Friday, December 21, 2007

Pro Choice?


So I got this email that got me to think and encouraged me to blog about it.

Jaime Lynn Spears…sound familiar? Not to me, until I had to do some digging. Below is the excerpt from MTV.com


"Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney's sister, is pregnant, the 16-year-old told OK! magazine. The father is her longtime boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, she said. "It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," Jamie Lynn Spears, who is 12 weeks along in her pregnancy, told the magazine for its new issue, which hits stands this week.

"I was in complete and total shock, and so was he," she said. "As soon as I found out for sure from the doctor, I took two weeks to myself where I didn't tell anybody. Only one of my friends knew because I needed to work out what I would do for myself before I let anyone's opinion affect my decision. Then I told my parents and my friends. I was scared, but I had to do what was right for me."
According to the interview, Jamie Lynn confirmed the pregnancy through a home test. She later paid a visit to the doctor, who corroborated the news. She said she revealed the news to her parents shortly before Thanksgiving.
Jamie Lynn said that her mother, Lynne Spears, "was very upset because it wasn't what she expected at all. A week after, she had time to cope with it and became very supportive." Lynne Spears also commented on the news, saying, "I didn't believe it because Jamie Lynn's always been so conscientious. She's never late for her curfew. I was in shock. I mean, this is my 16-year-old baby."
Jamie Lynn, a high school junior, reportedly plans to raise the baby in Louisiana, her home state, "so it can have a normal family life." In regards to the third season of her Nickelodeon show, "Zoey 101," which wraps January 4, Jamie Lynn said: "I haven't spoken to [Nickelodeon] personally, but they have always been so great to me over the past years and have given me so many opportunities." The show is slated to start back up again in February, and fourth-season filming is already done.
Nickelodeon issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying, "We respect Jamie Lynn's decision to take responsibility in this sensitive and personal situation. We know this is a very difficult time for her and her family, and our primary concern right now is for Jamie Lynn's well being."
When the magazine reportedly asked her about the message her pregnancy might send to young people, she replied, "I definitely don't think it's something you should do; it's better to wait. But I can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in."
Lynne Spears told OK! that her daughter had been dating Casey Aldridge for years. But in an Associated Press interview conducted shortly before Thanksgiving, Jamie Lynn said she did not have a steady boyfriend. "I kind of just keep my options open," she told AP. "I have a bunch of friends that I always hang out with, a bunch of guy friends." In the OK! interview, Jamie Lynn said she had met Aldridge at church.
Aldridge's mother, Joyce, spoke with TMZ about the pregnancy, saying, "We are aware of the recent interview regarding her and being pregnant, and we are in agreement with everything that was said by Jamie Lynn about the situation ... everything is fine. ... Casey will address all of this when it is time."
Also yet to be addressed is whether Jamie Lynn and Casey plan to marry. His uncle, Odus Jackson — who is a Baptist pastor — said in an interview with People outside his nephew's house in Mississippi, "They may or may not [get married]. You just never know." He added, "I hope they will stick it out and get married for the child's sake and their sake. But if they're not in love and it was just a fantasy, they don't need to make the same mistake twice."
According to a video posted on TMZ.com, Britney appeared not to be aware of the Jamie Lynn news before it broke wide, telling reporters during a shopping spree Tuesday night, "My sister's not pregnant!" But on Wednesday, the site ran a report in which a source said the singer was just being sarcastic."
[This story was originally published on 12.18.07 at 9:18 p.m. ET]
So here is the question that was posed to me….
“Wonder where the evangelicals are in speaking out on their pro-choice /pro-life position. This teenager made a grave mistake and seems to be taking the heat on her own... having made the choice to keep this baby alive. So far no one wants to touch this one - like she has the plague.Most parents/teens would arrange to get rid of the problem and the world would never know.”

What are your thoughts on this?

Please remember that there is a delay to your post being published and with the season as busy as it is, please be patient with me in getting around to publishing them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Profound Question.


Every once in a while, someone says something that grabs you from out of nowhere. Here is one of those quotes for me.
"If God made the universe and if God made us and if God made the world, it just makes sense to invite God into our lives and ask Him, 'You made me--what should I be doing?'"
Moby as quoted in Relevant (May/June 2005)
What should you be doing?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Special Edition Post


They are back! They may be so 1991 but I had a number of different sets. You too can now be a proud owner of the COOLEST sweats EVER!
Zubaz! Yes, I said Zubaz! Check it out...cheaper then when they first came out! Ummmm
Anyway, a Christmas gift everyone NEEDS!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Prayer?


It is that time of the year, where western culture spends needlessly buying things that we don’t want, and asking for things that we do not need, using electricity needlessly (Give the Globe a Hug!) and the list can go on. I am not going into a rant about how Christmas has become so commercial…how it is has morphed away from the concept of a simple stable…I am not. I am not going to place you, the reader, on a guilt trip after viewing the photo above. I am not!

What I am going to do is post a prayer that has originally had nothing to do with Christmas. It is a prayer by Sir Francis Drake, some who felt he was a hero and others who called him a pirate. Whatever the skeletons of his life were…I have found this prayer profound and it especially speaks during this time of year.

Disturb us, O Lord

When we are too well-pleased with ourselves;when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little; when we have arrived in safety because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

When with the abundance of things possessed, we lose our thirst for the water of life; when, having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of Eternity; and our efforts to build a new earth have allowed Your vision for the New Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

To dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, where storms shall show Thy Mastery, where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow Him. Amen.

~~ Sir Francis Drake

Thoughts?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just thinking....


So, I am deliberating on what to post today, feeding the need to be selective, not wanting to defend thoughts or methodologies. I could talk about…........instead:

I like my coffee dark and rich with a little cream or milk. Every once in a while I will order a Quad shot Caramel Macchiato, Pumpkin Spice Latte, or Egg Nog Latte. So, the other week I went to Starbucks with one of my kids and I had this moment of “I want something different.” Then I saw it…a little sampler…with pink sprinkles on it. First thought…was “NO”…I want something else…but the sprinkles got me.

