Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Life for the Birds

For the Birds 2001 from Le Thanh Sang on Vimeo.

Small Group Dynamics asks if anything like what you see in this video has happened in a small group setting. What do you think is the main small group dynamic that must be in place to keep this kind of thing from happening?

That's Life at Work!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Where I Am

I would rather say something about where I am than where I'm not. I am in ministry with my wife to bring about radical change in the way we do marriage – not just "us" as in me and her; all of us. Even if you "do marriage right," the way that your experience is shared with other needs to change.

My marriage was horrible a number of years ago and help was not easy to find. Being in ministry made help harder to find. We were shown mercy and we got some assistance, but we will make sure that others don't find aid so difficult to find in the future.

We will do that by coaching couples through spiritual change that will lead to radical change in relationships. We will accomplish that by helping churches develop ministries that focus on marriage. We will promote and develop pre-marriage ministries for universities and communities. We will be proactive in every way to:

  1. Minimize the occurrences of divorce.
  2. Maximize the percentage of homes characterized by marital holiness and joy.

I'm not in "local ministry" anymore. Since 1984, ministry for me has been primarily about local churches. I was a youth minister for a church in Vicksburg, MS; and I preached for churches in Winona and Steens, MS; Cleveland, Tennessee; and Yukon, OK. As of June 30, 2010, my ministry has changed. Because JeannaLynn and I have a particular fondness for couples in ministry, my prayer is that twenty years from now, we will have helped untold numbers of preachers and their wives continue in ministry that otherwise might have collapsed because of unhealthy marriage.

You can follow the links on the side to What God Has Joined Ministries to see what we are about. We have a blog there, too. I'm going to continue to post on this blog because preaching and things pertaining to preaching are in my blood.

Pray for this new direction, please. Come back soon. There are a couple of things I've got in mind to write here. That's Life at Work.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Value of Spiritual Mindset

Paul told the Romans that those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. I believe that a spiritual mindset could also be described as desiring to do what is good (7:18), delighting in God's law (7:22), or being in one's mind a slave to God's law (7:25). Paul's struggle as one who wanted to do right, but didn't do it, put him in a horrible predicament as long as he was under the Law of Moses. He was dead even though he wanted to do right. After all, the law of sin and death is "You sin, you die."

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, though! As a baptized believer, Paul had died to sin and the law of the Spirit of Life had set him free from the law of sin and death. Before faith, when he sinned, he died. That was the law.

Now a more powerful law put him in a relationship with God in which when he sinned, because he has the Spirit, he lived! The law of sin and death had no authority in his life.

If you are in Christ, you have your mindset on what the Spirit desires. You know what the Spirit desires! His fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You know that when you are struck, his way directs you to turn the other cheek. The Spirit's way is one of "extra-mile" living, enemy loving, truth telling, marriage sticking, anger controlling, self-less giving, cross carrying, Christ-modeled forgiving, and mercy offering.

When you have the war going on between what you desire in your mind and what you actually do in the flesh, you can be assured that God knows your mindset, he knows your heart, and for you there is no condemnation when you do what you don't want to do – or fail to do what you want to do. We don't have to worry over "the wretched man" syndrome. Yet, doesn't the war in our minds make us want to get better at the battle? Of course it does. Considering the power of sin, is there any hope for that? After all, while my salvation is not based on my ability to ultimately refuse all temptation, committing the sin does often still consequences beyond the sorrow.

N. T. Wright wrote After You Believe (Harper Collins Publishers) and Relevant magazine ( included an excerpt in the article "Living in the In-Between" (July-Aug 2010, p. 66-67). He addressed the impact of spiritual "effort and concentration" (i.e. mindset). His description of "virtue" from 2 Peter 1:5 ("goodness" in NIV), affirms the hope we have for winning more battles by God's grace!

Virtue, in this sense, isn't simply another way of saying "goodness." The word has sometimes been flattened out like that (perhaps because we instinctively want to escape its challenge). Virtue, in this strict sense, is what happens when someone has made a thousand small choices, requiring effort and concentration, to do something which is good and right but which doesn't "come naturally" - and then, on the thousand and first time, when it really matters, they find that they do what's required "automatically," as we say. On that thousand and first occasion, it does indeed look as if it "just happens"; but reflection tells us it doesn't just happen as easily as that. Virtue doesn't come by accident. It comes through the self-discipline required to do anything in life really well - to learn a musical instrument, to mend a tractor, to give a lecture, to run an orphanage. Or, indeed, to live as a wise human being.

