Archive for the ‘Confession’ Category
If you are a Christian, when you read this, how do you feel? Do you get upset? Angry? Defensive? Does it make you anxious? Does it, even for just a moment, make you question your faith or wonder if what you believe is really as crazy as this description makes it sound? Can you feel emotions in you rising up? Interesting how that happens isn’t it?
If you are an Atheist, when you read this, how do you feel? Do you have the same intensity of emotions, anxieties, or defensiveness? Do you immediately want to begin to make a case for the rationality of atheism over-and-against Christianity (or any other religion)? Can you feel emotions in you rising up? Interesting how that happens isn’t it?
Everyone is telling the story of reality through assumptions based on faith. Everyone. Christian as well as Atheist. What that means is no one has the upper-hand as if one is based purely in science and the other is based on some mystical voodoo. Science, when pushed, has to concede that it, too, is based on faith assumptions.
What is important to me is whether or not there is honesty in regards to this reality. Whether it be from Christians or Atheists, who is willing to admit the variable of faith? Who is willing to say, “I believe what I do because of these faith assumptions”? On either side you have voices that want to proclaim that there is no faith about it. It is “truth” (or “science” or “facts” or “evidences”) and anyone who sees it differently is _________ fill in the blank (e.g., stupid, insane, a fool, ridiculous, etc.).
I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the one and only Living God who created and sustains all things. I believe that he came to the earth and inaugurated the Kingdom of God, that he was crucified, that he was buried, and that three days later he was raised from the dead. And now I believe that he sits at the right hand of God and will one day return to the earth to make all things new.
I believe this based on some rational evidences and proofs. But ultimately, I believe this because I have encountered and experienced the resurrected Lord Jesus and have chosen to accept it based on faith. And now my invitation is for others to stand where I stand; to see what I see; to experience what I experience, and see if this same faith takes hold in their own heart and mind.
Tags: Charisma Magazine, Untouchable Preachers, J. Lee Grady
There are charlatans in every circle. But this is a gutsy piece by the editor of Charisma Magazine calling to his own circle what has happened within it in regards to popular TV evangelists, etc. It is entitled, “Say Good-bye to the Untouchable Preachers.” Gutsy. About time.
You can read it here.
“The idea that you can trust Christ for the hereafter but have no intention to obey him now is an illusion generated by a widespread unbelieving ‘Christian culture.’ In fact, you can no more trust Jesus and not intend to obey him than you can trust your doctor and not intend to follow his or her advice. If you don’t intend to follow the advice, you simply don’t trust the person.” - Dallas Willard
I’m fascinated by the new Dominos‘ Pizza strategy. I’m sure their sales were hurting, and this is the latest campaign to acquire a bigger slice (get it…I said “slice” ) of the market when it comes to pizza. But it is an interesting strategy. Very transparent and vulnerable. Air everyone’s grievances and complaints and allow it to motivate you to something greater.
Curious about this strategy for a church.
Of course, the major difference is that church’s SHOULDN’T be consumer driven. We are God-driven. Which means we don’t set direction and course based on everyone’s complaint and criticism, but rather on God’s. BUT the element of vulnerability and transparency is very interesting. The concept of “we’ve not done this well” and we are going to do something about it, seems to be important. We aren’t interested in overly-positive comments, but the reality of the situation. Sometimes churches supress that in an attempt to appear “perfect” and encouraging. Sometimes churches, after a hard assessment, need to decide to “start over” and attempt a turnaround.
I heard one time that Winston Churchill in the height of WWII had to put together a special team that reported directly to him that had only one task…presenting the facts of the war as truthfully and honestly as they could. Winston Churchill discovered that because of his position and power that when subordinates would give him “the news” it would be rose-tinted and with the best spin. He knew you couldn’t win a war with rose-tinted facts. It had to be reality. And with that, he put together a system to ensure he would always receive the facts, no matter how brutal their content.
The Pizza Turnaround:
Amazing day! The baptismal celebrations are my favorite Sundays of the year.
Excellent crowd to watch a dozen people get baptized!
- Watching Glenn, Barb, Nikki, Cathryn, Jessica, Anya, Laurence, Sammi Jo, Ashlynn, Julie, Brittanie, and Johnnita get baptized!!! Right on dudes and dudettes!
- The video Doug Harsch put together of everyone’s story and confession – most excellent.
- A baptistry that was as warm as bath water!
- Dedicated one more baby. Aletta Holloway (Matt & Karen’s baby girl) unfortunately went to the hospital last week on our baby dedication. She is a miracle baby. The Holloways have suffered through six miscarriages, 2 1/2 years of fertility treatments, and after ending the treatments…God answered their prayers with little Aletta. So sweet!
