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Showing posts from May, 2010

THE REWARDS OF CARING

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In the divisive distrust of breaking into ‘us and them’ we mistakenly believe that we are measuring by God’s quality control standards.  When we become less concerned about the splinter in our brother’s eye and acknowledge the plank of lumber sticking out of our own head, we begin to see a vision of God’s forthcoming Kingdom.
It is God at work when we learn to love and accept the ‘others’.  But, let us be honest.  It can be just as difficult to accept and share things in common with our own. 
When you are self-absorbed you measure people up and down from where you believe yourself to be.  Someone is always better than you and many are much worse.  I used to believe that there were only two kinds of drivers-- maniacs and jerks.  A maniac was anyone who drove faster than me.  A jerk was anyone who drove slower.  The problem with the standard is that it also applies to me.  I am somebody else’s maniac or jerk.
To grow in God’s grace is to let God be the one true judge.  I will stop compar…

REAL FRUIT COMES FROM REAL TREES

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Mark 9:38"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

Jesus tells them to let the man carry on.Do not interrupt the work of God going on through his life.Jesus’ logic is intriguing.
You can’t perform a miracle in Jesus’ name and curse Him the next instant.You don’t usually get a delicious apple from a lemon tree.You can taste and see the source.
It is our shortsightedness that fails to make the connection.Why are we so worried about protecting our reputation or the standards we live by?Can the power of Jesus and the fruit of God’s Spirit be evident in the ones we are skeptical of?Of…

CLAIMING EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS

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No-one articulated the biases and short-sightedness of Jesus’ society better than his own disciples.  More than once he seized their conversation as teaching moments.  Even their successes and protective instincts were called into question.

Mark 9:38"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
Jesus’ followers approached their authority to act on his behalf as an exclusive right.  They were not prepared for ‘others’ doing God’s work.  This man performing exorcism in Jesus’ name had to be stopped, since they did not know him.
The disciples could not understand how someone outside th…

REDEFINING 'US AND THEM'

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Gather people together around a common cause and you will create ‘us and them’.  What can be more familiar than the differences between ‘us and them’?


We first learned of this at home.  When you asked your mother why you could not stay out at the park until ten o’clock with your favourite neighbour Dale Peterson, she educated you to the fact that you were not a Peterson.  The rules of our house were different from the others.  There was ‘us’ and there was ‘them’.  ‘We’ do not play in the park after eight o’clock on a school night.  There may have even been a question raised about the Peterson’s lack of structure or care for their children.
Children quickly learn to differentiate between the desirable kids and the undesirable-- the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.  They perpetuate what they see all around them.
A reading of Jesus’ words and action reveals a vision of humanity that redefines ‘us and them’.  As a Jewish man from an unimportant town, He taught a new way of looking at Jew and Ge…

2fish - PALM OF YOUR HAND

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Kevin Saunders and I have a band called 2fish.  We are also both church planters.

Our District office is putting together a video piece about church planting and multiplication.  As part of that effort, they came to Windsor and recorded us doing my song 'Palm Of Your Hand'.  The song will be part of their upcoming promo piece.

Here it is as a stand alone music video.  It was filmed in the neighbourhood around the church I pastor.







We are available if you are looking for a band or worship leaders at your event.

Email me at revkevinrogers@hotmail.com for more details.

STAYING ON TRACK #5 - Have You Positioned For Peace?

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It should be our goal to live at peace with others as much as possible.
We are called to be peacemakers.
The Holy Spirit will give you an inner peace when you are on track.
Peace by itself is not an accurate guide to keep you in the groove with God.All the other guides need to be in place.
We need to live our lives in such a way that we are positioning for inward and outward peace.The peace of God is supposed to guard our heart and mind.How peaceful are you these days?If you’ve lost the peace, go back to the Lord and find the direction that you need to move forward to a peaceful position.

STAYING ON TRACK #4 - Have You Measured Your Motives?

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What is inspiring you to pursue a particular plan or action?Following God’s will in life can produce a joy which gives you great strength.Following God also includes a measure of suffering and trials.Feeling good is not the accurate measure for God’s Will.
The Bible speaks much of the heart.What is really in your heart?
When you look at your motives, there may be a desire to humbly see God’s Kingdom made real in your life and others.Or, you may have the motive of satisfying your flesh with the disguise of doing something good.
God looks into your heart and measures your motives.You should self-scan and see what moves you to pursue particular decisions and actions.Filter out decisions that feed your cravings but run opposite to God’s direction.
You can race the car skilfully in the wrong direction and never win the race.

STAYING ON TRACK #3 - Who Is Your Coach And What Are They Asking Of You?

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Who coaches you?  The Scriptures and the Holy Spirit are your personal trainers, but that’s not all.  God has had many others on the same track as you.  Other Christians have many things to teach you about staying on track and winning the race.  You need to learn to listen to others and be teachable.

Proud people think they can figure it all out themselves and don’t need any coaching or advice.  Humble winners are always learning from others and asking for evaluation of their track record.
Don’t surround yourself only with those who always agree with you.  Find people who can ask you the tough questions and challenge your assumptions.  If you are pursuing God’s Will, it makes sense to run it by others who have had to wrestle with doing the right thing.
Choose your coaches wisely.  They should be unbiased and spiritually sensitive.  They should know God and walk in love.  They should know and live God’s Word.

