Election Day- 2020

Friends- as you go to the polls today to participate in the great experiment called America, I’m praying with and for you.

I’m praying you will access the wisdom God has given you.

I’m praying you will remember that the Church and State are separate and unequal; each has a role and responsibility: the State to bring about justice through the sword, and the Church to demonstrate justice through you. You’ll do this best when you act like salt and light.

I’m praying you will remember that you are a citizen of Heaven and and Ambassador of Christ; each of these are far more important than the nation-state we call the United States of America. You have one message: “Come back to God.”

I’m praying you will remember that Heaven’s Kingdom is open and available to all people, nations, tribes and tongues. While Heaven has walls and gates, those gates never close.

I’m praying you’ll remember that those who vote, behave, think, and sin differently than you are not your enemy. The real enemy we all face is a spiritual one and for those living with God through Jesus, for those in whom the Spirit dwells, God has given you the weapons we need to fight and stand victorious through the fog of war.

Finally, I’m praying you’ll remember the words of Jesus Christ: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” The State can take almost everything from you: your guns, your money, your business, your family, and even your life.

The State CANNOT take your conscience.

Do not sully your conscience to color in an oval, punch a tab, or press a button today. It’s not worth it.

The State lays no claim to your soul unless you give it to them. What good is it to gain the whole world (be it a tax policy that’s beneficial for you or someone else’s idea of justice) but lose your soul?

Regardless of the outcome, the American Experiment will continue it’s long march toward failure (See Habakkuk 2:13- the ash heap of history catches us all…). In 1000 years (unless Jesus returns), our nation will be in the company of the the great Empires and Kingdoms who came before her- our monuments will be collapsing tourist attractions like the Coliseum in Rome or the Pyramids in Egypt.

Today, you have the opportunity to go all in on a Kingdom that will never fail or fade.

The gates of hell won’t prevail against it.

Be strong.

Be confident.

Be God’s.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Re-gathering, part 3- for the body

Part 1- intro

Part 2- for pastors

First, an apology.

“I’m sorry.”

Seriously.

Since March 16 (in Nebraska) we: cancelled the Sunday gathering, told you your small groups cannot meet, sent you more emails than you can count, invited and expected to join us on Zoom, introduced you to watch parties, and probably have not called or contacted you enough. We have completely shut down everything that you are used to, taken hundreds of years of church practice and moved on.

We did it without your permission, and we did it without your approval.

And…

“Thank you.”

Seriously.

You’ve demonstrated a tremendous amount of love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control over the past 7.5 weeks.

But, we’re not done.

We have weeks, if not months, left. When the governor of our state says, “Churches can meet again” that’s probably all you heard. You likely didn’t see the two pages of guidelines that we have to abide by when we gather. There are many people who are not ready to come back. There are many questions people are asking.

We still require your grace.

As I said the other day, I believe that the NEXT 6-8 weeks are actually going to be more difficult than the LAST 6 or 8 weeks.

There are some churches who are going to open for business on “day 1”. I know. I’ve seen their posts. I’ve seen the excitement of their members and others who call them home. This is a perfect plan. For them.

There are other churches, and WestWay falls into this category…We’re not ready. And, we’re not going to be ready. Why? Because many, the majority, in fact, of those who’ve responded to our survey say they’re not. And among those who said “yes”, they had the exact concerns as those who’ve said “no.”

Here are my asks:

  • Pray.
    • Ask God to give your leaders knowledge, wisdom, clarity and strength.
    • Ask God to give you a heart of kindness, and understanding.

 

  • Read your Bible.
    • Ask God to use it to transform your mind.
    • Ask God to use it to teach you what is true, make you realize what is wrong in your life, correct you when you are wrong, then teach you to do what is right.

 

  • Trust your leaders.
    • God has placed them there for a reason.
    • Recognize that none of them have ever, in their wildest imaginations, had any clue this would happen.
    • Recognize that none of them have ever pastored during a pandemic.
    • Assume that they are reading their Bibles, praying, having conversations with other leaders and that it is highly likely and probable that they are making the best decision then can with the information available to them.

