Monday, October 27, 2008

Discerning his will

On Sunday we focused on determining the specific way to express our desire to provide practical service in His name to someone in need. It started me thinking about some important issues about discerning His direction.

  • He IS speaking and leading. John 14:26
  • We are, too often, and too easily, not listening. Hebrews 3:6-19
  • He does not answer all our questions,
    • In some instances he wants us to use the intellect he gave us.
    • In other instances he does not answer all our questions, but he answers the right questions. Matthew 10:19,20
  • The first question is never “What will work to accomplish our goals?” The first question is always, “What are his goals?”
  • The second question is never “How can we help his goals?” The second question is always “What obedience does he desire from us to accomplish his goals?”

So, the key is to ask the right questions, and listen with faith that he is speaking.

I have known for some time that his goals for us include that we touch the lives of a few in very deep and personal, but also practical and specific ways. His goal is to use us to mentor someone in life skills, relationships, caring, giving, and friendship. That means the current, urgent question is, “What obedience does He desire from us to accomplish that (his) goal?”

Friday, October 24, 2008

Old time religion

The following was written in a letter by John Newton (1725 – 1807 -- a former slave ship captain, who became an outspoken opponent of slavery, an Anglican Minister, and author of a hymn he named ”Faith's Review and Expectation” We know it by the first line of the first verse…. “Amazing Grace.”

“The true Christian is sensible and mindful of indwelling sin. He confesses that in everything he comes exceedingly short, and that his best services are not only defective--but defiled. He accounts himself as an unprofitable servant--and is abased in his own eyes. He knows that all that distinguishes him from the vilest of men--is the free grace of God!”

Do Christian still think like that?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Looking at the most obvious expert at playing the “victim” role in the Scripture… Ahab, I noticed something. When Jezebel had Naboth killed, and Ahab claimed the vineyard, Elijah prophesied Ahab’s death, and the destruction of the nation. The announcement was blunt and direct. But it also struck me that God clearly and unequivocally linked the two events together.

In the spot where dogs licked up Naboth's blood they will also lick up your blood”

- I Kings 21:19

It’s clear that if you decide that one of these folks should face some negative consequences, blunt and direct is better than tentative and vague. It may also be reasonable to conclude that whenever a negative consequence is applied to these folks, it should be clearly and unequivocally connected to their behavior.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Does the scripture teach anything directly about how to deal with people who are especially adept at playing the role of being inept, incapable, pitiful, mistreated, victims of misfortune or evil others?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tax Math

O.K., I know it's dangerous to get political. I hardly ever do. But I just have an observation. Barak Obama says that in his tax plan 95% of Americans will see a tax decrease. It's also a fact that 30% of Americans don't pay federal taxes. I'm not real good at math. But you don't have to be good at math to know this doesn't add up.