I came across a good article at Radical Christ.
Check out Missions, a Way of Life. Other than loving God, there is no other purpose for our being here.
In the last few days I've come across a couple of blog references to an article in the December issue of Wired talking about the convergence of science and religion. In the interests of "viral marketing", here's my plug.
"Ever so gingerly, science has been backing away from its case-closed attitude toward the transcendent unknown. Conferences that bring together theologians and physicists are hot, recently taking place at Harvard, the Smithsonian, and other big-deal institutions. The American Association for the Advancement of Science now sponsors a "Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion." Science luminaries who in the '70s shrugged at faith as gobbledygook - including E. O. Wilson and the late Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan - have endorsed some form of reconciliation between science and religion."
Give The New Convergence a read.
Yesterday I flew from Toronto to Vancouver (more on why I'm here in Vancouver later). Over the last few years I've taken that trip about a zillion times, and it's become my favorite place to get 5 hours of uninterrupted work and reading done. Come to think of it, it's probably the ONLY place to do that!
In my stack of reading was an article a friend had sent me a couple of weeks ago by Chip Brogden at Watchman.net. As I read it over again it blew me away again.
Check this out:
"Among Christians I have discovered something. There is Jesus, then there are all the things ABOUT Jesus that are NOT Jesus. Jesus Himself occupies only a small portion of what is said and done in Christian circles. Most of what is said and done is merely ABOUT Jesus, but it is NOT Jesus."
An how about this:
"Just as some people cannot see the forest for the trees, I believe most sinners cannot see Jesus for the Christians. And I believe most Christians cannot see Jesus for the 'church'".
Wow. When he first sent the article my friend said reading it was "like walking into a wall." He's not usually given to hyperbole, so that caught my attention. All I can say is he's right.
Check out Is Jesus Enough?
Who said anything about safe?
'Course he isn't safe.
But he's good.
Leonard Sweet recently spoke in Toronto. Here's a thought from his message that struck me.
When (and why) did we turn God into a safe God? We need to rethink this misconception that the "safest place to be" is in the centre of God's will. Try telling that to Paul:
2 Corinthians 11:24-27 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
The centre of God's will is the best place to be.
It's the only place to be.
It's definitely not the safest place to be.
Mark 4:35-41 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
It's as if Jesus is saying to us "Can't you trust me enough to ride these waves, knowing I am in the boat with you?" Think about that: we are in the boat with the God of the Universe. What could possibly frighten us?! He says "I won't speak peace into every storm in your life, but I will speak peace into you during the storms of life."
Maybe our definition needs work: Safety is not the absence of danger but the knowledge that you are doing God's will.
We could play it safe. We could sit on board and leave the boat anchored in the harbour.
Boats don't belong in the harbour; they belong on the high seas.
Jeremiah 33:3 Ask me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here.
I just read this a couple of weeks ago in my One Year Bible (NLT), and it's stuck with me. Wow - what a promise! Are we taking advantage of it... and do we really understand what it means? I don't think we're supposed to know the future, but it gives us a pretty cool insight. God is going to accomplish his will, and He'd like us to help! At the very least we should endeavor to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem! In a general sense I think He even wants us to have some idea of what He has in mind. That gets me excited!
Tell me a secret God... please!