Monday, March 12, 2012
Just a brief update of things happening in the world of Burt...Read more...
Forget the past and strain toward the prize...
Also, you can check out my ONE YEAR CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLE READING PLAN.
Just a brief update of things happening in the world of Burt...Read more...
It'sofficial. We've put our house up for sale.
We're not going far. Hopefully! We're simply looking to shift school districts. Of course, all of that depends on getting the right offer on our house so that we can make the right offer on another. It's in God's hands and if it's His will, we'll make the move. If we don't try, though, we'll never know!
Regardless of what happens with the sale, it's good to get some things done around the house. That is to say, the end result is good. The process stinks.
For many, many days now, we've been cleaning, sorting, painting, trimming, and purging. I don't want to admit how much trash we've hauled out of here. Even more, we're donating tons of things to our upcoming church yard sale to help send teens to camp. Having come so far, it still seems that there is so much more to do.
Our journey with God is kind of like that. As we continue to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, we engage in what often feels like a never ending process of "house cleaning." The good news is that we don't have to do this for God, He does it for us. He works on us, washing, patching, remaking, painting, shaping and more. He often wants to throw out those old pieces of junk that I've become all too comfortable storing. "But I might need that Lord...!" Yet He knows that there is much I need to let go. He only waits for me to say "yes" to Him.
So, okay..."Yes, Lord. Remake and renew. I could use a good house cleaning. I want to be ready to move with You."
And now faithful reader....what's the condition of your house?
I must admit that Diet Pepsi has been my choice of drink for a long time.
It's not that I drink a lot of "pop" (or "soda" for you southern folk), but when I do, I prefer Diet Pepsi. No calories, and that sweet, sweet taste...alas!
Here's the deal-breaker: apparently Pepsi Co. has recently partnered with Senomyx, a company that uses aborted fetus cells in flavor develpment. Yes, you read that right.
For the record, Pepsi doesn't utilize aborted fetus cells in their products...but the partnership is in full swing, and frankly, I'm appalled.
For me, abortion is devastating enough...but now we are pursuing an increased commercial market for the cells? Do we really want to utilize abortion as a farm industry? Flavor testing????
It's a terrible, terrible shame. I urge the Pepsi Company to severe their relationship with Senomyx until they cease all use and involvement with aborted fetus cells. It should be criminal.
Until then...bring on the Coke Zero.
"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." James 5:16b (The Message Bible)
Today, I was priviledged to take part in our local National Day of Prayer service in front of our county courthouse.
I am thankful to live in a country where such public assembly is legal. There is something powerful about people coming together with a determination to call on Jesus to save, rescue, forgive, cleanse, and empower. I believe with all my heart that the Lord was with us and heard us today. I am honored to have the chance to respond to His invitiation to partner with Him in bringing lasting change to our community (and beyond) through prayer.
Prayer makes a difference. It changes us, and it changes our world.
Did you pray today? It's not too late!
Lord knows, we all need it.
Life regularly brings the unexpected.
Sometimes, it's a wonderful surprise...and sometimes it's a sudden trial.
Some people, fearing the inevitable latter, live only for themselves. They think they are choosing to live without regrets, when the reality is they're only living for selfish pleasures. That's always a mistake. When we try to live for ourselves, we lose ourselves. When we think it's up to us to take from this life what it has to offer, we all too often miss out on what is really most important.
The most important things are always about something more than self: relationships, family, friendships, God, faith, love, compassion, hope, kindness and service. I'm only scratching the surface, but you get the point.
Tonight I found out that a friend...more an acquaintance now, but a good childhood friend from my past...passed away suddenly today. The last few years, we occasionally traded facebook comments. He was five or six years younger than me, and has left behind a wife and young child. My heart and prayers go out to them now.
And in my thoughts, I'm left with this sobering reminder: let's live with no regrets. Let's live for those things that are eternal.
Take a risk. Do what's right. Let go of bitterness. Be gracious. Love well. Dream. Dare to believe. Trust God, and take the leap of faith.
We only go round once; better to make it count.
Today, while at Denny's, I was introduced to a woman named Barbara.
Barbara has been diagnosed with breast cancer and recently underwent surgery. This morning, she received her "port" for chemotherapy.
She maintained a brave face, but I could see the worry in her eyes. I joined hands with her, and together with some friends, we prayed for God's peace, strength, confidence and healing. I believe that Jesus is our healer. I believe He heals cancer. I believe He works through prayer.
I asked permission to mention her story online and she readily agreed. Would you join with me in prayer for her healing and recovery?
The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. James 5:17 - The Message Bible
Tonight, I'm feeling a particular need for some catharsis.
Between things I teach, things I do, and shortcomings I'm still working through, I'm most likely causing trouble for somebody somewhere. Sorry.
And since dogs don't bark at parked cars, here's a semi-random list of thirty offenses...Read more...
For some friends and family who might read this blog from time to time, you might see this title and think, "huh?"
Frank Viola is the author of numerous books (Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, From Eternity to Here, Finding Organic Church, and others) and a champion for what he calls "Organic Church." Though that phrase is loaded with all kinds of nuance and gets used to mean all sorts of things by all sorts of people, Viola's use reflects his understanding and effort for more than 17 years to move the Church into a place of discovering, pursuing, maintaining and enjoying a living, vibrant relationship with God. For that to happen, he argues it can only be found in the context of true ekklesia (the biblical Greek word used to describe the followers of Christ who share their lives together as a way of discovering and accurately displaying Christ). This often stands in stark contrast to what is found in most institutional churches (whether they be full-fledged denominational institutions or simple, house gatherings) that all too often become centered on formats, hierarchy, and progorams instead of deep, relational life-sharing. In that, his point is well taken!
I find Viola's writings to be inspirational, challenging, and sometimes down-right bothersome. There are times when I think his criticisms are right on target and other moments when they are completely over-stated...but they always cause me to think and internally scrutinize. I have traded just a couple of brief emails with him over the past few years as I've attempted to process and apply some of what I've read. Where I most align with him concerns his hope for the ekklesia. What he describes, as I understand him, predominately resonates with me as well. Real discipleship is not merely about the formation and development of Biblical knowledge and the display of external behaviors. It is about the discovery and incorporation of the life of Jesus in a relational context through which we are transformed from the inside-out. I hope I've described Viola's view accurately.
The above all serves as introduction and context for some thoughts that I want to address to Mr. Viola regarding his blog offering from last summer "Discipleship, Mission, and Church: A Plea to Learn Our History" (July, 2009). It's a piece of which I've just become aware through a link in his writing from today, "What is Organic Church? A Plea for Clarity." I had wanted to leave a simple comment on that blog entry, but found myself waxing long. Instead, I'm offering my interaction below.
Of course, I have no idea if Mr. Viola will respond (and I'm sure he has much else to occupy his time and focus), so feel free to add any of your thoughts to the mix as well!Read more...
Today’s reading: Genesis 25:1-26, 1 Chronicles 1:28-34Read more...
Today's reading: Genesis 21:8 through chapter 24.Read more...
Today's reading: Genesis 18 through 21:7Read more...
Today's scripture reading: Genesis 15 through 17.Read more...
Todays Reading: Genesis 11:1-26; 1 Chronicles 1:24-27; Genesis 11:27-14:24Read more...
Today's Reading:Read more...
Todays reading: Genesis 4:1 to 5:32; 1 Chronicles 1:1-4; Genesis 6:1-22Read more...