These are the two new Tim Keller sermons preached at St. George's-Tron Church in Glasgow.
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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 Taliban in Afghanistan has killed one of their twenty-three South Korean, Christian hostages, a 42-year-old pastor named Bae Hyung-kyu. This man and the others were in Afghanistan to do relief work. The other hostages may become martyrs as well.(HT: The Constructive Curmudgeon)
As Bernard Lewis has pointed out, in Christianity, a martyr is one who is killed on account of one's profession of faith and one's refusal to recant under pressure. In Islam (represented by the Taliban) a martyr is typically one who dies in a jihad. The difference reveals a titanic split in the two worldviews.
Pastor Hyung-ku was in Afghanistan to serve Christ by serving others. What he did, he did in the name of the God of the Bible. For that, he was executed. He joins the legion of martyrs, those who did not love their lives unto death, but who will receive the crown of life from the King of Kings.
Acoustical engineers have found that suburbia is nearly as noisy as urban centers:
Their findings, delivered on June 8 in Salt Lake City at the 153rd biannual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, indicate that the noise level in the average suburb is approaching the noise level in the average city. “The level of noise in the urban and rural areas we tested remained pretty consistent with the 1970 E.P.A. figures” — about 59 decibels in the city and 43 in the country, Mr. Szymanski said. But in the suburbs, the average ambient noise level was 56 decibels — a whisper less than the average noise level in the average city, and 7 decibels higher than it was in 1970. According to a Census Bureau survey, noise is the #1 "neighborhood complaint," ahead of crime, odors and poor public services.
Certainly, teens having sex and getting pregnant is still a major problem. It is still an issue that youth groups will always have to address, but it is very encouraging to see the trend changing towards a positive direction. [HT: Yahoo! News]"One injury can ruin an athlete's career or a team's season. So it just smarts that much more when they hurt themselves in a ridiculous way. Take the quiz and see if you can match the athlete to their bizarre injury."
What Would Jonathan Edwards Say About Harry Potter?(HT:Christianity Today)
So there we have it. The most engrossing imaginative world created at the start of the 21st century is essentially pagan. Don't get me wrong—I like the Harry Potter series. I've read all of the books. And I'm sure Jonathan Edwards would have done so, too.
The adjective "ginormous" (now officially defined as "extremely large: humongous", it is a combination of the two words, "gigantic" and "enormous"), has just this year won a legitimate place in the latest update of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary.(HT: Nothing New Under the Sun )
Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;Job 37:22-23
God comes in awesome majesty.
The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, a former televangelist who helped lead a huge television ministry before its collapse in a sex and corruption scandal, has died, her Web site reported on Saturday.
Messner died on Friday at age 65 after a long battle with cancer. CNN's Larry King, who interviewed Messner on his "Larry King Live" talk show on Thursday night, said her family had asked him to make the delayed announcement of her death.
I am not surprised of this news, especially knowing of her ill health and how frail and sick she looked on the Larry King show.
“Hostile to the church, friendly to Jesus Christ.” These words describe large numbers of people, especially young people, today. They are opposed to anything which savors of institutionalism. They detest the establishment and its entrenched privileges. And they reject the church — not without some justification — because they regard it as impossibly corrupted by such evils.I have heard people say, "I love Jesus, but I hate His bride". If anyone said to me, "Bill I love you but I hate your wife Lauren." I might just have to pop them one! You can't diss a man's wife. When you insult my wife, you insult me.
I have spent most of my life in recovery from the church. Every writer has one main theme, a spoor that he or she keeps sniffing around, tracking, following to its source. If I had to define my own theme, it would be that of a person who absorbed some of the worst the church has to offer, yet still landed in the loving arms of God.The church is a Mess. But it is a Beautiful Mess. This is because the church belongs to Christ.
“Because as Augustine made clear, the church is still your mother,” he wrote. “It is she who taught you about Jesus. I want you to remember that Christ loves the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:25) … Christ’s church is called his bride (2 Corinthians 11:2), and his love for her makes him faithful to her even when she is not faithful to him.There will be times when your church will fail and disappoint you.
Through the ages, God has used the church to keep alive and pass down the story of what Christ has done for us … and has kept the world aware that Christ is alive today, offering help and strength to those who trust in him.
The Barna Research Group reports that in the United States about 10 million self-proclaimed, born-again Christians have not been to church in the last six months, apart from Christmas or Easter...Nearly all born-agains say their spiritual life is very important, but for 10 million of them, spiritual life has nothing to do with church.
Many writers begin writing a script by doing a technique called “What If?” The writer begins by asking what would the consequences be IF certain things happened. “WHAT IF a boy and a girl from two different cultures, or two different religions, or two different economic classes were to fall in love? What would happen?” Or, “WHAT IF a young man were Jewish, or Christian, in Germany in 1939? How would he react to Hitler?” Or, “WHAT IF God were to ask a modern day man to build an ark?” The question not only leads the writer to some creative ideas, but it also might lead the audience to similar conclusions as they think about their own lives after watching the film.This got me thinking about the church. I need to be asking more "What if...?" questions.
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. (ESV)
When I was doing a study using my Libronix study tools, the word for You in the Greek is a Plural You.
For example, see how the New Living Translation renders it:
"Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple."Or as they would say in the south, Y'all
There is no single YOU in the church. The church is all of us bound together in Christ, with Him as the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20).
"Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother cooked."- Kimberly Broyles
"Ants aren't smart," Gordon says. "Ant colonies are." A colony can solve problems unthinkable for individual ants, such as finding the shortest path to the best food source, allocating workers to different tasks, or defending a territory from neighbors. As individuals, ants might be tiny dummies, but as colonies they respond quickly and effectively to their environment. They do it with something called swarm intelligence.Insects like ants, yellow jackets and bees flourish and succeed as a swarm. As individuals they are lost and unable to accomplish anything, but together, well they can sting and bite the H E "double hockey sticks" out of you! There is power and intelligence when they are together.
....I just think that spiritual leaders really struggle in this area. We feel like we have to have this holy persona that is beyond sin. What we really need is the courage to share our failures and foibles!I appreciate Mark's exhortation on this. As a leader I need to be real. I need to be real in my relationships. I need to be real with my wife. I need to be real with my kids. I need to be real with my friends and with my church. I agree with Mark that I need to be real and authentic, AMEN to everything he said. But I know myself and and I know my heart. Is it really that easy to just "will" it to happen?
Here are 10 Random Thoughts on Vulnerability:
#1 People will only be as vulnerable as their leader!
#2 Embrace your imperfections!
#3 The happiest and healthiest people laugh at themselves the most!
#4 The greatest freedom is having nothing to prove!
#5 Cry in public.
#6 The best apologetic is authenticity!
#7 Quit trying to be a pastor and try to be yourself!
#8 Jesus was holy, but he wasn't holier-than-thou.
#9 Be open to correction!
#10 Hang out at wells (Go here to read the entire post)
The gospel gives you psychological freedom to handle the wrong things that you will do. You won’t have to deny, spin, or repress the truth about yourself. These things don’t make it impossible to know who you are. Only with the support of hearing Jesus say, “You are capable of terrible things, but I am absolutely, unconditionally committed to you,” will you be able to be honest with yourself.The Gospel allows us to be not only honest with ourself but also honest and vulnerable with others. The only answer to vulnerability is the Gospel.
We are planning a vision night for the church, and our vision uses the metaphor of a home. I need ideas of how to theme the night using that image of a house (i.e. staging; place settings; published materials etc..). Creativity is a must. All ideas are welcome.Please leave your ideas in the comments section. Thanks in advance for your help with this.