs no introductions as he takes the podium at the White House for about a 3-minute press statement.

And so now we have a long-form birth certificate for the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, II.  Good for us, right?

Fail.

No, seriously.  All the way around, I consider this a fail.  We have information now that we didn't have before.  But at what cost to us as individuals and as a society?  Fail.

Senator and candidate Obama could've put all this to bed before the election.  I'm not saying he needed to do so, but it could've been done.  And in case you haven't noticed, conspiracy nuts don't let go of stuff easily (hello, 9/11 wack-jobs).  Maybe he should've.  He certainly could've.  Fail.

But now that he's President, he has way too much stuff to do, right?  Afghanistan.  Iraq.  Libya.  Syria.  Falling dollar.  End of the American domination of the world economy by 2016.  Struggling economy.  Gas at $4 per gallon pre-summer.  Massive storms across the country.  Japan.  Budget crises.  And on and on.  So he surely doesn't have time for this birth certificate stuff, right?  Well, considering that the rest of his published schedule yesterday was basically an interview with Oprah for her new network and a fundraising event in NYC, it didn't sound like a SitRoom or political war room kind of day for the President.  Therefore, he just might have had some time to put down this distraction.  Fail.

And that's just the President.  What about the press?  In the midst of everything going on that's actually important in the world, we have incredible coverage of the Royal Wedding and the birth certificate.  Are you kidding me?  Fail.

And what about our culture?  Most of us think the President's a Muslim.  And before the release of the long-form birth certificate only 38% of us believed he was born in the U.S.  We're taking information and opinion from an iffy bad-coifed business man who has a reality show or a guy who is going to profit (from book sales and advertising dollars) from promoting conspiracies against the left-wing radicals?  Fail.

And that just leaves you and me personally.  As individuals, in what kind of civil discourse are we participating?  What emails do I forward that are slanderous or libelous?  Just how small and pathetic am I going to become before waking up to the spiritual, physical, economical, social, and relational reality that there are important things to be done?  Or will I ever wake up from that at all?  Will you?  Or will we fail too?

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

(editorial post-script:  I'm a lot more ticked off and concerned about the last three paragraphs - press, culture, individuals - than I am about the political fortunes and decisions of the President.  He's my President and I think he messed up.  But God still has him there and I intend to honor him and pray for him as such.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Super-Christians: thoughts of my 6-year old

We were driving to Easter brunch after worship on Sunday when from the back seat comes this little gem...
"Daddy, the people who go to that church must be super-christians.  I bet they love Jesus a lot."
"Why is that, son?"
"Look at all those crosses on their church building.  And look at that big one!"
It was funny.  And it was telling.  We adorn t-shirts with pithy sayings, backs of cars with fish, wrists with black-red-white-green-yellow bracelets, Bibles with hi-liters, and churches with crosses.  But they're all superfluous.  None of them measure our walk with Christ.  Absurdity reigns and confusion (with a healthy dose of superficiality) makes it all look better.

Consider instead Jesus' method of measuring His disciples:
Self-denial for Jesus' Sake (Luke 9.23-25 and parallels)
Priority of Relationship with Him (Luke 14.25-35 and parallel in Matthew 10)
Commitment to His Word (John 8.31-32)
Love of Others (John 13.34-35)
Bearing Spiritual Fruit (John 15.8)
That's a list worth reviewing on a daily basis.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seduced or Persecuted?

I was sitting yesterday with Kyle, our student pastor at Heritage Park, when he started reading from this commentary on 1 Thessalonians.  He's preaching through that letter to our students so he had borrowed my commentary on the text.  This is a slight paraphrase of what he read:
Christians in America are more likely to be seduced by the cultural values than be persecuted by them.
Prophetic.  Powerful.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hallucination?

I intentionally left out a theory that seeks to discredit the resurrection of Jesus from yesterday's sermon.  I did so because it's so pathetic that I just can't seem to get my head around it.  If some of you have good explanations for it, please let me know.

This idea?  It is the Hallucination Theory.

