Sunday, March 17, 2013
By now the word is out that Nancy and I will be moving to Davison Michigan this summer to pastor the Free Methodist Church there. We are very excited. First of all the process seems to us to be divinely led. One email inquiry led to a face to face interview. The interview led to an immediately job offer. Ever since we said "Yes" we have had one confirmation after another!
Saint Patrick is technically not a saint, as he was never canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, Patrick was not actually Irish. Rather, he was an Englishman and a Roman citizen, who spoke Latin and a bit of Welsh. Patrick was born around AD 390. When he was roughly sixteen years of age, he was captured by pirates and taken on a ship to Ireland, where he was sold into slavery. He spent the next six years alone in the wilderness as a shepherd for his master’s cattle and sheep. Patrick was a rebellious non-Christian teenager who had come from a Christian family. His grandfather was a pastor, and his father was a deacon. However, during his extended periods of isolation without any human contact, Patrick began praying and was eventually born again into a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Patrick endured the years of isolation in rain and snow by praying up to a hundred prayers each day, and another hundred each night. In his early twenties, God spoke to Patrick in a dream, telling him to flee from his master for a ship that was waiting for him. Amazingly, Patrick made the 200-mile walk without being caught or harmed and found a ship setting sail for his home, just as God had promised. The sailors were out of food for the journey, so Patrick prayed. Miraculously, a herd of pigs ran toward the ship, providing a bountiful feast for the long voyage home. Upon returning home, Patrick enrolled in seminary and was eventually commissioned as a pastor. Some years later, God spoke to Patrick in a dream, commanding him to return to Ireland to preach the gospel and plant churches for the pagans who lived there. PREACHING THE GOSPEL WITH THREE-LEAF CLOVERS The Roman Catholic Church had given up on converting such “barbarians,” who were deemed beyond hope. The Celtic peoples, of which the Irish were part, were an illiterate bunch of drunken, fighting, perverted pagans, who basically had sex with anyone and worshiped anything. They were such a violent and lawless people, numbering anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000, that they had no city centers or national government and were spread out among some 150 warring clans. Their enemies were terrified of them because they were known to show up for battles and partake in wild orgies before running into battle naked and drunk, screaming as if they were demon-possessed. One clan was so debased that it was customary for each new king to copulate with a white mare as part of his inauguration. In faith, the forty-year-old Patrick sold all of possessions, including the land he had inherited from his father, to fund his missionary journey to Ireland. He worked as an itinerant preacher and paid large sums of money to various tribal chiefs to ensure he could travel safely through their lands and preach the gospel. His strategy was completely unique. He functioned like a missionary, trying to relate to the Irish people and communicate the gospel in their culture by using such things as three-leaf clovers to explain the gospel. Upon entering a pagan clan, Patrick would seek to first convert the tribal leaders and other people of influence. He would then pray for the sick, cast demons out of the possessed, preach the Bible, and use both musical and visual arts to persuade people to put their faith in Jesus. If enough converts were present, he would build a simple church that did not resemble ornate Roman architecture, baptize the converts, and hand over the church to a convert he had trained to be the pastor. Then he would move on to repeat the process with another clan. Patrick gave his life to the people who had enslaved him, until he died at 77 years of age. - Mark Driscoll
Saturday, March 16, 2013
The Celtic Cross is a beautiful Christian symbol. The Circle represents the sun and the earth and reminds us that Jesus is the Lord of all creation. The Cross itself is a reminder that God has redeemed it all through the sacrifice of Christ. The intricately patterned design reflects a commitment to beauty and art as tools to worship our creative God. Why fashion just a simple cross when with some effort and skill you can create a work of art? I love the Celtic Way! GHT
Friday, March 15, 2013
Amy Carmichael -- Hast Thou No Scar? Hast thou no scar? No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand? I hear thee sung as mighty in the land, I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star, Hast thou no scar? Hast thou no wound? Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent. Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned: Hast thou no wound? No wound? No scar? Yet as the Master shall the servant be, And pierced are the feet that follow Me; But thine are whole. Can he have followed far Who has no wound nor scar? One of my all time favorite poems. GHT
I invite you to join me in praying the time-honored prayer written long ago by Arthur Bennett entitled "The Battlefield Prayer." It goes like this: O LORD, I bless You that the issue of the battle between yourself and Satan has never been uncertain, and will end in your victory. Calvary broke the dragon’s head, and so I contend with a vanquished foe, who with all his subtlety and strength has already been overcome. Whenever I feel the serpent at my heel may I remember Jesus - whose heel was bruised, but who, when bruised, crushed the devil’s head. So because Christ conquered the enemy I rejoice that He rules as the Lord of Hosts our Mighty Warrior. So Lord I pray that you will Heal me of any wounds received in the great conflict; if I have been stained by sin, if my faith has suffered damage, if my hope is less than bright, if my love is not fervent, if some creature-comfort occupies my heart, if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight. Heal me I pray. Lord, You alone are the One whose every promise is balm, and every touch life-giving. Draw near to me, your weary warrior Refresh me, that I may rise again to fight the good fight, and never tire until my enemy is trodden down. Help me to stay so close to You that through your power I may overcome Satan, unbelief, the lust of the flesh and the lure of this world. Give me a fresh drink from Your eternal fountain that lies in your unchanging and everlasting love and decree. Then my hand will never weaken, my feet will never stumble, my sword will never rest, my shield will never rust, my helmet will never shatter, my breastplate will never fall, as my strength rests in the power of your might. Amen! Adapted by Glenn H.Teal
Pretty pumped about centering the Good Friday service at Timberview around the newer worship song "White Flag" by Chris Tomlin. It lends itself to some very strong graphics and actual tactile expressions of full surrender. Friday March 29 @ 7pm Timberview Christian Fellowship 15511 N Howe Rd Mead WA We surrender all to You! GHT
If you've followed my online pathway you know that years ago - many years ago I started a blog named Fully Devoted. About four years ago I accidentally deleted it and all the related archives. It was a painful loss. So I decided to reinvent it and press on. However like many others I soon became fascinated by and fixated on Facebook. Most of the things I would have blogged about ended up there and I didn't have the energy to post it all twice. So the blog faded and Facebook took over. Now however I may have a particular reason to blog again - we'll see. Since Nancy and I have announced that we are moving back to Michigan this summer to pastor a Free Methodist church it seems that some more thoughtful and personal commentary on life and ministry might be a good idea. So I'll fire up the blog again and see what happens. No promises. Just a fresh run at it.