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Showing posts from September, 2015

I need more? Really?

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Stuff, commercialism, bigger homes, larger bank accounts, better vacations, newer cars, better computers, more clothes, bigger boats, larger TV’s, more channels, mores shoes, better phones—the list is endless.  We are part of a culture that needs so much.



Here is what Jesus said:
Luke 12:13-21
“13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?”
15 Then he said, “Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.”
16 And he gave an illustration: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.
17 In fact, his barns were full to overflowing.
18 So he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store everything.
19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’

Jesus the Vicarious Sufferer

Definitions please!!!
Jesus:  The God-Man.  The ONLY one who could perfectly represent both the guilty party of humanity and Holiness of God.  
Vicarious:  (see Dictionary.com) adjective 1.  performed, exercised, received, or suffered inplace of another: vicarious punishment. 2.  taking the place of another person or thing;acting or serving as a substitute.

Jesus suffered on my behalf.  The cause of the suffering was (and is!)  my sinmy rebellion against Godmy desire(s) to do my own thingmy painmy sicknessmy depressions, anxieties,

Jesus—suffered on my behalf!
For three days now—this old hymns keeps ringing in my spirit:
(W. G. Ovens, v. 1 (1870-1945); Gladys Watkin Toberts, vv. 2-5) Wounded for me, wounded for me,  There on the cross He was wounded for me; Gone my transgressions, and now I am free,
All because Jesus was wounded for me.
Dying for me, dying for me,
There on the cross He was dying for me;
Now in His death my redemption I see,
All because Jesus was dying for me.
Risen for…

Who are you? Who am I?

Who are you?
(From Henri Nouwen p 134  Here and Now)

The three answers that we generally live—not necessarily give—are
We are what do we  (we are our success)We are what others say about us (we are our popularity)We are what we have ( we are our power)

Therefore… ‘when we are dead—we are dead’…because when we die,
We cannot do anything anymorePeople don’t talk about us anymoreWe have nothing anymore
“When we ARE what the world makes us, we can’t BE after we have left the world.”

Solutions:
A.  Just do it!
1.  If there is no ‘God”, no eternity, then be as successful as you possibly can.  Position, authority, success need to dominate your life.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  Don’t get stuck in relationships that suck the life out you.  Get job promotions at any cost.  You are, after all—what you do.  So do it good!  
2.  Do everything in your power to be popular.  Do anything necessary.  You are —after all—what people say about you.  Buy people.  Buy relationships.  Make sure people love you a…

Do you hear what I hear?

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Gordon M Smith in his book Spiritual Direction, makes a brilliant comment and fleshes out an approach to evangelism that I concur with and see as very helpful.

I have recently been asking people--often unconverted people--this question: "Where are you on your spiritual journey?" Or, "What is happening on your present journey?"

Smith believes that if we approach evangelism from an event basis we are most interested in focusing our conversation on the following.

This person needs to surrender to God.  This person needs to ask Jesus into their heartIf they are know God they need to know certain things, believe certain things, and agree to  live in light of these truths
However, perhaps a better approach, according to Smith is the following:
Could it be that God is at work in EVERYONE'S life?Evangelism is not so much a preprogrammed series of questions--but a particular response of a person at their stage of life.
Here is more from Gordon Smith


So, perhaps in evang…

GRACE

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1.  You cannot give the grace others need—if you do not receive the Grace that God has for you.
2.  If you operate under law—you push law on to others… and want them to step it up.  You are harsh, judgment, and condemning of others--because,that is how you treat yourself!

As long as we continue  to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations.  We will remain addicted to the need to put people and things in the ‘right’ place.  To the degree that we embrace the truth that our identity is not rooted in our success, power, or popularity, but in God’s infinite love, to that degree we can let go of our need to judge. (from Henri Nouwen Here and Now New York: Crossroad, p 62)

3.  If you don’t walk in grace you cannot give grace to those around you who fail--and fail, they will!  So you are always disappointed with your level of spirituality and other's level.  It is a tireso…