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Showing posts from June, 2014

PONDERINGS OF A PENITENT PASTOR

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Can I be honest as a pastor? As one called to oversee the house, I get concerned. In many churches including my own, there are more takers than givers. I find myself giving account to God and saying that we are not taking care of the next generation in the house. We don’t always clean up after ourselves and we do not prepare the house adequately for the Master’s dwelling.
We like to wait for the Master’s return so he will wash our feet and prepare our table. When God is in the house, we are sometimes startled awake and realize that we were not ready.
How are we doing as managers in God’s house? I’m the pastor so I know the buck stops here. I have more accountability to God than you would want. God wants to know what I am doing with the people I serve and oversee. I want to tell God that they are all awake and sensitive to the needs of the house. I want to tell Him that you are being really good to your neighbours.
I want to tell God that you are exceedingly generous and always ready to…

YOUR LIFE AS A MANAGER

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I think we need to understand that God is looking for a response from us. What we choose to do or not do with God’s investment in us is consequential.


Do you think it makes any difference how we live in God’s Kingdom? Since we are saved by grace, does it make any difference whether we are awake or asleep in the light?


Luke 12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

A good manager takes responsibility for maintaining and improving upon that which is given to them. Lousy managers say, ‘It’s not my job… You can only do so much… it’s better to do nothing than to take a risk. Really, what difference does it make?’
The problem with that style of management is the surprise visits made by the boss. God is not impressed when we are careless with what we have been given.


IMAGE MANAGEMENT CALLED AND THEY SAID, 'YOU'RE FIRED!'

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Often the Kingdom of God is described in word pictures. We are to understand invisible realities that speak through visible matter. When you look at the physical conditions, you are given a spiritual message.

Jesus teaches us that it is our nature to evaluate by what we see in another person, but God looks at the heart of the individual. We might judge a book by its cover, but God reads the book.
So many are frustrated with feeling judged for what they have or do not have. For some, image management is a full time job. They spend all their waking hours trying to achieve success, acquire possessions and find meaning in the things they do. ‘Fake it until you make it’ is a valued motto.
Image management called and they said, ‘You’re Fired!’
God’s Kingdom is counter-intuitive to all that stuff. We are to find our significance and power by laying it all down. We die to self and live to God. In doing so, we are given an eternal inheritance that cannot be taken from us.
So what do we do now th…

STARTING AGAIN WITH A NEW WALLET

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Have you ever thinned out your wallet or purse? If you can, take a moment and see what’s there.
There are many things in life that we can live without, but the wallet or purse is often where we keep our methods of payment (cash, debit card, credit) and forms of identification.
We tend to keep things there that we are going to use, but sometimes their usefulness expires. Who has an expired card, a note to self or a random item that no longer has significance? Don’t begin to list all the contents of a large handbag. I’m afraid to put my hand in there!
In the same way we need to review contents occasionally, the wallet is just a microcosm of our life contents. When I take stock of my inventory, I try to live by the motto, ‘If in doubt, throw it out’. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to lay hands on what you actually need in the moment.
It follows that Jesus would have something to say to us about the stuff we accumulate in life.

Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your F…

GOD AND THE KIDS

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A common sight in Jesus’ time was a father and mother coming to Jesus asking that He bless their children. The Lord was more than willing to oblige. 
While his disciples were more inclined to set children aside, Jesus said ‘Do not prevent them from coming to me[i]’. He sided with the parents who cared about their child’s future.
The disciples’ attitudes are contrasted with Jesus. Today, there are still two attitudes toward children and toward the vulnerable. God’s great love and preferential treatment for them is contrasted with those who are more concerned with their own benefit, well-being and comfort.
Perhaps one of the most difficult stories for us to understand is found in Genesis 22. God tests Abraham by asking him to take his son Isaac to Mount Moriah, and there offer him as a human sacrifice.
Human sacrifice is found globally in ancient cultures. Abraham’s generation worshipped fertility gods that required the sacrifice of children.We hear the story and are shocked that the true…