STAYING ON TRACK #2 - What Are Your Current And Future Opportunities?

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If God wants you to move ahead, an opportunity will be available to you.If your dream is hopeless and every door is closed, let it go.It is not God’s plan for you to bust down closed doors.
When the Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt, they got bottle-necked at the Red Sea.They had nowhere else to turn and the enemy was closing in fast.So they did what many of us would do.They complained to Moses, the man in charge.
Moses knew better how to think in this situation.He prayed to God for guidance.God opened an unusual opportunity by creating a dry path through the Red Sea.It was a situation where no other solution existed.
The most sensible thing to do was to take the path that God opened up. God always has options, even when you can’t see them at first.Learn to wait until the opportunity arrives.Your life will be a series of unusual opportunities if you learn to trust God for guidance and obey when the opportunity presents itself.

STAYING ON TRACK #1 - What Are You Thinking About?

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Why did God give you a mind?Was it just to confuse you?No, God gave us the ability to think and reason about everything.

1 Corinthians 14:2020 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. NIV

We need to allow our thinking to grow up.There are many who still think the same as they did when they were a child.It’s a good thing to be na├»ve about evil.Evil quickly darkens your thinking and hinders good thoughts from occurring.But, unless you live alone in a cave you will be exposed to corrupt influences.To live in the real world requires that we learn discretion and the mind of the Lord.God wants us to be mature in our thinking.
God does not expect you to put your brain in neutral when looking for direction.He wants to work cooperatively with your powers of reason.The key is to submit our mind to God and be open to learning God’s thoughts.Scriptures are intended to renew our thought processes and align our thinking with God’s.
God’s guida…

STAYING ON TRACK - INTRODUCTION TO MAINTENANCE

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Like many kids, I had a road race set comprised of a figure eight plastic track and two little electric cars that were controlled with hand triggers.  In order to get the cars to move, you had to make sure that the plastic guide was positioned in the groove of the track.  There were wire brushes alongside the plastic guide.  When these contacted the metal strips, power could be transferred to the little car and cause it to race around the track.


There were a few kinks involved in road race sets that required your attention.
The track had to be properly put together so that the car could complete its course.You had to make sure all electrical connections were properly made.You had to slow down on curves to prevent the car from becoming airborne and leaving the track.You had to service the wire brushes to ensure that they made good contact with the metal strip and could transfer power to the car’s motor.You could not step on the road race set or it would break.
The…

PSYCHE ON A CROSS

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Jesus speaks to the disciples about taking up a cross to follow him.
Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple.  27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
When we think of the cross, we think of a noble symbol of the greatest love in the Universe.  We think of the price of sin and how we have been reconciled to God.
But, at the time Jesus’ words were terrifying.  Imagine daily seeing the Romans torture and kill your neighbours by nailing them naked on a stake and leaving them exposed to die.  The cross was a symbol of oppression, power and making a spectacle of wrong-doers.  The criminal sentenced to death would carry his own cross to the place of death and face ridicule along the road from unsympathetic observers.
Jesus tells the disciples that this…

KAMIKAZE DISCIPLESHIP

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The word ‘kamikaze’ translates as ‘divine wind’.  During the Second World War, Japanese pilots were trained to fly their planes into Allied war ships.  The planes were laden with explosives and had a devastating impact on the target.  The pilot left on his mission knowing that if he were successful, his life would be sacrificed.
In parts of the world today suicide bombers lay down their lives as an act of divine vengeance on their enemies.  These are people who will die for a cause they believe to be greater than their own life.
The call of Jesus to lay down our lives is distinctly different from these other suicide missions.  In acts of war and aggression a life is sacrificed in order to destroy other lives and property. 
In the suicide mission of Jesus, the disciple lays down their life in non-violence and lives again to empty themselves for the sake of God’s Kingdom.  This is our Kamikaze call.  We are Divine Wind Disciples.  And each time we die for the cause, we live to die another…

STARING INTO SUICIDE

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Three years ago, a friend of our church hung himself.  Bob had some difficulties and very few understood how much he was hurting.
Two years ago, Susan drove her motorized wheelchair into the Detroit River.  It was a couple months before her body washed up.  She had mental health issues, but no-one knew what she had planned to do. 
Last year, Paul’s health took a turn for the worse and he required oxygen to stay alive.  With his condition deteriorating, he made an informed choice to go off the oxygen in the hospital and be administered morphine to keep him comfortable while his body shut down.

Today, there are many who struggle in isolation with the reoccurring temptation to end their lives.  Perhaps that one is you and you need some help to live again.
There may have been half a dozen times in my life when I was greatly discouraged and yearned to be done with living, but those feelings were fleeting.I want to live a long life.Suicide has never been an option for me.The thought of intenti…

MICAH SANG THE BLUES

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The story of family in the Old Testament is one of heart-wrenching proportions.The prophet Micah looked around at the condition of the nation-family and realized that his hope in God would surpass the limitations of Israel.Micah sang the blues about his neighborhood.Listen to the cry for something better than human failure and weakness.



Micah 7:1 What misery is mine!  I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave.2 The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains.  All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net.3 Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire— they all conspire together.4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.  The day of your watchmen has come, the day God visits you.  Now is the time of their confusion.5 Do not …