Thursday, January 31, 2008
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair. ~ C.S. Lewis
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4.3
Monday, January 21, 2008
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ~ Matthew 6.27
One of the mindsets my mother instilled in me was “Don’t worry. If you can do something about it, do it. If not, move on, forget about it, don’t worry about it.” I’m very thankful for that mindset.
In college a friend added to that concept with her phrase “If you pray, why worry; and if you worry, why pray.”
Over the years I’ve pretty much lived those concepts regardless of the depth of my prayer life. But I’ve also learned over the past few years that prayer is something I can do about everything.
God gave me a life verse a few years ago and the significance of it just keeps growing. Read this out loud, slowly connecting the “these” and “them” to their specific items.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. ~ 2 Peter 1.3-4
Does this make you want to search out his promises? Dive into his great and precious promises everyday. Don’t just read them as history, accept them as a personal promise from your creator directly to you. Meditate on his word, take it in as absolute truth for you personally, and you will begin asking yourself and others why worry?
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Has it ever bothered you to pass several Christian churches within a mile of each other? I’ve often wondered what would happen if we all joined together. You know, that strange thing called unity of faith.
Empowered Evangelicals offers a step in that direction. With a positive tone, Nathan and Wilson present a very exciting picture of a stronger and more biblical Christianity for all by combining the best emphases of conservative evangelicalism with the best emphases of Pentecostalism. The emphases offered from both segments include worship and teaching the Word, using our emotions and using our minds, valuing the supernatural world and valuing the natural world.
Nathan, raised in a conservative Jewish family, briefly shares his journey to Christianity. As a teen, he was an avowed agnostic. His first encounter with a Christian in college introduced him to the Pentecostal perspective. After being persuaded by leaders of the campus ministry group that his Pentecostal theology was incorrect, Nathan and his friend – who later became his wife – dove into the more conservative evangelical mindset for several years.
The authors experiences cover a broad spectrum within the Christian culture providing a well balanced evaluation of both the evangelical and charismatic worlds. Each chapter ends with discussion questions, suggestions for individuals seeking a church, and recommendations for pastors in opening the eyes of their church to the best of both worlds.
This is more than a book of ideas. As a member of Vineyard Church of Columbus where Rich Nathan is senior pastor, I have the privilege of seeing these concepts in action. Although reminded frequently of our need to continue growing in understanding of this unity, the experience at Vineyard is like nothing I have witnessed in any other church.
Whether you hold strong to the stoic exegesis of God’s Word or prefer to shout for joy from the depths of your emotions, this book will encourage you to see and experience the best of both worlds.
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20