Gracelessness.

grace

Graceless moments. They have a way of sucking the life right out of us. They put the clamps on our spirits and keep us from breathing. Inconsiderate. Disrespectful. Out to hurt. Graceless moments always come at the most inopportune times. They snatch all notions of faith, hope, and love right out of us and replace them with doubt, suspicion, and anger.Paul knew all about graceless moments. Even though he was the trailblazing pioneer of the Corinthian church, this particular group brought him much heartache. Despite the fact that he had been the first to bring the gospel to Corinth, the … [Read more...]

How Good is “Good Enough”?

overcoming feelings of inadequacy

 “I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion…” - Isaiah 1:14 The Message “It will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by ‘religion’ ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar.” - Senior “devil” Screwtape in a speech at the “Annual Dinner of the Tempter’s Training College for Young Devils” (from C.S. Lewis’ popular parody, The Screwtape Letters) One of my favorite stories is about a big … [Read more...]

Was Jesus Religious?

why-i-hate-religion-but-love-jesus-spoken-word-video

“I’m after mercy, not religion.” Hosea 6:6 The Message “Christ came when all things were growing old. He made them new.” AugustineWould Jesus be comfortable attending an average church service today? I’m not so sure. You have to wonder at least, don’t you? First, I’m not so sure he would sit still for that long.Second, in some churches, if Jesus showed up as a visitor, he would be ignored. In others, just plain bored. Even though in our church architecture we have certainly succeeded in stamping him onto our stain glass windows, I’m not so sure we could get him to stay seat … [Read more...]

What the Wilderness Tabernacle Reveals About Intimacy.

tabernacle_painted

Rod Cooper, a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, describes intimacy as “INTO-ME-SEE!”  I like that.  It says much about what intimacy brings and calls for.  Undoubtedly, within the context of marriage, the husband or wife who chooses to give their spouse genuine intimacy gives them much more than a marriage license.  They give them themselves . . . unmasked, uncovered and unlimited. … [Read more...]

Martin Luther called this verse “the Gospel in miniature…”

Martin Luther

Take some time in prayer today to consider the incredible lengths that Jesus Christ has gone to in order to forge a friendship with you. Carefully consider the one verse of Scripture which the church reformer, Martin Luther, called “the heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature”:“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16).”Told differently: “God”……………………………………….……………………………..….The greatest Lover “so loved”……………………………………………………………………The greatest Degree “the world”…………………………………………… … [Read more...]

What kind of “fishing” was Jesus talking about?

What role does a church community play in the work of evangelism? A great place to start in looking at this theologically is the actual words and context of Christ's determination: "I will make you fishers of men (Matt. 4:19)." For starters, was his metaphor of ministry about poles or nets?Read my recent article in Leadership Journal called “Rod and Reel, or Net?” The Pole vs. The Net. – A Fishing Mindset What does it mean when our efforts to evangelize are more communitarian? And, how can we help people get “caught into a community”? What is the difference between a pole fishing mindset … [Read more...]

Don’t Forget … to Remember!

Remember

You can tell when a person has “closed their soul” towards you, can’t you? They pull away and avoid your presence. Their answers to your questions become brief and bland. They refuse to make eye contact. Their countenance is sunken. Their posture often bent.Counseling a couple in this state, or a mother and her daughter for that matter, is seldom easy. Melting emotional ice between people that has hardened for months, even years, can feel impossible. . .especially in the span of an hour-long session or two. Fortunately, I have discovered one tool God has given us that almost always opens a … [Read more...]


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