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Showing posts from 2011

Death.

Death. The mere fact that the title of the post along with it's first word consisted simply of that one word will have a good many of you considering the writer to be a person or rather morbid character. It's not a popular topic. On the one hand, we glory and revel in it, just so long as it is confined to our video games, TV shows, and movies. But do we want to have real conversations about it? Do we want to delve into the reason it exists, how it affects us, what happens afterword, and so on? No. We embrace the idea in our entertainment because it is “real”, yet this same reality is something we are constantly running from. There is no end to the number of ways in which we are trying to extend our lives, make our later years more painless, and eliminate from ourselves the appearance of being old. Most of us want nothing to do with the idea that one day our life here on earth will be over. Furthermore, even those willing to entertain that notion and consider will very rarel

Reading with the Holy Spirit

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Peace

Gently on my roof I hear the rain It drips on down the window pane My weary eyes gaze through the glass I wait and hope this storm shall pass This falling flood reflects my soul Where deeply I have sensed a hole It has come to where my body aches Because so oft my heart does break They say out yonder looms the sun Oh I pray those days would come That grey times from me would flee And my heart instead be filled with glee But indeed I know my need is more Than my circumstances have in store My deepest longing is for joy But life's schemes are so coy They steal from me that which I seek And make my place here feel so bleak In spite of this I thank the One Who gave for me His only Son And so I need not clear skies I need the One who for me dies To wreck my joy pain may endeavor But my joy in Him endures forever In circumstance it's found no longer So even when the storm grows stronger I know that I can still find peace For at last I've been released From this dark cloud inside

Honor, Love, Fear.

“Honor all people.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the king.”  1 Peter 2:17 I love that verse.  It’s in the middle of a section where Peter deals a lot with submission.  Submission to government, submission to masters, submission of wives to their husbands, and so on.  And I love this verse because in 11 words we’re told basically what we need to know in order to live our lives in a godly way. “Honor all people.”  Do we do that?  No.  We judge people for the simple fact that they are different than us.  We condemn people because of their outward appearances.  We call people -who God created- ugly; or refer to them as a “waste of air.”  Really?  Is that congruent with how the Bible would speak of us?  Genesis 1:26-27 talks about God doing what?  Making man in His own image.  And in verse 31 He refers to that as “very good.”  Interesting.  God has declared that man being made in His own image is very good…and I call it ugly.  Now obviously, you can bring up the fact that in

A world of resources...

Hey folks. This isn't meant to be a lengthy post full of original thought, I just want to point out a few things that perhaps ought to be obvious, but are often times overlooked, especially by your truly. We live in a world full of informational resources.  By that I mean that you have, at your fingertips, on your PC, laptop, phone, tablet, etc., more access to information than any other generation in history.  In a matter of seconds you have the ability to pull up resources on topics that would have taken you days or months of library searching to amass information on just 20 years ago.  That is crazy, isn't it?  How much crazier is it, then, that we fail to utilize this?  I personally tend to be a little puzzled by people when they claim they want to know more about something but just don't know where to look.  Hello, the world is at your fingertips, this is the 21st Century.  But instead of ripping people's laziness to shreds...which I am apt to do...but rather, I

Warming Love

This dead feeling inside chills me to the bone  Walking through this wilderness, my trek is made alone.  There seems to be no one to stand by my side  The voices in my head, do nothing but chide.  Where are my friends who used to be  All around, when my life had no responsibility?  I relished that loose and carefree life  But now circumstances, cut close bonds like a knife.  People who were once counted on  Are nowhere to be found, they are all gone.  My soul is weary of these burdensome days  Why does life so often seem like a maze?  I wish I could find my way out  Instead, so many days are filled with great doubt.  But deep down in my soul I know  That a peace from God will grow.   Trusting in His perfect sovereignty  I know He hears this sinners plea.   He has pursued me when all others fail  His grace it is violent, His love tears the veil.  So when it seems that I walk all alone  I can know He has cared, for my sins has atoned.  I really deserve the separati

Church isn't about you.

