Sunday, April 20, 2014

True Forgivness

So this is how the conversation went on my ride home on Monday six days before Easter. 

Me: so what are we going to talk about today?
Jesus: forgiveness specifically forgiving (Blank)
Me: your not going to talk to me about anything else until we deal with this are you? 
Jesus: nope 
Me: what am I supposed to do?
Jesus: forgive them. 
Me: fine, I forgive them. 
Jesus: now how about restoring that relationship?
Me: I didn't break the relationship why should I have to be the one to go out of my way to fix it? 
Jesus: well that's what I did. 

The story I have been mulling over all week leading up to Easter is from Matthew 18. 

The story goes as follows. 
A servant owes the king 10,000 talents which works out to be 150,000 years of wages. 
He can't pay it so he begs the king for mercy and time. 
The king decides to forgive the whole debt all $3,750,000,000 in today's economy. 
The forgiven servant goes out and spots a fellow servant who owes him about $7,000 in today's rate, rather then forgiving this other servant the forgiven servant sends him to prison. 
The king finds out and returns the debt to the first man who he had forgiven. 

Jesus sums the story up by saying that God will treat us the way the king treated the first man if we treat others with unforgiveness. 

The thing about forgiveness that I didn't realize when I started my conversation with Jesus on Monday is that I was forgiven before I was repentant. 
In Romans chapter 5 Paul lays out that while we were still enemies of God, Jesus sought restoration not because we were sorry but because he desires restoration and he wants it enough to die for it. 

This Easter ask yourself this: In light of all I have been forgiven is there is anyone who I need to forgive. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Coffee church.

What is church?

The first definition from Merriam-Websters is "a building for public and especially Christian worship"

The Bible describes church as a gathering of Gods people in his name.
(Acts 2:42)
The function of the church gathering is to equip the saints for the work of God
(Eph 4:11-12)

Is how we function as the church in keeping with worldly standards or biblical ones?

I asked a friend who is having a hard time with coming to weekend services why he doesn't come oftain. His reason was that they are boreing. When he started talking about the group he is apart of that meets weekly and discusses Gods word together, prays and shares a meal he was passionate and he discribed his time as life changing and relevant.

Which defenition of church was he describing for positive impact?

This next model is not something I came up with on my own but read about.

How would you feel if on a Sunday morning you came to your regular weekend service to find not rows of chairs or pews but round tables with eight chairs in a horse shoe pattern facing the stage?
As the musicians came on the scene it was business as usual followed by a sermon that was shorter then usual and followed by, wait for it, a set of three questions on the overhead screen and 30 min of dissusion time.

Would you as a regular weekend service attender come back?

Would you bring a friend or co-worker who is unchurched?

As the church are we taking time to raise up people who are good sitters and listeners or are we raising up a people who know what God says and are doing it.

If church is about listening and watching for an hour and a half how can we expect Christians to know how to answer questions at work and at home about who God is and why he is relevant?

Equipping the saints isn't just about giving instruction it's about creating opportunity for hands on gift use.

Church is not supposed to be a spectator sport but it sure looks like it from the back of a service.

Is the model for church stuck in a two sense (listening and seeing) expression in 5 sense body?

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Merriam-Webster. Definition describes it as follows:

To recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of.

I didn't grow up feeling validated by my dad and therefore sought it out from other men in my life, only to be let down by their imperfection.


When we are validated we are seen as being able.


"Do I have what it takes?"

Who has the perspective to say yes or no to that?


Physics tells us a strong base or foundation is key to successful structure.

If that is true then the lack of an established base effects the success of in this case a boy becoming a man.

Who can build a boy to become a man?

Illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy.

Bringing to light the worth of something comes from knowing what that worth is can a person see the worth of another, I mean really see it?

Giving evidence of something requires knowledge of something.

Can we show evidence to another of how their being alive has worth with our human understanding?

I began to realize recently that I needed to find validation from my heavenly father and from Him alone.

I had been seeking worth, recognition and establishment from people and found I wasn't having my needs met.

Easy solution no human input only God input.

Hold on.

There is a reason that God chose to put human beings togeather in family units that make up communities we need something from each other.

But how do we balance the need for friends, leaders and peers building into us and the need to be established and built by God?

A new word has come into my space CONFIRMATION it's a powerful word.

Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:

The process of supporting a statment by evedence.

I see the need to have confirmations by those God has placed in our lives to support us in understanding what God has called us to and equipped us for.

Without confirmation we can be led into a place where we don't see enough of what's going on.

If we are moving in a direction without confirmation about what we are doing we can fall prey to pride and foolish action.

