A Little Understanding – Connect to the Foundation & Footings
In my days, as a world-renowned scientist, well not so much days, more like hours. Well not so much hours, but instead it felt like hours when I had the dream. Okay, I really know very little about science, but I do know that this little thing called gravity cannot be defied while living on the earth. When a plane takes off, it must have more power from the engines and lift from the wings than the force exerted by gravity. It flies not because it defies gravity, but instead it overcomes the force until it runs out of fuel. Once it is out of fuel, gravity, the law that no plane can defy, does what gravity does: it pulls the plane back to earth. It is the same with our Christian walk. We can hold up the basic day-to-day living of a Christ follower’s life. We can hold up the day-to-day operations and programs in the collective of Christ followers. The problem is, we were not designed to defy the laws of spiritual gravity.
How different would the parable of the Good Samaritan be today? If Jesus was asked in your country, “Who is my neighbor?” by someone claiming to follow Christian values, would the story be the same? I will take a chance and make changes to this well-known parable. I do not claim to know for a fact how Jesus would answer if He were physically walking the streets of your city or town and was asked this question. All I can say is my observations would lead me to believe that the following parable would not be out of line in Western culture and much of the developing world.
We, as Christ followers, aren’t so good at loving God fully and completely. If we aren’t so good at it, then the collective of Christ followers must suffer from the same flaw. Did you know that loving God completely is actually part of our nature? God created us that way, and until a piece of fruit and a slithering tempter altered the path of history, that’s the way it was. God created human beings different from other beings. Humans are created in the image of God and are able to think and make choices. Inside this creation was the longing to be tied to God. Outside of it was the sense that…
Many personal growth, church growth, and outreach how-to books and motivational sermons are “mirrors,” or to bring it back around to the building metaphor, pictures of the décor. They address the appearance. This isn’t a bad thing. Appearance will go a long way when it comes to enticing people to visit your church or ask about your faith. What people see demonstrates the commitment, enthusiasm, and passion of Christ followers.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21- 23 (NIV)
How fast it all changes.
When the pandemic hit, there were things we had been doing in the name of Christianity under the umbrella of church that were really our way of “staging the house” to make it look good.
It was August of this year that I penned a blog of lament called They Told Me I Need To Write A Blog. I felt like giving up. I had no job and, because I am a Transitional Pastor, the odds were not in favor of me getting a job; pastors aren’t leaving churches during the uncertainty of COVID. I was ready to give up. I had started blogging because I needed to get noticed if I was going to find a publisher for my book. That’s what I was told so that’s what I did. Blogging ended up being more than just a way to get noticed. I fell in love with writing my blog but even more, I loved the friendships I formed in the blogging community. The book was why I started blogging and, as tough as it was to accept, maybe blogging, not the publishing of the book was why God inspired me to write it in the first place…