So I ordered one…and the barista said… “I love those…”
I was in conflict…I was good with a coffee, even a latte, but now … what if I don’t like this drink with the pink sprinkles? Have you ever placed an order at someplace and then want to change your mind, but you know it is too late? That was what I was going through. Then it came up…my drink was ready….hey, this is feeling like 24!!!!
I took a straw, as is my custom, and placed it through a lid and then placed the lid on my coffee cup. I gently formed my lips around the straw, and inhaled (SLOWLY) and…..and…..and…...it was really, really, really good.
Two things contributed to me wanting this product…first was the sample that was sitting on the counter. It looked good, attractive, tasty…it made me want to try it, after all it was a sample and it was FREE! (I am so Manitoban) The second thing was the fact that the employee, the one who works at the establishment and even makes the drink…said that she loved them.
In Matthew 5 Jesus is talking and says “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
So, as followers of Christ are we are called to be walking advertisements for Him? Should people see our lives and at least be interested in what is going on inside of us? This doesn’t mean that we are perfect, but we are called to live in such as way that attracts people to Jesus. The next thing was the ‘testimony’ of the barista. She influenced my decision and she didn’t even know I was contemplating a decision like that. If she was that influential in regards to a drink just imagine how influential you and I could be in just sharing with friends about Christ?
There are people that we come across daily……………

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Growing Church

James Meeks is the senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago and it started in 1985 with 200 people (wow). They now have over 22,000 members (double wow).
Meeks has stated "We can all have growing churches."

Meeks has preach that the kingdom of GOD is compared in the parable to planting and growing. Everything that is planted is supposed to grow. If a church is in the Kingdom of God, then a church is supposed to grow. Now, this thought gets me thinking. There are huge ramifications to this thought.

But since we are walking through Ephesians as a church, and we recognize the reality of spiritual warfare, and our battle is not flesh and blood….Here are some enemies of a growing church according to James Meeks.

1. Lack of faith -- We must believe growth can happen. We have to expect it. "I would be ready to quit if there were no conversions."

2. Lack of knowledge -- We don't know that church growth is possible. We haven't been exposed to the principles of church growth. People perish because of a lack of knowledge. What you don't know can kill you. What you don't know can stifle your church's growth.

3. Failure to realize that God is no respecter of persons -- God doesn't love just a select group of people. God told Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you." You will be anointed also.

4. Failure to realize growth is always the goal of a new testament church -- It doesn't matter how small your town is--your church is supposed to grow. "The city doesn't need to be big if the church has big ideas." People have cars. They will drive to your church. See John 15:5. If it's not growing, it's not healthy. People are afraid to count because they don't want to know how bad things are.

5. An unsure pastor -- You have to demonstrate that you're in control. People are looking to you as the person with answers. You have to be sure about your leadership. We lead with too much ambiguity. We have too many politically correct pastors. We don't say what the Bible says. We're afraid to offend people.

6. Failure to build upon small victories -- Small victories lead to bigger victories. David killed a lion and a bear before he killed Goliath. When a church gets used to victories, it will have no doubt that there isn't anything too big for God.

7. Failure to preach the announcements -- Whatever you want the masses to know, it can't be announced--it must be preached. It has to be a sermon. After the message, you give an invitation to involvement.

8. Lack of corporate fasting and prayer -- Some things will only come about through fasting and prayer.

9. Failure to get started -- "Go with the going crowd." If you can't influence anyone, you're in the wrong profession.

10. Poor motive -- Why do you want a big church? You should want it. You have to want it for the right reason. God knows your heart. Church growth should be about bringing glory and honor to God. If God is not pleased and satisfied, it doesn't make a difference.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rules of Fighting


A friend (http://www.leadinginfluence.com) of mine sent the following out...

"A pastor in Kamloops wrote this. He's also a medal winner in 'ultimate fighting'. I present it unedited.

I have always been a fighter. My grandfather and step-dad taught it to me. Stand up for things you believe in. Stand up for family and friends. Stand up for yourself. Fight for what you think is right and true.I was taught to box and wrestle. They taught me rules of fair play. No dirty fighting. No hitting someone from behind the back. A fair fight should be one on one. Only cowards need a pack of friends to join them in a fight against one person. When the fight is over, its over. Shake hands and be friends.

I wish someone would have taught church people this. I have seen Christians get offended and hurt. I have seen them get mad and bitter. I have seen them fight. They rarely fight one on one. They normally fight behind your pack and need to spread their offense to get people on their side. They need a pack to feel brave and right. They do not work out their issues one on one. No not at all. That is why offense and bitterness spreads like cancers through churches. Most offenses are second-hand offenses picked up from someone else.

They also rarely fight fair. They take cheap shots, below the belt. They get personal and mean. It normally starts as some small issue and blows into something huge. I have seen huge ugly personal fights break out over views on drinking, or music, or church attendance, or doctrine, or any myriad of things. It's not that these issues do not matter. It is fine to get mad and disagree over some of these things. I have gotten mad and even told someone to kiss mine, so far be it from me say there is no room for fiery conflict. However, it is wierd how something small becomes not a small fight but a huge offense. Small things like a root of bitterness spread like the dandelions on my lawn. People are hurt and mad like you had just beat up their mom, not merely disagreed over doctrine.

They want to start a war like America after 911. The only thing is it is not 911, nobody died, feelings merely got hurt. Not quite worthy of a war. Call each other a bad name if it makes you feel better and get over it.The last rule I was taught is that when a fight is over, it's over. So many seem to carry on fighting for years. Let it go. You had a fight. Its over. It takes two to fight. You played you part. Let it go. Fighting hurts. Heal. Forgive. Go forward. If your a real big kid, even shake hands and be friends. Maybe have a beer, or a pop, or something, but let it go."

WOW....thoughts?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Too Good Not to Share Bono Intimate


If you are a U2 fan you need to go to http://www.kinnon.tv/ and watch U2- Wave of Sorrow.


Comments?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reflection of 24 and of Self


Reflection of 24:
Man my life was boring. But that was what happened in one day. Sharon and I were able to attend the National Outreach Convention in San Diego and I must say that if there ever was a conference that we needed, this one was just for us (Soul Sanctuary and me…and Sharon) at the right time.

I am not sure where to start, but I want to avoid saturating you with unnecessary details but here is ONE thing that I am working through.
Reflection of Self:
What I came back from the conference is; that there are many Christians that I cannot stand. No, seriously…my prayer is like the bumper sticker “Jesus, Save Me from your followers!” There are times where I would rather hang out with “foul mouth heathens” than self righteous, hyper critical, narrow minded so called Christians.

Here is a list as to why I don’t like a lot of “Christians”
They can be so judgmental and condescending and they tend to fight about the stupidest things.
-“You using the wrong version of the bible”
-“Your churches worship style is sinful”
-“You don’t teach enough from the Book of Revelation”
-“Your church is not evangelistic enough”
-“Your church eats meat sacrificed to idols”
-“You are focused too much on outreach”
-“All R- rated movies are off limits” (can you say The Passion?)
-“If you listen to ‘secular’ music, you are of the devil”
-“Don’t get a tattoo”
-“Don’t watch Harry Potter”
-and for some of my denominational friends….”Don’t go to Disneyland or Las Vegas!”
Hey people...it is not "MY CHURCH" it is Jesus'. Also, if you really think about it...YOU ARE THE CHURCH! I can go on, but I won’t. The fact is that Christians can be just plain strange. If you are offended, please don’t be…watch Christian Television…that is an affront!!!!

