Friday, January 18, 2019

4 Dangerous Words




I believe the four most dangerous words in the English language for Christians are: “Thy Will be done.” I realize we Christians give a lot of lip service to these words- and the truth is- how can we not? I mean when the disciples asked Jesus to “teach us how to pray?” Jesus uttered these exact words when reciting what has come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer. That being said, have we really considered the ramifications of these words? Up until a couple years ago I know I didn’t. Many of us really believe that wherever we are, and whatever we are doing, it’s God ordained. I have come to realize that nothing could be further from the truth. 

My personal experience, when I prayed those powerful words, and meant it, was my world began to be shaken to the core! The things that once gave me security started to foundationally erode; the things that I thought made me happy gradually became bitter. This was God’s Will…this was God’s plan. And while common sense would say, “just surrender”, I had other ideas: I fought it tooth and nail; I became angry at God! I believe my response is all too common in Christendom. We have been programmed to believe that if we are comfortable and secure, God is blessing us. However, if our supports and securities are getting kicked out from underneath us, God is angry and punishing us. The truth is, God has had a plan for each and every one of us before time began, but ultimately, when it comes to our life, we have the choice of “thy will be done” or “my will be done”. The former is not the smoothest most comfortable path, it is the narrow path. This path is often wrought with trials and attacks from the enemy…however, this is nothing more than a refining process that strips away the follies of the flesh and molds us into the image of Jesus Christ.

In closing, when you pray the words, “Thy Will be done”, do you really mean it?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rapture Theology


I must admit, I enjoy a good theological debate. However, I find most Christians would rather endure the pillory or the rack than engage in a good Biblical discussion. I believe people fall into several categories concerning this issue:

1. There are those that think it's a waste of time and divisive. 
2. There are those that feel they are uninformed and have nothing to add.
3. There are those couldn't care less.

No Biblical debates please!


That being said, I will push forward anyway. 

About a week ago I put up a Twitter poll where I asked people the following: "Do you believe in any form of Rapture theology?" I had 133 kind souls chime in and the results were as follows:

74% voted Yes, they believe in Rapture theology
21% voted No
5% voted that they thought this was song sung by Blondie. (God bless them!)

So as you can plainly see, a vast majority of the people polled believe in some sort of rapture doctrine. Now for full disclosure, I do not believe in the Rapture. Now at this point you may be tempted to pelt me with rocks and verbal rebukes...but please hear me out! 

My first contention, which I will deal with in this post, involves the Rapture theology not being taught in the first 1800 years of church history. It wasn't until 1830 that John Darby formulated this theory. In his own words he said: "it literally jumped out of the pages of the Bible." And while this is all fine and good, we must ask: "is it really possible that all of the church fathers up until 1830 missed this little gem?" 

Church fathers like: Augustine, Athanasius, Ireneaus, Basil, Tertullian, Origen,Cyril, John Chrysotom, Justin Martyr, Jerome, or Hilary. 

Is it also possible that the theologians of the middle ages: Aquinas, Anselm, Abelard, Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli missed it too?

Lastly, is it possible that more modern theologians like Barth, Bonhoeffer, Bulgmann, Moltmann, Tillich, and N.T Wright missed it also?

Now it's your turn...












Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Creeping Lies of the Enemy


Ugh. Ok friends I can’t post out of nowhere without mentioning that we haven’t posted much in the last year(s).  I promise you, at any given time I have at least 5 blog posts floating around my head, waiting to get out.  I am just undisciplined.  I promise by summer, I’ll have at least 5 more for you (if we have any readers left).

For the past 6-8 months I’ve been experiencing a comforting renewal and regeneration in my faith life.  After a couple years of beating myself up about not being where I used to be, I finally let go of the times I was stronger and just accepted the now. No easy feat for someone who continuously wants to be better and do better in everything.  But I am not in a competition with myself, and no matter the crisis or tragedy that I previously overcame through Jesus, comparing myself to myself was getting me nowhere.  After a long dry season of feeling like God wasn’t speaking to me and wondering why I was more often a hot mess crying on my bathroom floor than pouring over my Bible and breathing in the truth of Jesus, somehow I let go.  Through deepened and almost constant prayer and stepping back my from my intense focus on my desire for children and subsequent pain of those unmet desires while opening myself up to the pain and needs of others,  I could finally hear God again. 

