Category Archives: church

when being too busy is a sin

This kind-of is a part 2 of the last post (Growing up into Him) but from a different perspective.  This time, I’m going to refer to 1 Corinthians (specifically the end of 12):

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Sounds like God’s intent for the church is not to be homogeneous; not for each of us to all be the same.  Some of us make good listeners, some good workers (in a whole variety of ways), some to teach, some to preach, some to care for others, etc. Regardless of what each of us think, we shouldn’t look at others that are different, and in particular, it seems clear to me that those who “seem to be weaker” are even “indispensable”! Continue reading

growing up into Him

from Ephesians 4:11-16:

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Within the church, may we speak truth to each other in love… with the goal that we ALL grow up into (e.g. closer/deeper toward) Jesus. If we don’t have that, we don’t have anything do we?

If we have and participate in small groups, but don’t grow deeper towards Jesus… what do we have? We can be taught every Sunday for weeks and months, but if we don’t grow deeper toward Jesus… does it mean anything? If we sing praise and raise our voices for his name, but don’t in our hearts feel it and mean it … is there any value? If we serve in any capacity, but don’t seek what He intends us to learn through the work, are we growing as He intends us to through what we’re doing?

This convicts me in many ways as too much of what I have and still continue to spend my time doing certainly has not qualified in any of these ways…

asleep in the light

Funny how timing is sometimes. I follow a whole pile of blogs and a lot of the time, really enjoy their writing… unfortunately it usually takes a while to catch up on everyone’s stuff. Anyway, just this morning I read Has the Light Gone Out?.

The Charles she mentions I just so happened to have met a day ago, and was really struck by a short speech by him, in particular something he mentioned about at a time when he was younger when he was roaming the streets without a purpose. This seems to me to ring so true for many … which to me begs the question – what is YOUR purpose? What is your calling? I don’t mean your job. I mean those things that call out deep from within your heart for you to do.

The person who wrote this post I linked above several years ago totally seems to have found her purpose and calling (read on Wendy’s About page) and out of some seeds planted through her efforts, others have grown and further seeds have bloomed as well (sounds more like the body of Christ than any I’ve seen in any traditional “church”…).

It’s more than clear two callings for my life are to be a husband and father, but I’m far from knowing what God has in mind for the rest of my life; although it sure seems I’ve been used in some ways that I certainly didn’t bring about on my own to bring some people together.

Either which way, after reading the above post, I can’t think of a more eloquently written and heart-wrenchingly sung song than this one by Keith Green:

Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don’t you care, don’t you care
Are you gonna let them drown?

How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come?
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done?

“Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord”
You know it’s all I ever hear!
No one aches, no one hurts!
No one even sheds one tear!

But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds
And He cares for your needs;
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in,
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?

Cause He brings people to you door,
And you turn them away;
As you smile and say,
“God bless you, be at peace”
And all heaven just weeps
Cause Jesus came to your door
You’ve left him out on the streets!

Open up open up
And give yourself away!
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay?

God’s calling and you’re the one
But like Jonah you run!
He’s told you to speak
But you keep holding it in,
Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can’t fight
Cause it’s asleep in the light…
How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed?
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed!

Oh, Jesus rose from the dead
Come on, get out of your bed!

How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come?
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done?
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done.

Don’t close your eyes
Don’t pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with Me my love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, my love.

weaving in your marriage

It seems the new routine is an occasional post. I don’t desire to end this blog like I have for other things (especially due to the occasional interest in having an ‘outlet’) but there’s certainly a lessened interest most of the times. Anyway…

As of late we’ve been part of a marriage small group with our church family… it’s been great and involved a lot of really thoughtful and diverse discussion. I’m the ‘apprentice’/assistant and that means occasionally I get to ‘lead’/facilate discussion. Yesterday was the first and the topic already identified was Weaving. It’s part 3 (with part 1 being Leaving, and part 2 being Cleaving). The best part of the night wasn’t anything I had written unfortunately – it was the discussion. Alas, I don’t take notes well for that sort of thing… but I leave you with my entire plans for discussion if for some reason this would be of value to someone.

Continue reading

a call for growth

Ah what timing to read this from Hebrews 5 today:

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Tim wrote yesterday about When Good Men Ask Good Questions, and my response to the question of “Why aren’t the people of God … being the people of God?” … I think it’s because enough are still needing “milk”. You wonder why pastors are out of breath and tired – could it because they are teaching the basic things over again to believers that aren’t new? As I write this, I feel like this can completely go down what I perceive to be a wrong path in condemning a lot of Christianity so I’ll try not to because I’m not sure that will be very helpful. What I want this to be is a call for spiritual growth.

What does this mean for each of us? I’ve no clue. I don’t consider it to mean doing everything the traditional church considers necessary, but let us be guided by God, His Spirit and the Bible in our works. From Ephesians 4:

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.