Another reason is that Christians can by so hypocritical. Yes, the big “H” word. You know what I am talking about. Now, there are a few reasons I dislike a lot of “Christians” and to be fair there are a lot of them who don’t like me. I am too radical, my theology is of question, I break the unpardonable sin (I pastor a growing church), I am an egomaniac, I only care about myself, I am unapproachable, I am stuck on myself, I am a Lion (eh James!!!)…and the list goes on….

There, now that is all out in the open…but there is still one Christian out there that bothers me the most. Keeps me awake at night, makes me want to puke…and that person is…………………
Me.

No seriously, there are so many things that I detest about myself. How about you? I hate it when I am less that Jesus would want me to be. I hate it when I put my selfish desires over the needs of others, especially my own family. I hate it when I say something that is inconsistent with scripture, and I hate it when, as a leader, I make decisions that hurt people, I hate myself when my sinful actions hurt other believers or turn away nonbelievers…there are many things that I hate about myself…

I don’t like a lot of Christians and my name often tops that list. While others can drive me nuts, it is easier to point at them. But if we are to take a honest look at the contradiction inside of me, it shows me exactly what I need to do about it. Instead of following my instinctive course of self defense and preservation from outward criticism, I commit to opening my heart bare to GOD and ask Him to change me, cleanse me and work in me.

How about you?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NEW SHOW


If you have been following the latest craze entitled 24...you will notice that the time is up. So, I must change the series name....it will now be called 48! As is it written, so shall it be.
See you later!

5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.


The following happened from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Nothing really changed here people........what did you expect?

4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.



The following happened from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

REPEATS!!!!!!

I heard this before, I finally turned off my TV.....

3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.


The following took place between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Now, really....you are watching me sleep?

2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.



The following takes place between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.

You must be really bored in that you are watching me sleep!

1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.


The following happens between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00.
Nothing has really changed....

12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.


The following happens between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m.


11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.


The following happens between 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.
Ok, my eyes are sore...so I turn on the tv..... it is like a sleeping pill. You watch it and then you fall asleep....I begin to drift off to CNN and what is happening in Pakistan...not cool....

10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.


The following happens between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
I was reading.....
"GOD is where you least expect Him"
"GOd wants to be known, but not in a way that overwhelms us, that takes away the possibility of love freely chosen."
"Meister Eckhart said 'GOD is like a person who clears His throat while hiding and so gives himself away."
"This can be the greatest moment of your life because this moment is the place where you can meet GOD."
Thoughts?

9:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m.


The following happens between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

After a wonderful supper with myself, talking and eating with myself. Myself and I decided to go for a walk. We needed to walk of all the calories that somehow found themselves around my mid section. Myself and I headed back to my hotel room. Sure enough, I am here to realx, not to really think....but I pull out my book and I read...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The following happens between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

So, I am watching CNN and then I got bored, because I am supposed to be relaxing. So, I thought a work out was in order and I began to surf the stations. Sure enough...I saw commercials that were calling to me, like the Hungry Man TV dinners. Hey, I am a hungry man! I need to eat....after all my thumb is having a workout on the remote control. So, I got up and I went for supper and the only place close by is a place named Kelly's. So, there I am, by myself in the place and I order a steak! Ummm, steak. I take my time because I know that when I am done here...I go back to my room and relax.....sounds fun......actually, being by yourself is really boring.

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

You guessed it....I was watching his interview and listening to apologies for the language that he was using. simply put....it is just sad. Can you imagine if he appeared before Judge Judy?

BTW I am still relaxing.....

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The following happens between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

I was watching more tv…Judge Judy!!!! Oh yes, some common sense on tv!?

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


The following happens between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Nothing really, I was watching TV a new show called Judge Alex. http://judgealex.com/ I could swear that this guy is really a president of a bible college in Saskatoon. (http://www.horizon.edu/welcome.asp)
Anyway, I am supposed to relax. I was told by my doctor that I needed to take at least a week off. Yeah right….so now, I am relaxing….with a remote in my hand.

4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Eating at the California Pizza Factory, retruning email, talking with my family on the phone. I hate travelling alone. Then I spent some time walking the mall. It is an outdoor mall, it is very cool. All upper class stores…very interesting...glad my dollar is worth more than then the American green back!

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


The following happens between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

I walk around the airport trying to figure out where the cabs are. I need to get to the hotel that I have booked. I finally see the signs, follow the people and find another line to stand in….I wait for my cab.

Now, when I have traveled in the past, prior to getting into any cab I have always asked…”Do you take Visa.” I never like giving cabbies cash….just my preference. But, there is this sign that says “ALL CABS TAKE VISA, MASTERCARD AND AMERICAN EXPRESS” so, did I ask? NOOOOOOOOOOOO, why should I?

So I finally get a cab, tell him “Town and Country Conference Center please.” And off we go. I try to talk, he does not want to, as a matter of fact, he turns up the radio!!!! REALLY NOW! What a hint!

So we get to my destination and I give him my card and he says…”I don’t take credit cards. You should have asked me before you got into the cab” To which I responded, “The sign at the airport says that you do. I always ask, but I saw the sign and it told me that you do” He then says “I want cash, I cannot do credit.”
To which I said “I think you have a problem then, because the sign said that you do take credit.” He asked me “Don’t you have cash?” my reply…”I have a credit card.” At this point I felt that he is…..out of luck.

Guess what he does? He pulls out a Credit Card slider and some forms. Personally, I thought the guy was a jerk! I was not impressed. Anyway, I get out and finally get to the front desk.

An easy time to get to my room…I unpack and go for a walk. I have been in this city and hotel before, but it has been years. I go to the local shopping mall where I know there is a food court and wouldn’t you know it…I was HUNGRY! The cranapple and pretzels have not done it for me. I found a number of resturants and eateries and I went to the California Pizza Kitchen....ummm pizza....

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


The following happens between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

30 Rock, a show I have never watched before, but again, I laughed. Not sure if it is the type of show I would make the time to watch. Then Ugly Betty came on….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
I wake up and my mouth was open….man, I hope I didn’t snore…man, I hope I didn’t drool!!! I check my chin…nope, I am ok.

It is 12:30 Pacific time as I am landing at my destination. Did I mention that my neighbor in my row did not want to talk? Not even eye contact! Did I intimidate him? Did he know that I was a minister? Fact was he didn’t want to talk…

So we get off the plane and I walk through the airport, I follow those in front of me, like cattle, man I even want to "MOOOOO" in the airport. Off we go to slaughter, I mean to claim my baggage. Claim my baggage…we all have baggage that we come to grips with, that we claim. Oh I feel a sermon coming on…..i just need to focus on getting my suitcase. Got it…now where….?

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.


