Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dismissed thoughts...

I found this on Bobby's blog. It made me think. How much have I done that?

I have spent some time reading a atheistic blog . I certainly cannot accurately understand all that was presented (as I have not read it all yet... I have to process more). However, I guess I can understand a portion of their worldview in that it seems that some who have rejected religion and theism in general reject some of what Scriptures says and they see parts of it as contradictory etcetera (it is not my intent to examine their objections); it might be easier for people, atheistic or otherwise to examine and accept first of all a theistic worldview and then look at and possibly even accept Christianity if we as a church and I mean that with the WORLD church in mind could all get on the same page and agree on a few things.

Clearly there is some agreement between branches of Christianity, but clearly there are so many branches because of disagreement. How many different things come to mind? The Spirit, the gifts, government, how to read the Bible, or whatever you want to bring up, how many books have been written on all this. I have thought for many years now the denominations (specifically branches of theological thought) are a necessary evil.

I wonder if there would be as much opposition or objection to theism and Christianity in particular if all us of us were able to look at the Bible and come to the same conclusions. If all of us in our behaviour and our attitudes towards those like us and different from ourselves were similar? The particular blog I read seemed like it was written by intelligent and well meaning people who like to dwell on positive things and not the negative.

I wonder if like Tozer says "We are safe only when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, only when our intellects are indwelt by the loving Fire that came at Pentecost." That we know and experience God as much as possible and we do what we can.

However big people's obstacles are to theism and Christianity, my hope is that as people examine my life that they see someone who is genuinely trying to live out a life of faith, hope and love. A life that gives to others, helps, encourages and tries to be good. But then again, I'm biased, I'm a Pastor. I'm a Christian. I'm a child of God, and you may or may not believe in God.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thoughts on other blogs I read today

I was reading a few blogs today and thought I would like to comment on them, because I can.

Dan Kimball on Bible Warning Label

I always find it interesting that some people have such strong dislike for Christians and what they believe. I mean, if you think Christians are silly simple-minded simpletons then dismiss them as that? I suppose that some people carry a great deal of hurt and angst about what has happened to them in the church or done to them by Christians. That stinks. Hypocrisy in the church is rampant. It's in each Christian to a greater or lesser degree, but it seems to me that if what you said you believed, were it all written out in one place for me to check out, you might be proved a hypocrite too. (Apologies for the rant like bit here... but it's my blog, I'll do what I want)

Next Blog entry....

http://bmbourne.blogspot.com/2006/05/earthheavens-appetizer.html">Earth ... Heaven's Appetizer

Which is related to this post: Kyle Lake's last Sermon

If you don't read those posts, essentially a pastor performing baptisms somehow got electrocuted in a service. Which incidently would mess me up watching that, but Kyle had been at least working on, if not recently preached a sermon about doing things well, enjoying life as a foretaste of heaven. I agree with Bobby when I wonder when did the People of God stop seeing death as a promise? When did we start seeing death as punishment. Certainly I don't have a death wish. But I find myself more and more listening for the trumpet call to take me home. Not that I'm a eschatological junkie watching and interpreting every second headline in being the "one" sign it's all coming to an end, but I do desperately want to be in heaven. I love my life, I love my family, my church, my job as Pastor, but if heaven is more than all that, I gotta get me some more of that!!

And Finally:

Also, I now know that at least one person reads my blog as Colin referred to me the other day in his blog Random Colin: Nothing at all. Thanks man.

Friday, June 16, 2006

What to write?

I have been opening this window to type a blog entry in often this last week, but I cannot find the words to express what I feel I'd like to express, so this will have to do.

The baby girl I referenced in my last post is well, not doing well. Keep praying for that family. I'm not even sure where to start with that story. Essentially her brain works enough to keep her alive. She is in a vegetative state and it seems unlikely that will change. But, it's still someone's baby daughter.

All I know is that it takes some work for the promise that God often tells us: "You're not alone", it takes work for that to answer the "why" questions.

On to some of the other things bouncing in my head...

One of my leadership heroes is Nehemiah. You know the Old Testament dude. Anyways, one verse that has struck a chord within me is Nehemiah 4:14b (NIV)
"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for you brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

Nehemiah seems to have done a good job at doing what he says he would do. I think we'd all like to do that more. Perspective I think is important here. Without a proper outlook we can get all fuddled.

Don't know if this will make sense to anyone but me, but that's ok.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Waiting and the church

I have been thinking about the church this week. About what happens in it, about where it is going, about what it is and what it should be. And then...

This week happens. A baby girl in our church almost died this week. Stopped breathing, heart stopped beating, was resuscitated and airlifted to the city, long story very short, for now everything looks good, but they say 72 or so more hours. Tara and I spent time with the family, including in the bitter watches of the night. When all you can do is wait. Wait for the body to heal, wait for the medicine to work, wait to see if God answers the prayers. I know God is faithful. I know God has always been and always will be, but what does that feel like. He was faithful for the first part of this journey, now what? Baby got to the hospital faster than I thought was possible, even in a small town.

To wait. We hate waiting don't we? When I was a kid I'd want to know what was for dessert to see if I really wanted to finish my supper (everyone has to finish their supper to get dessert didn't you know?) and you know what my Dad would say? "It's a big bowl of wait and see." Man that would drive me crazy!

Waiting seems to make some things better and others worse. Perception is everything, waiting can last forever if it's one kind of thing and time can be way to short for other kinds of things.

And so we wait for the church to figure itself out. We wait for things to fall into place into the chuch and into our lives so that "things will be better".

I read the following this week:

“However, engaged in many good activities, Christians often take the growth of the church for granted. They neither pray earnestly for it nor work systematically at it. They assume it will take place automatically as Christians study the Bible, do good to others, and worship God. As a result, in the midst of huge numbers of receptive men and women, many churches stop growing and become static enclaves of comfortable middle-class Christians. These feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked, build attractive houses of worship, train leaders, and influence society for good, but they do not grow. The dynamism of the early church does not dwell in them. Huge populations in the Western world and even larger populations in the Third world remain undiscipled. They do not have the Son. They do not have eternal life. Church growth has been assumed and is, alas, not occurring.”[1]

We wait for some things, but what do we have to do while we wait? I don't have all the answers, but I sure have some questions piling up.

In His Grip. DJR

[1] Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (3rd Edition), (Grand Rapids; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1990) Pxii