Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Worst Evils

"Similarly, Martin Luther was amazed and moved by this encounter, because he saw the gospel in it. This woman saw the gospel - that you're more wicked than you ever believed, but, at the same time more loved and accepted than you ever dared to hope. On the one hand, she is not too proud to accept what the gospel says about her unworthiness. She accepts Jesus' challenge. She doesn't get her back up and say, "How dare you use a racial epithet about me? I don't have to stand for this!" Can you hear yourself saying that? But on the other hand, neither does this woman insult God by being too discouraged to take up his offer. See, there are two ways to fail to let Jesus be your Saviour. One is by being too proud, having a superiority complex - not to accept his challenge. But the other is through an inferiority complex - being so self-absorbed that you say, "I'm just so awful that God couldn't love me." That is, not to accept his offer. John Newton, a minister, once wrote a letter to a man who was very depressed. Take a note of what he said:

You say you feel overwhelmed with guilt and a sense of unworthiness? Well indeed you cannot be too aware of the evils inside of yourself, but you may be, indeed you are, improperly controlled and affected by them. You say it is hard to understand how a holy God could accept such an awful person as yourself. You then express not only a low opinion of yourself, which is right, but also too low an opinion of the person, work and promises of the Redeemer, which is wrong. You complain about sin, but when I look at your complaints, they are so full of self-righteousness, unbelief, pride, and impatience that they are little better than the worst evils you complain of."

Tim Keller,King's Cross Chapter 8.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Wonder How

Last night my church observed Good Friday. It is hard to call Good Friday a "celebration" and I reserve that for Easter, which is truly a celebration. I can't even fathom the emotions during the three days; the agony of watching Christ die on the cross, the day after of mourning and silence, disbelief and confusion. And then even more confusion and excitement in the reality of the resurrection; looking back at Christ words and life and seeing that if finally makes sense. The words he used, what he said, how he lived. It all actually makes sense.

During our Good Friday service the church family was invited to take communion. A simple act, but a serious one, especially during Holy Week. It always baffles me what to do with communion, as I wasn't allowed to partake of it until I became a Christian and was baptized. In fact, during my early years it was ingrained in me that to eat of the bread unworthily or with unconfessed sin was to face judgment.

During the evening my daughter who is 6 whispers to me that she is a Christian, she loves Jesus and has accepted him in her life. I am still unconvinced; how can I child fully understand? I know when I became a Christian I understood the words, but the principles and all the other stuff I really didn't. I'm now 40 and I still don't understand all that being a Christian is and the beauty and mystery behind it.

I'm still unconvinced she really understands what Christ did and what that means now in her life. I guess I feel this way because every day I'm realizing more and more fully the depths of what it all means.

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior's love for me!

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.

Do you think a small child can really understand the Gospel? Is there simple understanding and faith enough to "save" them? What happens if they fall away later? Were they ever "really" saved the first time?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Missional People

Our churches can have wonderfully written missional vision statements and well-conceived plans and programs. But if individual members are not committed to living their lives as kingdom-minded missionaries in their daily life stations, then the corporate efforts of the church as a whole will never sniff the air of their true kingdom potential. It is impossible to be a missional church if we fail to be missional people. Otherwise, missionality is reduced to sponsored programs that centralize the life of the body of Christ, institutionalizing and containing it in church systems and programs that view mission as something that happens "over there" or at special events."

Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission For Everyday People by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford, page 65

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari

The Dragon and The Turtle Go On Safari is a cute children's book. My youngest enjoyed it most, she's six and loved the characters of the Turtle and the Dragon, loved all the colorful illustrations and though the moral of the story was good, this book didn't catch her interest like most kids books do. Perhaps it was the dialogue and larger words, not sure.

Still, a cute book and one to enjoy reading, but this will not be a book we read multiple times.

I was provided with a complimentary copy through Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.