We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Matthew 6:14 A Sack of Unforgiveness

A theology class normally didn’t involve vegetables, but today would be different. The professor asked each student to bring in a clear plastic bag full of potatoes, and it couldn’t be a zip-lock bag. He told everyone to think of people they were unwilling to forgive, and then write the names of these people on their potatoes. “I want you to carry your potatoes around wherever you go this week,”the teacher explained. Put the sack by your desk at school, on the couch next to you when you watch TV, and beside your bed at night. Everyone in the class laughed over this ridiculous exercise, and during the first couple of days they felt some embarrassment whenever they were asked about the potatoes. The sacks soon became cumbersome, and a nuisance. Worse, the potatoes began to deteriorate into a nasty- smelling slime. By the end of the week each student had learned the powerful lesson that you can’t carry unforgiveness for too long before it destroys you. One student commented that in a way it is like drinking poison hoping for the other person to die.

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Phil 4 and James 4: Blue Lightning

Year-old Gilbert was the odd-man-out the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  All of the other scouts had sleekly crafted cars with cool paint jobs, obviously the result of father-son partnerships. But Gilbert’s Blue Lightning was crudely made, lopsided and a little wobbly. Worse yet, every scout had a proud dad standing by his side, but Gilbert was accompanied by Mom. In a Pinewood Derby, wooden cars race down a ramp in an elimination-style competition.  You keep racing as long as you win.  And quite unexpectedly Blue Lightning kept winning, over and over again, until it was pitted in a final contest against the sleekest, fastest-looking car there At that moment Gilbert asked if he could pray. His brow wrinkled in concentration, he prayed for a very long minute and a half. Finally he smiled and said, I’m ready To everyone’s surprise, Blue Lightning won by a nose and the crowd roared with approval. The scout master approached with a microphone and asked, Did you pray to win, son? Little Gilbert shook his head. No sir. That wouldn’t be fair. I asked God to not let me cry if I lost. That simple prayer spoke volumes to everyone present. Gilbert didn’t ask God to win, make things fair, or remove his pain. He simply prayed to endure it. How well Gilbert understood the promise of Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength or the promise of James 4, You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to consume it on your passions. But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble

Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Genesis 17 Sufficient

I was reading in Genesis 17 and was struck with God’s demand upon when he said, I am God Almighty, walk before Me and be thou perfect. Why would God give any man such an unachievable standard to live by? When I find anomalies in the Scripture or passages that seem contrary to the character of God, I just can’t let it go until I can find some resolve. So I opened the Bible and lo and behold I saw something that I hadn’t seen before. Before God tells Abraham to be perfect, he first tells him that He is God Almighty! God Almighty means the all Powerful One the all Sufficient One. You see, living perfectly COMPLETELY on God’s all sufficiency. What makes this interesting is what happened in Abraham’s life in the previous two chapters he took a second wife and had a child and COMPLETELY messed up his family! He lost sight of God’s all-sufficiency.  What a lesson this is for me. Right now I am in the midst of a great trial, a testing of my faith in regard to the future of Lamplighter Theatre. The funding for this monumental project is beyond the scope of our resources, but I am reminded that Faithful is he who calls you, who will also do it Abraham’s ability to have a child when he was 100 years old was God’s challenge not Abraham’s, because He’s all-sufficient.

Published in: on April 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm  Comments (2)  

Be Perfect

I was reading this morning in Genesis 17 and was struck with God’s demand upon Abram when he said, I am God Almighty, walk before Me and be thou perfect. It’s now close to midnight and I am still bothered by this thought of being perfect, so I’ve decided to do a little research and came upon something interesting. First, before God commands Abram to be perfect, He draws Abram’s attention to Himself. He’s God Almighty the all Powerful One, the all Sufficient One. I think I’m beginning to see the connection. Abram can live a life only as he depends on God’s all sufficiency. Actually, if you translate the word perfect to entire, I think you will have a better understanding of what God is demanding. He is helping Abram understand that his life will only be in harmony with God’s when he is totally dependant upon Him that God will be his sufficiency. This is interesting in light of the previous chapters where he made a mess of everything by taking a second wife and having a child because he misunderstood the All Sufficiency of God. What a great reminder for me as I am trying to find the funding for season 2 of Lamplighter Theatre. I have an all sufficient God!

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm  Leave a Comment