- Martin’s Fried Chicken. Great meal afterwards. We had to go with Plan B (eat inside) because of the weather. But it worked out great. Thanks to everyone who set up and cleaned up…you were awesome.
- TONS of children. Note to parents: next week we resume normal children’s activities you have endured well.
- I preached for about seven minutes. I think that is a record.
- Memaw’s Growth Group served lunch (much better than everyone grabbing their own stuff).
- Hardly any leftovers…very close count and prediction on amount of food to get.
- Dana Hooton had a garage sale at her house this weekend and gave the money towards the church’s vision…how awesome is that?
- Parking lot lights are ALL in working order…thanks Chad Newport.
- Watching volunteersall over doing their thing…some as early as pre-6:00 a.m. (seriously) it’s beautiful! I am always amazed at the things I “happen” on that no one could possibly know is going on at the Living Stones Church. And there is no telling how much more is happening that I have absolutely no clue about!
- Muchos Gracias to Ann Lynn for coordinating/organizing the WHOLE day. Everything ran smoothly (except our stupid MediaShout/computer program which she had nothing to do with).
Excellent day! But on this Sunday evening…I’m wiped!
I’m feeling stuck in life (confession time). I’ve felt it for several weeks, if not months now.
I am a routine guy by nature. I like predictability and having a set and constant schedule. I wouldn’t mind setting my clock to the habitual routines of my day (that sounds more impressive on print than it is in the reality of my world…or not )
I’m in favor of routine UNTIL your routine is no longer moving your forward. That is how I feel. I’m not moving forward. I’m not progressing.
In my spiritual life
In my work ethic/productivity
In my marriage
In regards to health (diet/exercise)
In regards to relationships, etc.
I’m stuck. I wouldn’t say I’m crumbling, just stuck. Now I need, by the grace of God, to get unstuck in these areas. I’m in process of thinking through and making some life changes to the routine. I’m taking some time this week to come up with some possible moves that might move me out of my “stuckness.” (is that a word?)
Went to the gym today. I wonder if the fitness staff giggles when I walk in.
2008, in regards to diet and exercise, thus far has been in one word – INCONSISTENT!!!
A have a few good weeks exercising and eating great and then a few weeks of TOTALLY blowing it!! And I am an “all or nothing” sort of dude. When I’m in – I’ll workout daily, eat healthy food with obsessive clarity, etc. But when I’m out – I’m talking NO exercise (or anything that might resemble physical activity – except remote control flipping) and Cheese Fries as if today might be the last day to ever eat them!
So…I have to think of something to keep me focused. I’m thinking about imposing upon myself a penalty if I don’t reach my goals. I’m thinking about forcing myself to post a picture on this blog of me at my top weight with my shirt off (which I have)!! Trust me – I don’t want to do that…and you don’t want to see it.
So, to my friends who care about me – when you see the donut in my hand – slap it out!!! Come on and help a brother out!
I read the other day a little excerpt from Max Lucado’s new book 3:16 - The Numbers of Hope. In the excerpt, he was discussing the popular notion that when it comes to religion and spirituality that “all roads lead to God.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what path you take – Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian – they will all lead to the truth that is God.
I’m grossly paraphrasing, but Max made the counter point that no where else in life would we ever accept this as true. All roads and all paths never lead to the same place. Each road leads to a particular destination. Each path has a different end point. And if you wanted to get to Rome, you would never accept from anyone that all paths/roads ultimately lead to Rome. Some, in fact, lead to Budapest, or Beijing. You would never call the airline industry trying to book a flight to Washington D.C. only to have the employee respond that all flights going into Washington D.C. are booked and then suggest you take a flight to L.A. because after all “all flights lead to Washington D.C.” The idea is absurd.
A college student wouldn’t go to their adviser to schedule another semester of course work to complete a degree in educationand accept the adviser’s advice to enroll in biology major courses because after all “all degree lead to a major in education.” NO they don’t!
Yet for some reason, in the realm of religion and spirituality we often hear the axiom that “all roads lead to God.” Such an idea is just as absurd and just as ridiculous as if it were spoken in any other area of our life. If you commit yourself to the path of Buddhism, you will end up at a different destination then if you committed yourself to the teachings of Muhammad. The teachings of the Vedas will lead you to a different place than if you committed yourself to the teachings of Jesus.
Each path has a final destination. But to say that all end up at the same place is counter to what we would accept in any other area of our life. And from a Christian perspective, this is counter to what Jesus himself teaches. For whether we like it or not, he seems to claim an exclusive place in regards to the Way in which we encounter the God of the Bible.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.