So as I was basking in my resurgence of faith I was surprised to find myself hit with lies from the enemy.  Lies that sound so true, it’s tempting to believe them. I was very tempted to return to my former place of wallowing- usually on the bathroom floor, because I thought Mark couldn’t hear my sobs and would just assume I was struggling with tummy problems and not pressing my face into a towel attempting to both muffle my sobs and drown out the pain.  Sobbing isn’t wrong, friends, but moving in and making camp in a place of wallowing to the point that Jesus seems like a distant stranger is.  I was beginning to believe that I had left such moments behind.  Until that Sunday.
  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Prayer




“Lord, teach us to pray.” – Luke 11:1.


Prayer was an important part of Jesus' life and ministry. Jesus knew, and wants us to know, that prayer is mightier than the sword, and has the ability to slay the enemies of the soul. 

Prayer is brighter than the rays of the sun, revealing the hidden depths of the human spirit. 

Prayer is quicker and stronger than eagles’ wings, bearing us up from the confines of the earth and transporting us to the throne room of God. 

Prayer is a greater power in the transformation of the world than all legislation and military might. 

The center of its power is in the heart which utters it; the radius of its influence is as infinite as the mind of the Living God. It is the cool breath that comes to ease the fevered brow. It is the Holy lever of Archimedes to move the world! 

How is your prayer life my friend?

Also, let us know if we can help or pray for you! 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prayer: A Mystery Unfolds

We lead a prayer ministry at our church.  So I feel like I think about prayer fairly often.  But this week the morning show I listen to (The Walley Show) was talking about prayer, specifically about when prayers are unanswered or answered in a way that we weren’t really hoping for or expecting.  They had many examples of how these unanswered prayers lead to bigger things that they just couldn’t see.  Which I agree happens often, but not always.  Recently I’ve also watched a relatively new believer blossom into a beautiful example of Christian boldness emboldened by the Holy Spirit. We also have come to realize that many struggle to attend our prayer gathering because of a fear of praying a loud, or a fear of praying wrong. I’ve watched Christians grapple with this concept of corporate prayer and have been moved and touched by the words that they themselves feel fall short. So I’ve been thinking a lot more about prayer this week.

Prayer is indeed mysterious.  To me, prayer has always seemed simple on so many levels. I grew up Catholic and my youthful prayers were either repetitive rote memorization or easy flowing conversations (many times one sided conversations) with God.  It was a lot of asking, a little thinking, and many times it felt desperate.  As I’ve grown as a Christian, delved deeper into the Word, and walked through spiritual battles, my concept of prayer has definitely evolved. It is far from simple.  But in many ways, it is still very mysterious- and there are many things I don’t understand.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Dear Christian, You can't Win.

Don't argue with fools. 
There is an old gambling saying: “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle”. However, what I’m witnessing on social media and news websites is: we have way too many Christians “going all in”! What I mean by that is we are wasting precious time arguing with people whose only motivation is to attack Christianity (and Christians) directly and by proxy. This is clearly evident when you witness non-believers and spiritual reprobates suddenly quoting Bible scriptures and proselyting like a possessed carnival barker. While their positions have the veneer of pure kindness and altruism, there is something inherently rotten at the core: the hatred of God. Yes, I said it because it is true…they hate everything Christianity stands for; they hate you! Now they would never have the guts to come right out and say it, but they do.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

ADORATION



I was reading Psalms 78 today and I was in absolute wonder of what an awesome God we serve! Unregenerate man cannot fully understand the wonder and power of God. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” Psalms 111:10 also states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it. Your praise endures forever.”

Without being born again and without the Holy Spirit, man is incapable of truly understanding the hidden things of God. Our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow…for God never changes! This is the same God that split the Red Sea piling up the waters rigid as walls. This is the same God that spread a table in the desert and rained manna and meat upon the people like dust!

We must worship God in spirit and truth. God is able to take worship out of the hands of men and put it in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to truly worship God without the impartation of the Holy Spirit. It is the operation of the Spirit of God within us that enables us to worship God acceptably through the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the physical manifestation of God. So worship originates with God and comes back to us and is reflected from us, as a mirror. This is the only worship that is pleasing to God.

Have you recently studied, and/or experienced anything that brought you into the awe-inspiring presence of God?