 

  • Be diligent in keeping these phrases from your mind:
    • XYZ Church down the road is opening next week. Why aren’t we? If they are, we should!
      • What another church is, or is not, doing is merely a curiosity to your pastor. For me, and for every pastor I know, what another church does, or does not do, literally has no bearing on our decision. The elders and pastors of WestWay are the elders and pastors of WestWay.
      • Repent of your “just because-ism”.
    • I’m so glad our church is opening, and cannot believe the lack of faith from those yahoo’s over at…”
      • Your church is not more spiritual for being the first to open. It’s not a race. Repent of your judmentalism.
    • I sure wish our church did…”
      • One of the things I’ve learned over the past 8 weeks is that tech takes time, talent, cash, and a ton of gear. I’m proud of our team and what they’ve accomplished.
      • Most people, however, have not idea what goes in to a weekly audio/visual production. They would be astounded.
      • Repent of your jealousy.

So…that’s it. Three days, three blog posts on my thoughts of the pending re-gathering of churches in and around the world. My hope has been to bless, encourage, challenge and provoke you into being a unified group of people with one goal: the proclamation of Jesus. AKA, the Church.

We are one Body with many parts. We are one Church of many churches. We are unified, but not uniform.

We are the Church. And the pandemic means nothing. The Gospel is unchained. And lives are being changed.

Be

The

Church.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Timothy, 2 timothy, Christianity, church, Church Leaders

Re-gathering, part 2- for pastors

Re-gathering, part 1.

Today, I want to talk directly to, and about church leaders- pastors, elders, and others.

I don’t envy us.

For many of us in the West who have never experienced famine or persecution, this has been an extremely challenging time of ministry. I’ve seen it compared to Apollo 13 and “building an airplane while it’s flying.” Many of us, most of us, dug deep into what God has given us, relied on Him, and pulled it off.

One of the reasons we’ve been able to do this, and I alluded to it yesterday, is that we’ve been relatively free of the normal criticisms pastors hear in response to change.

The re-gathering of the church will be anything but. The critique that is coming our way will be withering.

Here in Nebraska, we’ve been told that churches can “re-open”. Theological thoughts about the phrase “re-opening” aside, there will be nothing simple about this. We’ve asked our people to respond to a survey about their own readiness to return, and the results are 50/50. We broke it down by age groups. The results? 50/50. We broke it down by family size. The results? 50/50.

Some of the other churches in the area are ready and are going to open. And others, are not and are going to wait.

Here’s reality, pastors and leaders…hear this. Over the next 2 months, you and your decisions are going to be loved by a lot of people. And, you and your decisions are going to be reviled by a lot of people.

To some, opening soon will symbolize faith, and to others folly. To some, waiting will be an indicator that you have no faith, and to others, you’ll be filled with wisdom.

Listen again to Paul’s words to Timothy. Let them burrow deep into your soul.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”- 2 Timothy 1:7.

You cannot be paralyzed. You cannot fear. You cannot base what you feel God is leading you to do on what other churches are, or are not, doing. You cannot be bullied.

Church leaders need to be clear, concise, and, determined during this time. They need to be in consistent times of prayer and scripture reading. You need to communicate with one another, trust in one another and support one another.

Pastors and church leaders, you are not more spiritual for opening as soon as you can.

Pastors and church leaders, you are not less spiritual if you choose to wait.

Outside of curiosity, I’m completely uninterested in what other churches in our area are, or are not, doing.

It simply does not matter what others do. You are not the pastor of every church in town. God’s called you to lead YOUR flock, not theirs.

IT DOES NOT MATTER. But, it will matter to people in your congregation. And my thoughts for them are coming tomorrow.

In the meantime…

Pray. Read the Bible. Have conversations and seek guidance from your leaders.

Make a decision.

Live by it.

Die by it.

No fear.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under 1 Timothy, 2 timothy, apple iphone, Christianity, Church Leaders, Ephesus

Re-gathering- part 1

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”- 2 Timothy 1:7.