Our worth cannot be tied to what people think of us but are actions are needing to be subject to confirmation to help us.

I believe our God and Father who called us and establishes us will confirm his plan and direction from those he has put into our lives even if they don't know him personally.

Take away till next time.

Say this with me out loud.

I am established and given worth only by God my Father who sees me wholly.
No person can make or break me.

I need godly fellowship around me to confirm my gifts, talents and abilities to strengthen and support me so I can live out Gods purposes in my life with success.

Validated by your Heavenly Father.
Confirmed by those He's placed around you.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter part 3. Scars

I have scars, I have two on my head from accidents and one on my side where my appendices was taken out. They are evidence of trama done to my body.

I have other scars to but you can't see them scars of things done to me that brought trama that in the doing left no sign and yet cut deeper and hurt more then all three physical incidences put togeather. We all have scars like that, scars of words without thought or with great intent.

We all know the emotional wounds that leave scars on our hearts and yet as I have processed my way through so much healing the scars that I have had the hardest time coming to terms with are not the ones I bear but the ones I have left on others.

You know what I'm talking about, we have all said and done things to others that have cut deep and left scars on those around us.

I have been moved as I have traveled the road toward the cross this year to look at the scars my actions have caused.

I have realised that this year what I needed to leave at the cross was my guilt and shame for the scars I have left on you and others I have met.

In Matthew 20:25,27 we learn that Jesus had scars from his time on the cross that stayed with his resurrected body. I think it was a reminder for those he encountered that it cost him something to hang there and yet as I have looked these last months at my scars and the scars I have given I can't help but realise that they don't matter. Not really, not any more because the scars that Jesus kept remind me today that I don't have to keep mine as reminders and I dont have to be ashamed of those I gave because his scars are the payment for both sets.

I have been asking what has God been asking you to give up this Easter at the cross and this is it for me.
I am giving up the scars I have given and the scars I have received and I am saying they don't matter not anymore because my savior kept his so I didn't have to keep mine.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter part 2. Grace.

What is Grace anyways.

In his book "What's So Amazing About Grace" author Phillip Yancey tells a story that is hard to hear.
It's about a woman who has been renting out her two year old daughter. He is shocked, overwhelmed and asks "why didn't you go to the church for help?" The reply is worse then the actions of the mother "why would I go there?" She retorts "They would just make me feel worse"

Hopelessness leads to horrible acts but the grace of God is bigger then both.

Grace is giving love that could not be earned to those who don't even want it.

I have been wrestling with the concept and the application of grace in my life this last while.

As a Christian I think about grace as a gift, a gift from God in the form of Jesus making a way out of death into life by his death I understand that grace is free and I realize that it cost Jesus his life to give it but until recently I didn't realize there is a flip side to grace a side which as a broken per christian I never had reason to acknowledge and as an immature christian I didn't encounter.

My need to give Grace.

Grace given in accordance to Gods measuring cup means without reason, without end and without reserve.

Grace given this way changed my whole life it changed the world and it is still changing the world.

Grace costs the giver everything.

Nothing in life is free, nothing of value is free so of course grace can't be free not really.

Grace is a free gift to receive but not to give. That truth hits me so hard that sometimes I can't breath.

This last while God has been asking me if I am willing to give grace as it has been given to me, lavishly, shamelessly, without thought of reciprocation?

I have recently started the process of restoring relationship with my mom it's been about eight years since the relationship crashed.

My grace is enough is all I would get from God when I asked him how I was supposed to make headway toward restoration do I want this enough to fight in the face of her not wanting me back, it's been harder then I could have imagined.

"My grace is enough"

When the Holy Spirit told this to Paul he was telling him "No" to release from "a thorn in the flesh" a tormentor in Paul's life.

The message to Paul then is true for me now. The trial is here its not going away and my grace will sustain you but it will also be the thing that will be the corner stone for the work that God is doing in my life, as it was for Paul.

The flip side of grace is the cost of giving it, everything.

If I truly am a follower of Christ and called to be as he is and do as he does then I have to give grace as he does and as oftain as he does.

Jesus gave everything to us on the cross and he did it knowing we may not accept it and even scorn his gift.

As a crucifier of my savior I spit into the face of that gift for years and saw the love never ending poured out from his heart through his body here on earth, the church, and it's now my turn to show grace.

It's Easter now and this weekend we take time to acknowledge our saviors death and resurrection and the hope it gave to us and the grace he gave and gives.

Ask yourself what is required of me now that I see how much grace was given and at such a cost.

This Easter what is God asking of you?