Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life Begins at 70 For Abraham!

"Life began for Abraham at age 70", writes Eugene Pederson in The Way of Jesus. I know I don't want to wait until I'm in my 70's to do something significant with my life or to have some kind of impact in the Kingdom of God, but Pastor Harley says we have to ask the right question. It's not what can I do for God, but what is God doing and what's my part? You might say, God is a 'live-stream' and we jump into it and get involved with what God is accomplishing. And it's more than positive-thinking says Pastor Harley, it's thinking Godly.

Paul is reviewing the life of Abraham, on his journey into faith, who was not alone in his quest for faith. One time God intervened, and alerted an agnostic king who was about to sleep with Abraham's wife. Abraham lied, and told the king, Abimelech, that Sarah was his sister. In spite of his doubts, God used Abraham mightily - he was a father of many nations. What is remarkable about this is that Sarah was childless until she was very old, past her child-bearing years. Actually she was at least 90 years old when she bore her first son, Isaac. For Abraham, having his own family looked impossible, it was impossible. But God promised the impossible and made good on it.

"Plug into the success of all eternity."             
Excerpts from Pastor Harley's sermon 3.18.11  Romans 4:1-5; 13-17

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ways and Means

You might say the Ways and Means Committee gives us a charge in Matthew 28:
          “Go out and train everyone you meet far and near in this way of life.”

When you read an instruction manual, sometimes you might have trouble understanding the next step - it just doesn't make sense, and you wonder, "Did I miss a step?" Or you may have trouble hearing the person giving you instructions over the phone. But it’s very different when you have a person right next to you, in the flesh, going through each step. Here is Jesus who shows us the way, who is The Way.  He is the center.

We are all very different and unique – extremely unique, and God speaks to every one of us, in every different culture. He has a way for us. There are so many possibilities and ideas within cultures throughout the world, but we can watch Jesus because He has A Way. He uses concepts everyone can deal with and understand. For example, He tells stories using water, a rock, a fish, and grain.

Now Jesus says to think of Him as the Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). And He also tells us how to treat the world – there’s hunger, so take what you have and feed them (Mark 8:5). When people came to try and trap Him and get him into trouble with the law, Jesus said, “Give me a coin.” And there was Caesar, so Jesus said to give Caesar what’s his and to God, what is His (Luke 20:25).

Jesus also said not to get caught up in critiquing the different ways of expression, when He said, “If they’re not against us, they’re for us!” (Mark 9:40)

Beginning this past Wednesday, for 40 days, Christianity denies themselves to try and remember what God did for them. It is the way of love.

This is an excerpt from a sermon dated 3/06/11

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Quest For Freedom

Egypt isn't the only place struggling under the chaos of oppression and the inspiration found in the pursuit of freedom. I watched an extraordinary production of Les Miserables this week-end and was stirred to think similar events of revolutionary proportions are occurring around the globe.

Peterson describes revolution as "holy" - to sum it up: something spiritually blazing and extravagant and glorious. He was talking specifically about the French Revolution, even though he had little idea of what was involved in an actual revolution. After he had been pastor for a few years, it came to him after observing people in his congregations that holy was to Christian what revolution was to the French in the 18th century, the energy that created a community of free men and women plunged into a new life.

Apart from the death and all the suffering, revolution looks inviting especially if it creates a new community. But it's not without cost.