Sunday, November 23, 2008

Israel day 2

We did so much today but what I want to write about is Peter. We were on the lake he worked. We went to his house, to the place he was called by Jesus and to where he professed that is the Messiah.
I was mindful of our son Gavin Peter for much of the day. When he is older I want to show him the pictures of where his namesake lived. Even more than that he needs to know the same Christ that Simon Peter followed and proclaimed.
It is a great honor and challenge to share our faith with our children. They must come to know and profess as Peter did that Jesus is the Messiah.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Israel Day One

Today it rained really hard. We all got soaking wet and got rained out of our first visit. Which meant we got to go to Mt. Carmel. This is where Eliajh took on the prohpets of Baal and won through Divine Providence.
This has always been one of my favorite accounts in the bible. It was awesome, even in the rain. It is hard to grasp that this was the place. It brings so much to the story.
Tomorrow we go to the Sea of Galilee where Jesus called his first disciples and stilled the storm. It makes me think about my own call to follow Christ. The first disciples left their boats to follow Jesus. What am I being called to drop? Certianly my pride, ego and self interest. Rather I should follow the footsteps of my Lord and not count the cost.
We will see what God reveals tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God's People

There is a beauty in God's people that at times seems indescribable. The beauty is in is watching people being moved by the Spirit and living lives that are truly holy. I am never ceased to be amazed at what God can do through a human life.

I wish that I could describe this beauty in greater detail but it would be like trying to describe a sunset. All you can do is watch with the eyes of your heart and be amazed at the glory of Christ as he moves through his people.

I stand in awe...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Support for Fearless Living

This entry is in support of my message from the Fearless Living Series: Fearless Living With Your Family. At the outset I want to state that this message is not aimed at abusive relationships or mental illness. While some of the material may help it is important to seek professional help if you are in one of these situations.

The basis of a healthy relationship is unconditional love. This is the basis of our relationship with God. God loves us unconditionally in and through Christ. This experience is made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit burning within our hearts. This is bedrock for all human relationships because we cannot give what we have not received. If we are not grounded in radical grace then we will look to all our relationships to meet our needs. We will seek to manipulate, coerce and try to force love and response from others because we have not deeply received it in from God in Christ.

Secondly we must learn to forgive. God in Christ forgave us and empowers us to forgive. We will get wounded and hurt in our relationships. First we must learn to receive God’s forgiveness in Christ. Again, radical grace transforms us and allows us to forgive others.

Third we must learn to serve and not be selfish. Christ served humanity at all times, he came not seeking his own will but his Father’s will. Christ humbled himself, taking the form of a slave. For us it means learning to say “I’m sorry”. It means to truly listen to another human being without judgment, simply to hold them in love. It means to compromise and seek a win-win solution.

Lastly we need mature followers of Christ to speak into our lives. If we fail to review and reflect on our lives then we will be doomed to make the same mistakes. If we lack the courage to open our life before another trusted Christian then we will not see what others see and our relationships will again fail.

Here are some key books to read to support these points.

The Ragamuffin Gospel (Paperback)
by Brennan Manning (Author)

Embracing the Love of God: Path and Promise of Christian Life, The (Paperback)
by James B. Smith (Author)

The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives by Brennan Manning

The Selfless Way of Christ: Downward Mobility and the Spiritual Life (Hardcover)
by Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author), Vincent Van Gogh (Illustrator)