Verse of the Day

Tuesday, December 29

A Year in Review

I am old enough to know I don't have to reinvent the wheel so here is an article well worth the reading and chewing.

If you're willing perhaps you could post your answers as comments. I'll post mine a bit later. Hat tip to William Vanderbloemen for the link.

Peace,

Alan

Monday, December 21

Danny's Story

Hat Tip to Tyler for a God inspired post and link.

Take ten minutes out of your preparation for Christmas. Read the blog post. Then click on the video. It will be worth it. God is speaking in this exchange.

Merry Christmas

Alan

Tuesday, December 15

Eighteen Month Difference

Eighteen months ago Wordle showed this blog like this:



2009 brought about a change as you can see.







We have changed the direction of the church. We are now able to move ahead without worry that the latest "denominational drama" will threaten our church and it's members.

We have changed the vision of the church. Our urban congregation is on the verge of doing great things for our community. There is a new confidence as we step out in faith that the structure is there to help not hinder such work.

We have changed the energy level of the church. We're not bigger and we're certainly not younger; but there is a new found vitality to attempt to tackle bigger things for the sake of Christ. No longer is our energy used up in fighting against heresies disguised as truth and promoted as God's will.

Today I don't make excuses for the General Assembly or Presbytery, nor do I have too. Today my stomach doesn't know up when I read Presbyweb, Outlook or read "Presbyterian" in the news. Today, when I read about the latest PJC decision and the rest, I pray for those who have chosen to remain behind and fight the fight.

It has been a new day for Kenton Church. We're focused on what's most important and going about sharing the gospel in hands-on, powerful ways. What's more, 2010 will only get better.

Peace

Alan

Sunday, December 13

Advent 3


A few years ago a young man who attended our church got meningitis and was found by friends just hours from dying. A fast acting doctor got him into a clinical trial and the medication they pumped into him saved his life. As we've been hearing H1N1 is nothing to scoff at as it is highly contagious as is MRSA and a many other diseases running around the human race.

God's love is equally infectious. When infected with it we find ourselves loving others, even our enemies. When we've been caught by God's infectious joy we discover that no matter what life hands us we face it the assurance God is in charge.

The shepherds that first Christmas embraced the infectious joy of God and went to see the miracle of Jesus' birth. King Herod, faced with the same news, grew upset and along with him all of the city was troubled.

very few people are like Herod. Very few people are like the shepherds either. Most find that they've had "just enough" Christianity and church to inoculate them from the joy God has for them. They've heard the story enough so that they can tune it out without it affecting their life...sometimes while they're sitting in a pew.

Here's the way we diagnose how well we've been infected. If we find ourselves in love with Christ and the things of God like prayer for others, Scripture and loving others unconditionally we can be pretty sure the God's love is breeding well in our hearts. On the other hand, if we really don't care about people who are different than us or if we're too busy to help those in need we need to wonder what we've missed along the way. Remember what John wrote:

If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Christ's people are people who are infected by God's joy to the point of laying down our comfort for the sake of others and who find real Joy in those actions. Kenton knows what this looks like and this week we prove it as we step out in faith reach out to those in need.

Peace,
Alan

Tuesday, December 8

Advent Week 2

What does it mean to have our lives "redeemed"? From what are we saved? From what do we need saving or rescuing? Redemption is the beginning, end and at the middle of God's intent when it comes to Christmas.

Christ's birth isn't illustrative of how innocence wins over the powerful and connected.Christ's birth isn't about victims rights, political theory, or the vulnerability of infants in the "big, bad world". No! It is about God's desire to make us His friends once more. It is about such a deep, gut-wrenching, fundamental goal to see our rebellion paid for in full. So great, that Jesus, God's Son, comes to die.

The result of that truth in our life makes us other oriented. It promotes a generosity we can't imagine and it allows us to be used by the Holy Spirit to reflect the redemptive power of God to the world in which we live.

Consider Philippians 1
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,7 but made himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Be in prayer for others using the prayer in the Advent Folder, and take note of those times when God has used you, or spoken to you in special ways during this time.Also don't forget to read the daily heart passage.

If we meet God on His terms I'm sure we will see our hearts grow huge this Advent

Peace
Alan

Wednesday, December 2

Advent Interruption

A War Tax is on the table in Congress introduced by Rep. David Obey (D-Wis). I'd like to know where the $250,000 limit comes from. If that's middle-class then I should be below the poverty level along with most everyone I know. And why just those over $250k. Do the rest of us not have to share the sacrifice being made by U.S. men and women?

At the same time, how come Obey didn't promote a tax to support the bank bailout and auto bailout. Shouldn't we too share the golden parachutes of high salaries and bonuses? Then there is the "Stimulus act" and "health care" just passed. We too should be able to share the sacrifice incumbent in these programs.

It seems to me the best use of the stimulus would be to give a check to every American family to bring them over the magic $250k mark then any taxes would be fair and equal.

I am a born and raised Democrat. I vote a mixed ticket but my mantra has become, "if you can't help us for heaven's sake don't hurt us."

Peace
Alan