The following happens between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

So the stewardess comes down the aisle and asks me what I would like to drink…and I say “Cranapple, no ice” in my James Bond/Jack Bauer voice. And what a wonderful surprise…she gives me the whole can and not only that I get a little package of munchies…you guessed it….pretzels, not just any pretzels but Mini Pretzels. Synders of Hanover Mini Pretzels. So guess what I do? I count each pretzel again and I noticed that there is exactly 10 in the bag. How cool is that? Not 9, not 11 but 10. Twice it has happened to me…ummmmm…
Then after The Office was over, 30 Rock came on and that too made me laugh….

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The following happens between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.

I am boarding my plane and I am walking down the isle…I look at my ticket stub….NO, NO WAY…I am in a middle seat! I am 250 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal and the middle seat is not made for me…NOOOOO!

So I find my seat and to my left is a little woman with a runny nose. "B-E-A, awesome." But I look to my right and the seat is empty….I thought that maybe I was the last person to board the plane….”Oh GOD please close the plane door so that I can have the window seat.” So this is one of those times when you think that everyone is one the plane but you know that is not true. And you wait and wait and wait. Then a person walks on the plane….is it them? Nope, a sigh of relief as they walk by my row. What about her? Nope, another sigh. What about him? Nope, another sigh and a prayer that GOD will close the plane door…

I am so selfish!

Sure enough…I can always pick out the person who is going to sit by me…I just knew it. I could tell by the way he was looking for his row and seat number. Sure enough…”this is my seat.” We get out and he gets in…and it is not that bad because he is a very short man….more room for me. Now I wait for take off.

The door is closed, the crew walks through the cabin, closes the overhead containers and Miss Runny Nose looks at me and says “The seat behind me is free.” Whoa….why don’t you just slap my face? It was her kind way of saying get out and move behind her. I wonder if she was just calling me fat or a chair hog! So I got up and moved behind miss runny nose and I now have an aisle seat! YESSSSS!

We take off and I dose off. Our flight is to be 2 hours and 4 minutes long then the TV’s drop out of the ceiling, I have my headset with me…I plug in and I begin to watch The Office. Oh this is funny…I am laughing out loud….Michael is taking the office to the beach for a party but he is really planning that he is going to be promoted and wants to replace himself…very funny….

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


The following happens between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

So, I am watching CNN, sipping my latte, ummmm pumpkin spice. Here are some thoughts from GOD is Closer Than You Think.

“The central promise in the Bible is not “I will forgive you.” The most frequent promise is “I will be with you.”

“Once you see GOD in an ordinary moment at an ordinary place, you never know where he’ll show up next.”
“Spiritual growth, in a sense, is simply increasing our capacity to experience the presence of GOD.”
“Brother Lawrence wrote ‘The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of GOD. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly, and lovingly with Him in all seasons at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way.’”
Think about it this way…what if GOD could be that close? “Maybe I miss Him because I fail to see Him in the ordinary moments of my life. Maybe every heartbeat is not just the mechanism of a sophisticated plumbing system but the echo of GOD’s voice, the murmur of God’s love.”
It is 11:55 a.m. and I have been called to board the plane…must run….

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The following happens between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

I have arrived at the Denver International Airport. What a big place. I love it here, however my wife has not liked this place since she got stranded coming back from a conference in California. So I have some time to kill and I arrived at gate 52. My connecter takes off at gate 25 so I must find that gate. Guess what? The times has changed,,,,but for my purposes, the time has not changed….

So I turn on my phone, get my emails, get a phone call and begin to walk Terminal B…for exercise because my butt hurts. I walked to one end of the airport and turn around and walk to the other end with one thought in mind. I am looking for SB. I finally found one hidden in a small concourse on the way to gates 95! I order a blueberry muffin and a quad, venti, pumpkin spice latte…..ummmmm a quad, venti, pumpkin spice latte….I found a TV with CNN on, pulled out my lap top and started typing…..
Ummmmm latte…..

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The following happens between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.

The cart is finally here, and he really cares about what I want to drink….I want Cranapple….I love cranapple when I fly. It is so refreshing and tasty!

I would have ordered a coffee, but as I said earlier, it smells burnt. So, I am waiting until I get to Denver so that I can go to SB. So, Chris ( our flight attendant) asks me if I want ice with my Cranapple…and then he calls me “sir.” SIR! Man, I feel that I am in my twenties, I am not a sir…am I?

Anyway….Cranapple….ummmmmm cranapple. Then Chris gives me a bag of pretzels. Not just any pretzels but Mini Pretzels. Synders of Hanover Mini Pretzels. They taste like…..pretzels. They are actually good. And now I am bored…so what do I do…I count each pretzel and I noticed that there is exactly 10 in the bag. How cool is that? Not 9, not 11 but 10. So I am having a breakfast of champions…cranapple and pretzels. I have brought a book with me, by John Ortberg, “God is closer than you think.” I will mention a few quotes that stuck out to me as we go on…. But I am getting sleepy, shutting my eyes now....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

9:58 There is a tremendous THUD! The landing gear is down…I have arrived….

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.


The following happens between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

“I am a minister!” There, I said it! I confess! I am religious. Things got quiet as I expected. My new friend paused, looked out the window (for she had a window seat and I looked around for some comfort, some strength, I just bared my soul and now I am left hanging. My new friend then asked a really interesting question…. "Was your father a minister?” What was with that question? Well, the door opened up and began to give my new friend a family history lesson right up to where we are today with Soul Sanctuary.

My new friend began to tell me of her friend who is a “Jehovah” and who was trying to convert her. She like how I described Soul Sanctuary and felt that too many churches were not meeting the needs of people and that too many pastors were “presumptuous” when they were preaching. She said that she believed in GOD but was not pleased with the church. (OUCH).

Then out of the blue my friend said she got up at 3 a.m. and proceeded to fall asleep. So off she went and I went napping as well….off to save the world in my dreams.

Man, I hate small planes…not enough room for me…250 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal! (I have been waiting to use that one…and it made you laugh)

8:45 a.m. I am woken from my dream…the drink cart is moving down the isle. But guess what they are selling on a morning flight? It is not even 9 a.m. and some alcoholic is paying his $5. What a crazy commentary on our culture…why have a coffee when you can have Jack Daniels!

8:55 a.m. The cart is two rows away….ummmmm I smell coffee…it smells a little burnt…but I smell coffee…
What should I do, what should I have? Wine, tea, Jack Daniels, coffee, beer, milk, coke or juice…oh the choices….oh the humanity!
During all this, my friend sleeps…I smell the coffee, they are one row away….
Then as I am tyoing this I am asked...
"What can I get you sir?"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

The following happens between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

“Next please”
I move to the counter, pull out my electronic ticket…show it to the Air Canada ticket agent, only because I am flying Air Canada! But wouldn’t you know it…I am standing in the wrong line at the wrong counter. The ticket agent asks me “why don’t you have an electronic boarding pass” to which I responded, “I tried but I couldn’t log on.” To which she promptly responded “Sir, you are in the wrong line, you need to go to counter 25, the United counter….please hurry sir, you do not want to miss your flight.”