A mindset on holy living reveals that we are "in Christ" where there is not condemnation. That same mindset is the beginning for developing Christ-like virtue so that we can live as wise citizens, employees, husbands, wives, parents, and children.

Care to mention virtue in a particular area that you've seen grow in someone – even yourself?

That's Life at Work!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is It Lawful for a Man to Divorce His Wife?

John the Baptist had been killed because he came down on the wrong side of a marriage issue, at least as Herod and Herodias saw it. The Pharisees who approached Jesus with the question, "It is lawful for a man to divorce his wife," were testing Jesus, probably hoping that when his answer became known, Herod would have the head of Jesus on a platter, too.

Jesus was direct. He spoke with authority. He answered with scripture and he cleared up the question. He reminded them of God's plan that predated Moses' permission. The plan was that a man would leave his father and mother, be united with his wife, they would be one flesh, and never be separated (Genesis 2:24). Because humans had hard hearts leading to unprotected divorced women, God demanded through the word of Moses that when divorce occurred, a protective order was to be given to the wife. It was a divorce certificate. Still due to the hardness of hearts, men began to use the certificate of divorce as a permission slip for adultery. They knew they couldn't just go have sex with another woman, so they divorced their wives, felt justified because of the divorce certificate, and married the current attraction. The protective order was never intended to be an adultery pass, but that's the way they used it. Jesus taught the testers what God intended from the beginning. "What God has joined let no man separate."

We need to go back to the beginning, too. Sometimes with all the discussion about who can remarry when there has been a divorce, what should the church do when a couple has divorced, and what roles can divorced people fill in church life, we miss Jesus' main point; a point which is not about remarriage. His main point is that God has made two people one flesh. They are joined by Him, and mankind must not separate what God has joined.

Here are three major ways that we have missed the focus of Jesus:

First, we've ignored divorce altogether. People get divorced in our communities and churches and we wear blinders so that we can keep thinking happy thoughts and don't have to address it. Perhaps divorce is so common, it doesn't register when people who aren't in our immediate family are going through it. Maybe the pain of divorce is so real to us, we can't talk about it ourselves or we don't want to inflict pain on those going through divorce so we don't say a word. Anyway, at the end of the day, it looks like we ignore divorce.

Second, we get focused on whether someone is going to remarry. A couple can have trouble for months and few if any offer them help to stay together. Then they say they are going to divorce and everybody wants to know, "Is it scriptural?" What we mean is, "If you are going to remarry, your divorce has to be because of fornication, or you'll be committing adultery." God's first concern is to keep the marriage together, and that must become our first concern, too. Church, get involved earlier!

Third, we've offered long-term divorce care in churches, but not divorce protection. We love Divorce Care. We believe it ought to be part of your comprehensive marriage ministry. For many churches, however, it is the marriage ministry. We must help divorced people heal. We must also help married people heal so that they don't divorce!

We can't let any of these things keep us from speaking the truth about divorce in love. Surely there is a way to communicate the message of Jesus about divorce complete with his call to sticktuitiveness, and his compassion and forgiveness for those who have stumbled in this way (James 3:2).


To the divorced: There is a message from God for you and it is a message of healing and hope.

To the married: Remember God's will. He made you one and he wants you to remain "one flesh." What God has joined, let no man separate.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Everything I Need to Know About Marriage, I Learned at High School Graduation

  1. Achievement ought to be celebrated! There is a time to dance. Don't go on to the next thing until you've rejoiced some. Before you ask for future blessings, express your gratitude for what you've had.
  2. Change, sometimes difficult change, is the only way to the next big thing! Jesus, "for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Making the decision, making the move, and adjusting in the transition are difficult, but there is glory on the other side. Press toward the goal of a "full life" kind of marriage!
  3. It's not just a piece of paper. It is very important! A diploma represents the learning you've experienced. A marriage license represents the commitment you've made – legally and spiritually. Don't skip that step and don't treat it with contempt once you've got it.
  4. Knowledge must lead to wisdom and action! Quoting Ephesians 5:33 and walking it are not the same. Husbands, love your wives! Wives, respect your husbands. Want to know how? Check out Love and Respect in the book, on CD or on DVD.
  5. Friendship is essential. God was right when he said, "It's not good for man to be alone." Friends were critical in high school and celebrating with others is better than celebrating alone. Friendship is critical in marriage. Be a friend to your spouse and have other Christian Couple friends. It makes life better! Much better!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Crown at His Feet

Interested in the perspective of a queen? Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) thought about her own death and the return of Christ and said, "I wish I could be alive when Christ returns because I would like to be the first earthly monarch to take my crown and lay it at his feet."

