Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thinking about fear

need to re-blog this as I point to it in a teaching

kingdom travelin'

I was having coffee with a friend a few of days ago and the subject of fear came up, it came up again yesterday with another friend and then last night. Fear. What can we do about it? As a follower of Jesus, I know that I fear when I ease my embrace of Him who gives strength… that’s when I fear, when I look at circumstances instead of trusting God. When I discover fear in my own heart, I run to the same place, the Scriptures (because they really are profitable and able to cut between my thoughts and intentions). Consider these the next time you fear:

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1…

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controversial???

Do you think this is controversial???

 

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keep your guard up

Need to re-blog this because I will be referring to it Sunday during my talk at CCC.

kingdom travelin'

On Monday afternoon I was on my way from Hungary to Croatia for the next leg of this trip. My first meeting was with a leader in orphan justice on the coast on Tuesday.

We had been in route for 4 hours. We were late and should have been at the border by now but were an hour or so away still. The train was crowded as there are literally thousands of young people traveling in Europe right now and this train takes people from Budapest to Lake Balaton and toward the Croatian coast. I was headed to Zagreb and my phone rang.

“Is this Tom Foley? I have found your wallet and passport!”

I heard the words, but they didn’t register. I asked her to text me the information because it was hard to hear on the train. It had not sunk in yet.

I had done something I…

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The Path (2.3)

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C.S.Lewis on Prayer

20 years ago (this year I think) they made a movie about C.S. Lewis. This coming Sunday I’m preaching about prayer at CCC. As I research, I found this clip (yes, that is Anthony Hopkins playing Lewis):

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Brené Brown: Listening to shame

So, From what Dr. Brown tells us, shame and guilt are all around us.  So I am grateful for the research she has done and that tons of people are thinking about this.

I’ really glad that she has figured out that vulnerability is necessary to deal with that, but, I ask, vulnerability with whom?

As I listened to this I realized that this is kinda like Romans 7:24 without Romans &:25 or 8:1, or its like the second half of 2 Corinthians 7:10 without the first half of the verse.

Something else, I loved was her emphasis on empathy.

But empathy without the Gospel is JUST “me too”… that’s not really enough is it? The real “me too” is what Lewis teaches us:

“we must get to the point when we say to God, ‘I can’t, you must”

I am thankful for Dr. Browns’ research. My prayer is that all those 4 million people will realize God is there for them…

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a, ESV)

 

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Gathered to Celebrate, asking questions.

Was honored to lead a wedding/worship celebration yesterday afternoon and attend the reception afterward.

This morning I’m thinking idealistically about church in that context.

We gathered in our finest attire, in my opinion, to honor and show respect for the couple and God. Because this was a real service of worship of God. And there was a real sense of joyous anticipation by the wedding party as I went to them and prayed with each group beforehand. Among the gathered family and friends there was a hopefulness and anticipation as they awaited the start. Then the procession began. As I reflect on this, it seems so appropriate for there to be a procession to signal the start of the worship. All gathered in our best to worship the King of Kings as He unites the couple in holy matrimony.

The image of the bride dressed in white being escorted by her loving father to her groom was not lost to me as I took it in standing next to the groom, a dear friend. Someday we will see that image lived out as we the Church, in our robes of righteousness, the Bride of Christ, meet the risen Jesus. But, I digress.

As we sang songs of worship, we sang songs of praise, the service was rich with Scripture and testimony and blessing. People brought gifts to help with the new family’s needs as they begin their life in their new home. There were smiles and hugs all around. There was the proclaiming of the Gospel.

I have only one message in my wedding sermon/homily/challenge: seek God as individuals and as a couple EVERY DAY. You can’t do it alone, God can, so connect together in him. Oh, it gets fine tuned for the couple but that’s pretty much it.

Afterward, we went to the home of the bride where a banquet had been laid and tables set up so that friends could gather and talk, catch up, encourage and bless one another. Then there was dancing and toasts and shouts of joy and fun.

So this morning as I reflect on this, as I think of weekly gatherings for church by members of and observers of the Church, I wonder: why isn’t the weekly gathering we attend a little more like what some of us experienced yesterday.

I reflect on these words of Jesus:

“Go and tell your friends”

“Go and make disciples”

Our gatherings should have such joy, many do not, why?

Why can’t our weekly gathering include this kind of community and fellowship?

Oh, I’m aware that we cannot sustain that level of activity every week. Especially if you attend a church that is as big as a civic center (and as impersonal where the preacher-teacher doesn’t know your name, let alone anything about you). But somehow a disciple making model of church which includes the sheer joy I experienced yesterday must be possible.

What would that look like? Wouldn’t that deepen the Church? Wouldn’t more people know God more deeply? Wouldn’t they be better equipped to “hold fast to God”?

Written and posted riding in a car, please forgive the grammar, spelling and lack of clarity, I just HAD to get this out of my system.

To God be the glory as He builds his church.

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