Consumer driven. Seeker sensitive.  Terms which, along with a myriad of others, describe much of the American evangelical landscape. The stereo typical poster child for this type of church is the booming mega church in the suburbs. But in all reality, even many small rural churches operate in such a way as to suggest that church is about the consumer. The consumer, of course, is not called by such a “worldly” name when it comes time for board meetings, talks among leadership, etc. Instead the more acceptable titles such as attendee or even member are in place. This makes our dialogue far more impressive and “Christian” sounding. We talk about needing to “meet people’s needs” or to “speak to them where they’re at.” Perhaps we even try to “help” the believers gathered. But are these things the point of church? Is church where I come to get my weekly “feeding” from the pastor? Is it where I come to have my emotions moved by the music? Do I attend church because I like the people there, or

Fat Christians

Let me open with this disclaimer-I am in no way referring to the physical fitness (or obvious lack thereof) of many Christians. That’s another blog for another day. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get to that one, I’ll have to be getting pretty low on subjects to write about. So, if I use the term “Fat Christians,” what am I talking about? Well, if I were clever like Pastor Todd over in Harrison, I’d turn it into an acronym…however, I am not so clever, and am terrible with acronyms. I am speaking rather to the tendency many Christians have to spend all week gorging themselves on “Spiritual food,” and spend no time exercising any of it. I must admit here to a bit of cynicism on my part that really is probably unhealthy and possibly sinful. I find it very easy to poke holes in most anything churches do. The old joke is that Christian firing squads are usually aligned in circles, and the last thing I want to do is be a part of that. I really do have a love both for my home church and

Thinking...first of a few posts on the subject.

So. It has been several months since my last blog post, a fact for which I feel I must apologize. I could throw out several excuses such as the busyness of getting married, a new school year, ministry, etc. However, I do not believe any of these is a sufficient reason for me to not be writing. I have been very convicted of late by my laziness and selfishness. If I am a member of the body of Christ, and writing is a gift He has given me (I assume it is, given past responses), then am I not obligated as a member of the body to use my gifting for the benefit of others? I most certainly am (see 1 Corinthians 12:7). So my lack of effort in this area appears to me to quite obviously be sin (James 4:17). I have not made a point of sharing the truth that God has shown me through His word, I have made little effort in this area of writing, or my life in general, of encouraging others and proclaiming the beauty of Christ and His Gospel. So this is my apology, and I intend to labor more earnestly

God With Us

I wrote this the other night as I stood overlooking the lake as the sun went down.  Just one of those things that stirs my affection for Christ.  Psalm 19:1-3 (ESV) "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard." The still lake waters rest, and I tonight, have been their guest The calm and rippling surface tells of my Lord, Emmanuel Who in beginning, from on high separated surface from the sky He who made the seas which stretch beyond what I can see He who crafts the rivers rush And with this mighty power could crush This  minuscule rebellious man  who has spit on God's good plan And yet He chooses not to kill but instead, my heart He stills He satisfies my longing heart His love is one that never parts This true and everlasting Word who's living water has secured For me, eternal gr

Desperate for His Presence

Exodus 33:15-16b, "And he[Moses] said to him[God], “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us..?" I am reading through the Old Testament in my devotions, and this passage struck me the other day as I read.  For a full background it would be good for you to stop here and go read chapters 32 and 33 of Exodus, but I'll try to give you enough context here to grasp the depth of this statement. Following Israel's rebellion against God in the building of the golden calf for worship (in chapter 32), God tells Moses to get out of the way.  God's wrath is burning hot against the nation of Israel, and He is going to wipe them out to punish their rebellion and start over with Moses.  But Moses pleads for His people, reasoning with God-to which God responds in mercy and relents from His wrath.  However, as we move in chapter 33 we see

Do we really treasure Christ?

In Matthew 13:44 Jesus says, " The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."  What is the kingdom of heaven?  Jesus many times refers to it as His kingdom, essentially it is where believers dwell with God.  And Jesus says that this is so valuable that he compares it to a treasure we would sell all of our possessions to obtain.   Is this how we value our relationship with God?  Are we so caught with Him that we would consider Him our highest treasure?  Would we be willing to forsake our jobs, our money, our lives, our reputations, our friends, our family, our popularity, etc for the sake of gaining Christ?  Can we say with Paul in Philippians 3:7-8, " But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.   Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss

Paul's Theology of the Church.

This is a little paper I wrote for our BTC class over in Missoula.  Not super thorough, being as it is (sans the footnotes) under 500 words.  I do think it covers some things that are important to keep in mind though, so I thought I'd post it for y'all to take a look at, perhaps I will elaborate on it at some point. Paul's Theology of the Church A short summary of the writings of the Apostle Paul concerning the nature and function of the church. Will Dole -What is the church? Paul states in Ephesians 5:25 that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Following this line of thought, the church would consist of all those for whom Christ died; “the community of all believers for all time.” [1] Paul uses several terms to describe these people throughout his epistles. These include (but are not limited to) saints [2] , the called [3] , believers [4] , and collectively, the body [5] and God's dwelling place [6] . We may conclude from Paul's writings that