I have no sense of imagination. I will miss Eugene Peterson.
Peterson saw pastors moving from church to church, often in exhaustion, and identified the problem—a sense of pastor as program director for a church that often viewed the gospel as a way to success, or at least avoidance of suffering. His answer was a paradigm shift, but not the kind found in ministry self-help bestsellers.
“The paradigm shift is not accomplished by a change of schedule, attending a ministry workshop, or getting fitted in a new suit of spiritual disciplines—although any or all of these might be useful,” he wrote. “It is the imagination that must shift, the huge interior of our lives that determines the angle and scope of our vocation. A long, prayerful soak in the biblical imaginations of Ezekiel and St. John, those antitheses to flat-earth programmatics, is a place to start.” From this article.
I have finished my little project in Acts and am now making my way through Ephesians. This small letter has played such a massive role in my life in the past 20 plus years, it is a joy to walk through these passages again. I simply can’t grasp the majesty and wonder of what Paul poured into these words. Continue reading “Mind-blowing realities of the Kingdom of God”
I have mentioned the project I am on currently. The Lord has me working my way through Acts again, jotting notes on what I have learned in life and ministry and study over 30 years of this wonderful journey through the Bible.
Acts has had such significance in my life in leading me in ministry and life decisions. What I didn’t realize was that the Lord was leading me into this project to speak to me about Acts and my life yet again. Continue reading “The profound joy of being IN the Word”
In Acts 19, Paul finds a handful of people following Jesus and much as they know how to follow at that point in time. He then completes the story for them, baptizes them, and then they are filled with the Spirit. Verse 7 is notable: There were about twelve men in all. Continue reading “God doesn’t mind small beginnings”
I am working my way through Acts in a new notebook. As I journey through Acts, I am putting down what I have learned in study and in ministry life over 30 years. At least three major turns in my life and ministry have come in Acts 10, 16, and 20. They are vivid in my mind and I am grateful to the Lord for making the written word come alive in my heart and life.
It is the story of Paul in Acts 16 that has me in Alabama now. The Lord used that passage to direct me and show his hand in my life over the previous year as he moved me from one type of ministry to another.
The written word, with the power of the Spirit, brings us to the living Word. We hear him. And I am grateful.
A few weeks ago in church I had a serious challenge drop into my heart from the Spirit. I was just entering the Book of Acts and the Gospel of John as part of my daily reading. I am using the daily reading from the Book of Common Prayer through this season. When I get to Advent, I hope to switch to a new daily reading schedule that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) puts out. Continue reading “Has the Word been pouring through me?”
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4, ESV) Continue reading “The key to Pentecost”