Elizabeth I never married. Some suggest that one of the reasons was that she would have relinquished royal power if she had a husband next to her; and she didn't want that. If that's true, it wasn't any man, or any love, that could compel her to relinquish her power. Christ alone compelled her.

Jesus has been given the name that is above every name that at his name every knee should bow. Our dream of humbly bowing to his feet when he returns reflects our heart of humility before him while we are waiting for the return. Give him your crown, your attention, your heart, and your love now. Then when you bow before him at his return, both of you will be smiling. That's Life at Work!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Changing Church

Two men sat on a park bench, eating lunch and talking about their church experience. With an expression of consternation, one said to the other, "My congregation is becoming more Christ-like… the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Leadership Journal, Fall 2008, p. 82)

Some of you will read that and immediately think, "What is he complaining about? The church should be just like it was yesterday and should stay like it is into the future!" Others of you will read it and think, "I understand that frustration. The only thing my church has changed in twenty years is the number of people who come. We've been in decline for ten years!"

So, should the church change?

Absolutely not!

And Definitely yes!

When the Hebrew writer said that Jesus was the same yesterday, today and forever he was warning the readers to guard against departing from the new, better covenant. Those who had taught them had led godly lives following Jesus. If they followed the same way, they would live godly lives, too. The consistency of Jesus confirms that truth. "Stick with what you've learned from those who taught you," the writer contends! Grace is much more beneficial than ceremonial foods!

Few people actually believe though that the church should not change in any way. I say "few." I don't know of any, but I don't know everybody.

We meet in buildings with padded pews. We sing songs from books or screens. We evangelize via Facebook, blogs, or church websites. We print material, we purchase advertisements, we have bank accounts (perhaps blank accounts right now), we own property and pave parking lots, we drink our fruit of the vine from tiny plastic cups, and we stare at the back of the head of the person in front of us during the communion. We baptize people in chlorinated water circulated through filters. We have Bible Classes and Children's Bible Hour. We wear suits on Sunday mornings (at least the real Christian men do) and jeans on Sunday night. The readers of Hebrews didn't do any of that. The list could go on and on.

Change? No way! I'll take God's grace over my filthy rags!

Change? Yes! How can we become all things to all people so that we can save some?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Believing is Seeing

Thomas saw, so he believed!  John reveals in his gospel account how Thomas came to believe in the resurrection:

"Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it," he said.

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:25-28)

We haven't seen the nail holes, but we believe.  Thomas saw and believed. What can we see because we believe?

Paul prayed that the eyes of the hearts of the faithful in Ephesus would be enlightened (1:18). He wanted them to see what they could see because they were believers.

First he wanted them to see their hope; namely, the riches of their glorious inheritance. Paul had already mentioned our inheritance when he wrote about the deposit of the Holy Spirit and the guarantee he represents (1:14); so I really believe that Paul is saying that we can see, through the eyes of faith, our salvation that will be seen when Jesus returns! Language like "streets of gold" and "gates of pearl" are is used to help us picture heaven. We also love the language of victory, eternal life, and glory! Our faith gives us the ability to see that the spiritual blessings of redemption, adoption, and forgiveness with culminate in Heaven! Can you see it?

Then Paul mentioned that he wants us to be able to see with the eyes of our heart that the power God used to raise Jesus from the dead works for us as we live our lives for God. We are the "fullness of him who fills everything in every way!" (1:23). Accomplishing the work of Jesus who will accomplish the work of God seems like an impossible role until we see by faith that God's incomparably great power is at work in our lives! We can accomplish the dream of God because we are empowered by God! The hungry can be fed! The enslaved can be set free! The oppressed can be rescued! The lost can be saved! Can you see it?

That's Life at Work!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Is This?

