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Showing posts from May, 2007

Compromise

Compromise. Is it ever right to compromise?

Main Entry: 1com·pro·mise
Pronunciation: 'käm-pr&-"mIz
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, mutual promise to abide by an arbiter's decision, from Anglo-French compromisse, from Latin compromissum, from neuter of compromissus, past participle of compromittere to promise mutually, from com- + promittere to promise -- more at PROMISE1a: settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions 1b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two
different things
2: a concession to something derogatory or prejudicial 1a happens all the time in marriage. Mutal concession. In my opinion, this is usually a good thing.

What about definition 2a. Is it ever right to compromise like this?

Let me ask you this question first, then we'll look at the Bible story behind it.

Suppose someone comes to you, seeking God. You pray with them and something very powerful happens. They find God. They now know t…

Wash and be Cleansed

Talk about getting hit right between the eyes. After another enlightening discussion with a good friend, I see in myself desiring to see God move around me. I want to see lives changed and souls crying out their love for Christ in worship, and in obedience.

The problem is this: I think I know how God will do it. Then I don't understand why he doesn't act as I expect. Why doesn't God work my way? So then comes 2 Kings 5. Awesome. Naaman, a great man learns that he can be healed of his leprosy. He is told that the Great God can cleanse him, but he must obey His servant.

Naaman expects that God will allow the prophet to wave his hand over the spots and he will be immediately healed. That's how God works after all. We all know that. But what does the prophet do? He tells Naaman to go take a bath in the Jordan river, of all places. Naaman is irate. Why would He do it this way. I won't stoop that low. Thankfully his servant has some sense. If God told you to do some great …

Long Time No Blog

I was afraid this would happen. At least I lasted longer than I thought I would at first. My blogging has slowed down to a crawl.

Whenever I blog from my devotions I remember so much better. But usually it works out just like tonight. I've had another good scripture reading, but it is 11:10. Lately, I've been giving in and just going to bed, but tonight - with the Lord's help - I'm staying up.

So read the next couple of posts with this in mind - my mind is sleepy, but stepping ahead anyways. :)

Leaving for Love

I started devotions in Ruth yesterday. I am amazed at her love for Naomi. After losing her husband, she chooses to return to Naomi's homeland and forsake her own. Her level of compassion is amazing. When she gets to the fields in chapter 2 to glean the grain, Boaz takes special note of her sacrifice...
Ruth 2:11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
Ruth leaves her parents and her home to come to a strange place and a new people. Boaz encourages her in her faith by praying for blessings to come to her by the LORD under whose wings she has taken refuge.

Lord, let me be willing to show compassion even when it means leaving the f…

Dear Jesus.

When preparing for the "Teach Us to Pray" series, I was reminded about something I had heard a while back. Is it proper to pray to Jesus? If you'll notice the model prayer, we are instructed to pray to the Father. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Is it improper to pray to Jesus? Well here are some other scriptures that might answer that question...

The Words of Jesus… John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may askme for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The Words of Stephen… Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

The Words of John and the Church… Revelation 22:20He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
So while it is our model to Pray to …

The Local Bar or The Local Church?

The Local Bar or the Local Church?

In which place do people feel more welcomed?
In which place do people think they are less likely to be judged?
In which place are they more likely to find a listening ear?
In which place can they really be themselves?
In which place will they be able to find hope?
In which place will they find more hypocrites?
In which place will they find their needs met?

Just recently we went through a study on the second birth. Regeneration. We were reminded of the words of Jesus, "You MUST be born again." I think this is the difference in the local bar and the local church. The local bar says you can remain in your sins, we'll love you anyways. The local church says, we'll love you by showing you that Christ can lift you out of your sins.

This is such a fine line. We must be accepting of sinners (we are still sinners) and yet we must push away from the sin. How can we foster an environment at our place of worship among our churches that welcomes the sinn…

Creativity and Effectiveness

I recently read something that Rick Warren said at a church growth conference called "Q". You can read it here. (Thanks to Jon Cannon for pointing this out)

Mr. Warren had a quote that has really stuck with me.
"The problem with a lot of churches today is they would rather be creative than effective."
Is this true? I think that often times creativity works WITH effectiveness. This may just be semantics. It really depends on how you define the terms. I have a great appreciation for creativity, and I admire creative people. I also desire to be effective, practical, and solution oriented. I'm not sure there has to be a disconnect between the too.

I can understand that sometimes we may get so wrapped up in making the song beautiful, or the building beautiful, or coming up with the "great" illustration that we can forget to spend time on what works. So what works? What is effective?

My next question is this: Is there any difference regarding this idea by size o…

Intentional.

Intentional. That's one powerful word. Intentional foul. That's two shots and they get the ball back, Baby! It may be the difference between murder and manslaughter. Intent. What the Lord has been reminding me lately is that we should live all of our lives with intent. We should be living on purpose.

It seems like whenever I hear missionaries speak these days they are talking about how they are trying to reach their culture. For the most part they aren't just putting up a sign outside a building and saying come and see what we're about. They are picking places, and people who they think may need the love of Christ. They go to these places with the intent of making a difference in that space.

I'm hoping that I can do the same. This summer I'm going to be working especially hard at living intentionally as it comes to the places where my kids will be playing sports. Pray that I will be able to truly show the love of Christ to the people that I will be meeting.