I can only imagine the thoughts racing through Timothy’s mind as Paul waved, then walked away from Timothy in Ephesus. It was, as Warren Wiersbe described, a “circus.” Essentially everyone did whatever they wanted. They fought and argued. The females flaunted their bodies and their wealth. The widow’s list was filled with people who should not have been on it. Leadership was a joke, with false teachings and teachers abounding. No wonder Timothy’s stomach hurt. And I’m sure the “little wine” suggested by Paul helped in more ways than one.

Then, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul gave this advice- your fears are unwarranted and are not from God. What He’s given you is power, love and self-discipline. And Timothy, the only way you’re going to become ringmaster is to live and serve in accordance with your giftedness. Don’t withdraw. Don’t hide. Pursue Christ, life for Him, and LEAD.

The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging I’ve ever experienced in ministry (I’m glad we’re no longer using the word “unprecedented”, btw…). On Monday, March 16, the “gathering guidelines” went from group sizes of not larger than 205, to 50, then 10. 

Our challenge was, in less than 6 days, to go from a “non-video” church to a video church. With our Creative Arts Pastor 3 states away. And a volunteer team who had their own “fish to fry” in terms of families and their own work situations. Schools closed. Resources dwindled, Amazon Prime memberships meant nothing for needed gear.

Everyone acted in power, love and self-discipline. We produced our first “WestWay Online” for Sunday March 22.

It’s been said that the church is often 10-15 years behind the culture in technology, and we (the CHURCH- not just WestWay) made an exponential leap forward. In just 7.5 weeks, “we cashed checks and broke necks.”

In short, we led. We operated under a ton of freedom, and a lack of scrutiny from people who tend to be critical. We did not let “we’ve never done it that way ” or, “we can’t do that because we’ve always done it this way” get in the way of anything because we’ve (at least this part of we) never operated under a pandemic. None of our church leaders took a class called, “Pandemic 101: How to Lead.”

Anyway…that first week was brutal. We (again the Church) found our groove. We improvised. We overcame. We adopted.

And…our people? (They are the church, by the way) have done amazing things. They’ve been kicked out of the building and they are loving and caring for others. They are calling and emailing. They are serving. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of this just in “my” own church body- WestWay Christian Church. I also want to add that our body has been incredibly generous financially; our giving has increased during this time and we are working diligently to honor their giving with wise choices. This has contributed in big way to our ability to respond to challenges.

Like me, the church (the people) has had an incredible opportunity to see what other bodies of Christ do, and don’t do. We’ve seen extremely high levels of production: multiple camera angles, high quality singers and musicians, pastors and speakers much “better” than their own. With this, come the questions…

  • “Why can’t we…?”
  • “How come our content doesn’t look like…”
  • “That church is doing…why aren’t we?”

This has been an opportunity for me to guard my heart. Several times over the past month I’ve felt three things rising (I’m a pastor after all, and yes, they all begin with “J”):

  • Jealousy- many churches are just “better”. They have time, tech, talent and resources and finances we don’t. They’ve also been at it longer than us. To paraphrase Jon Acuff, I’m judging our beginning by someone else’s middle. Jealousy is a sin, and we must repent of it.
  • Judgment– it’s easy to see what others are doing, compare it to us, and feel superior to them. We have time, tech, talent and resources and finances they don’t. This also is sin, and must be repented of.
  • Just because– this one is tough to explain. There are lots of churches doing lots of things, and “just because” they are doing them, doesn’t mean that we should. Or can. Or will. One of the things we’ve worked hard at over the past few years is creating a clearly identifiable culture, a “who we are” and that’s become a guideline for us. We’ve spent our time and energy focusing on creating an online experience that is consistently who we are, and avoiding the things that would distract us from doing “us” really well. It would stretch the capability of our teams and resources. To take advantage of our teams in this way would be sinful. For me to operate out of a place of, “The church should do “x” without my knowing all of the details and things required of them” would be sinful. As sins, these must be repented of.

So…that’s the set up.

The past 7.5 weeks are what they are. The church has learned and grown. We’ve moved forward and are faithfully proclaiming Jesus as Lord in new (for us) ways. And we’re hearing great things in response.

And soon, right now in fact, we look to what I’m calling “the re-gathering”. Just as the past 7.5 weeks were challenging, the next 6-8 weeks, if not longer, will be equally so.