If only you could read my mind at that moment! Like, I choose to stand in the wrong line for who knows how long. "Don’t you know who I am!!!??? Jack Bauer!!! I am on a mission to save the world," I thought, but alas, I am just me……

So I move to the next line…at the United counter…only because I am stupid….(no comments please) Then I made it through customs and security and proceeded to the waiting room …
At 7:45 a.m. I boarded my plane and found my seat…

A young woman sat beside me but wanted to sit with her boyfriend and so she switched seats with an older woman….full of perfume. I mean full of perfume…I actually sneezed. She is a nice older lady and she noticed that I was typing these notes into my Crackberry….Then came THE QUESTION….
Do you know THE QUESTION? The question is somethings that causes people like me cold sweats. THE QUESTION is something that makes or breaks the flight. THE QUESTION means we will continue our talk or it is over right now! WHAT DO YOU DO? IT IS THE QUESTION.

I froze in mid type…”what do I say?” Does she watch the Simpson’s? Will she know who Rev. Lovejoy is? I am in a dilemma…will she even talk to me if I confess that I am a MINISTER, a PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL, A REVEREND, A DOCTOR (without medicine) a... a... a... minister…..so I say……

November 06, 2007 6:00 am - 7:00 am


The following happens between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

6 a.m. the alarm goes off and I roll out of bed. I go down stairs to make sure things are in order…the lunches for my family. I am in a bit of a fog, but this usual every morning. Upstairs I go, to shower and get dressed. Soon, I run into my boys one at a time, taking time to hug me and tell me that they love me and say that they are going to miss me. 6:30 am the door bell rings…my dad is at the door…so I kiss my wife good bye and leave the house.

It is cold outside as we drive to the airport. Dad and I have good conversation, it is good, very good. He drops me off at Air Canada…I see the line…I join…I wait. Everybody has a place to go, eye contact with strangers is limited, people hate standing in line, I hear some complaining….it is now 7 and my plane leave at 8:15 am… and I am still in line.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Post Coming Tuesday

Now that the writers on Hollywood have gone on strike...I will be giving you my own rendition of 24...I am off to save the world....keep checking in....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Facebook

For those who are into this nightmare called Facebook...

Too funny not to watch....
http://video.dotcomedy.com/player/?id=171228#videoid=143256

BTW...did you know that all pictures that you post on Facebook is now their property?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Giving

So, after reading many of the responses regarding the post called 'Controversy,' I thought that I would add some thoughts regarding giving to the church. I haven’t talked much on money, but let’s face it…generates discussion. I have been enjoying the last few sessions and the comments that have been posted, and I do apologize for having to moderate your comments, but for the most part almost all comments have been allowed through and I will continue to do my part in allowing even those that seems silly...but add a sense of fun to this blog.

So, on this post I want to throw some ideas out there and would love to hear your thoughts on the matter of giving to the church.

Randy Alcorn in his book the Treasure Principle says:
“You can't take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.”

With that in mind, here are four guidelines that someone has shared with me regarding giving to the church.

First, we need to Pay God (I could talk about tithing here but for the sake of arguing needlessly, I will leave it open).

2 Corinthians 8:7
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.


Then we need to Pay Yourself

Proverbs 6:6-8
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.


Thirdly, Pay Your Debts

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.


Finally, Live Within a Budget

Luke 14:28
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?


With all those in mind there are some things that we can take for granted or that are underlying assumptions when it comes to money. They are:

GOD owns everything, and I am His money manager. In other words we are the managers of the assets GOD has entrusted, not given, to us.

My hearts always goes where I put GOD’s money. Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.

Giving is the only antidote to materialism. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts GOD.

GOD prospers me not to raise my stand of living, but to raise my standard of giving. In other words GOD gives us more money that we need so we can give generously.

Some ideas, some thoughts?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee

Guess what I have noticed??? Starbucks is popping up all over the city.

(This post is about an observation and not a plug for a company. Remember that when you comment.)

For some, Starbucks is all about the experience, I like to think it is about the coffee, either way it is still a relaxing place over a good beverage. Starbucks has a huge vision. It started with about 100 stores some 15 years ago to an institution that finds itself in over 37 countries with thousands of stores. The company now opens more than 2,000 coffeehouses per year, an average of six new stores a day. Starbucks goal is to have 40,000 stores worldwide. WOW.

I hang with some people who have a problem with big churches, and big business and what I find is that these same people complain about and try to discredit the ministry of churches and business’ that are approaching huge numbers. Why?

With Starbucks they are trying to sell more coffee, creating more experiences. So is the church thinking too small? Don’t get me wrong, I like small but I also like big…is there a problem with that? Can’t we have both? Can we not continually grow smaller? It has a double ring to it….(not a double/double :) )

Do you know that Starbucks carefully determines where each store is located as a matter of fact every detail is calculated. So, Starbucks is very deliberate in its ‘evangelism’ while the church appears to be passive or scared in our approach to spreading the Gospel. Why? Is it possible that the church is trying to put GOD in a box by limiting how he chooses to reach people? Or is it because we are afraid of taking a hit from others who think that they know the only expression of the church is small? How is the church doing at creating an atmosphere?

Even the concept of a “third place” is becoming a big topic of discussion with some of my friends. The alternative to a church, yet, in some respects, still a church. This ‘third place’ is popular even for Starbucks, but it uses the coffee product as glue that draws people. Starbucks is a community…they even know my name…and they feel free to suggest different drinks for me.
What about the church…why is it that many are so focused on arguing about issues as opposed to being in individual’s lives talking and walking and listening and suggesting a good cup of coffee? GOD uses a variety of different approaches to get people's attention and transform lives. I don't think GOD's done with us yet and, I don't think he's done redeeming people's lives, but are we limiting GOD in what he can do? Is a coffee store doing a better job than the church?

And for those who are not into Starbucks…check out this site….
http://starbucksgossip.typepad.com/

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Controversy!


The following is a piece that was sent to me from someone in our community....
Read it and tell me what you think!
Over the past 20 centuries, the church has made many changes in terms of what is acceptable practice and what is not. This is not new. Imagine families living in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. It is Saturday morning, the Sabbath, and they are getting ready to go to the Synagogue. They choose the closest Synagogue – any further than ½ km, and the walk would violate the law of how far they can walk on the Sabbath. They arrive and the men sit in the front, while the women and children sit in the back, behind a veil. This is the “law” you see. When they arrive home, they will have the cold lunch that was prepared the day before. They are not allowed to work on the Sabbath so cooking is out of the question. In fact, they are not even allowed to clean up the lunch dishes – they will have to wait until tomorrow. .

