Month: April 2019

Where Do We Find What We Need?

I was reading some thoughts on the founding of our nation and this thing we call our inalienable rights. These rights include the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, which is a small sample of the things we need and want. And President Jefferson, the deist (one who believes in a distant, watchmaker God who set things in motion, but who is now rather remote and uninvolved), says we have been endowed with these rights from a Creator God.

I was struck by a thought from English professor, Louis Markos. I’ve reworked his idea a bit. See if it makes sense to you.

If I am poor, I cannot endow you with wealth, for I have none to offer.

If I am weak, I cannot endow you with power, for I have none to offer.

If I am foolish, I cannot endow you with wisdom, for I have none to offer.

If I am lonely, insecure, fearful, self-absorbed, angry, anxious, etc., I cannot endow you with strength, love, mercy, grace, peace, hope, joy, etc., for I am in need of those things myself.

Repeat this pattern as long as you need.

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So, where can I (you, me, we) get …

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Intimacy With God…and Yet

C.S. Lewis is certainly not the final word, nor even always the best word, but he is a very good starting word for important conversations, including conversations on  having intimacy with God.

Lewis starts this conversation when he says, here is the kind of God most of us would prefer:

“An ‘impersonal God’-well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads-better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap-best of all. But God himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, King, husband-that is quite another matter.”  (from Miracles)

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Intimacy with God. That is the promise offered to us in the Scriptures. It is the reality Jesus holds out to you and me.

But don’t we all have the Peter complex? “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man (a sinful woman).”

Don’t we all have the Adam and Eve impulse? God comes looking for us, and we hide from his presence.

Aren’t we all at least a little bit fearful of what Hebrews 4:13 says? “Nothing in all creation is hidden from …

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The Middle East: Muslims Matter to God || guest blog by Pastor Brian Newman

And They Must Matter to Us

[Note: We hope you can join us this Sunday, April 7, at 6:00 pm at Living Word for our Mission Café as we discuss the challenges and opportunities of the Middle East. I will be facilitating, and we will hear from two people, Jeff Phillips and Ed McManness, who know the Muslim world firsthand.]

As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41–42).

We are only told of a few times when Jesus wept. One was when he learned of his friend Lazarus’ death, another is in the Garden of Gethsemene, and the other is upon reaching the Mount of Olives and looking out over Jerusalem.

Jerusalem … that “City of Peace” that has no peace!

Jesus knew how important Jerusalem was (and is) to the Jews, and yet they missed their Messiah. It broke his heart.

The Middle East is like that – it can break your heart, and yet it is the center of the three Abrahamic Faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.…

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