Saturday, September 11, 2010

As Christians...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Humble Orthodoxy

An exerpt from "Born After Midnight" by A.W. Tozer written in 1959

Chapter 18--Let's Be Humble About Our Orthodoxy

"Christianity is rarely found pure. Apart from Christ and His inspired apostles probably no believer or company of believers in the history of the world has ever held the truth in total purity.

One great saint believed that the truth is so vast and mighty that no one is capable of taking it all in, and that it requires the whole company of ransomed souls properly to reflect the whole body of revealed truth.

The light has shone upon men and nations, and (God be praised) it has shone with sufficient clarity to enable millions to travel home in its glow; but no believer, however pure his heart or however obedient his life, has ever been able to receive it as it shines from the Throne unmodified by his own mental stuff. As a lump of clay when grasped by the human hand remains clay but cannot escape the imprint of the hand, so the truth of God when grasped by the human mind remains truth but bears upon it the image of the mind that grasps it. Truth cannot enter a passive mind. It must be received into the mind by an active mental response, and the act of receiving it tends to alter it to a greater or less degree.

As the sun’s rays are bent when passing through a prism, so has the light of God been bent when passing through the hearts of men. Sin, temperament, prejudice, early education, cultural influences, prevailing vogues: all have worked to throw the eyes of the heart out of focus and distort the inward vision.

Of course I refer here to theological and religious truth. How pure this truth is in any place at any given time is revealed by the moral standards of those who hold the truth and by religious practices among the churches generally. Spiritual truth (by which I mean the disclosures of the Holy Spirit to the human spirit) is always the same. The Spirit always says the same thing to whomsoever He speaks and altogether without regard to passing doctrinal emphases or theological vogues. He flashes the beauty of Christ upon the wondering heart, and the awed spirit receives it with a minimum of interference. Wesley and Watts were worlds apart in their theology, but they could and did love and sing the same hymns of pure worship and adoration. The Spirit united them to worship even though their respective views of truth separated them doctrinally.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Preach Christ

Sorry for my lack of posting recently.  I've just gone back to work full-time and have been quite busy.  Lots to read here in the archives though.  So make yourselves at home.  These are the verses I have been mulling over for the past few days...

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard  and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.  The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.  But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice..."  Philippians 1:9-18{my own highlights in red}

I have been thinking a lot about and plan on writing more about what it means to "defend/contend for the faith".  Trying to find the balance between kingdom living and theocracy.  The balance between physically waging war and not fighting against flesh and blood.  The balance between relevancy and apathy. 

So I hope to continue with these thoughts as I have the time.  Like I said check out the archives on this blog.  There is quite a bit to see and read...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Live The Truth

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lord Save Us From Your Followers

Just rented this movie last night.  I defiantly recommend it.  Lots of great things to think about as a Christian.  Here is a sample of the movie and an interview with Dan Merchant who made the film.  Enjoy...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Reminder of His LOVE

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."  Romans 1:20

{These are some photos I have taken over the last year or so.  I have been amazed to consistently find the "heart" of God in his creation...reminding me of His love and my call to love.}

"Love without Truth breeds deception, and Truth without Love breeds arrogance."  Tim Ohai

"To love as Christ loves is to let our love be a practical thing and not a sentimental thing."
                                                           Sir Charles Villiers Stanford

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness."   Jean Vanier

"The sword of the peaceful warrior is love."  Gary Amirault

"A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God which prompts him to do these things." John of the Cross

"If love is the soul of Christian existence, it must be at the heart of every other Christian virtue. Thus, for example, justice without love is legalism; faith without love is ideology; hope without love is self-centeredness; forgiveness without love is self-abasement; fortitude without love is recklessness; generosity without love is extravagance; care without love is mere duty; fidelity without love is servitude. Every virtue is an expression of love. No virtue is really a virtue unless it is permeated, or informed, by love." 
 Fr. Richard P. McBrien

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Light in the Darkness

Monday, May 24, 2010

Open Door

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cross Before The Crown

"Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning. A cleft has opened in the pitiless walls of the world, and we are invited to follow our great Captain inside. The following Him is, of course, the essential point. That being so, it may be asked what practical use there is in the speculations which I have been indulging. I can think of at least one such use.

