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Showing posts from May, 2014

Our biggest calling?

The life of faith is both less and more remarkable than many Christians know. It’s less because the Christian life has never been about jumping off temples but about the daily grind of obedience. It’s more because anyone can hop a plane to Trinidad, drive to the state capitol, or spend money they don’t have. But to love your neighbor day after day after ordinary day—that requires an act of God. MICHAEL WITTMER
Wittmer’s point is that it is actually harder to be faithful to God in what appears to be small and insignificant areas. We think the sign that God is at work in our lives is whether we have received a vision in the night or developed deep profound insight about an issue.

Social media and church unity

Social media allows us to vent our feelings without a filter. I cringe whenever a Christian leader says anything controversial online. I know what's coming. A barrage of criticism from people who may indeed be right in their assessment, but wrong in their approach. The disunity of the church has never been on display more than in our current age when everyone is a publisher. The problem is, because we speak from behind the thin veil of a screen, we disconnect a person's words from the context of their life. We pounce without understanding the heart, the motives, or the real life story of the one whom we are castigating. And when everyone voices an opinion about everything that is major news, the world sometimes sees the worst side of who we are. It is by our oneness that the world will know we are followers of Jesus, but social media can fuel division and put it on display. From Brandon A Cox's piece 4 Ways Social Media Will Destroy Your Life. His general point is that t…

What I Learned on Sunday, 2nd Edition

I enjoyed fellowship this past Sunday  at church. I was sitting next to a good friend. After the sermon, I asked him what he found helpful in the sermon. This is a new practice I have adopted. I want to increasingly speak to people sitting next to me about what I just heard before turning to world matters.
I believe this is important for three reasons. First, I want to see if I missed an angle in the sermon that my friend may have picked up. I am also keen to hear, as a preacher, how certain truths were understood. Secondly, it allows me to hear how God is working in his life. Thirdly, it allows me to share any challenges I have with another Christian and how that scripture spoke to them.
I wont say what my friend shared, but it was very good and encouraging. But here is what I shared with him as we spoke. The sermon came from this verse: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesian…

Dangerous Idols

The most dangerous idols for all of us are those that are easily Christianized. Selfishness is most dangerous when it masquerades as service. Self-focus is most powerful when it dons the costume of love. Earthly treasures are most seductive when they take on the appearance of spiritual need. Idols do their nastiest work when they wear the latex mask of God. PAUL DAVID TRIPP
This is a stinging statement! It is worth coming back to time and time again. Too often we think we are serving God when in fact we are just serving ourselves. The problem is that we are convinced we are serving God.

Star Wars, Star Trek and Cosmic Loneliness

I have recently become drawn to the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica. It is set in a star system far away where Cylons and humans are struggling for dominance. As the series progresses you can't help but get drawn into the various characters and plots. It takes the life of its own and before long you feel you are part of the drama with your own favourite characters and heroes. You become part of a larger story, without in reality being part of it. I am on series three, and hope to say more about it in the future!  Why are we drawn to such fantasy stories? 
This question has been ringing in my head particularly since I watched two fascinating science fiction documentaries earlier in the year. The first one was Jedi Junkies (2010) which features the world's most dedicated Star Wars fans. From lightsaber wielding martial arts academies to a filmmaker who built the world's only life-size Millennium Falcon. From a Monster Garage-esque sculptor whose professional liv…

What I Learned on Sunday, 1st Edition

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1, 2 ESV)Every Sunday morning I try and pick one valuable truth from the sermon I have heard to hold my fort during the week. I was challenged by today's sermon which came from the verse above.