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Showing posts from October, 2017

Leading Well!

It has always been vital for church leadership to lead well.  It is important to a nation that pastors, priests and church leaders teach the message of God.  As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, how do the pastors, priests and church leaders of our day measure up against the Word of God that we are given to teach? I tremble when I read God’s word through Hosea.  “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.‘Because you have rejected knowledge,I also reject you as my priests;because you have ignored the lawof your God,I also will ignore your children.The more priests there were, the more they sinned against me;they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful.They feed on the sins of my peopleand relish their wickedness’” (Hosea 4:6-8).  You see I am a pastor, church leader, and I am responsible for the clarity in which I teach others about God.  I too sin against God, and I do exchange God’s glory for my own which is disgraceful.  I make …

Purity

I hate to be dirty.  There’s nothing like a long, hot shower at the end of a long sweaty day.  Others are more comfortable with their dirty state, but not me.  I love to feel clean.  I love to take a long hot bath for stress relief even when I am already clean.                God invites us to the wonder of purity even in our fallen state.  Honestly, do I really want to be pure?  Obviously, the church is having a problem with longing for the purity of God’s standards above the impure culture’s standards.  I see this strongly in the number of Christians who openly live together before getting married.  Sometimes their Christian parents encourage them to live together so they can be sure before they make a marital commitment.  What?  Purity is very low on our lists of what we are willing to do as Christians.  We look at God’s basic guides for purity as irrelevant in today’s culture.  Yet purity remains important to God even after we became impure sinners in the Garden of…

Saved by the Crowds

When I read the Gospel message from Matthew 21:33-46, It resonated with me the way God kept evil from having its way and arresting Jesus before it was God’s timing for them to do that.  Verse 46 states: “They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.”               Throughout the centuries the crowds have stood in the way of evil.  It’s the crowds that hold back evil, and it is the willingness or incapability of the crowds that bring about evil regimes.  In this case God used the crowds to save the day.  He could have made Jesus disappear from the crowds or sent a couple of angel bodyguards to prevent His arrest.  God used the presence of the crowds to thwart Satan’s plan to arrest Jesus.  Ironically, these same crowds were essential to carrying out God’s plan for Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.  Pilate could resist the religious leaders; but when the crowds were insisting on crucifixion, he …

What Does the World Know?

I’ve been asking myself this question this week as I have reflected on my second favorite verse in the Bible—1 John 3:1.  “See what great lovethe Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  What does the world think about me?  Do they think I am just like them?  Do they see any difference in me?  If they do, do they criticize me?  Do they admire me?                If I do not stand out in the world, am I truly living out the love that has been lavished on me as God’s daughter?  This verse seems to imply that I might appear confusing or misunderstood by the world if I am living out my true identity as a child of God.               John implies two realities in this verse.  First of all, he spills over with amazement to tell us who we are.  He uses the word translated lavish to explain the love of God.  Lavish—meaning extravagant, excessive, plentiful, gen…

Thank You Dad

Recently I have been contemplating why it is ingrained in me that I must be quiet and respectful and look at the flag when the national anthem is played.  It’s as natural for me as standing for the Hallelujah Chorus during Handel’s Messiah or for the Bride when she walks through the back door.  Like a Pavlov dog, my instincts go into action, and I do not even think about my somewhat conditioned response. Why?  It was definitely my own father who had the most influence over me regarding the national anthem.  I am not a sports enthusiast.  However, from a young age I found myself at sports games because my older brother played every sport offered.  Our family faithfully attended those games, which normally started with the national anthem.  I found a way to enjoy the otherwise agonizing experience of being held prisoner to my brother’s sporting events by gravitating to my friends who were there under duress as well.  We made up games of our own; we would laugh and talk throughout the q…