Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DON’T JUST READ IT… DO SOMETHING

A businessman known for his ruthlessness, arrogance, and religiosity once told Mark Twain he intended to visit the Holy Land before he died, in order to climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud.  “I have a better idea,” Twain said. “You could stay here in Boston and keep them.”

We would rather cogitate on what we do not know than actually do the things we know we ought to do.

Organizations often suffer from inertia.  A company may know they need to improve quality control, so they discuss it, listen to presentations about it, read books, look at state-of-the-art systems -- but never actually get around to doing it. Their problem is one of knowing too much, but doing too little.

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.” (James 1:22 NRSV)

-- John Ortberg in The Me I Want To Be


#3918

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DARKNESS AND LIGHT


"God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil." (John 3:19b NLT)

Grace is a gift offered to each individual by God. Imagine Christ moving toward us, stretching out His arms to embrace us. Then Christ stops and waits for us to move into the embrace. The invitation is clear. Christ has made the first steps toward us. Yet, no one is forced into the embrace. Only when we step forward and accept the offered relationship does it happen.

God loves us enough to allow us to reject His love. Part of the mystery of humanity is why people choose darkness over light, hatred over love, sin over holiness, and separation from God over salvation. But they do.

-- Scott J. Jones in The Wesleyan Way: A Faith That Matters


#3917

Monday, July 25, 2016

THE WORLD IS OUR PARISH

I want to suggest that the cutting edge of mission in our time, especially for churches in North America, is to reclaim John Wesley's vision that “the world is our parish.” Wesley came by it naturally, because Christianity is a world-embracing religion.

+ It is a faith founded on the presuppositions that God created the whole world and pronounced it good.

+ It is a movement whose call is understood in terms of the call of Abraham and Sarah to be a blessing to all the nations.

+ It is a community of moral discourse centered in the prophets who reminded the Israelites and who remind us that justice and righteousness are at the heart of what God calls us to be about.

+ It is a faith centered in John's announcement that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son (John 3:16).

+ It is a witnessing fellowship centered in Jesus Christ who gave us the Great Commission to go into all the world and to make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:16-20).

+ It is a church, born at Pentecost, only when people are gathered together from every language and tongue and nation.

+ It is a faith community that sent the disciples out to turn the world upside down for the Gospel (Acts 17:6).

-- Clifton Kirkpatrick in Perspectives, February 2005


#3616

Friday, July 22, 2016

HEALING THE WOUND

Forgiving is going to a person either in your fantasies or in reality and saying, "I don't understand. I'll never understand and it wasn't OK and it isn't OK, but I forgive you." Forgiving doesn't make a person a doormat. It isn't the same as tolerance. Forgivers don't have to be fools. Forgiving is healing yourself of something that happened to you that you cannot tolerate but you forgive it as the only way to heal the wound that it left with you.

-- Lewis Smedes in Wrestling with Angels video


#3915

Thursday, July 21, 2016

BLESSED, BLESSED, BLESSED


Blessed are not just the winners that society says are blessed. Blessed are not just the super models. Blessed are not just the rich and powerful who can attract trophy partners. Blessed are the wrinkled. Blessed are the misshapen. Blessed are those who never got asked to the prom, who never got asked to dance. Blessed are the single; blessed are the married. Blessed are the prostitutes, the addicted, the shamed, and the regretful.

Blessed, blessed, blessed. Blessed are you, not because you can have every desire fulfilled, but because you are not your desires. Blessed are you because you are more than a stomach, a mouth, and a pair of eyes. Blessed are you because what you really ache for is to be loved by and connected to God, and now Jesus says that love, that life, that connection is yours if you want it through Him.

Do you want it?

-- John Ortberg in The Me I Want to Be


#3914