Saturday, October 29, 2011
We just returned from a quick trip to southern Michigan to visit our son Alex and his wife Becky and three of our four grandkids - Evan, Aaron and Ashlyn. They live in Kalamazoo which is surrounded by plenty of trees most of which are in the process of having their leaves turn bright yellow or red.
This turning of colors in the autumn is for me one of the strongest reminders of the changing of the seasons. Spring comes gently, summer arrives unannounced but autumn sends out this amazing calling card of riotous colors to let us know it has arrived.
It didn't have to be this way. Planet Earth could have been perfectly upright in its rotation. But our amazing creator God chose for it to be off-kilter. Canted just so that it creates what songwriter Chris Rices calls "our perfect 23."
I love that. The imperfection of our planets rotation creates the much loved changing of the seasons. How like our God to make something beautiful out of something off-kilter.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Christianity - By Lynn Hybels
I needed to know — and I still need to know, every day — that I am loved despite my failures, tha I am loved for the uniqueness of my true self, and that I am loved as I sit quietly doing absolutely nothing to earn, or buy, or chase that love.
I cannot wrap my brain around what I just wrote. I don’t know how Jesus allows me to experience his Presence and his Love. But he does. Whenever I lean fully into the reality of my loneliness, my insecurity, my fear, or my brokenness, I find Jesus there loving me.
That has become a Mystery I cannot live without.
In Jesus I also found a radical call to compassionate action in the world. At Jesus’ first public appearance he said, “I have come to set the captives free and to preach good news to the poor.” Then, through his teaching and life of servanthood, he slowly and methodically turned the values of the powerful Roman Empire upside down.
He threw the moneychangers out of the temple because they were exploiting the poor. He said that when we feed the hungry or clothe the naked it’s like we’re doing it to him. He said to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us.
Jesus changed the rules and ushered in an upside-down Kingdom.
The early church was known for the way it loved, not just within the little band of believers, but beyond it. Jesus’ first followers met daily to sing and pray and honor the presence of Jesus in their midst, and then they shared their material resources so freely that none among them had any need.
Histories of the early church record that when deadly plagues cut a black swath through communities, all the healthy people left except the crazy followers of Jesus, because they knew they were called to care for the sick — for the least — and they weren’t afraid of the consequences, even death.
I am a Christian today because of what I found in Jesus.
So well said!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Here is part of a communication from a friend in Egypt:
I hope this one finds you well. I do not know how I can describe the situation here in Egypt. I'm sure you have been watching the news about what's going on in Egypt right now. We had a horrible night, it was a battle beside were I live.
I don't know i'm still confused, many people have been killed from the Christian side. I am not quite sure of the number, and I do not know where all of that will end up all what I know we have giant God. So pray for us.
...Pray for our safety and for the country general. Asking the lord of peace to bring peace and healing.
I cannot say or quote more so as to protect the anonymity of the person involved. Please do not make any comment about who this might be.
As Lead Pastor at Timberview Church and a church leader, I am passionate about building a God honoring prevailing local church and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. My ministry career has included stints in professional music ministry and pastoring two congregations in Canada and two in the U.S.
For over 30 years I have be privileged to serve the Lord and the Free Methodist Church. God has blessed our ministry with many new converts and growing dynamic congregations.
One of the great joys of doing ministry has been the teamwork involved with our family, my wife Nancy and our adult son Alex, his wife Becky and our adult daughter Angela and her husband Jared Amerine.
My ENFP personality on the Myers Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love being creative and it is important for me to see progress. My strongest indicator by far is "N" which connects to the my love of imagination and big dreams. Both my E and P scores are just above midline - meaning I like being with people but I also like alone time. And although I like to play things by ear I've also learned to plan ahead.
Online I write mostly about spiritual formation, contemporary culture and church leadership. I like to interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me.
Upward and onward!
Glenn H. Teal