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Archive for February, 2009



My current reading plan jumps me around in the Bible quite a bit.  I have a program that lets me develop my own.  So, every day I read from four places in the Old Testament: law and history, Psalms, Proverbs, and the prophets.  I read from two places in the New Testament: Gospels or Acts, and the Epistles.

Today, one of those random moments happened when some of my readings lined up.  Psalm 18, Proverbs 4, Romans 10 and Matthew 12 all seemed to focus on the word, “word.”  Psalm 18:30 says “the Word of the Lord is flawless.” Proverbs 4:4 regarding a father’s instruction to his sons, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart, my commands and you will live.”  Jesus speaking in Matthew 12:36-37 says, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”  And finally there is Romans 10: 8-10 “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

In this day of focus on being a more “missional” church, which I belive is important, we need not lose sight of the fact that while there may be truth in the addage, “deeds speak louder than words” it does not excuse the use of them.  Words are important.  What we say about who we are, about who we follow, about our neighbor, about our president, about our church, about our pastor, about our spouse, and about our children is held in high regard by God.  For God knows that words can injure more deeply than any spear, and can empower even the weakest of people to do incredible things.

I find myself in complete opposition to St Francis of Assisi who said, “Preach the Gospel at all times – if necessary, use words.”  I think a more biblical saying might be, “While living out the Gospel your words will prove to be an everlasting testimony.”

Let’s think about it in this way.  My children may always remember that I never missed an important moment in their lives.  Shelbi will remember that I watched her first Spelling Bee competition.  Baili will remember that I attended her last soccer game.  All three girls will remember that every Valentine’s Day I delivered a flower to them at school.  However, I think those moments will be remembered in the context of the conversations I have had with my children in times of instruction, discipline, and encouragement.  I would even venture to suggest that my children hold more dearly those conversations, and that my actions are only the icing on the cake.

In this post-modern era where the actions of God seem to be muted by the science of man His words become even more important.  Words like, “I loved you while you were still a sinner.  I loved you so much I sent my Son, Jesus, to die in your place.”  I wonder who, today, might be waiting to hear those words?


Who is waiting on us?

In my reading today of Romans I was struck by this question, “Who is waiting on me?”

Romans 8:19 says, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”

The more we seek Christ and His Kingdom the more we will be revealing oursleves as the sons of God.  The more we reveal ourselves as the sons of God the more creation should be redeemed.

Now, I’m not a tree hugger. I’m not an environmentalist.  I will try to always value people over everything else, but I think we miss the point of what it means to be the adopted children of God if creation is not positively impacted by our presence.  In fact, I would say that it must be positively impacted by our presence, and Romans 8 seems to reciprocate the revealing of Gods sons with the redemption of creation.

The other thing that struck me is that there are people awaiting the revealing of the sons of God.  There is someone we work with that is awaiting God to be revealed through us.  There is a family member awaiting anxiously for us to behave as Christ would behave.  There is a child, a parent, a guy I play basketball with on Fridays who is awaiting God’s revelation through me.

Is that heavy or what?  What a huge responsibility and opportunity.  It’s heavy, but it isn’t nearly as heavy as choosing to fail to reveal that we are sons and daughters of God.  There are eternal reprocussions for those whom we fail to show a glimpse of God’s glory. 

Let’s not fail.


Urban Ministry Reflections

Reading Urban Ministry has been more like walking through a knee deep mud pit than adventurous and exciting, but it is beginning to have some impact on me. So, I have questions like: “Who are the urbanites or city dwellers in this relatively small community of 30,000 people? What is their ethnic and demographic makeup? What would it mean to bring Justice and the Shalom of God to Georgetown, and what part would reconciliation with the African American community here play? How might involving the African American community in assisting us at Adopt Uganda be a tool in that reconciliation? How might we also be a voice as a church in making sure Georgetown doesn’t become just as oppressive toward the Mexican migrant workers? How can we teach our predominately white middle class congregation that following Jesus and making Him known to Georgetown involves Godly Justice and Shalom?”