You're staring out your window watching a tornado in the distance. The sirens have been going off for the last fifteen minutes. The helicopters from the news channels are broadcasting video of this destructive beast and the predictions are that it will be in your neighborhood in five minutes. A man walks across your line of sight. He's in your yard. You wonder, "Doesn't he know? Doesn't he care?" He's looking at this storm. He seems to have no fear. You rush out to warn him; perhaps even to bring him inside to whatever safety you can offer. Instead of running back inside to safety, though, he looks at the tornado and… now get this… he rebukes the storm and says, "Quiet. Be still." Then the wind died down and it was completely still (Mark 4:39).

There are tons of parents who can't even say that to their five year old and it actually happen, but Jesus spoke to the storm and it obeyed! The storm obeyed Jesus!

Who is this? Read that with a voice of terrorized amazement! That's the question that the disciples in the boat asked. Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey him?

Frankly, Jesus seems somewhat surprised. Could he be annoyed, even? Did Jesus get annoyed?

Anyway, Jesus asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? What does he mean by, "Do you still have no faith"? Well, remember what Jesus has already done. He's gotten the "thumbs up" from the great, yet decreasing man of God, John the Baptist. He has cast out demons and amazed people with his teaching. He has cleansed a man of his leprosy, restored health to a shriveled hand, and gave walking ability to a man flat on his back. Why are they afraid? Don't they know their traveling companion by now? Haven't they figured out who he is? Don't they realize that they can put their trust in him?

What about us, though? Here we are on this side of the exorcism of Legion, the healing of the woman who just touched his clothing, the resurrection of Jairus' child, the feeding of the thousands, the walking on water, and his own resurrection and ascension to the right hand of Almighty God! And when somebody asks for the reason for our hope, we have doubts as to whether we'll really be saved? When we're hurting we question whether he is "with us?" When we're in financial straits, we wonder if we can stay devoted to his kingdom and righteousness? Really? After all that? Including his resurrection?

You can trust him! You can have faith! You can rely on him! That's Life at Work!


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Devise a Plan for Reconciliation

Have you booted anybody out of your life? Whom have you banished from your presence? Anybody? I'm not necessarily asking who literally is not welcome around you anymore. Perhaps that's true of someone; but who can't get close to you? Are you so angry with a wife, disappointed in a child, irritated at a parent, or hurt by a former friend that you have shut them out?

King David had a son named Absalom who had killed his brother Amnon because Amnon had raped his sister Tamar. It was a horrible chain of events fueled by lust, lying, and unbridled anger. The result was that one son was dead, a daughter was in mourning, and Absalom was banished. David longed for Absalom, but he couldn't move beyond his torment.

A wise woman approached David with a sad story of her own, but it turned out her story wasn't true. Instead it was designed to help David think outside of his own circumstances. She illustrated David's need to let Absalom back in with these powerful words: "But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him" (2 Samuel 14:14).

God creates a way for shut out people to come back in! Is it time for you to let somebody get close again? Isn't it time to end the pain with reconciliation? That's Life at Work!

Tell me, what's the most important part of the plan on your part when you want to reconcile with someone who has been banished from you?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Somebody Better Say Something!

The demons identified Jesus as the Son of God, and Jesus gave them strict orders to keep quiet about his identity (Mark 3:11-12). His family thought he was out of his mind, and the Pharisees used their words of doubt as an occasion to accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon himself (3:20-22). The demons knew the truth, but didn't need to be speaking it. Jesus' family and Pharisees didn't know the truth, so their doubts and accusations were detrimental to the cause.

Somebody needed say something! And Jesus found the somebodies. He found twelve men and appointed them ambassadors. We usually call them "apostles." He called them so that they would spend time with him; and then be sent by him to preach, and to show that he was not possessed by demons, but had power over them (3:14)!

The doubters are still talking. Believers better say something! That's Life at Work!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Passing the Torch

My blog buddy, fellow-servant, MBC grad, and friend John Dobbs is asking about preachers who influenced us. He wants to know who Passed the Torch to others. One of the preachers who passed the torch to John was my Dad, Cecil May, Jr. He passed to me, too.

When I was born, Dad was preaching for the Fulton Church of Christ in Fulton, MS. When I was 6 months old, he got a job at Columbia Christian in Portland, OR; but that was on the left coast in the late 60's, and we didn't stay long. By the time I was three, we were already back in Mississippi, and dad was preaching at the Vicksburg Church of Christ, high on the hill on the north side of I-20. We stayed there until I was in the 5th grade, so I began listening to sermons while in Vicksburg. I heard some great ones. I can't tell you the title of one of them. I couldn't give you an outline or the name of series he preached. What I know is that I grew there and I know other people grew; and I believe that was a result of his preaching.

