Archive for January, 2012

Sunday was pretty odd in some ways.  I had done a  bit of reading in preparation for our gathering but even as late as Sunday morning I was still not happy with what I had.  I  had done quite a bit of reading and had ended up in Paul’s letter to the church at Rome and the whole idea of calling on the name of the Lord.  There were two passages with those words, both quoting from the book of the prophet Joel.  This has seemed like to logical extension of the last three messages which had been about the names of God. (more…)

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Someone said…

Posted: 21 January, 2012 in My stuff

When religion is merely romantic (read sentimental, based in emotional conditioning and fundamentalist and tribal thinking) it becomes idolatrous, self-congratulating, self-maintaining, and incapable of honest selfcriticism. When it is merely rational, it becomes cold legalism and doctrinal belief systems, with no warming God contact. I have found that extended quiet time in the natural world somehow synthesizes the two—actual spiritual experience that is absorbed in a way that touches both head and heart simultaneously. (For some reason, church services swing to one side or the other, all dogma or all emotion.) (more…)

The God Who Is Bigger

Posted: 20 January, 2012 in Messages given in church

Last week we were introduced (or reintroduced for some of us) to the unpronounceable name of God.  It is not that it is unknown but that out of reverence and, to some degree fear, pious Jews stopped pronouncing the name that God had given them replacing it with LORD (Adonai in the original language)   All we are left with is the four consonantal name of God – YHWH – and the story of his dealings with his people, his promises kept, his mercy and judgement shown, his grace revealed, his invitations offered and, ultimately, his dwelling among us in the person of Jesus. (more…)

Someone said…

Posted: 18 January, 2012 in My stuff

Who are your heroes in real life? Let’s go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful. The man Garry Wills describes “with the future in his eyes … paradoxically calming and provoking,” and whom Flannery O’Connor saw as “the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of [one’s] mind.” (more…)

In Jewish thought, a person’s name is not merely a tag to identify one person from another (that would be little different to using a number). For the Jew a name carried the nature, the essence, of the thing it named; the name reflected the character of the thing or person. Names were not given lightly. And names could change. In the Old Testament record we have God changing the name of some of the prominent characters. Abram becomes Abraham, Jacob becomes Israel,; a change in name meant a change in character; a change brought about by the presence of God in a person’s life. In the New Testament we have Jesus giving nicknames to his disciples; James and John become the ‘Sons of Thunder’, Peter becomes ‘the Rock’. Later in the story Saul becomes Paul. A change of name is significant because names are significant.  There are no badly spelt bogan names in the Bible. (more…)

Someone said…

Posted: 7 January, 2012 in Other people's stuff

“Church planting is the most effective form of evangelism under heaven”said C.Peter Wagner. I know he said that. I was there. I was a young [and good looking] Seminary student sitting in his classroom when he said it.

But now it’s 2012 and while some young, enthusiastic people are out there planting churches like its 1997, others are focusing on launching more sustainable, more holistic, more measurably transformational Kingdom solutions. (more…)

Someone said…

Posted: 6 January, 2012 in Other people's stuff

If the Messiah does not calculate, who are we to calculate! (more…)