It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly temped to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations---these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit---immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner--no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ /vere latitat/---the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden."   C. S. Lewis--The Weight of Glory

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Coming Down The Mountain

I love worship!  I am a horrible singer, I don't play an instrument but I love worship!  I haven't always been that way.  In fact for a long time I couldn't figure out what all the hub-bub was about.  I had been raised in a climate of great worship and loved dancing to the music as a kid.  But as a teen you would find me sitting in the back of the service, mouth closed and arms crossed.  Then one day about twelve years ago I was in a worship service in Lausanne, Switzerland. {This was during a year of re-dedication for me. I did a 6 month discipleship school and a 3 month biblical studies course} It was during my first couple weeks there my attitude for worship changed.  During this one particular meeting they had moved all the chairs to the back of the room so that people could dance and really let loose; you know like King David.  However I found a chair in the back and sat in not ready to "let loose", you know like Michal{2 Sam 6:14-16}.

As I sat there I began to ask God why I was not able to worship like everyone else.  Everyone else was just going for it without a care about how they looked or sounded.  Total abandon.  Yet I so wanted to experience what they were experiencing.  Then God spoke very clear and very simple to me.  "I can only fill you to the capacity that you give Me.  I want all of you.  Are you ready to give all of you to get all of Me?"  I thought about that for a minute.  Thought about all the craziness I had been through in my teenage and young adult years.  I knew God was right{as usual}.  I knew I was holding back because of fear and that fear was the enemy keeping me from experiencing God they way I needed to.

So I stood up and began to worship.  First very quiet, hands at my side.  Then I closed my eyes and forgot about everyone around me.  The singing got louder, my arms stretched higher and tears began to flow.  I can't remember the song.  All I remember is that I got louder and louder and began to call out to God in total abandon and total desperation for Him to take ALL of me.  I remember my whole body feeling hot with the fire of God.  And then I dropped to the floor face down.  I couldn't move.  The Spirit of God was so heavy I couldn't even lift my head.  Oh and I was no longer speaking words that I could understand; my worship had turned to tongues.  That had never happened before!  I remember two of the leaders Darlene and Geeta coming over and beginning to pray for me.  Can't remember the actual prayers but I remember hearing "more" and "new" over and over again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Love Is A Beautiful Thing

{This is part of a letter written in 1967, by my then 24 yr old dad, from the mission fields of the Pacific, home to his parents in the States.}

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Is Truth?

For more information on the documentary "Furious Love" click here.  This movie is a MUST SEE for every Christian!  I've only had my copy for 48 hours and I have watched twice.  So much good, solid, Christ-centered truth in this film.  It will change the way you view the world and hopefully the way you see yourself.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes Oh My! {Part Two}

Click here to read Part One...

"So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' "  Luke 10:27

"If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar." 1John 4:20

So in the last post I gave a little mini history of the three religious groups that were around during the time of Jesus.  Now what I want to do is identify the negative spirits that some of them moved in so that we can avoid them in our own lives. First I want to start with the simple concept of loving God and loving neighbor.  Jesus said that there was no other commandment greater than these.  I see no where in Jesus' teaching that these commandments were separated.  They always went together.  In fact the above verse quit plainly tells us that if we do one without the other we are liars.  Lack of the second commandment negates the first...period.  But the religious groups during the time of Jesus had separated them.  Let me explain.

If you only love you neighbor{mankind} and don't love God you are a humanist.  This is what the Sadducees had done.  They had taken God out of the whole picture.  They didn't believe that God was involved in their lives at all, man could do what he pleased, man was his own god.  God had become an abstract, non personal God. They did not believe in the super-natural {angels & demons} at all.  They didn't believe in the afterlife or resurrection.  The Sadducees had swayed more to the philosophical side of things, being the most Hellenized{Greek thinking} of the three groups.  Remember they were the rich and elite and with that sought of began to worship themselves.  When you don't believe that there is a higher power other than yourself, you become your highest power. Their main concern was the material things of this world and how it affected their personal kingdom.  Materialistic Humanism.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes Oh My! {Part 1}

So I had a question the other day as to how I could possibly think that Jesus was tolerant during his time here on earth.  The statement was that Jesus used strong language and did things like knock over the tables of the money changers in the temple.  My response was that if you read through all four gospels you will notice that the only people Jesus ever had strong words for were the religious establishment of the day.  Interestingly enough he had strong reaction to them because they were NOT being tolerant of people. 

So who were the religious establishment of the time of Jesus?  We learn quite a bit about the Pharisees and Sadducees from reading the gospels.  There were also sub-groups such as the scribes, the elders and the zealots.  Finally a group called the Essenes, though not mentioned in the NT the historian Josephus tells that they were around during the time of Jesus.  What I want to look at is the attitude or the spirit in which these groups operated.  It wasn't just what they did legalistically or religiously it was the spirit in which they did it.  So I don't want this post to be against certain groups of people, but against the negative spirit that Jesus seemed to frequently encounter with these groups. These same negative spirits and attitudes are easily found in the Christian church today.  So we need to identify them so that we don't fall into the same mistakes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Job To LOVE

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