Essentially, the theory goes something like this:  the apostles and others saw Jesus in their minds as some sort of mass hallucination.  Here is my major issue with this line of thinking.  Multiple times in the NT, we see the resurrected Christ appear to various people.  A quick survey...

Women in the Garden (Mark 16, Luke 24, Matthew 28).

Two followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).

A gathering of disciples behind locked doors (Luke 24, John 20).

Another gathering, this time with Thomas (John 20).

An appearance to seven disciples on the seashore (John 21).

The eleven in Galilee on the mountain (Matt. 28).

At least 500 at one time (1 Cor. 15).

At the Ascension (Acts 1).


So, just to be clear:  all of these people in all of these settings with all of these different circumstances are coming up with one cogent, coherent mass delusion?  Now you might see why I didn't bother giving it any press in the sermon.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sermon Notes from Easter Sunday, 4.24.11

Here are the notes from this Easter's sermon.  As is normally the case, about midweek you can find the audio and these notes in PDF at sermons.heritagepark.org or on iTunes.


Easter 2011
Luke 24.1-12

Remember (v.5-8)
  • The events of Easter were no surprise to God.
  • They had to happen because we are separated from God.
  • They had to happen because someone had to pay for sin.
  • They had to happen because He loves us and wants life for us.

Body (v.3)
  • Objection:  He didn’t die.
  • Objection:  His disciples stole the body.
  • Objection:  The authorities hid the body.
  • Objection:  The women went to wrong tomb.
  • Objection:  The Bible isn’t trustworthy.

Stone (v.2)
  • It lets us in on His getting out.
  • It keeps us from confusion on Jesus’ identity and message.
  • It helps us determine whether we’re fans or followers.




Happy Easter!

EVERYTHING CHANGES BECAUSE OF EASTER...


Today we celebrate Jesus' resurrection, by which He was declared the Son of God with power and through which He has become the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Jesus Christ beat sin on Friday and death on Sunday.  There's so much that the Bible says about those.  But our older brother, Christ Himself, also set the tone and pattern for us in being raised from the dead.  Whoever looks on Him in confidence receives the same kind of life, indeed the very same Spirit that raised Him from the dead (Rom. 8.11).

What is ours because of this?  We share with our older brother in the same inheritance from the Father.  We are loved as He is loved.  We are imbued with power as He has power.  We are unionized with Him in His victory.

Happy Easter everyone.  He is risen.  He is risen indeed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Saturday

A repost from last year's Easter Saturday.

The air of Easter Saturday is heavy with the fog of doubt and confusion, grief and loss.  Yet there is a tinge of the aroma of hope.

Just about everything we know about Easter Saturday can be summed up in one word:  nothing.  The silence is deafening.  I can only imagine what's running through the individual and collective minds of the followers (and deserters) of Jesus. 

"I guess we bet on the wrong horse here, didn't we?"

"All along I've been wrong.  How can that be?"

"I thought He was someone else, someone special."

"What in the world am I going to do now?"

It strikes me that most of those thoughts and ponderings that I'm imagining have at their core how am responding to what's happened.  That's part of the problem I guess.  Easter Saturday is not about how I'm feeling about what happened on Friday.  It's about how God is at work even in the death, the grief, the loss, the devastation, the doubt, the silence. 

There's a lot of patience required in those moments.  And confidence that the One who promised is Faithful to see it through (1 Thes. 5.24).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

A repost of last year's reflections on Good Friday.


The man on the cross is no mere martyr who identifies with the oppressed - He is the Son of God being the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.


Some would identify Jesus as the symbol of all who would suffer oppression, injustice, hardship, loss, grief, and hatred.  He certainly did suffer those things and promised that those who follow Him would as well.  But you can suffer and become bitter.  You can endure hardship and come out hard-hearted.  So no, He's no mere symbol.

He's the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  That's what He's doing on the cross.  He can be more for us than that as He agonizes there, but it must start there.  His atoning work becomes the portal for all the other things God will do (Rom. 8.32).

I write this at 3:01pm, the hour according to the Bible that Jesus cried His last words and breathed His last breath.  Indeed, it is finished.  Amen.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

A repost of last year's reflections on Maundy Thursday.  They still hold true:

Jesus on Thursday: In the world you will have trouble, but take heart because I've overcome the world (John 16.33). That's a perfect picture of the coming Easter weekend.


