Showing posts from February, 2017

Not Weird But Not Weirded Out

This last Sunday at church we walked through 1 Corinthians 12. It is the start to a section of Paul's letter to the church where he highlights and gives the rules of order for pursuing and using the varied gifts the Holy Spirit gives the church. We have gone through a significant replanting process in the last two years so there are not a lot of members of the church today that know our history all that well. Many of us are also new to environments where we believe the gifts of the Spirit continue today. Truth is, our little church is made up of a wide collection of experiences and backgrounds. From high church to low and no church and everything in between. Some of us grew up in Presbyterian churches, others in Pentecostal ones. So we all come to the table with a wide range of perspectives but together we have determined to follow the model laid out in the Bible. What then does that mean for us as we gather each week to worship Jesus? That means, as I explained to one young man ye

I went to Disneyland

"Sorry for the one day delay, I took the family to Disneyland." It is now Wednesday and while Monday was a holiday, I added an extra day so I could take the family on the fulfillment of the kids' Christmas present and this was the line I just sent in a work email. One of my routine tasks was pushed back by a day. Nothing earth shattering just a normal errand I have to run each week. And instead of submitting it right on time, I made the adventure the priority and there are no regrets. I wonder how much dies to the responsibility of our routine tasks. Now certainly there are things that might be life and death, or solid commitments that can't be missed, but I mean the things that can wait a minute. Those that can be trumped by something of greater priority when we have our priorities right. My suggestion is that you survey the day, find what is important and do it, a one day delay usually won't ruin you.

Worried we will miss something

This morning's breakfast gave my daughter and I a window view of people scurrying to get to Disneyland before it opens for the day. This makes total sense. They have paid a lot for the experience and want to squeeze everything they can into the day. This makes me realize though how we live with a crippling fear that we are going to miss something.  We sign up for everything we can, we pack the calendar, we wait for the last minute invitation hoping it will come, and we live with the constant hum of anxiety that life will pass us by if we miss one single thing. It might express itself uniquely in each of us, but we live to not miss out and we are worried we will. What if there is a better way? Of being in the moment, every moment, just as you are. Trusting you won't miss what is meant for you. Experiencing more of life because you don't live so freaked out that you missed it.  It's a long road, I suppose, to that life. But I think it starts will faith in Jesus. That he h

Waiting for the Team

Our best laid plans aren't always best.  A good friend reminded me of this truth recently and as my little family wakes up in a hotel at Disneyland, the truth of waiting on everyone for the adventure is hitting home.  My family has very different wake up times. I am usually up the earliest, because I am most holy of course, then I am soon followed by my oldest daughter and the other three come out of slumber a while later. This is fine and good, especially when we are home and in our own space.  Move us to a shared room though and things can get a little more crazy. Not everyone is raring to go at 5:40 when the oldest gets dressed and is pumped to see Mickey!  This for me is an image of the reality we face when we have family and we are attempting to bring them along the adventure we sense God is calling us to.  Just like the sleepily family we have to trust that they will awaken eventually, after all, if it is God's leading it will happen. So wherever you are; gearing up for a

Meals and Memories

For me it is Ethiopian food. The shared plate, the spongey bread and oh the awesome spice and flavors that bring me back to some of the best times of life. We all have meals like this don't we? Our favorites. The one that bring comfort, that are our fuel for adventure and those that remind us of great times.  Meals are also where we connect the most with one another. Regular conversation, relaxed interaction, all over satisfying food and drink. We are meant for meals. And in Christ, we are meant for a meal that points us both backward and forward. The Lord's Supper. Now there are many great articles and ideas about communion from much wiser people than I, but after spending the week in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 I am all the more convinced of the importance of the shared meal of the bread and the cup of the Lord's Supper. It draws us to remember Christ's body broken for us and his blood shed to forge a new covenant of kingdom and life with us. It also looks forward to his r

Diving into the Depths of the Gospel

Last year I wrote a daily devotional following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne Bible reading plan. In each post I attempted to see Jesus and the richness of the gospel in all of the Bible. It is now my joy to share the complete devotional with you. While February is not a good time to make a daily devotional available, you really can jump on any day and hopefully be encouraged. Download the PDF here . Open your Bible and dive into the goodness of Christ!

The Need for Other Churches

This week I am studying one of the harder texts I have had the opportunity to exposit in my brief pastoral life. 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Most often we have seen the text used to prove a point about authority in the church (and all of life, which is missing the point I think) and we are prone to bringing our preferences to the text and forcing it to say what we want to believe. There is still something great here though and it is about being Jesus-centered. But to hear that bit you have to come to church on Sunday! At the end of the text though is an important thought for the church, not only in Corinth but wherever we are today. 1 Corinthians 11:16 "If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God." (ESV) In the context of what is going on, there is some individualize expression happening in Corinth that is not happening in other churches and Paul calls them to conformity to Christ, which looks like what other churches are doing. Wh

Jesus is God