Pastoral Ministry

A Little Understanding – A Culturally Relevant Landscape and Décor

When you hear we need to make sure our church service is culturally relevant, be excited, but approach it with cautious optimism. Both the Christ follower and those who are trying to find out what this Christ following thing is all about understand everything in terms of the culture in which they live. This makes a culturally relevant church necessary. The problem only comes when cultural relevance becomes cultural dominance that dictates the message presented so that the ways of the world become the ways of the church…

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A Little Understanding – We Need More of God

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 (NIV)

A Little Understanding – The Entryway isn’t Enough

Childlike faith is the key to the entire floor plan, starting with the entryway but going far beyond. We must believe that there is more, laying out our lives in such a way that we can discover it. Childish faith is just happy where it is, in the entryway. When the entryway dweller does become a little restless, their options are limited by their one-room floor plan. They can look all over the space they have and discover there is no more to discover! The only way to improve the entryway is to give it a facelift. Make things look better. Continuing with the entryway metaphor, adding a coat of paint, a new closet organizer, updated tiles, a table for cell phones and keys, and new door mats should do it. It may be the same room, but it looks so much better!

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A Little Understanding – God’s Way or My Way

I hate choices. Okay, that isn’t totally correct. I hate choices that have an upside and a downside; I find it hard to make up my mind. I’ve been told it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, so why does a guy like me have so much trouble making up his mind? My theory is this “woman’s prerogative” observation was made by a man watching his wife shopping for clothes or shoes or both. The fact he was willing to say it out loud leads me to believe that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer. He was probably the same man who when asked by his wife during the shopping trip, “Do these pants make me look fat?” answered, “I don’t think it has anything to do with the pants.” Not being a medical doctor or psychologist does not exclude me from stating with 99.5% certainty: men can be indecisive (and fat) too.

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I’m Sorry

I don’t know how you feel about the relationship between bloggers and the bloggers who follow their blog but to me it is a friendship that is formed around the love of God and the love of writing. I look at those who follow my blog not only as friends but as brothers and sisters in Christ. I see the relationship we have formed as a loosely followed handshake agreement to meet up on the pages of each other’s site to read the newly posted material. Am I glad there is not written contract as I would be in breach and in danger of some form of penalty. I’m sorry I have not lived up to my side of the agreement!

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A Little Understanding – The Footings

People often ask, “Why does life suck?” For those who find the language offensive, please forgive me, but it wouldn’t be a quote if I tried to soften it. Pastors may use more carefully chosen words, replacing the offensive ones and reworking the question this way: “Why is everything a struggle at my church?” I would never go as far as to say the solution to life sucking or a struggling church is Proverbs 3:5-6, but I can say the solution to navigating through these times is not in your hands, your strength, or how you understand things. The solution lies in letting God take over, and He will plot the course. He will carry the weight. “He will make your paths straight.”

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Peace

As we continue the Advent series we find ourselves with the same dilemma as we did with Hope. The biblical definition of peace, like hope, does not match the world’s definition. We find in the prophesies of Isaiah a difficult passage about the coming Messiah. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV). I personally do not doubt that Jesus was the one Isaiah was referring to but I believe that you can put up a good argument that peace was not and still has not been realized through His arrival. As a matter of fact, things actually became less peaceful once He established a following during and after His life on earth. Even Jesus said…

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