When we moved to Florence, AL, in the middle of my fifth grade year (and I only had one 5th grade year), we went to the church that met on the campus of International Bible College, now Heritage Christian University. There were some great preachers there. Great preachers already, and others who would be great preachers. Charles Coil was powerful, and his way, if you know what I mean, was something to be respected. James Long was preaching a sermon about dying to self on the day that I was baptized. He was a great preacher. Jim Martin was there. He's a great preacher. But the preaching that I remember the most was the preaching I heard from Dad as we travelled all over Alabama and Mississippi. One sermon he called "Husbands, Wives, and Tongues." He preached that in a lot of meetings. I was never sorry to hear that I was going to hear it again. It was the most practical sermon. I wonder how that sermon played a role in my passion for marriage ministry now.

Even after we moved from Florence, then, Cecil May was the preacher who most often had my ear. That changed finally in 1989. Another preacher got my ear then. I've heard this guy nearly every Sunday since. He is me. But I like to think, that in all of my sermons, I still get to hear a bit of my dad.

I've got to say that the most significant lessons I learned from my dad, I learned watching him. I could write about what a good pastor he was. I think you know what I mean. But he was, and is a great family man. He loves my mother, and I never had reason to wonder if I would live in a broken home. He is also a great dad. If I had a dollar for every time he told me that he was proud of me, I could have funded Magnolia Bible College for the next hundred years. I preach a lot of grace, and I learned grace from him – from his sermons certainly, but moreso from his home-life – from the way he treated me.

As my dad grows older, he is still doing some great preaching. He spoke at a church leader's event for Oklahoma Christian two years ago. He did a great job! I'm still hearing about it from leaders from around here who still tell me that they heard it and appreciated it.

When I think about the preachers dad has influenced, including me, my brother, and my brother-in-law, this verse comes to mind with a little adaptation for the circumstances:

"The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old, but his blood runs through my instrument, and his sermon's in my soul; my life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band."

Thanks to Cecil May, Jr., my Dad, who is still educating and training preachers at the V.P. Black School of Biblical Studies, for passing the torch to me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

UBU - Any Rapper Writers from Churches of Christ?

I doubt that all preachers from Churches of Christ are immune from the temptation to imitate a favorite preacher? Watch this video from Ed Young and then write a lyric or two about us. Be cool about it. This could be fun.

Why Does He Talk Like That?

I've had people tell me that I don't have a strong Mississippi accent. That seems unusual. The first half of my life was lived in Mississippi and Alabama. There was a short, short move to Oregon when I was 6 months old, but I don't think my accent changed there. When I think about the question, "Why doe s he talk like that," I picture an eight year old Mississippi boy hearing a Bostonian for the first time in his life." "Why does talk like that?"

The Pharisees were not concerned with Jesus' accent. It wasn't the way he said, forgive." Their concern was that he said he could do it! "Why does he talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Why does he talk like that? Jesus says the things he does because he has the authority! He's got the power! He proved that he has the power by telling the paralytic to get up and walk. Actually, to be precise, he proved that he has the power because when he told the paralytic to walk, the man did!

When the man walked out in full view of everybody, the people were amazed. They said, "We've never seen anything like this!" Mark tells us this story, because he wants to be amazed at Jesus. We didn't see the paralytic walk, but, no doubt, we can still say with the people, "We've never seen anything like this?"

Is there a counter-cultural teaching of Jesus that Mark would include right after a miracle like this if he were writing just to you? What amazing teaching of Jesus would be important for you to hear right you were amazed at the way Jesus spoke and the way he healed the paralytic?

Would Mark try to show you that people are more important than rules to God? Is there a need for you understand that message about Jesus being accessible to sinners because they really know they have to have him? Would he tell you to let your light shine and be courageous in faith? Would he tell you to commit to your marriage? Do you need to be amazed at his teaching about the dangers of loving money or how real leaders serve?

Jesus has spoken about your life! What amazing teaching do you need to take into your heart right now? That's Life at Work!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

When They Leave

He was a devout believer. He was saved by God's mercy. He had eternal life because of his faith in Christ Jesus.

