Holy, Holy, Holy

  • Wednesday, March 31, 2010
  • "A true love of God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this." Jonathan Edwards

    In the year of King Uzziah's death... And so begins the well-known passage from Isaiah chapter 6. But how well is King Uzziah known? We have to look back to 2 Chronicles 26 to have the biblical summary of this leader's rise and reign over the nation of Judah.

    Ready to Launch

  • Friday, March 26, 2010
  • "Go therefore...I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

    We humorously refer to it as "failure to launch." Children not able to make up their minds as to what their place in an adult world looks like and finding it more comfortable and less stressful to simply put off the decisions and commitments of moving from adolescence into adulthood. "Failure to launch" has redefined the 21st century family. Our president refers to it as a crisis of care-need for securing "interim" coverage.

    An increasing number of 20-somethings have found security in delayed transition by staying in school. A friend of mine introduced one of his children as being in "gradual school." :) And this week delayed maturing has been judicially approved until you are at least 26 years of age. And somewhere in all this the role of parenting with the goal of the gradual release of children into responsible independence is being lost.

    Tipping the Balance of Justice

  • Tuesday, March 23, 2010
  • John 18 and 19 detail the travesty of justice that Jesus faced along the trail to His crucifixion. But as we reviewed the trials on Sunday, when viewed from an eternal perspective, the scale tips the other way.

    Chapter 18 opens with the betrayal. Judas, one of the chosen disciples, led the Roman guard to Christ. They were seeking Him as One who was causing problems among the people. He was instructing them counter to the teachings of the high priests. Arrest and a trial seemed the best solution to the problem. At night, in the garden, He was identified as the guilty one. However, when the betrayal is viewed from a different perspective, we see that it was actually Judas who was proven to be the guilty one for betraying the One with whom he had been so close.

    The Trials of Jesus

  • Friday, March 19, 2010
  • You don't need to listen long to any form of news report before you realize great confusion has been created regarding one of our prize terms. They have "stolen" our word! And what they have done to its meaning is shameful. They have stripped it of its beauty and robbed it of its hope. Under constant assault and the battery of 24/7 television banter, reconciliation no longer bears its dignity!

    "Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation streamlines the debate and amendment process. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body." (Wikipedia Encyclopedia definition)

    When the Sorrow Becomes Joy

  • Wednesday, March 17, 2010
  • The sky darkened as they went about their work. The wind picked up and the clouds began to roll in. The limbs on the trees began to sway in the wind, and they realized that something wasn't right. They'd been told that there would be a storm, but for some reason they didn't believe the reports. They continued the work that they'd begun. "It won't be long and it will hit," said One.

    Soon there was a rumble of thunder. The sky grew even darker. Even more wind blew and in the fields around them things were tossed to and fro. The clouds billowed and the storm grew even closer. "In a little while, a storm will hit," He said. As they looked up, they began to realize there was a storm on the horizon. "Oh, now we understand," came the comment. "What will we do if a storm comes?"

    When the Sorrow Becomes Joy

  • Friday, March 12, 2010
  • The insider's secret to Jesus' enduring the trial and the cross...looking past the pain. The writer of Hebrews expressed it this way, "Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross despising the shame..."

    Perhaps you recall reading this last month on the Faith e-mail update:

    Chad & Danielle Parker are praising the Lord for the safe arrival of their baby girl on Friday, February 12th. Kate Marie was born at 12:54pm, measuring 20 inches and weighing 7lbs 6oz. Everyone is happy and healthy, including siblings Evan, Levi, and Mia. Visitors are welcome to visit at Saint Elizabeth after 5:00pm today.

    Not By Will Power

  • Tuesday, March 9, 2010
  • We celebrate the birth of Christ with songs, special services, and activities in our homes. We worship the Father in our prayers, in our church services, through the words in our songs, and even on a walk in the Spring when we hear the birds singing. But the third member of the Godhead seems to always end up in the background.

    There's no celebration of His birthday, we don't worship Him in our prayers, and in the church there seems to be nothing but controversy about His involvement in our lives.

    We have paused in John 16 for just a bit to get to know the Holy Sprit just a little better. And the tool we'll use is a common tool of journalism, answering questions about who, what, where, when, and why.

    Not By Will Power

  • Friday, March 5, 2010
  • "Patience"...there it is, just four steps up the staircase, staring us in the face, reminding us of what we, so often, DON'T have and yet promising what COULD be ours. Patience, that virtue which is highly treasured and greatly valued simply because there is so little of it!

    It is a very personal design touch. Obviously, if we ever find ourselves in a circumstance where we must place our home on the market, we will likely need to paint it over. But in a hundred year old house, somehow having the "fruit of the Spirit" painted on the stair-risers seemed an appropriate step. So we tested numerous fonts on the lap-top, repainted the backs of the stairs, then carefully, letter-by-letter, stenciled the names of the nine fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. Needless to say, it was a very long day off.

    God in Us

  • Tuesday, March 2, 2010
  • "It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." John 16:7

    Why is it that the Helper that Jesus promised is often at the center of theological controversy, a frequently neglected part of the Trinity, and a seemingly ineffective Guide in our lives? In our time together Sunday, Pastor Tom focused on the Holy Spirit and some of what Christ said about Him in the hours before He left the Disciples.