In fact, I think they are going to be more difficult. And the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline will be equally valuable for our what’s next. I’m going to address my next post in this series to pastors and church leaders, and then the final post to Christians who are not pastors or leaders- to members and participants.

4 Comments

Filed under 1 Timothy, 2 timothy, apostle paul, Christianity, church, Church Leaders, Ephesus

My word for 2019…

A lot can happen in 5 years.

On January 1, 2014, I was a shell of a man. I had lost my job, and with it, my falsely-placed identity. So, I turned to running only to find myself with plantar fasciitis- unable to run. That identity was gone, too.

2014-2016 was me dealing with anger, bitterness, frustration; sometimes I did this well. More often, it was as though I was an unredeemed jackhole who had never even met Christ. And He, Jesus, never left me nor did he forsake me. This is a promise going back to the time of Moses:

“In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the LORD your God and listen to what he tells you. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors”- Deuteronomy 4:30/31.

And now, it’s 2019.

Last year at WestWay, one of the books we read together was from the Old Testament called “Ecclesiastes.” In short, it’s about a guy who seeks meaning, purpose and identity in all the usual ways: wealth, success, sex, accomplishments, wisdom, alcohol…you name it, Solomon tried it.

And it, every one of those things, left him empty and wanting. The shell of a man.

His conclusion? “Eat, drink, find satisfaction in work, enjoy the fruits of your labor, wear fine clothes, wear cologne (just not Axe, please), live happily with the woman (or man) that you love, and take it all in.”

Not because life is short and in a fit of nihilistic hedonism because this is the only one you get so you must make it count.

Why, then? Because these things are gifts from God himself. And because they are gifts from God, he anticipates that we will use them in the manner they were designed to be used.

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

So, for 2019, my hope is to fully live my life in the hope, promise, love, mercy and satisfaction found in Christ alone.

I’m going to eat and drink. I’ll wear fine clothes: jeans and my 1/4 zip pullover each Sunday, and when I preach, I’ll take my shoes off and rock my new socks (thanks Taylor, Derek, and Jenn). I’m going to love my wife well because God has placed her into my life to spiritually transform me. I’m going to run more miles than I did last year, and Lord willing, continue my ridiculous run streak. I’m going to spend more time cultivating my relationship with Christ and with others. I’m going to remember that my role is to watch over the souls God has placed in my care, and to do so joyfully.

I’m going to remember that everything I do matters because it’s the only one I have. And, it’s the only life I have because it’s been given me through the sacrifice of Jesus.

My word for 2019?

“Live.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Patience, mercy, and grace

I recently had a conversation with someone about patience, they were talking about how it was a challenge for them. They said, “God didn’t give me much patience.” In my mind, I immediately disagreed with them and thought about Galatians 5:22: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

As I was driving to the office this morning, and that conversation came into my mind, and creeping judgmentalism along with it-

“How can someone say that God didn’t give them patience? Am I allowed to say, ‘God didn’t give me self-control’, so I can do what I want?”

Just then (literally just then) as my judgmentalism roared to a crescendo, the traffic ahead of me slowed, alternating between 10-15 miles an hour. Two cars ahead of me was the problem: a vehicle driving slowly with their hazards flashing. Immediately, my mind switched gears and through gritted teeth and with anger, frustration and impatience rising… “C’mon…what in the world is going on here? This is ridiculous.”

And there it was.

I guess God obviously didn’t “gift” me patience either.

Isn’t it interesting that the very thing that I was sitting in judgment over others was the thing God was setting before me?

Jesus tells us that a tree is known by the fruit it produces. Earlier in Galatians 5, Paul writes, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear (the fruit is evident): sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”

As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us, and each day, each moment we live, we have a choice- will I live in glad submission to who God is making me to be, or not? When I’m in moments that provide opportunity for my fruit to show and grow, will I?

Paul mostly closes Galatians 5 with this: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

This is how the Spirit produces fruit in us- by leading us into opportunities to reveal what we are made of, to show “what’s inside.” I’m betting the best way for this to happen is for us to be constantly placed in situations that try and challenge us, that call us to live out who God is making us to be.

