Apr 292013

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I was watching one of those “World News Briefings” by a well known pastor…who to my knowledge didn’t even finish Bible college, let alone get a degree in political science or economics. It is a source of wonder and amusement to me that people think a pastor is qualified to speak authoritatively to any subject if he somehow links it in with “biblical prophecy”.

2. John Calvin and Martin Luther both believed they were in the “end times”. If we could catapult them through time to today, they might think He already came. Antibiotics, xrays, airplanes, flush toilets, eyeglasses, electricity, the Gospel going out to the ends of the earth through modern media…these would be like heaven to men who lived in that time. We don’t seem to grasp how good we have it…

3. You defeat both the purpose and  power of grace in your life the very second you believe you deserve it…

4. This week the prophecy wonks will have to address the eschatological significance of the death of George Jones. That had to move the hands on the Rapture clock forward…

5. Last week I watched part of a Calvary Chapel “prophecy conference” where Paul Smith was a featured speaker. His entire (semi coherent) message was devoted to tearing down the work of another brother in Christ. The only “prophetic” value it had was ironic…

6. Part of the insidious damage that conferences like that do is they foster the notion that if you attend the services of a certain tribe you are somehow more “saved” than if you attend somewhere that follows a different tradition. This is a crock. The elect at Saddleback are every bit as elect as those that attend Calvary Costa Mesa…and vice versa.

7. Matthew Redmond writes on emptiness after the death of his father…pure gold. My heart goes out to Matt as he continues to gift us in his grief.

8. Your reaction to bad news is an indicator both of the depth of your faith… and of what the object of your faith truly is.

9. I think having a conference to accuse other brothers and sisters is actually demonic…

10.“We learn to praise God not by paying compliments but by paying attention. Watch how the trees exult when the wind is in them. Mark the utter stillness of the great blue heron in the swamp. Listen to the sound of the rain. Learn how to say Hallelujah from the ones who say it.” Frederick Buechner

Apr 272013

thumbnail.aspxThe promises roll of your lips
and into our ears:
I will be with you;
I will love you faithfully;
I will be your God;
My covenant is forever.

We count on your words that flow from our ears
to our hearts, and we are glad.

But even while we listen,
we live much of our lives underneath the table.
We read these old stories, and
we know about intrigue and fear and
anxiety and near violence
and deception.
We mostly do not act out our violence
but we imagine and ponder and scheme;
and then we, too, must cover up
and the cover-up ferments;
our lives become complex and burdened.

We keep inventing ourselves and our underneath selves turn out
to be less than adequate
and we wish we were other than we are.
We juggle your good purposes and
our hidden yearnings and
try to serve two masters,
try to live two narratives,
try to live two dreams,
and we are weary.

Because we know our hearts of anxiety so well,
we seem fated to disease.
But because we know your heart of fidelity so well,
we know you will defeat our demons
and make us new.

We know about your abiding fidelity in
Jesus of Nazareth.
Give us patience and steadfastness as we
process the ragged edges of our lives.


Walter Brueggemann

Apr 252013

anglicanThe Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.

Still in reference to Communion, this is one that I would be pretty staunch on. I know many denominations disagree with this article. Please, explain why.

 Posted by at 4:00 am
Apr 242013

hobbiesI could spend a million dollars at Tower Hobbies or AMain Hobbies. I love RC stuff. LOVE IT. James (my son, age 5) will be getting his first serious remote control car in about a week here. He is mesmerized when I pull out my cars and race them up and down the street, but naturally, he wants a monster truck… I am sure (hope) he will get over that. I also collected die-cast cars for years. I have thousands of them. There are rubbermaid totes in my garage filled with rare and unboxed cars, some of them would probably be worth some real money now, but I haven’t the time to research the piles anymore.

Do you have a hobby? Maybe a weird collection of specific things? Stamps? Soap Box Derby? Knitting? Collecting those fancy eggs? Participation Required! Tell us about your hobbies!

 Posted by at 3:58 am
Apr 232013

Evangelical attitudes on immigration changing…

Tim Keller links religious doubt with fornication…

Rachel Held Evans responds…

Rick Warren campaigns to raise awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness….

Mormon church gives up on opposing gay marriage…

Donald Miller on Brennan Manning…

Excellent article in CT about Manning…

Cindy Jacobs saves America…

When it comes to giving, evangelical Christians out-give their peers…

Quit cussing…

Jesus The Homeless…

Loving the mentally ill in the church…

Sick of hearing about your “smokin hot wife’…

It’s ok to call yourself a “Christian”.

Apr 222013

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. “Pursue love” (1 Corinthians 14:1 ESV) What are you chasing?

2. There can be no “grace” without an “offense”. If you want to grow in grace, then you have to be sinned against early and often. Being offended is either an opportunity to grow in the things of the Lord or an opportunity to exercise the flesh.

3. The Bible is clear that in the church the wheat and the tares grow up together. In the celebrity led churches, the unregenerate will idolize a Christ substitute while the regenerate will be repelled by the same…

4. Today is “Earth Day”…not a high point on the Christian calendar, but it should be.

5. One of the greatest challenges in the history of our nation is being a place where freedom of religion is guaranteed when one of those freely practiced religions wants to destroy you.

6. It’s very difficult to teach the book of 1st Corinthians and not come away with the expectation that there will be manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the assembly…

7. My “vision casting” for our church is that we teach the Scriptures faithfully, receive the sacraments worthily, and grow in grace and love of God toward each other while reaching out with the same. I could have formed a committee to work on that but it only took about 15 seconds…

8. Never commit to writing a weekly column about what you think when you’re in a season where you (metaphorically) can’t find your backside with both hands…

9. Right about now would be a good time to start building up the church instead of always looking for ways to tear it down…Our formerly trusted institutions are increasing anti-Christ and we desperately need places where the believer can be” built up, encouraged, and consoled. ” (1 Cor 14:3)

10. It was interesting to watch the news coverage from the Boston tragedy. With the information explosion it’s now almost impossible to keep track of all the material coming at you from every different source and direction…and the reporters were struggling to do just that. The tool is well on it’s way to becoming the master…

Apr 212013

thumbnail.aspxWe pray as often as we meet,
that we might “perfectly love you.”
Indeed, we have been commanded from the beginning,
to love you with all our hearts and
all our souls and
all our minds and
all our strength.

We have pledged to love,
pledged in our prayers and in our baptism,
in our confirmation and with our best resolve.


But we confess . . .
we love you imperfectly;
we love you with a divded heart,
with a thousand other loves
that are more compelling
with reservation and qualification,
and passion withheld and
devotion impaired.

We do not now come to pretend before you,
but to confess that we do not,
as we are,
love you perfectly;
we do not keep your commands;
we do not order our lives by your purpose;
we do not tilt toward you as our deepest affection.

But we would . . .
we would love you more perfectly,
by the taste of bread become your flesh,
by the swallow of wime become your blood,
by the praise of our lips and beyond our usual reasoning,
by the commandments that are not burden but joy to us,
by embracing your passion for neighbors,
by your ways of justice and peace and mercy,
by honoring the world you have made
and all creatures great and small,
by self-care that knows you as our creator.

Lead us past our shabby compromises
and our cheap devotion;
lead us into singleness of vision
and purity of heart,
that we may will one thing,
and answer back in love to your great love to us.

Free us from idolatries
and out habits of recalcitrance
tender our hearts,
gentle our lips,
open our hands,
that we may turn toward you fully
toward your world unguardedly.

Let us bask in your freedom
to be fully yours, and
so trusting fully our own.
We pray through the Lord Jesus who loved you
singularly, perfectly, fully—to the end.

Walter Brueggemann