Jesus stepped into such a time and basically said to the teachers of the law “you people are so stupid”. “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man (Luke 2:27).” God had given a simple command so that the people would enjoy the gift of the Sabbath and use it to focus their hearts on him. The leaders decided to “clarify” God’s commandment, because of course, they could say it much clearer than God, and so added several dozen regulations for the Sabbath. These regulations turned the Sabbath into a burden rather than a gift.

By the time Jesus was crucified, he had broken almost every “taboo” imposed by the religious establishment. He spoke to women, he ate with sinners, he worked on the Sabbath.

Imagine two of these families, two years later. The Jones’ are now gathering with a group of new believers called Christians. They have just had a baby boy and pass the Smiths who are on their way home from Synagogue. They invite the Smiths to the dedication. When Mrs. Smith gets home, this is what she says to her husband.

“Can you believe it? She is in the market, shopping on the Sabbath!! I can’t believe they have the gall to think they can just up and change the Sabbath day. The Torah clearly states that the seventh day is to be holy, not the first! They are in conflict with the word of God. Not only that, they are not circumcising their boy – they claim it is no longer necessary! AND, they have invited Gentiles into their home for the ceremony and to top it all off – she’s serving ham!! I don’t know what has gotten into that family, but they are not obeying the scriptures.”

Throughout time, change has come hard for the church. Learning to let go of legalism and yet remain holy is not a simple task. There are always those who will find a verse or two of scripture to bolster their list of do’s and don’ts. Jesus, however, summed it all up in two simple phrases: love God and love people.

Two generations ago, had you walked into a typical Mennonite church, there would have been no instruments during worship. They felt that the music would draw the listeners’ attention away from the lyrics and from worshipping God. When the organ first made its debut, many people were adamant that this was the downfall of the church. With each generation of musical change, we have gone through this transition all over again.

Only one generation ago, the church taught from the pulpit that pool halls, bowling alleys and movie houses were sinful. Today, we have youth events in the pool hall, Bingo Bowls for the adults, and we bring clips of the movies into our Sunday morning gatherings as a tool to reach the people. What is happening? Is the church really getting farther and farther away from God? Or are we untying the bonds of legalism and getting to the heart of the matter? Paul states “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1Cor 9:22)

There are those in the church today who believe that to hold a raffle is a sin because it’s gambling. Interestingly, the word “gamble” never appears in Scripture. While some are quick to quote Matthew or Mark where Jesus drives out the money changers in the temple at the Passover, this passage has nothing to do with gambling. Jesus is judging people’s hearts and motives far more than their actions. The people were supposed to bring the unblemished firstborns from their own herds, not purchase whatever happened to be available at the market. The people selling in the temple were just as guilty as the buyers – in essence, they were selling and buying a lie, and bringing their second best to God.

Why is gambling a problem? True gambling is about far more than a simple raffle. Gambling is a mindset, and a way of life. You don’t need to buy a ticket to gamble – you can bet on the football game, on the date the neighbor’s baby will be born, or on what the weather will be like tomorrow. You could even wager money on how many people this blog will offend. The real problem is when gambling places your hope and reliance on chance instead of on God. It is taking the money you need to pay your bills and feed your family and throwing it away for no purpose whatsoever, except for the slight chance to win it back with interest. It says “if I could just win the lottery, all my problems would be solved”, or “if I stay in the game just a bit longer, I might win back all I’ve lost”. It is a similar scenario to alcohol. A drink with dinner is not a sin, but if alcohol takes over your life and you rely on it instead of God, you are indeed sinning.

A simple raffle ticket asks people to give from their excess, it does not ask them to give large sums of money with the hope that they will get a large windfall to solve their problems. When selling a raffle ticket, the first question asked by over 90% of individuals is “Who are you raising money for?” People would not buy a ticket if I said I was raising money to go to Hawaii for Christmas. When the cause is good, people donate the money, and are not concerned whether or not they actually win the prize. Why not just simply ask for the money then? Unfortunately, while selling a ticket is acceptable to the public, when the church asks for money outright, it perpetuates a very negative stereotype. Our raffle highlighted Soul Sanctuary to many in the community who did not know we existed. I expect to see growth from these contacts.

Galatians 5:1-15 talks about the freedom we have in Christ. There may be those of you who can understand in your minds that opposing a raffle is legalistic, but in your heart, you still feel checked by the Holy Spirit. I can respect that. If the Spirit says to your conscience that drinking is wrong, then for you, it is wrong. Perhaps God knows that you have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism and He has a very good reason why he doesn’t want you to drink. If the Holy Spirit checks you about buying a raffle ticket, then you shouldn’t purchase one – He has His reasons; however, if others can purchase the same ticket with a clear conscience and an attitude of giving freely, then they should also be allowed to do so without being condemned.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quote of the Week!


"I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean."
G.K. Chesterton
Every once in a while, there are those things that you hear that really resonate with you heart. This is one for me......

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hello friend?


Soul Sanctuary is a very interesting place, every week there are new people who come out. Weekly we gather to worship and we are growing, so how does the word get out? We are not in the phone book, so how do people find out about us? It is all word of mouth or from an internet search! So people come from far and wide to be a part of a gathering. Some call Soul their home and they will bleed for it. Others are wounded and are looking for a place where they can meet GOD and begin the healing process. Some are just simply committed to the people/freinds that they meet. Some are giving GOD and/or the church one last chance. For some, the church is in the area and they like what is going on. Some are looking for a place to sit, but when they realize that there may be some expectations of committment, they're gone. Some are people just checking out the latest fad and "coolest" thing....they are gone as quickly as they came in....then there are those who have a very different agenda, they are legalists. The following is a portion of an email that was sent me....allow me to share it with you....
Here is what a legalist is looking for when they walk into a church:
1. A legalist is looking for a group of people who are stern, sour, and straight-laced; who see religion as a set of rules to be kept.