No one claims the first half of that promise:  in the world you WILL have trouble.  That's not framed, not on anyone's fridge, not on a coffee cup or Bible cover or any of the other inane things most Christian bookstores sell.  We love the back half.  It's the front half we have problems with.


But Jesus not only spoke it - He modeled it.  Thursday night into Friday is bloody and brutal.  Friday is death and darkness and separation and wrath.  Saturday is doubt and questioning and silence.  But take heart, because He overcame the world on Sunday.  


Prediction on the front end so we'll know He's faithful to His promise on the back end.  That's (part of) what Maundy Thursday means to me.

Good News: Jesus is Alive

Here's 2:23 worth of one of the best scholars in the world on the resurrection of Christ.  His book on the resurrection (found here) is a tome of solid argumentation and thought.  Key thought for me was this:  you can assent to the facts but remain uncommitted.  THAT, friends, is cognitive dissonance. Because if Jesus Christ rose from the dead, it changes everything.  Watch and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Invite me in...

This is a great reminder about Easter.  People are predisposed to come.  Why not invite them?  Worth your 3:36, I promise.

To view this video, click here:  SERMON SPICE LINK.

No ads, no registration.  Just a poignant reminder.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My prayer for Easter week...

One of the prayers I'm asking God to make true this week is rooted in Philippians 1.  Paul found himself in a "bad" situation in jail.  But in that "bad" situation, he was sharing Christ and people were coming to know Him.  The jailers thought they had Paul chained to them.  But Paul saw it as someone being chained to him, someone who was stuck with Paul, someone who needed to know Jesus.

So here's my prayer based on Paul's experience:

God, no matter what happens today, I pray it would serve to advance the Gospel in every circumstance (Philippians 1.12).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sin and Alienation

I don't read many blogs, but I ran across this and thought it was too good not to share.  I'll have one comment below.  This is from Tim Challies (www.challies.org).

It is notable that Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, from the face of God. It wasn’t the sound of him that was terrifying; it was his presence. When we are full of the guilt and shame of sin, that’s exactly what we want. We want to hide from the gaze of the person we’ve offended, we want to run from the person we’ve sinned against. His presence becomes offensive. When a woman sins against her husband, as long as she remains in her sin she doesn’t want him to be near—she wants him to be away from her—far away.
This can manifest itself in another, similar way. The man who has an affair comes to hate his wife—the person he has sinned against becomes a person he hates. The guilt and the shame of what he has done drives him away from the one he should be pursuing to seek her forgiveness and reconciliation. Her acts of love condemn him. Her innocence drives him mad.
Hate and abandonment—here is how we act when we have sinned against another. Sin is so tricky. It’s so dark and deceptive. One of the primary manifestations of a man who is consumed by pornography is anger. Anger against his wife! His sin condemns him, leaves him filthy, leaves him dreading the presence of the one he sins against. Because he has sinned against her, he finds that he cannot be in her presence without his sin crying out against him.
There are many lessons we can draw from the description of man’s fall into sin. But here is one I found that was rather unexpected: When I feel alienated from another person or when I even find myself full of hatred toward another person, I cannot assume that it is that person’s fault. It is just as likely that my own sin is driving me away. Because alienation is exactly what sin desires; it is exactly what sin accomplishes.
My comment now:  any wonder, in light of this insight, that Jesus addresses anger and lust within a breath of one another in the Sermon on the Mount?  He proclaims the righteousness that's available through Him and then turns immediately to anger and lusting.  Seems like He knew what He was talking about.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sermon Notes from Sunday 4.17.11

Each Palm Sunday, I take the time to preach about the cross and what happened there.  This is today's message from the Luke crucifixion account.


Six Feet Away
Luke 23.32-49

How could Jesus say that?
  • Any guilty man deserves punishment, not forgiveness.
  • The measure of the offense is determined by the value of the offended.
  • Jesus makes an offering for sin, absorbing and satisfying God’s wrath.
  • His propitiation leaves only God’s favor toward us.