He was a loving husband, a dedicated deacon with an evangelistic fervor. He passed his faith to his children. His wife was strong in faith, too; largely because of his spiritual leadership in the home.

And then an unbeliever at work asked him a question. It was a difficult question with philosophical and theological crossings. The devout believer knew there had to be a good answer, but he didn't know it immediately. He was an engineer. He spent 50 hours a week at a nuclear plant, so he did what most of us do when we need an answer to a question like that; he asked someone who he thought would have studied the issue. But he wasn't taken seriously; and the answer he received was puny. It didn't make sense to him and it sure wasn't going to make sense the unbeliever.

As the unbeliever half-heartedly delivered the puny answer, he was asked another difficult question – and another, and another, and another. Over a number of months, as he tried to discover for himself answers to questions and as he was offered measly answers from others who didn't understand the importance of moment; the believer's faith weakened. To make a long story sad, ultimately he didn't believe at all.

The experience of the readers of John's first letter was different from mine – to state the obvious. But even regarding those who leave, there is a difference.

The readers of 1 John could name people who had left their community of faith. They left because they had never believed. They denied that Jesus had come in the flesh. They had never bought into the truth of "the Word became flesh and lived for a while among us" (1 John 1:14). And to be honest, Jesus was quite clear, "If you don't believe I Am, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). Those who didn't believe that Jesus was God incarnate left, and John says about them, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us" (1 John 2:19). His declaration about them not ever really belonging is about this situation where these anti-christs who left had never believed the truth about Jesus, so they were never really one of his disciples; they were still in their sin.

Most of the people I've seen leave the community of believers have been people who had believed, and were saved; but had lost their faith, lost hope, and forfeited their eternal life because they gave up the faith by which we are saved.

Either way, spiritual tragedy is the result

I've thought about these realities as I've thought about this story and 1 John over the years:

  1. There are faith-building answers to your questions that you can pursue and discover.
  2. Jesus really was God in the flesh and you must believe that to be saved.
  3. True believers can lose their faith.
  4. We have to take all questions seriously.
  5. Untruths can sound convincing.
  6. We have to be on our guard for our sakes, and the sake of others.

That's Life at Work!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Pot and the Potter

You turn things upside down,

as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!

Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,

"He did not make me"?

Can the pot say of the potter,

"He knows nothing"? (Isa 29:16)

Isaiah got two important messages across to the people of Judah in this short comment about a relationship with God:

  1. You can't make God what you want him to be. You can't turn things around claiming that he didn't form you; instead, you formed him. He is the original. You may form something that you worship as if it were God, but it won't be God. God Almighty existed before the world and he'll be ruling after you're dead.
  2. If anybody perishes because they don't get it, it won't be God; it will be people.

And the best thing about this potter is that he loves his creation! He's not a tyrant out to destroy you. He is your creator, he understands everything, and he is your Father! That's Life at Work!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Don’t Tell Me you’re Famous

I'm famous.

I'm talented.

I'm healed.

Some things are so obvious, they don't have to be said; they just have to be shown. You can pass by the magazine stands at the book store or watch the TV and know that Taylor Swift is famous. She wouldn't have to tell you she was famous if you met her on the street in Nashville.

He had leprosy. There was no hiding that. And since he had it, when it was miraculously gone, there was no hiding that, either. Jesus told him, "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them" (Mark 1:44).

A healing speaks a thousand words! The priests would be challenged to believe because the unclean man could quit coming to see them. Jesus touched him, and removed his disease. What does that say about Jesus?

What does it say to you? That's Life at Work!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What is This?

What is This?

I remember when we got a glimpse through the trees on that eastern end of the Grand Canyon. We were travelling along and knew we had to be close – we were in the park after all. I wasn't prepared, though, to see this huge canyon! We were thirty feet from the biggest hole in ground we've ever seen, and we didn't know it until that little gap in the trees!

What is that?

I don't know if I actually said those words; but I said something like them.

When Jesus began to preach and work his miracles, the hearers and witnesses had my reaction to the Grand Canyon times a million! (Mark 1:27)

What is this? This new teaching and with authority! There has never been anyone like Jesus! We're catching a glimpse of Jesus on Sunday mornings at South Yukon. Want to see something so spectacular, you have to question what you've just seen? Come look at Jesus from the gospel of Mark with us. That's Life at Work!