2. A legalist is looking for something to criticize that doesn’t fit thier list of dos and don’ts.
3. A legalist is looking at outward appearances. They care a great deal about how you are dressed, and why you wouldn’t come to church in your very best; a coat and tie, or a nice dress. After all, this is "God’s house."
4. A legalist is looking to see what version of the Bible you use. If it’s not the King James, it better be the New King James, and if not the New King James, the New American Standard. And if not the New American Standard, they consider that you’re just wrong.
5. A legalist is looking for a place that will let them be on the inside, preferably in leadership. Because there’s a lot that could be straightened out in your church, and they know exactly what needs to be done.
6. A legalist is looking for the pastor who dares to be strong in his or her leadership. Anyone who dares to take initiative and be creative, they are going to have a problem with, and they are going to let them know it.
7. A legalist is listening to not just what the pastor says, but what he/she didn’t say.
8. A legalist is looking for a place that doesn’t trust the people in it to make up their own mind. Let’s be honest. People can’t be trusted. They need to be told what to believe and then held accountable if they don’t believe it and practice it perfectly.
9. A legalist wants the pastors email address because they want to tell him/her the points of the message that are absolutely wrong and how they are leading people to hell.
10. A legalist doesn’t like it when people smile and laugh at church. This is serious business.
11. A legalist sees the Bible as something to beat people over the head with, not to set them free.
12. A legalist wants you to take them seriously. BUT, if you do, they will rob you of your joy and they will run as many people off as possible. And they will make sure you get a new pastor because the one you have now is not acceptable!
A legalist...ummmmm...GOD still loves them...why is it so hard for others to love them?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Confession


This last Sunday was a time of Q and A and I have to admit that, doing something like that is much harder for me than preaching! It is one thing standing in front of people and walking through scripture and it is another standing before people and letting them heart your heart and passion. So after a weekend of intensity, there are times I need to be reminded why I do what I do. Like everyone else, I am bombarded with many different mailing lists, however, today, one reached out and grabbed me and I thought that I would share it with you. A fellow pastor named David Foster is the author (Edited a little bit my moi), but it rang true with me, so here it is…


So here are the reasons why I love being a pastor:

1. It’s my calling. It’s what God called me to do. I know deep down in my bones this is what I was made for. If you don’t have a calling, you may never understand why we often say we can’t walk away from the ministry. That would be to live in open defiance to God. And that’s not something we can do.

2. I love the gospel. It’s changed my life. I’ve lived it many decades and it’s still as powerful, still as sweet as it ever has been. Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so still moves me ever more as I get deeper into it.

3. I love people. I love being around people who come together with the same purpose, same heart, organized around a great mission to accomplish something really great for God and good for people.

4. I’m a leader. I was born that way. I’ve also been working hard to be made that way. I love leading people, influencing people to become more together than we ever could become separately. I have been called a lion! Interesting...not sure if that was an insult or a compliment.
But, I see it as a compliment as the first word picture that jumped into my mind was from a scene from Narnia where you see Edmund and Aslan having a conversation. There was power undercontrol and gentleness working together.

5. I love pastors. I love being around them. The majority are loving, good, committed people; smart, fully-engaged, learners, leaders who love God and want to make a difference in the world.

6. I love what happens when a person is converted as a follower of Jesus Christ. I love seeing life change. I love seeing marriages being put back together. I love seeing people be set free from addictions and sinful habits that are destroying their lives, into a lifestyle of love, freedom, and joy.

7. I love being part of something that redeems culture in the world in which I live. I love being a part of a movement that knows no geographic or cultural barrier; that like water, finds its way into every crease and crevice of humanity.

8. I love being a pastor in leadership and ministry because it forces me to engage the Scripture in a way that transforms my life. I’ve never had a problem in the false dichotomy between reading and studying the Scripture for my own personal improvement, or reading and studying to teach. I can’t divide the two. I have to teach out of the overflow of what’s going on in my life as I engage the full scope of Scripture.

9. I love the Bible: not the pages, not the ink, not the leather; but the words, the ideas, the concepts that teach me that I serve a great God.

10. I do this because I believe that the gospel is the only hope of the world, that when church is done right, it is absolutely amazing.

11. I continue to do this because I accept the fact that the church of Jesus Christ can at one moment be an amazing and healthy, loving, growing environment, and in another can be a very toxic, destructive place. How could we expect anything different when we get broken people coming together confessing the reality of their own sin and brokenness? There are bound to be sharp edges among us.

12. I do this because I believe in advancing the good. The best way I can do that is promoting the redemptive mission of the gospel.

13. I do this because it is the best way I can spend my life. I’ve got to do something. I might as well be doing something that matters for eternity.

14. I love pushing myself to greater understanding and innovative ways of redeeming culture.

15. I love being around people who don’t get it, who struggle, who have questions, but are hungry and are open. I love presenting the gospel to them knowing it’s not my job to convert them.

16. I am in this work because I’m a seeker of truth. I love the truth. I embrace both mystery and certainty all at the same time. I do believe that Jesus is the answer, but not all the answers are available to me right now in the state I’m in.

17. I do this because I love being a part of a worldwide movement that has indeed changed the world and it continues to change it. It is not bound by lines on a map, or by race, creed, or color.

These are some of the reasons I do what I do. How about you? What motivates you?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer Time


Well, we had the opportunity to go see Josh Groban in concert at the MTS Centre last Sunday and all I can say is............. AWESOME!
What a fantastic show! I cannot say enough or too much.
See you again shortly.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Summer Thought


It is a great summer day! I LOVE THE HEAT! It is never too hot!
Here is a bit of a change for the next few weeks.
We will come back to "GOD on Mute" but I want to throw out a quote from Leonard Sweet’s book "The Gospel According to Starbucks."

The quote is:

“Our ‘God is a consuming fire,’ reads Hebrews 12:29. But our experience of fire can either be the warmth of hearth and home, or a raging inferno of destruction and death. The “consuming fire” of God can either be our heaven or our hell. When did God last consume you in comfort and warmth? When did God last consume you in destruction?” (p. 92)

Thoughts?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 7



It is summer time as you all well know...I may not post as regular, but I will try to make it happen before every Sunday. Let’s continue looking at Grieg’s reasons for unanswered prayer, here are 5 more: But before we do….Here is a prayer of Surrender by George MacDonald.

Afresh I seek Thee, Lead me – once more I pray –
Even should it be against my will, Thy way.
Let me not feel Thee foreign any hour,
Or shrink from Thee as an estranged power.
Through doubt, through faith, through bliss, through stark dismay,
Through sunshine, wind, or snow, or fog, or shower,
Draw me to Thee who art my only day.


#11 Satanic Opposition
Some prayers aren’t answered because GOD’s will is being directly contested by the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). Perseverance, faith and aggressive use of the Word of God become vital in winning through.

#12 Faith
Some prayers aren’t answered because we just don’t believer they will be. However, faith grows as we get to know God.

#13 Perseverance
Some prayers just haven’t been answered - yet! Whether your prayers are being resisted by mysterious spiritual forces, by stubborn people of even by God Himself, don’t give up!

#14 Sin
Some prayers aren’t answered because of areas of disobedience in our lives. Are there hidden sins we need to confess or actions we need to take in order to lend power to our prayers?

#15
Some prayers aren’t answered because of our disregard for the needs of others in our communities and in other nations too.