Why would Jesus do that?
  • He desires to show grace to you.
  • He loves you and wants you to know Him.

What do we do with that?
  • Trust Jesus.
  • Component 1:  Comprehension
  • Component 2:  Conviction
  • Component 3:  Commitment

Friday, April 15, 2011

Snakes are Scary: Jesus died for His peeps...

Well, I just don't know what to do with this...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Entitlement - last thought...

An entitlement is something I feel I have the right to but have no investment in.
I'll wrap up today with this confession:  I feel entitled to people agreeing with me.  Like most people, I like it when they do.  I even expect it.

The problem is I have no investment in that.  Just like I can't control my kids' behavior, I can't control other folks' opinions.  I can lay out my arguments.  I can explain why it's important to me, them, and everyone else.  But I can't control their response.

In ministry, this happens regularly in counseling situations.  A person comes in because they need help.  I do my best under God to offer biblical counsel.  They reject it.  I can encourage them.  I can exhort them.  I can load them down with Bible verses.  But I can't choose the course for them.  I can't make them desire holiness.  I can't make them love righteousness.  I can't make them see and choose the way of wisdom.  Ever had that happen when you're trying to give advice to someone?

This is humbling and frustrating every time for me.  I want them to listen.  I want them to change.  And frankly, I want them to do so (to some degree) because I want them to agree with me.

I.  I.  I.  Too many of those.

Entitlement, in this case, costs me a bigger, truer, better goal.  The biggest thing it costs me in that kind of moment:  to love them by wanting God's best for their lives.

So I have to move from giving advice (no matter how biblical) to wanting God's best for them.  That's a much better motivation.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Entitlement - even more thoughts...

An entitlement is something I feel I have the right to but have no investment in.

Maybe you're like me.  Maybe you're much better than me.  But the truth is sometimes I feel entitled to everything being easy.

Green lights.
Light traffic.
Front-row parking spaces.
No lines at the check-out.
Peanut butter, jelly, and bread on the same grocery aisle.

And those are just from the other day.  How about these?

Marriage.  It's just not.  Two self-oriented people get together and live in close proximity while committing together.  Some days are great.  Some days are a struggle.  But it's not easy.

Kids.  They need a drink in the middle of the night and instillation of character for a few decades.  Piece of cake, right?

Adopting.  We did it.  It was great.  But it wasn't easy.  I have written a few blogs to detail my thoughts previously on here.

Health.  Eating right.  Working out.  Physicals.  Blood work.  Colonoscopies.  Enough said.

But as you've heard before:  everything worthwhile is a struggle to obtain.  There's something about the joy ahead that keeps you going in and even leads you into the pain now.

Wait a second.  I've heard this before.

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the JOY SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, despising it's shame..." (Hebrews 12.2).

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Entitlement - more thoughts...

An entitlement is something I feel I have the right to but have no investment in.
I feel entitled to status.

One of the places this plays out is in airports.  I fly just enough each year to make elite status on American Airlines.  Some of the perks really are nice:  no baggage fees, exit row seating, etc.  I'm grateful for those.  But those really aren't the problem.

I get to board early and go through priority check-in and security lines.  Those are pretty nice too.  But they aren't the problem.

Sometimes, as I'm enjoying the perks, from a deep, dark place in my heart comes the desire for people to notice me in the priority check-in line.

Silly?  Yep.

Sinful?  That too.

It's the "do you know who I am" pride that runs deep in a lot of people.  Fighting that means practicing scriptural commands like, "Do not think of yourself more highly than your should" and, "Outdo one another in showing honor."

But it also means following the example of Jesus, who is God, but didn't consider that something to be grasped.  Instead, He emptied Himself, becoming a man, taking the role of a servant who would die for the sin of the world and be resurrected as the only one who really has status that lasts.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Entitlement - you know that feeling?

If I were to try to define the feeling of entitlement, it would go something like this:
An entitlement is something I feel I have the right to but have no investment in.
I recognize it's not great English, but it's my best shot at it.  I said in yesterday's sermon that not fighting the feeling of entitlement can lead to all sorts of relational problems in the church, in marriages, in parenting, and other relationally intensive environments.

