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Showing posts from October, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: YOUR CHURCH IS TOO SMALL

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It is our view of 'The Church' that is too small.

We have focused on the correctness of our own theological camp to such an extent that other followers of Jesus are explained away as having doctrinal error and possibly not being true disciples.

The Christian Church globally throughout history divides into 3 main arteries-- Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.  All originated from the Early Church described in Acts and the early church Fathers.

John H. Armstrong presents a refreshing look at Jesus' prayer for unity found in John Chapter 17.  What is this unity and how is it to exist in the world today?

Much of the rhetoric and propaganda that has separated Christians is explored in light of the clear teachings of the New Testament.

This book is a voice of clarity in discerning the ancient-future connectedness of Christ's followers through time and creed.  You cannot read this book without having your own separatist ideas brought into question.

On a personal level …

TENDER HEALER

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Matthew 12:20A bruised reed he will not break,
      and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out,
   till he leads justice to victory.
21In his name the nations will put their hope."
He won’t break a bruised reed or snuff out a smouldering wick.Jesus is aware of the fragility of life and the ease with which it is ended.The One who created life has a mission of restoration.It is in this heart that the Messiah approaches broken, damaged people.
In English, the term bruise usually refers to a contusion with no break in the skin surface, identifiable by discoloration.Sometimes the term is used metaphorically to speak of hurt feelings or spirit.Whereas in modern parlance a bruise is viewed as a minor injury and is almost a positive image (e.g., ‘he escaped with only a few bruises’), in the Bible the image is stark and powerful, with connotations of serious and repeated injury that is virtually a death blow.No single biblical term names the image; instead a number of words encompass the …

PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS

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Matthew 12:19He will not quarrel or cry out;
      no one will hear his voice in the streets. 
The Messiah’s message would not be based on public displays of outrage.To not be heard in the streets implies that He is in the house talking in normal voice.We see the context of the gospel message here.It is personal and most often spoken in private settings.
Jesus would not qualify to be a shock jock Christian radio host.In all the gospels, there is no hint of defying Rome or tearing down the surrounding nationalities.He did not speak out against taxes, militarism, immigration policies or the proliferation of false religions and cults.
There is however a consistent record of His defiance and proclamation against the religious leaders in the house of Israel.But his voice of justice was proclaimed in the house.He did not attract attention outside the house on the streets of Roman rule.It was the religious leaders who brought his message from their house to the Roman government.
As his followers…

JESUS ANONYMOUS

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Matthew 12:15Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16warning them not to tell who he was.

Jesus did not stay where His life was at stake.With the Pharisees plotting to kill Him, he moved on to another place.There would be only one hill to die on, and that would be Calvary.Until the right time came, he preserved His life.No-one would take his life prematurely.He would wait for the right time to give it up.
He came for the lost and they found Him.He was not looking for a political kingdom based on force and fear.His mission was a healing journey.This was an important reason to conceal His identity as the Son of God.People would be all too eager to embrace Him as a rebel king to overthrow Rome.That was the popular idea of what the Messiah would be.
Matthew saw Jesus anonymous approach as a fulfillment of prophecy[i].
Matthew 12:17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18"Here is my servant whom I have chos…

NOT JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

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We should not be shocked when we hear of ordinary people who do not know the first thing about Jesus Christ.Many have heard his name, but that is where their knowledge ends.As followers, we have a job to go to people who have not heard and tell them about Him.
Let us present an accurate story though; and not a pop star version of whom we think people will be interested in. Jesus is not Justin Timberlake, nor is he Time Magazine’s man of the year.He is the Suffering Servant who gave His life as a ransom for many.He did not use His power to draw attention to Himself.All glory was intended to go to His Father.
Jesus did not fall in love with his own image.There were many times when he insisted on keeping a low profile.He did not want people to openly promote the idea that he was the Messiah.When we think about the great sayings of Jesus, it is easy to overlook his repeated verbal request to keep his gift-giving of healing, deliverance and miracles hidden.He often told people and demons to …

IMPORTANT PEOPLE

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What significance do the following names have?  How many do you recognize and what do you know about their lives?