Be His today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Good figs, bad figs

After years and years of disobedience to God, the LORD allowed Babylon to enter Judah and carry most of the people off into exile (This is where we find the stories of Daniel in the lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenego).

There was a prophet named Jeremiah that God had been speaking to all of the people through. In chapter 24 of the book by his name, the Lord places two baskets of figs in front of Jeremiah; one basket is filled with good figs, and the other is filled with bad ones, too rotten to eat.

Conventional 21st-century American Christianity would tell us that the bad figs represented the people carried off- they were the wicked ones who got what they deserved. Their troubles were the proof of their disobedience, their distance from God; “bad things happen to bad people.” At it’s best, the bad things that happen to me are the result of the bad things I’ve done and at the opposite of the spectrum, bad things happening are the proof of an evil, wicked, spiteful God who neither hears nor cares for his people; “He’s abandoned us!” Is our cry.

Conventional 21st-century American Christianity would have us believe the those left behind remained there because they were good and faithful, they did the right things and being allowed to remain in their homeland was the just reward for a life well-lived- God was blessing them with lives of peace, harmony and goodness.

Guess again.

Then the LORD gave me this message: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah in the land of the Babylonians. I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them hearts that recognize me as the LORD. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

“But the bad figs,” the LORD says, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who love in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”

I have friends and folks in our congregation who are in the midst of hardship that they (and I) cannot understand. Situations and realities that seem impossible to bear

Maybe they are wicked sinners whose sins are catching up to them. Maybe they are reaping what they’ve sown, maybe God is angry and it’s time to pay the piper.

It’s possible because in God’s omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence, no one gets away with anything (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

And maybe, just maybe, God’s sent them off to exile for the glory of His Name and their own protection. He’s watching over and caring for them, he’s building them up and planting them, giving them hearts that recognize him as LORD, writing his words on their hearts and in their minds, to make them his people as they are prepared to return to him wholeheartedly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Francis Schaeffer- A favorite dead Christian

I was first introduced to Francis Schaeffer at Toccoa Falls College in January of 1989 during Winterim. The class was Western Thought and Culture, and each day, we were exposed to the 1961 video series, How Should We Then Live? (Currently available on Amazon Prime). Each morning we’d gather in the Chapel for a viewing, followed by classroom discussion and conversation. Honestly, I was immature and thought the whole thing was a joke- I wish I had paid more attention!

Fast forward to about 5 or 6 years ago and I stumbled across a copy of The God Who is There. I absolutely loved it, only to pass it off to a student. I never received it back.

A few months ago, I purchased Trilogy: The God Who is There, Escape from Reason, and He is There and He is not Silent.

I’ve appropriately paced myself through this book, and frequently come across things relevant immediately to the text I’m reading and studying through for Sunday.

At WestWay, the church I serve, we’ve looked at three biblical books this year- James, Ecclesiastes, and we’re a bit more than half-way through Hebrews. I believe Schaeffer has made an appearance in all three.

I don’t know how the body at WestWay feels about my frequent usage of quotations from Schaeffer (Just last week I told Mike, one of the other pastors at WW, that Schaeffer and Narnia were my “Lord of the Rings”).

My reading today is no exception. Just this past Sunday, we read and discussed Hebrews 8 and talked about the extra-judicial nature of Jesus’ work- he did not just fulfill the requirents of the law; he exceeded them, and set that standard for us: “You have heard that it was said…but I tell you…”

Today, as I prep for Sunday’s message on Hebrews 9 (Jesus is…the Superior Sanctuary), we again see the extra-judicial/beyond the law nature of Christ. He enters the throne room of God with his own blood, for our sins, and secures the eternal redemption- not just to make is ceremonially clean, but to cleanse our very consciences.

This all has value and import for us, of course. As Christians, our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees if we wish to see heaven- we must go above and beyond what the law calls us to and the only way we practically do this is by accepting the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and allowing God to write his laws on our hearts and minds. We too, must be extra-judicial.