Here's my first for instance:  I feel entitled to my kids behaving.

We had a meltdown at the Mexican restaurant Saturday night.  It was one of those tired, long-day kinds that starts with a misunderstanding and ends with a wall-eyed fit.  I thought I deserved better than that.  I feel like I have the right to eat with my family and two friends (who also happened to pay for dinner) without a relational blow out.

But the problem is I don't.  I don't have the right to that because I don't have any investment in how my child chooses to act.  Let me be clear:  it's not that I don't have investment in my kids, in their training, in their upbringing, or in their physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.  I do.

But I don't have a say in how my children choose to act at any point.  I can warn them.  I can help them. I can bribe them.  I can discipline them.  But they choose to act.

If I feel entitled in that Mexican restaurant moment, I can't do parenting well.  I can't see the long-term goals.  I can't see the bigger picture.  I can't think clearly about a path forward.  I can't administer discipline nor give grace.  I can't recall how long the day was.  I can't do any of those things that would make me a good (and godly, I hope) parent in that moment if entitlement is something I'm holding onto.

If I lay that down, I just might be able to do any or all of those things with the Spirit's help.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sermon Notes from Sunday 4.10.11

Here are the notes from today's sermon.  It concluded our series on service and I'm looking forward to the cross and atonement next week followed by the resurrection and Easter the following Sunday.  To hear the sermon audio, you can visit sermons.heritagepark.org or our podcast on iTunes.  You can also find these notes in PDF on the same website.


Serve Like Jesus
Part 3 – Serve Freely
Galatians 5.13-15

Freedom from…

  • Works of Religion – doing our best to earn God’s respect.  
  • Rituals of Religion – doing what we’re told by someone with expertise.
  • Curse of the Law – obtaining to a standard we can never reach.
  • Guilt – standing on the wrong side of judgment.
Freedom to…

  • Christ didn’t purchase our freedom so we can live like slaves to sin.
  • Christ purchased our freedom so we can fulfill His law of love.
Common Biting and Devouring

  • Creating problems where there are none.
  • Fighting with people instead of focusing on issues.
  • Envying another’s success.
  • Doing something to draw a reaction.
  • Refusing to fight the feeling of entitlement.
  • Identifying a problem without suggesting how to solve it.
  • Talk about people before talking to them.
  • Dismissing those we consider less mature.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Believing the (a) lie

I wonder if you're guilty of this.  I am on occasion.

I had lunch with a friend and fellow-pastor yesterday.  In our conversation, he said something that I thought about on the way home and through the evening.

Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is what God says is true about you.

If you knew my friend you'd know he's not dishing out swill there.  This isn't "you should feel good about yourself and go on from there."  We were talking about someone in his church that's really struggling.  And out came that statement.

Some lies you might believe about you that come from the Enemy...

I'm not _____________ enough.  Insert your favorite adjective.  Good, godly, skinny, devoted, etc.

Because of my past, there's no way I'll ever be ______________.  Loved, successful, different, etc.

If anyone ever knew about ________, they'd never _______ me.


Those lies come from various voices but the same source.  Here's where the cross is brutally honest with us:

We are worse than we know and more loved than we hoped.

The reason these lies are so prevalent and powerful is because they contain measures of truth.  We are not good, godly, or devoted enough.  Pasts do have influence on who we are and who we're becoming.  There are people who reject others because of the skeletons in their closets or habits in their lives.

But the cross says you're not enough but Jesus is.

But the cross says your past can be cast into the sea and forgotten.

But the cross says freedom comes through confession.


But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Provision, Faith, and Means

I just got back from my 3-times-a-week-at-5:00-am adventure at our local YMCA with my friend.  We work out, enjoy some conversation, and commiserate about how old our bodies feel compared to our minds.

There's the potential of job transition in my friend's life.  That's the nature of the industry he's in right now.  He's not the first that I know.  He certainly won't be the last in light of some the decisions being made and not being made around here.

But I was inspired by his faith.

