Bible Devotions · Bible Interpretation · Christian · Meditation · Uncategorized

Being Human

(This was written to be read allowed as a devotional for ADD listeners like myself.)

A friend asked how I was doing the other morning and I responded “I’m here… I am human”. I was training for a race and my feet hurt. I had been doing too much on every level. Real life stuff, here. I guess I could have just said that I was “doing great!”. But it wasn’t that type of friend and besides, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with the status of my humanity.

For seemingly well intended reasons we find all kinds of reasons to remain reserved when interacting with one another. Even in some of our most intimate relationships we still don’t feel safe enough to share some of our true feelings and perspectives. Surely this is a problem.

Sharing all of our inner workings is an error, of course. In fact that can be a different problem all together. More important is the way in which we live so very isolated among plenty of people and find ourselves feeling lonely.

Jesus taught us to call God our Father which was vastly different from the religious teachings of his time. One of the most unique facets of Christianity when compared to the varied strands of philosophy and religion is the right to “become children of God”. This was one of the most unique things Christ brought to our attention: creator, all-powerful, brooding over the darkness, hand spanning across the universe God is our daddy.  It was on this point that the religious of Jesus’ day had such a hard time. Continue reading “Being Human”

Bible Interpretation · Commentary · Confessions

Peeing in the Easter Basket

After listening to a sermon the other day I posted on Facebook a very strong opinion about how preachers should do their basket-making-easter-craft-photo-420-FF0302ALM5A01preaching. The specific preacher I was listening to at the time was circling round and round a point for what seemed way too long, never really saying much. Being entertaining, but not communicating the point he had set out to make. I was fed up, as I am with most preaching, and spoke my mind in public.

Most people loved what I had to say. Many people have never been on the underside of ministry like I have, nor have the perspective of church things like I do. And they seem to act giddy when someone is willing to speak the truth, even about the church.

The truth that I’ve found and that is central to my message to the Church is that Christ is the One who has earned ultimate authority over man kind and it is our job as the Church to point others unto the glory that is completely His. So that they may begin to walk uprightly with God through the life and presence of Jesus Christ… and in and amongst those who call themselves church.

Continue reading “Peeing in the Easter Basket”

Bible Devotions · Bible Interpretation · Commentary

Dallad Willard on His Spiritual Practices

A short video interview with the late Dallas Willard, one of the most profound Christian thinkers of our time.

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I love to hear about disciple’s personal lives with Christ. I think that there are so many telling things about our faith by sharing our personal spiritual practices. And this is no different.

I can’t say I agree with everything Dallas says here, but I am pleasantly challenged by it. To attempt to “mimic” any person’s spiritual life would be an error and would be incongruent with the personal relationship that God has called each of us to live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLmeubS65Q

Bible Interpretation · Christian · Commentary

From Compartment to Fulfillment (Updated*)

One of the more difficult facets about coming out of an organized and human sustained church environment is transitioning into a life more dependent baggageon relationship with God and with the organic group of people that God has strategically placed us in.

When I received the revelation that God was calling me out of the traditional prescribed organization and into a spiritual family, I was a little shocked and heart broken. I had placed all my focus on living a certain way and working towards goals that, with a simple revelation from the Lord, changed instantly. I felt gypped. I came to the hard realization that I had wasted years of my life. The group that I had given blood, sweat, and tears for fundamentally disowned me and seemingly forgot about me. I found out that when relationships are built on common vision and doctrines instead of God’s relational bond they cannot and will not last (pain and hardship often accompany these). As much as I would want to make these relationships work, they would not. They were not being held together by God’s grace.

I’ve learned through this heartache that God is most concerned with the task of building a Kingdom, not making us “happy” socially. When I stepped far enough away I realized that there was a strong “in or out” mentality, one that was cultish in nature and one that worked against the heart of the Great Commission, the kind of Love that God had been attempting to develop in my heart.  Despite my best of efforts during my time in traditional American Christianity, everything seemed to work in opposition to the gentle guidance of the Spirit. It is as if something was wrong… and it was.

Continue reading “From Compartment to Fulfillment (Updated*)”

Bible Interpretation

David and the Showbread- The Law of Love

At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat, and the Pharisees having seen, said to him, `Lo, thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do on a sabbath.’ And he said to them, `Did ye not read what David did, when he was hungry, himself and those with him — how he went into the house of God, and the loaves of the presentation did eat, which it is not lawful to him to eat, nor to those with him, except to the priests alone?… for the son of man is lord even of the sabbath.’

Matthew 12

What Jesus seems to be implying in this passage is that His Lordship is so grand that it’s even OVER the law. For the first listeners of Jesus and for us this is a hard teaching and causes us to question who Jesus is. If He is merely a teacher His influence must come shy of the Law of Moses that came down from God. But if Jesus is God then He this has dominion over Moses and the law. Especially since He willingly died to make recompense for all sin and sprinkled His own blood on the alter in Heaven. Continue reading “David and the Showbread- The Law of Love”

Bible Interpretation

Dung

empty-bird-cages-in-the-city-palace-francis-zera

Self inflicted guilt because of sin, and or judging, convicting, or condemning others because of their sin is only beneficial if it’s done to bring them into stronger relationship with Jesus.

Paul counted all his righteousness and benefits of the “perfect” religious upbringing as dung for the sake of knowing Christ. (Phil. 3:8)

This means that Christ is the answer to mankind’s issues. Either the religious, like Paul, or the terrible sinner, like me, both need relationship with Christ.

In our culture we love to spend years making people religious in hopes that they will become intimate with God… The earlier followers of Christ had this same debate. Some folks wanted the New Testament Christians to be circumcised as they came to follow Christ. But the devout saw that this was not the way. (Acts 15)

In these days many aren’t converted unto Christ… their converted unto church and the laws their-in. And we wonder why the church is such a mess…

We have to 1. Follow Christ our selves. So that, 2. We convert people to Him. So that 3. Community is about being spiritual family with one another, not about vain traditions that have no power.

Bible Interpretation · Commentary

following Him

John 1:35-37 On the morrow, again, John was standing, and two of his disciples, and having looked on Jesus walking, he saith, `Lo, the Lamb of God;’ and the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus.

If you rightly teach people to hear the voice of the Lord and follow Him, eventually they’ll quit listening to and following you. Hopefully.

Bible Interpretation · Commentary

Politicians and Religious Leaders

Mark 8:11-15 (YLT)

The Pharisees came forth, and began to dispute with him, seeking from him a sign from the heaven, tempting him; and having sighed deeply in his spirit, he saith, `Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And having left them, having entered again into the boat, he went away to the other side; and they forgot to take loaves, and except one loaf they had nothing with them in the boat, and he was charging them, saying, `Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod,’

Jesus says, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. I was reading this morning and got an interesting insight that I think may be helpful to us. While doing a small word study on this passage I realized that although leaven has a negative connotation in the Old and New Testament, leaven itself is not a bad thing. Here’s a definition…

leaven-noun

1. a substance, as yeast or baking powder, that causes fermentation and expansion of dough or batter.
2. fermented dough reserved for producing fermentation in a new batch of dough.
3. an element that produces an altering or transforming influence.
Leaven is what makes bread bread. It cause the batter to ferment and grow so that it is transformed into a scrumptious food. That’s good right?