I was recently reading the story of Elijah and came upon his journey to Mt. Horeb. He was running from Jezebel when God says to him “Elijah, why are you here?” It caused me think of all the others that God asked questions of: to Adam, “Where are you?” “Who told you you were naked?” and “Have you eaten of the tree?” To Cain after he had killed his brother, he asked him “Where is your brother?” To Jacob, he asked him “What is your name?” To Sarah when she was told in her old age that she would have a son and she laughed, he asked her “Why did you laugh?” To Moses when he was standing before the red sea “Why are you crying to me?” Continue reading
Let’s bring Paul back up. Now, we do know he went away––almost directly––after he was converted into the wilderness and was taught by the Holy Spirit the things of the Lord. There, I’m sure he prayed and fasted and sought the Lord. There, he was prepared to do what the Lord had called him to do. Then, when he returned from the wilderness, he sought out the disciples (a like-minded community). All of these things were preparation and investments into what the Lord gave him vision for (pun intended). Continue reading
I think part of our act of stewardship is committing to our piece of the vision. Commitment has two parts. The first is starting. Going out on a limb, taking risks, and actually taking the first steps to “doing” it is the first part of commitment. Continue reading
Over the past six days, I have had the privilege of being able to come out and visit everyone here at Achord. It has been great to see each person again and talk with them about vision, what God is doing, and where God is leading them. As Mike would say, “It’s an exciting time to be alive.” I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading
Karl Barth said “I can edify myself only as I edify the community”. I love the quote for several reasons. I love that it presupposes we live in community and that the message that edification comes through putting others first. I must admit that at first I couldn’t think of any scripture to support it but then I thought of “look not only to your interests but to the interests of others”, “Jesus come not to be served but to serve”, and “ Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for another”. It goes hand in hand with the “no salvation outside the church” (extra Ecclesiam nulla salus) or to put it another way baptism is not a solitary act but baptism is an identification not only with Christ’s death and resurrection but his life. So we are baptized into Christ and into his body. Continue reading
I’ve been reading the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as part of my devotional time. In this book there is a chapter about why we are here, on earth. The book states that we are here for God’s pleasure, not our own. Which is true, by the way. Continue reading
Wow! I cannot believe that it’s already December! It seems like just yesterday that it was my birthday (August), or the beginning of summer. It even seems weird that it’s already a year since last Christmas. And, of course, with the arrival of December comes what people still insist on calling the “holiday season.” Although I am seeing less and less evidence of “holiday spirit.” I work in retail, right? So I see greed pretty much every day. People coming and spending anywhere from $100 to $1,000 on things that they definitely do not need. They come in and say “Oh man, I really need to change the decor in my house!” Then they proceed to drop more money that I’ve ever seen at one time on frivolous and unnecessary things that they’ll probably just change out next year anyway. And don’t even get me started on Black Friday!
Let me tell you a story. Fella put in his notice at work. His new job sounded great. good benefits, decent pay, and good hours. But there was one problem. He couldn’t get a hold of anyone there. He called for a week, sometimes 20 times a day. He even went to the office and spoke to a worker there to figure out what was going on. They told him someone would call him soon. He’s still waiting for that call.
I’ve been rereading Isaiah recently and those of you who know me know how much I love this book. In the first few chapters it’s all about judgment, destruction, disaster and ruin. Not an easy time in which to have lived yet in the midst of these chapters are nuggets of hope tucked away for those who would seek them out. Continue reading
Ok, as a music lover, and friend to many of the same, I’ve noticed a pattern. Maybe you’ll know what I’m talking about. Ever heard someone say, “Yeah, their just too mainstream for me,” when asked about a certain band? A certain band that based on their preferences, you would assume they’d love. A band that you love, and you know just how great they really are. You’re shot down based on a reaction to what the world around them says rather than how they really feel about it. This is the opposite of the traditional- denying you like something based on the fact that it’s not considered cool. It is a trendy elitist attitude of “The masses find it appealing- so I’m over it”. Bottom line- it’s reactionary. Continue reading