from Hold Me, Jesus by Rich Mulllins
I love these lyrics, they are good medicine for my soul. As you have read in previous posts (here and here), I have been wrestling with fear. I need Christ's peace today!
As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.
We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.
Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.
There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.
| The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: |
Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?
|by Ronald J. Sider (Author)|
|by Melanie Phillips (Author)|
| The End of Faith: |
Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
|by Sam Harris (Author)|
| Fasting: |
Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites
|by Lynne M. Baab (Author)|
| Nation of Rebels: |
Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture
|by Joseph Heath (Author), Andrew Potter (Author)|
If you know me, you know that I like, no love, movies. So needless to say, I found this list very interesting. The Church Times has published a list of the top 50 religious films (PDF), with a bit of commentary explaining why each film was chosen. It looks like a really well thought-out list, covering movies both U.S and foreign—of the list, there are quite a few of my favorites (The Mission and The Apostle) and some movies that I honestly never heard of before.
One of my favorite, but a more obscure Religious Film, is "Project Greenlight's Stolen Summer". It reminded me a lot of my childhood, growing up Catholic in the 70's
This list could make for a great summertime film discussion group at your church or Bible study. I did one of these last fall on the films of M. Night Shyamalan. You could use the list to pick a couple of the films and discuss them. A discussion like this is a great environment to invite friends who may not necessarily share our Christian beliefs and the movies will create opportunity for some good discussion. (But be aware of course that some of the films won't be appropriate for all audiences)
I just received this information from my Campus Crusade friends, 3 students from CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ at VTech) were killed last week. The 3 Campus Crusade students killed were:
Too often we think that we are communicating by ticking off a bunch of bullet points in front of a church on a Sunday morning. But communication has to penetrate and get through the noise and static that people face.
Information and communication are often interchanges, but they have two distinctly different meanings.
- Information is giving out.
- Communication is getting through.
I liked adding the right path to the spiritual gift inventory. It made the process more complete.
It has been a while since I have worked in my gifts. This worship has given me hope that God is working to open doors for me to serve.
I am so excited that Big Creek wants to follow the Lord in working as a WHOLE body to use their gifts.
The Spiritual Gifts Inventory brought out somethings new that I hadn't seen before.
Paul Marshall in his book Heaven is Not My Home
Sin is not the story, it is the blight on the story. Sin distorts everything, perverts everything, corrupts everything. It is not sin that makes us bear children, but it is sin that makes childbearing painful. It is not sin that attracts men and women, but it is sin that fills our relationships with control and suspicion. It is not sin that makes music, but it is sin that fills our music with vanity and lust. It is not sin that makes us construct cities and towers, but it is sin that makes those towers symbols of pride and power. It is not sin that calls human beings to live and love, to make music and art, to work and create, to plant and harvest, to play and dance. But it is sin that undercuts and perverts them all. Sin does not create things. It has no originality, no creativity, no being in itself. Sin lives off that which is good. It is a parasite, feeding greedily on the goodness of what God has made. No relation is of itself sinful, but sin corrupts every relation. No area of life is in itself out of the will of God, but we defy God's will in every area of life.
"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."
- C. S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis (8 November, 1952)
When Easter stops being a surprise, it stops being Easter. The trick Christians pull off year after year is to so immerse ourselves in Lent and Holy Week that we actually screen out what we know comes next.
We reflect on, and mourn, the ruin of the world and the folly of humankind. We look in the mirror and see our own shame and sin. And then we contemplate Jesus's suffering and death at the heart of the whole thing: the place where the arrogance of empire, the frenzy of religion and the betrayal of friends all rush together and do their worst. Faced with all that, it's not hard to bracket out Easter. After all, that's what most of the world does anyway.
"Wait without hope," wrote TS Eliot, "for hope would be hope for the wrong thing." If you frame Easter in the terms of the perceived problem, you belittle it. Whether you think in terms of pie in the sky (at best a thoroughly subChristian concept) or a better society, all you get is a happy ending after a sad or sinful story.
And whatever Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were doing in writing the final sections of their books, they were not telling the story of Jesus's resurrection as a happy ending. They were telling it as a startling new beginning. Easter morning isn't a slow, gentle waking up after the difficult operation. It's the electric shock that brings someone back to life in a whole new
I like the categories mentioned here. But one thing I have always been disappointed in is people's lack of pointing out specific things in a person's life as an idol.John makes a good comment here. We certainly need others to "meddle" in our lives in ways that they speak grace, love and truth into our life and heart. Often others will help us expose those idols of our heart. I often say that God has given to me my wonderful wife for many reasons. One big reason though is for MY sanctification. Marriage is hard and she will say things about me that I don't like to hear, but God uses her to speak into my life.
Even with self-examination we don't always see it and we need others to point it out to us. That doesn't mean saying it from the pulpit, but friends, spouses, even one's own children should make it obvious to us.
We had a wonderful lunch at their restaurant and got a chance to stroll around the quaint shops downtown. Mt. Dora is one of our favorite towns alongside WinterPark, FL.
We always enjoy our visit there.