Here’s some Schaeffer (which may or may not make it in to Sunday)

The fault of orthodoxy is that though it has a legal circle, it tends to acts as though merely to be within the legal circle is enough…But what a tragedy to think that because we are in the proper legal circle, everything is finished and done–as though marriage, the Church and other human relationships are static and that only the legal circle is important. Even in justification, many Christians who are perfectly orthodox in doctrine look back upon their justification as though it were the end of it all, at lest until death comes…The legal circle of justification does not end statically; it opens to me a living person-to-person communication with the God who exists…There must be an observable indication of this in the midst of the daily life in this present abnormal world, or we have denied the central Christian proposition…Far too often young people become Christians and then search among the Church’s ranks for real people, and have a hard task finding them. All too often evangelicals are paper people (only concerned with the legal)…If we who have become God’s children do not show Him to be personal in our lives, then in practice we are denying his existence. People should see a beauty among Christians in their practice of the centrality of human relationships–in the whole spectrum of life and in the whole culture.

Jesus was once asked, “Which command is the greatest?”

His response was completely extra-judicial. “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

174 pages down, 184 to go.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Hebrews

I am Harvey Weinstein

Note: This post is a follow up to last year’s “I am Donald Trump. And So are you” post.

Harvey Weinstein is an film producer and former studio executive- until recently when he was outed as a serial sexual assaulter and harasser of multiple women.

It’s easy to cast judgment, he’s done terrible things and deserves to be held accountable for the wrong he’s done.

And I’m just wondering…

  • What things lie in my past (or even my present) that, if exposed, would bring me to ruin? Would destroy my life? My marriage? My ministry? My witness of Christ?

A few verses come to mind:

  • I Timothy 5:24- “Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.”
  • Ecclesiastes 12:14- “God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret things, whether good or bad.”

This is truthfully and literally the best thing that could ever have happened to Harvey Weinstein, if…

  • he acknowledges his behavior as sin,
  • he seeks forgiveness from those he has damaged,
  • he turns to Christ, repents of his sin and is born again into new life.

To be clear: these things will make none of his actions “ok”. They will not repair the damage done. They won’t justify him. But, they will give him hope; what Christians call “grace” and if this offends you, know that the same forgiveness available to Harvey Weinstein is available to you.

And to be clear, you, too, are a sinner. Without Jesus, you are lost, fallen. Dead.

But that doesn’t have to be how this ends.

There’s still time.

Maybe your secret sin has yet to be revealed. At some point, it’s coming out.

I urge you, right now, to take a moment to pray and ask God who you might speak to about what’s going on in your life.

Scripture tells us that as humans, we are separated from God due to our sin- whether it’s sexual assault, murder, theft, gossip, drunkenness, idolatry, and the list goes on.

This kind of exposure is just what we all need, not just Harvey Weinstein, because it’s an opportunity to repent. Like I’ve written in that prior post, “While there may be earthly consequences of our sin, eternal consequences are worse.”

In all practical reality, I am Harvey Weinstein.

And, so are you.

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, repentance

It is Finished.

Over the past month, I’ve been slowly reading through the book Psalms in the Old Testament. A few thoughts and observations on the first 13:
1- I’m struck by how many of the Psalms early on are lament: “Where are you, God?” “There are many against me!” “Answer me when I call you!” “Hear me!” “Don’t rebuke me!”
2- Others ask God for protection from enemies.
3- Still others are praise.
In summary- “Where are you God? Don’t you see the injustice of what’s happening? Of course you do…you’re God. And, you’re not watching idly by, you are waiting, gearing up for judgment while leaving room for repentance of everyone involved. But make no mistake…judgment is coming.
It’s weird being in the space of waiting for God’s judgment on the unjust. Waiting for payback. For retribution or vengeance.
I’m learning that God’s judgment rarely takes the form that we’d like for it to, and equally rarely, it does not happen on our timeline.
Strangely, when the victory does happen, when justice is meted out and lying, deceitful and manipulative people are finally outed for who they are and always have been…the feeling is not joy, really. There’s no gloating. No “I told you so”.
It feels more like closure.
Finality.
Peace.
Rest.
On the cross, just before He died, Jesus said, “It is finished”.
And now, for me…it is finished.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity