Sun, Apr 29th - 11:47AM
Add to the list of movies below:
Amazing Grace (the one about William Wilburforce) I havn't seen it yet but its a great story about the man who ended slavery in England.
I have thought about The Passion. I actually own two copies. Its a very powerful movie. I don't consider it controversial at all. Maybe not perfect but not controversial.
I had pictured this "study" as a chance to begin some healing, make some good feelings, in our bleeding church, so I wasn't sure about getting that intense. I would probably wait and see about that one.
Fri, Apr 27th - 9:33PM
I'm toying with an idea for a small group study in our home. Recruit about 5 couples. There are a lot of religious movies but many of them aren't very good. But there have been some pretty good Christian movies made lately. Show one of these movies and have a simple discussion afterwards, maybe just "What did this movie say about God?"
Some possible movies:
Facing The Giants
The Nativity Story
The End of the Spear
One Night With the King
Any other suggestions for movies?
Fri, Apr 20th - 3:36PM
These verses are among my least favorite. I used to say that I loved God but I wasn't too crazy about His people. But the book of 1 John is pretty clear.
1 John 4:20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Its bad because John says this repeatedly, in his letter. There are other places that also say this truth, but here John says it most plainly. I take this context to mean brother as in fellow believer, but if you take it to mean everyone it doesn't help.
I guess its harder to love everyone in my church because I expect more from them. It doesn't help that we studied, and I even preached on, 1Corinthians 13 this summer. It is fair to expect huge things from the person in the pew next to you. Hope, faith and love to start with. And those that you expect the most from can hurt you the most.
Of course, they have the right to expect all that from you. And that letter John wrote doesn't let you squirm off the hook at all.
Thu, Apr 19th - 9:35AM
I always have thought of this "church" as a place where I could say stuff that I wouldn't anywhere else. That's why I came here in the first place.
This thought hit me out of the blue, in the, middle of a good mood. I don't know if that indicates a spiritual attack. The 15 years that I spent in leadership in our church ended in me being not asked back on the board. The reason citied was ill feelings from the past two years, when I was in charge. The conclusion was that I wasted 15 years trying to lead (not necessarily the teaching part), choosing the church over my family. And I ended up with weaker relationship with my son because of it.
That's what hit me. I prayed over it for a while and feel better.
Tue, Apr 17th - 9:37AM
Another school shooting
Genesis 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
Why do we obsess about sexual conduct when there is so much violence?
Mon, Apr 16th - 9:58PM
I work at the post office. Today is tax deadline day (sort of).
People seem to always have a complaint when they drop of their taxes. It makes me think about them having just driven here on public roads, protected by police and the armed forces, educated in public schools etc. That their tax money helps pay.
I don't blame them really. I don't like paying taxes either. But it makes me think of tithing. Of giving money to a church that provides services, teaching, counseling and outreach that we are glad is provided. And that we support by giving some of what we earn.
Of course, we are really giving to God. And He really is the one who enabled us to earn in the first place. But those are just better reasons to give.
Sat, Apr 14th - 6:43PM
This January, the Washington Post conducted an experiment. They wondered how people would react to a great musician playing on a street corner during rush hour. They hired a world class violinist Joshua Bell to play at a busy corner one morning. It was a business district where over 1,000 people passed by on their way to work, mostly in government offices.
Joshua Bell one of the world's best. He regularly performs to sold out concert halls. His violin was a Stradivari from 1710, valued at around $3 million dollars. He played for 45 minutes the very best music ever composed for the violin.
What do you think happened?
"In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look...
But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away....
THE CULTURAL HERO OF THE DAY ARRIVED AT L'ENFANT PLAZA PRETTY LATE, in the unprepossessing figure of one John Picarello, a smallish man with a baldish head.Picarello hit the top of the escalator just after Bell began his final piece, a reprise of "Chaconne." In the video, you see Picarello stop dead in his tracks, locate the source of the music, and then retreat to the other end of the arcade. He takes up a position past the shoeshine stand, across from that lottery line, and he will not budge for the next nine minutes.
Like all the passersby interviewed for this article, Picarello was stopped by a reporter after he left the building, and was asked for his phone number. Like everyone, he was told only that this was to be an article about commuting. When he was called later in the day, like everyone else, he was first asked if anything unusual had happened to him on his trip into work. Of the more than 40 people contacted, Picarello was the only one who immediately mentioned the violinist."
(you can read the whole excellent article at:
Why did children respond? Why do you think so few heard? The setting was wrong. They were too busy. They didn't know great music.
Do you hear God's voice? Do you feel His presence? Do you see Him at work here in this world?
One thing we know is that none of these commuters were looking for great music that day. The setting was wrong. They didn't expect to be walking just a few feet away from a great musician. We have to look for God. We have to expect Him to be working right here in this dirty world. we have to have faith enough to know that He's here.
They were probably thinking about other things. They were busy. They were on their way to work. Thinking about their upcoming weekend. They weren't thinking about great music. We need to have our minds on God to hear His voice. He doesn't yell. He speaks in a still, small voice. If we are thinking about God we will see His hand. We pass by someone in need. We know someone hurting. If we are thinking about God we will see opportunity there.
Maybe they didn't now great music when they heard it. Would we know God's voice if we heard it? Do we listen to Him enough to know what He sounds like? We need to spend time in reading and hearing His Word to recogninze it. There are so many voices trying to get our attention. We need to stop sometimes and get away and just focus on God. Then we can hear Him better among all the competing things of this world.
Thu, Apr 12th - 7:34PM
At youth group last night the theme was worship. One of the kids, who we have been working with for the past several years, did a great lesson on worship being surrender. In every area. In every condition. We finished up with some singing. Billy had us kneel and think about surrender.
On my face, I realized that I hadn't surrendered the last few months of turmoil to God. I have tried to respond right. I have kept serving. I have pouted. But I hadn't given it over to Him. I hadn't tried to hear Him tell me how to act. So I did. Primarily, I asked God to enable me to listen and react. I felt some peace, which is rare for me lately.
This Sunday will be the last lesson that I teach to teens. I have taught teen sunday school for most of the last five years. But we have finally hired a youth pastor. I will clear out and let him teach. I think I'll get a chance to teach some adult sunday school later. I think maybe that is how I'm supposed to handle this problem. To work on my relationships with adults. I have been mostly seperate from them for a long time, working mostly with teens. Whether that's it or not; I surrender.
Wed, Apr 11th - 6:08PM
I read this at erica.haub.net and it is just how I feel. I don't even know her struggles yet, I just started reading her site, but this is exactly what I've been needing in church lately. The asked my out of leadership after 15 years of service, mosting because I happened to be in charge during a pastor change. (Yes, I was a jerk at times.) It was a harsh thing to do to start with. But they also have totally failed to come alongside and show any compassion. Sure, there's not much that can be said. That is why the below is perfect. IF real love was felt this would happen.
I had a hard time at church yesterday. I was feeling a lot of discomfort and even pain, and the morning had already been an exhausting one by the time we arrived. There were also some other barriers to my ability to enter into worship, and I found myself standing in the back, behind where the chairs are set up, leaning against the hospitality table.
At one point, a friend walked over and leaned up against the table beside me and asked if I was okay. “No,’ I said plainly, knowing that I am a useless liar. My friend quietly slipped his arm around my shoulders, and with that simple grace of touch came tears that quickly overran my eyes and flowed down my cheeks. My friend stood there beside me, and later his wife and son joined him, and they stood with me in my distance. They did not try to hustle me into a seat; they did not leave after a quick hug. They simply made a place for themselves beside me.
As the sermon was starting, I found myself able to move forward into the chairs, and join the rest of the congregation in our worship.
I later thought about my friends’ actions, and I realized that they demonstrated something we so often fail at in the church. We are so quick to hustle people into our pews or chairs and we too often lack the patience or will or the compassion to simply join people where they are, be it in their suffering or their disbelief. There are many reasons why a person may choose to stand off at a distance. Perhaps, like me, they want to participate but find themselves blocked by something outside of their control.
During the service I thought about packing up the kids and just leaving. The thing that stopped me? Two friends who didn’t force me in but who were willing to take themselves out for my sake.
Here's a challenge: Show God's love.
Sun, Apr 8th - 2:35PM
David Crowder Band
Cause we’ve already won and you don’t have a chance
Yeah we’ve already won and no, you don’t have a chance
Yeah it’s already done and you don’t have a chance
Because we’ve already won
We have already won
This is a simple repetative song that goes on forever ... that I just love. It seems to me perfect for Easter because that is how I celebrate a victory.
I don't mean to disrespect the host of great hymns that actually tell the whole story of the cross. This is in no way a replacement for them. But it could be in there somewhere for the feeling of victory. When we win something we don't calmly list the steps to victory. We throw our arms in the air and yell.
So what did Jesus win?Leviticus 26:12
There is a long list for us. Forgivness, a relationship with God, Heaven etc. But this was God's victory. We didn't even know that we were in a struggle. And if we did we were the other side. What did God gain from this? He set this whole battle up. He created Satan. He allowed choice and knew we would make bad ones. What was the point of the struggle? Us.
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Jeremiah 30:22
" 'So you will be my people, and I will be your God.' "
I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
2 Corinthians 6:16
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
This was His goal from the creation. To create, and then perfect, a relationship with us. So that we could enjoy each other for eternity.
Fri, Apr 6th - 9:56AM
This was on a blog www.kinnon.tv/ that is christian but anti-traditional church. (I'm sure they wouldn't like that definition). I am burned enough by our church to listen. It has always puzzled me that The Church doesn't work better. Most probably agree that it needs some reform, I'm just not sure of this strong a move. Anyway here's an interesting thought:
A farmer raises sheep. He has two ways to keep them in his pastures. The first option is to build a fence. This will keep his sheep inside, near home, and it will keep other animals out. His sheep are protected from all outside influences.
The second option is to dig a well. Yes, all of the animals in the region will water there, but the sheep will stay close.
People are rather like sheep–and our churches are rather like fenced pastures. But the Man we claim to follow, Jesus, claimed to be a spring of “living water”. I believe Jesus is a well. He doesn’t place fences around his believers, nor does he keep others at arm’s length. Instead, he welcomes everyone to drink freely.
Thu, Apr 5th - 9:36AM
2 Corinthians 6
1As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2For he says,
"In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you."I tell you, now is the time of God's favor,
now is the day of salvation.
If you came upon a man who was on fire, would you talk to him about the chances of rain?
Mon, Apr 2nd - 10:34PM
Here's the second place comfort song
Cry Out To Jesus
To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye
And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right
There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough
For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering
When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight
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