Sunday, January 22, 2012

Brothers in Arms

    This week's message, Come Together,  is a 'members only' kind of sermon.  Just like Christianity itself, it is larger on the inside than could ever be understood from the outside looking in.  It is classified FKUO -- For Kingdom Use Only

    It is rare that posting to this blog is so far beyond me.  I have been unable to get it done to my satisfaction, and decided at last to go ahead and share instead why  it has been so tough to do.  This week, so much of what we discussed in class seemed more based on our connection in the Holy Spirit than in anything we said aloud.  Capturing the unity we have in Jesus Christ in a few typed lines feels like trying to preserve a kiss;  a little foolish to even attempt.

    As a Church (capital "C" intentional) I think we all know there are rough times ahead; the flames are already warming our feet.  However, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,  we also know we are not alone as we enter the fire.  We have God, and we also have each other.

    So what?

    Well, that kind of unity, the bond that enabled the persecuted early Church to conquer the known world, doesn't just happen.  As things heat up, we would do well to understand what they understood about being brothers (and sisters) in arms.  We need to Get it, together , if we intend to see this thing through.

    Sow what?

    The early church left footprints when they walked this out; those tracks are our B.L.U.F. for this week.

    * Pray in the Holy Spirit, to shed the love of God abroad in our hearts (Jude 1:20 , Rom 5:5)

    *  Embrace the spiritual disciplines

    * Avail ourselves of the unfailing guidance of the Holy Spirit

    * Interdependence is commanded; we are to bear one another's burdens (Gal 6:2)

    * Embracing the gospel as individuals is critical to togetherness; our greatest common ground is the Mercy & Grace of  God. They were "in one accord" each time in the book of Acts right before the power of God fell upon them (Acts 1:14, 2:1, 2:46, 4:24, 5;12, 15:25).

    Next week, we study what it looks like when we all get out of the boat, and walk on water together.


><> db

Getting our Sea Legs

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Clock and the Compass

        The Bullet Train:   
    The very soul of the modern journey.  Serious travel, serious results, as rapidly and economically as possible.  The Bullet Train gets it done. The network, consisting of 1,483.6 miles of track, presently links most major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, with construction of a link to the northern island of Hokkaido underway and plans to increase speeds up to 199 mph.  

      The Bullet Train, like the frenetic humanity it serves, is all about watching the clock and the bottom line.

     This week, in the sermon The Journey We Are On, we learn that today more than ever, we need the Compass more than we will ever need the Clock.   Our conclusions, from pouring over the key verses of this message, point to a plan that takes us far from the map and modes of the masses (say that three times fast), and uses faith in God and His Word as the bottom line.  The mission is, frankly, more than a little daunting.  Like combat, it nearly always seems foolhardy in the natural, and yet in truth is needfull and quickening.  The journey in Christ is the only one worthwhile. 


Key Scriptures:

a) Jeremiah 29:11 / Romans 8:28-31

b) Deuteronomy 4:1-2

c) Deuteronomy 30:11-16  


  For our new Bereans: 

  So What (= truths)? & Sow What (= application)? Our B.L.U.F. - the walk-away truths that we apply to our lives from this message

Bottom Line Up Front: 

1) Nothing more; nothing less.  Only God has the perfect plan and path for our lives.

2) John 14:15 - 21 : Love-based obedience to God works.  It's not about what we can do, it's about who we become.

3) We must walk in His way; if not us, then who?

4) We must be those who believe His Word more than our circumstances and senses. Isaiah 30:21

5) We must understand and practice that our Heavenly Father honors Worship that is in Spirit (the Holy Spirit) and in Truth (Jesus Christ).  That is to say, practically, 100% committed to the whole of who God is.

 Note for our new folks:
* the site looks differently each week, so don't be surprised by changes in its appearance  

* the post above contains several links, that may be clicked on to listen to the sermon, read the referenced scriptures, and so forth.

   Have a victorious week! 

   ><> Dan & Nancy