Showing posts from July, 2013

The Dimming Church - Why Community is a Three-Way Street

I am blessed to serve in a local church where community is an established anchor among each ministry function. However, as the case with most churches, our community isn’t perfect. And though I can accept the fact and move along, it’s hard to leave the issue hanging without vulnerable musing.
The truth is we were made to hunger for unity within community. But the reality check is we tend to only enjoy it in comfortable doses. Could it be we need to sacrifice a measure of personal comfort to fully understand the type of community God created? Besides, how are we supposed to know if we’re at such a breaking point in the first place?
In Acts 2, koinonia is introduced into the post-resurrection picture as joint participation in communion, sovereignly designed to preserve the authenticity of relationship:

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were bein…

LEGACYouth: White-Water Reflections

The concept of “river” is quite unique, as it is a fitting symbol for life and the Holy Spirit.
As a metaphor of life, a river possesses both positive and negative connotations. For instance, a river can have peaceful moments marked by tranquility, but occasionally be rocky and turbulent. Sometimes, we feel buoyant, enjoying the thrill of the rush; other times, we feel like we’re sinking, barely keeping our head above the water.
As a metaphor of the Holy Spirit, a river is a current of God’s nature, channeled through the Spirit to us. Unlike the prior comparison, the river as Spirit is a purely uplifting allegory. For instance, a rushing river, according to Scripture, is a symbol of peace and intimacy with God, in addition to a place where we can feel safe and secure. In the Bible, multiple authors compare life with the Spirit to being known in a prosperous habitation, and life without the Spirit as being lost in a desert wasteland. In John 4, Jesus dialogues with a Samaritan woman mir…

Fat Christianity

In a recent study conducted by Willow Creek Community Church, findings revealed startling evidence concerning the evangelical church’s understanding of Christ-centeredness. After exposing the ineffectiveness of church programs as the premiere pathway to spiritual advancement in prior surveys, new data is suggesting Christians who consider themselves to be Christ-centered serve and give less than believers who do not or are unsure. Talk about hard to fathom, let alone swallow. The idea itself not only steps on the proverbial toe, but opens up a giant can of worms. Is this a widespread epidemic or specifically tied to certain denominations? Is the matter a result of lost vision based from poor discipleship? Or are we incorrectly supplying “program” in place of a better alternative for those hitting a certain point on the road to spiritual maturation? So many questions, so few answers. Thus, as I appraise my thoughts, please note I do not wish to stereotype the sanctity of God’s dwellin…

Open Hands

Lately, I've been questioning my heart whenever I've subtly expressed a condescending "He/she needs Jesus" attitude, rather than confess the "higher road" truth of "I need Jesus just as much as anyone else". When deflating encounters with moody cashiers, irritating drivers and patronizing employees occur, how do we navigate the temptation to tighten clenched fist when our default remark comes knocking on the door of our tongue? Why is it we occasionally manipulate faith into a hollow, religious rock we hide under as a means of "self-control"? If God understands our hearts better than we do, wouldn't it make sense to fully honor God's ability to know us? We may evade deeper trouble by diluting anger to a silent sneer, but permitting the cancerous effects of indifferent entitlement is anything but a demonstration of salt and light. The lure of depreciating others on the heels of an embarrassing or unjust moment is an surmountable t…