Thoughts about the prayer or the reasons?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 6

I am pleased with the discussion on Part 5. I would encourage those to continue to express and explain views that appear divergent in a civil manner.

But we must continue with Grieg’s book on Chapter 8, GOD’S WILL.

So in a nutshell, Pete adds 5 more answers to the question of “why unanswered prayer?”
Are you ready....here they are:


#6 God’s Best: Some prayers aren’t answered because God has got something better for us.

#7 Motive: Some prayers (even spiritual sounding ones) aren’t answered because they are, in fact, selfishly motivated.

#8 Relationship: Some prayers aren’t answered because God Himself is a greater answer than the thing we are asking for and He wants to use our sense of need to draw us into a deeper relationship with Himself.

#9 Free Will: Some prayers aren’t answered because God will not force a person to do something that he or she does not want to do.

#10 Influence: Some of our prayers aren’t yet answered because they are working gradually and not as an impersonal mechanism of forced control.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 5


In chapter 7 Greig expounds on 5 answers to the question of “Why Unanswered Prayer?”
Here are they broken down for you….what are your thoughts and responses?

#1 Common Sense
Some prayers aren’t answered because they are just plain stupid.

#2 Contradiction
Some prayers aren’t answered because they contradict other prayers.

#3 The Laws of Nature
Some prayers aren’t answered because they would be detrimental to the world and
the lives of others.

#4 Life is Tough
Some Prayers aren’t answered because creation is “subject to frustration” and has
not yet been fully “liberated from its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:20-21).
Tragically, life in such an environment is inevitably going to be acutely difficult
at times.

#5 Doctrine
Some prayers aren’t answered the way we think they should be because our
understanding and expectations of God are wrong.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 4

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross describes the five stages of grief (death and dying) as follows:
1. Denial: I don’t believe it. This can’t be happening to me.
2. Anger: I don’t deserve this. GOD is not fair.
3. Bargaining: Please, GOD/doctor, if you heal me, I’ll do anything for you.
4. Depression: What’s the point? My situation is hopeless.
5. Acceptance: I need to get on and make the most of life within these limitations.

Greig goes on to comment on p. 95
“Coming to terms with God’s will may sometimes takes us through similar stages of grief. The process by which we arrive at a place of Godly acceptance often involves various emotional responses that are both messy and confusing. When you talk with people with an amazing attitude toward suffering, you invariably discover that they have not always been so joyful or brave. Even the Son of God wrestled for a protracted period before He reached the necessary place of acceptance, praying, “Your will be done.”

What are your thoughts to Greig and Kubler-Ross?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 3

(picture is from Schindler's List)
I have to admit that so far GOD on Mute by Pete Greig is a MUST READ. I want to quote the whole book, but that I cannot do. So, here is the thought provoking quote for this week….

“Theologians refer to any systematic Christian response to the problem of suffering as “theodicy.” (literally theos dike, the justice of God). The problem to which theodicy seeks to respond is expressed succinctly in the first seven words of Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane. “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.” In this juxtaposition of God’s love and power, we have the very heart of the problem of suffering encapsulated in a single sentence: His love means that He must surely want to end most (but not necessarily all) suffering, and His power means that He must surely be able to end it. So why doesn’t He? It’s a profoundly important question, not least because so many people have lost their faith in the face of suffering……Theodicy seeks to explain why God in His love and power allowed that tragedy to happen to a bunch of His people gathered in His name to worship. Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just speak in an audible voice or in a dramatic dream or send an angel to visit a cynical friend for whom you’ve been praying for years? Doesn’t God care about him or her? Yes! Isn’t He ale to reveal Himself to her? Of course! Theodicy tries to make sense of such important questions.” (P.59)

What are your questions or thoughts?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GOD on Mute

GOD on Mute Part 3 coming very soon....sorry for the wait......

Thursday, May 24, 2007

GOD on Mute Part 2


In his book GOD on Mute, Pete Greig spends time on “Learning to Lament (p. 82).” Grieg goes on and asks the question “Where, I wonder, is the mystery and the mess of biblical spirituality? What place is there in our happy-clappy culture for the disturbing message of books such as Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Job?”

In our community of faith we have this thing called Refuge: a concept that there are some people who need to HIDE because the storms of life have been so vicious. They need a place where they can find safety, maybe connect with GOD on a different level or connect with a community of people who have been through it as well. I often wonder if it is in that safety where lament takes place?

Lament…..means:
To fell or express sorrow or regret for:
To mourn for or over
To feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret
To mourn deeply

Greig writes “Lamenting is more than a technique for venting emotion. It is one of the fruits of a deepening spiritual life that has learned to stand naked before God without shame or pretense. In fact, long before Gethsemane, Jesus Himself has pronounced that those who mourn are blessed (See Matt. 5:4)! “Implicit in this statement,” notes Walter Brueggemann, “is that those who do not mourn will not be comforted and those who do not face the endings will not receive the beginnings.” Honest lament can express a vibrant faith; one that has learned to embrace life’s hardships as well as its joy and to lift everything – everything- to the Father in prayer. As the author Richard Foster says of the lament psalms, “They give us permission to shake our fist at God one moment and break into doxology the next.” (p. 85)

Thoughts?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Post coming Soon

Be patient,

I am coming up with a new post on GOD on Mute!

Monday, May 14, 2007

GOD on Mute


OK….now it is time for the Book Review called God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer. The author Pete Grieg opens up his personal life and shares with us the story of his wife, Samie, who discovered she had a tumor in her brain the size of an orange. He elaborates on the surgery and the aftermath of the surgery and where GOD is in all of this. The book elaborates the struggles that we all have with prayers that appear not to be answered. Before I begin to quote from the book….allow me to ramble.

Everybody struggles with the reality of this thing called unanswered prayer. Many times we call out to GOD feeling that He has to answer and not only that He has to grant our requests and that is the only answer that we expect. To some, scripture is full of promises that if we only have enough faith or we will get whatever we ask (providing it is in GOD’s name and according to His will) we will get what we want.

Prayer is a very interesting thing. Many people pray for simple things: like a parking spot (I have before!) We pray for GOD to intervene when we are in trouble, we pray (and say thanks) when things have gone our way. But what do we do when GOD is silent?

I do E-devotionals for many people in our community and I sent one out and this was the reply;

Hey Gerry,

But what about the people starving in Indonesia or Africa? I don't understand why their basic needs, food and water are not being provided by God. Or at least that's how it appears. This is one of the things I struggle with personally. How do you deal with and understand that? I would love to hear your insights. Is it our fault because we do not give enough? or help enough? Children die there every day because the basics needs to survive aren't there. Please help me to understand this.


So this got me thinking about unanswered prayer! What about those who are believers but find themselves in the midst of pain and suffering and calling out to GOD to intervene?

Thoughts?