·Harlow H. Curtice[i]·John Foster Dulles[ii]·Konrad Adenauer[iii]·Mohammed Mossadegh[iv]·Jeff Bezos[v]·Andy Grove[vi]·David Ho[vii]·Deng Xiaoping[viii]·Peter Ueberroth[ix]·Willy Brandt[x]
Since 1927, TIME Magazine has chosen a man, woman, or idea that "for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year." Though TIME's list is not an academic or objective study of the past, the list gives a contemporary viewpoint of what was important during each year.[xi]
Though considered to be ‘Person of the Year’ (and the most significant world-shapers of their day) their names have now been mostly forgotten.  Somewhere in their study or in their archives, a faded Time Magazine has their picture on the cover.  Maybe they bring it out at parties to remind guests of how important they once were.  But mostly, no-one remembers.  There may be a statue, street n…

IF DONALD TRUMP COMES TO YOUR CHURCH

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For most people, it started honestly when we were tiny human beings.Parents, relatives and baby-sitters spoke to us in high voices with a ridiculous smile on their face.They affirmed us, held us and gave affection.



We developed attachments to these caregivers and still bond to people who express admiration toward us. Approval is a potent drug.Its effect is stimulating and in small doses lead to good health.But an over-dependence on the approval of others can lead to horrible side effects.
We all have people that we admire.Someone has a social strength, exceptional skill or high standing and we are impressed by them.It’s fair to say that most of us want others to notice us, too.But can a healthy need for approval turn into something demoralizing?
In his book ‘Sports Law’, Simon Gardiner wrote this:
The desire to win is so great that people sometimes lose the concept of right and wrong due to being single-minded driven individuals.Sometimes it is very difficult to view life as a whole, as s…

FAITH IS A STRETCH

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Matthew 12:
9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

There was a man with a withered hand in the Synagogue.  Some viewed disability and deformity as signs of God’s judgment.  Either this person or perhaps their parents had sinned and God responded by causing disability. 
The synagogue allowed this man to be part of the group, though they had no answer for him.  Maybe they taught him …

FORENSICS OF A HATE CRIME

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Are we much different from the Pharisees who looked for a reason to accuse Jesus of being an impostor?
Matthew 12:9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

The obvious happy ending of this story was the healing of a man’s hand.The power of God is demonstrated and a new chapter begins for the healed man.But, the tragic tension lies in the story of the Pharisees.This is a story of a rel…

ELVIS PRESLEY, THE ANTICHRIST AND TWIN TOWER CONSPIRACY

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In spite of what the liars have been saying for the past 33 years, Elvis Presley is definitely still alive.Saturday night at New Song Church he gave a fund-raising concert.Strangely, this seventy-three year old looked thirty years younger.I was not there, but I know people that were.They told me he put on a good show and raised a few hundred dollars.I’m glad that Elvis still has a generous heart and thinks about us little people.Still… it makes me wonder.



·How has he maintained his youthfulness while his peers have passed away or aged beyond recognition?
·Why won’t the mainstream media interview him and put to rest the nasty rumors that he died in 1977?
·Why has such a brilliant talent not recorded anything new?
These and other questions plague my mind.Is it possible that we gave been hoaxed?Could it be that the man who performed Saturday night is an impostor?You cannot believe everything that people at your church tell you.I was told that he was here, but now I’m wondering if it is a con…

LOVES ME... LOVES ME NOT...

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The girl holds a daisy in her hand and plucks the petals off one-by-one and recites, “He loves me; he loves me not.He loves me; he loves me not”
She is not sure if his love exists and so she turns to the daisy hoping that it will mystically tell her, “Yes, he loves you. The last remaining petal proves this.You can settle it in your mind now.”
When it comes to certainty and doubt in relationships, many people are plucking petals, pulling out their hair or having backroom conversations with trusted friends or family members. Or, they have no-one to share their innermost questions with and worry alone.
So much of love’s anxiety is centered in our hope that love will be permanently fixed in place. I want to know that I can count on the other’s love being constant and weatherproof. I want to capture love and freeze it in time.
In reality, love is more like the tides that go in and out. When it comes in, we are filled and when it goes out we feel abandoned. A mature view of love recognizes that…