He is solid and steady in his belief that God's going to take care of his family.  And it's not without the appropriate steps of cleaning up the resume, making contacts, uploading to Monster and Career Builder, etc.  He even said this morning, "I'll do anything to make sure there's food on the table.  I'll work anywhere."

His confidence in God's willingness and ability to provide and his efforts at due diligence are both expressions of his faith.  The former reflects His relationship with God.  The latter reflects his understanding that God normally works through normal means.  Those means are no less God-oriented since He's the one who created the environment that make those means actual paths to employment.  I guess I point that out because I know others who sit around waiting for God to drop a job in their laps.

My friend inspired me with his steadiness.  Working hard (or pursuing work) with confidence in God isn't faithless but faith-filled.

But that's just me thinking thoughts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Still want to change the world?

You change the world one heart at a time.

I was thinking about the statement from yesterday's blog in light of where we were Saturday and will be the next two Saturdays as a church.  I was thinking about it because I think it's reflective of the multiplying principle.

Some of our congregation was out on what we, as a church, called our Season of Service.  We're engaging some needs at Eagle's Lift Ministries on these three Saturdays as an effort to get outside ourselves and experience what it means to practically serve others.

People were dirty from the garden.  They were sweaty from cleaning up from the fire.  They were smelly from cleaning out the front yard and flowerbeds.  They were nasty from scraping floors in one of the shelters.  They were dusty from moving concrete and other trash to the burn pile.  All in all, we weren't much to look at.

But we were changing the world.

We were changing us by learning to serve.  And no doubt Eagle's Lift and the folks they minister to will benefit and be changed by our service.  But we're also changing homes, marriages, relationships, outlooks, cul-de-sacs.  We're changing generations because we're changing.

That's worth celebrating.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wanna change the world?

I'm sitting here reflecting on a full weekend and this thought continues to stick with me:
You change the world one heart at a time.
Let me do just a moment with a couple of words in there.  First, when I say heart, I mean in the biblical sense:  the core of who you are, not the emotional and sentimental kind of heart.  Second, when I say world, I don't mean all 6.3 billion people or geopolitical structures or economic systems.  Some of those may indeed change, but the world I'm talking about is the world I live in:  my home, my neighbors, my church, my circle.  If you could digitize it, it'd be my contact list.
You change the world one heart at a time.
The first heart that has to change in my world is mine.  I have to be the one to deny myself and take up my cross daily and follow Jesus.  I have to be the one to love my neighbor as myself.  I have to be the one to discipline myself for the purpose of godliness.  I have to be the one to spend time in prayer and listen to God's voice.  I have to be the one to love my King and Father more than I love status, pleasure, or any other idol.  I have to be the one who will live according to the Truth and not the lies.  I have to be the one to live according to my position in Christ.  I have to be the one to change.

My world changes when my heart changes.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sermon Notes from Sunday 4.3.11 and Post #350

Well, congratulations to you, dear reader, for making it to 350 posts.  Appropriately enough, in light of my calling and current occupation, it's a post about sermon notes.

Here are the notes from this Sunday on the Good Samaritan story.  You can find audio and these notes in PDF at sermons.heritagepark.org sometime midweek.  You can also find the audio on iTunes via our podcast in the same timeframe.  It was a great morning with the people of God in the presence of Jesus.


Season of Service
Part 2 – Serve a Stranger
Luke 10.25-37

Key from Last Week:  service is what we do because of who we are.
  • We serve because He served us.

Awareness (v.33)
  • Seeing a situation and having an awareness of it are not the same.
  • Awareness begins with a pace of life that allows both seeing and sensing.

Engagement (v.34)
  • Religious rules that keep me from loving neighbor are not Jesus’ kind of rules.
  • Engagement will be messy because it’s ministry.
  • Engagement gives what’s needed to the situation. 

Offering (v.34-35)
  • He gave up prestige to care for this stranger.
  • He purchased what was needed at a cost to himself.

Jesus’ bottom line:  your neighbor is the person you choose to love.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snakes are scary: This is heelarryus

If you're easily offended, PLEASE do not press play on the video.  Some day, I will be able to preach like this guy.  I first saw it and laughed out loud and a long time.  And no, this is no April Fool's joke....