There were some crazy ideas of “the prophetic” when I was growing up and then when I was early in ministry. There are still some wild ideas about what it means to be “prophetic” even today. Some things just keep recycling. Here is what I have concluded as I keep walking through Jeremiah and Daniel in my work on “Living in Babylon”:Continue reading “To walk in the prophetic”
“But holiness is in wild and furious opposition to all such banality and blandness. We are introduced to it through the stories of the burning bush in Milan, the mountain on fire at Sinai, the smoke- and angel-filled temple in Jerusalem. We find ourselves in the presence of God alive, with life far in excess of anything we imagined. This God-life cannot be domesticated or used; it can only be entered into on its own terms. Moses and Isaiah walked out of those stories on fire themselves, energized for lifelong, life-giving vocations. Holiness did not make God smaller so they could use God in convenient and manageable projects. It made those men larger so God could give out life through them, extravagantly, spontaneously.”
— Eugene Peterson, As Kingfishers Catch Fire
We all face it as Christian leaders. It’s the temptation of being “up front.” There is a level of influence we have that we pretend to “not want,” but down deep… we like it there. Continue reading “The temptation of the stage”
This summer has been an increase of pressure in my life. Most certainly know this, and this summer has been one of those time periods for me. Add to that all the craziness in our world and what we have is a toxic mixture of anxiety. Continue reading “Dealing with anxiety”
We have struggles with how to “be the church” in western Christianity. Do we invite people to come in? Do we just plunge ourselves “out there”? How much do we get “involved” in other peoples’ lives? Continue reading “Touching the leper”
I posted on Facebook, linking to an article about these crazy “anti-Sharia” rallies that took place yesterday. We had one in Minnesota that was small in number and big in coverage. Continue reading “The prophetic center — Why I can’t stay quiet any longer”
“THE PUZZLE IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LIVE so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly. Continue reading “Why do we live so badly?”
What we say matters. I’m not careful enough about this. I need those reminders on a consistent basis that what does come out of my mouth is only from the abundance of what is in my heart (Luke 6:45). Continue reading “Words matter”
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing. (Ps. 34:9)
We don’t like that word “fear.” We’ve let it be stolen by our weak definitions. We can try “revere” the Lord… but what does THAT mean?
The concept of truly bowing to the One who is “wholly other” and acknowledge that HE is God… and WE are not… has become a foreign thought. We are so into ourselves and how we think, then God must be more… well… like us.
We have made God into our own images. Small, tiny images… and then called it “great.”
Don’t understand the “atonement” or the “wrath of God?” Turn it into “cosmic child abuse” and feel better!
Think that word “sin” is just a bit to harsh? Then try the word “issues” and move on.
We have moved away from an understanding of “fear of the Lord,” where we fall to our knees in worship because he is GOD. He is supreme. He is majestic. He is great and worthy of all our attention… and obedience. We willingly submit to his call and his way. We long to follow his way because following him doesn’t diminish us, it fulfills us.
We have diminished God, made him into our image and jettisoned the “fear” of the Lord. And as a result, we move from “lacking nothing” to having nothing.
The tragedy is when we get to that place, we most likely don’t even recognize it. We’ve become our own little god… and that feels pretty good.
Lord, we lack. Without you, without your rule and reign in our lives, we are so diminished. With you, we have ALL we need. But that must come with sacrifice and surrender on our part. You are a GOOD God! You provide all we need and it is abundant. Move us away from our tiny little desires and bring us into the abundance of your Kingdom and presence. We need you. Let us take you as YOU are, and not as the tiny image we have in our minds. Heal us and bring us into Kingdom power. Amen.
Working our way through our Multiply material this week, our small group has come to a sobering conclusion: God really wants our FULL attention when we come to him. He has given us ALL of himself… so we need to take the care necessary to approach a HOLY God with reverence, with attention, with deep awe and respect. He is so worth it.
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Heb. 9:15)
Lord, I take worship too lightly. I am so concerned about time… weather… temperature… sound volume… I take so little care to ask, “Lord, do I come ready?” Forgive me, Lord. Set my heart on you. For your glory. Amen.