God


Stop giving and become generous.

Service is the new fad it seems, volunteering is a resume builder now, required for graduation. While it is not necessarily bad, in the long run it does nothing.

We need to be transformed from selfish people who do good things every once in a while to generous people who don’t just give but are giving. Think about it…

I’m looking for your input here, it is a simple question:

What does a pastor look like?

In your minds eye, when i say the word pastor, what pops into your head. Is that a good image, or bad? What do you think a pastor should look like? This is strictly outward appearance…

I’d put Dallas Willard and NT Wright in my top 5 of People I wish could be my mentors, but for now I’ll just have to read their books and articles, today i found this list of Dr Willard’s recommended readings. I wish I could blaze right through it, but the only books I can whiz through seems to be fictional spy thrillers. Oh well gotta at least try, take a look at this list:

Enjoy your morning:

It was great to see, though somewhat  awkward. Middle schoolers are a varied bunch, you’ve got the soon to be 9th graders who are way more mature than the soon to be 7th graders, it is amazing how much growth goes on in those few years.  With all that being said, close to 40 of them rolled up their sleeves and got to work, from painting to weeding and playing with kids to hanging out with mentally challenged adults. It was a stretching week.

I was a little bummed, I didn’t quite have it, I didn’t think I was a very good leader that week? But I was surrounded by incredible leaders, I was so proud of Shannon, Dan and Lauren! On thursday night the Spirit of God moved among us, it was a beautiful sight. Many of our kids have never experienced that and every one was praying for each other, it was right out of Acts Chapter 2.

37 kids went to Atlanta but 37 Brothers and Sisters came back. I pray that the call of God does not diminish in their lives, that they continue to seek after that thin place that was in the basement of an old, hot and steamy church in the wrong part of Atlanta.

It wasn’t a DUI, felony or misdemeanor, it was lunch with prison ministries and it was incredible.

I couldn’t help but wonder why these guys who were locked up looked so free? An ironic interpolation of life. The look in their eyes, the bounce in their step, on a certain level I was jealous. You see in their captivity they have found freedom. A freedom that eludes many of us who are free.

The beatitudes came to mind : Blessed are the incarcerated, for the kingdom of heaven is theres. I wish I could relate my feelings more eloquently, for there is certainly a lot to unpack here. But just for one second, stop what you are doing, all of the things that make us so self sufficient and remember your first love.

[post 2/5]

They say it is the things that you can’t see that make a man ( I am using “man” as a multigender place holder) That makes me a little scared. I think when you look in the mirror you see all the blemishes, the mistakes, if only’s, would of’s and should of’s. That is a hard way to live…

There was a time when we were full of glory, faultless, not gods, but created in His image, you know, Adam and Eve. Some of that is still the same, we are still created in His image, yet full of faults. However, we have a chance to become transformed. When we accept the call to become Christ followers, something radical happens. St. Paul describes it as a circumcision of the heart, the old self giving way to the new self. If you have decided to follow the way of Christ, then you know what I am talking about, at least for a time.

You see, when we cross that line, over to Christ’s side, we are looking at the good, the great, love, hope, the fruits of the Spirit. Yet slowly, over time we begin to turn around, and soon we are looking right back across that line. We are still followers of Christ, still on God’s side, but we are looking back, the shame, guilt, the past.

How does this tie into character, good question. I can’t tell any one what to do, and if I do it is just lip service. But what I can do is point you in the right direction, point you towards Christ. You might remember an experience when you were at that mountain top, the Spirit of God was heavy, at that moment how was your character?

In Marlyland there is a Highschool football team that starts every practice like this:

Coach: What are we (the coaches) here for?

Kids: To love us

Coach: what are you here for?

Kids: To love each other

Think about that for a second, we are talking about a macho sport, it should read, to destroy the opponent or something of that nature. I think that guy gets it, sure character is defined by what people don’t see, but if you look at the soul of every one, it is just shades of grey. I want to walk in my Rabbi’s foot prints, knowing that I will never live up to it, but I’ll keep on walking. Praying I can live that selfless life, a life for others.

Character

Ideas used to shape this post: A sermon by Greg Arthur , a book by Jeffery MarxA book byJohn Eldridge

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