Wednesday, June 25, 2008
But what I realized, is it's not the name that is important. Jesus said, "By this all men may know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). His point is this: It's not what you call yourself. It's not wearing cross necklaces. It's not having the name "Baptist", "Bible", or anything else written on your church sign. It's not even not having one of those labels on your church sign. It's how you live, it's who you follow and how you follow him. I would probably be accurate in saying that every non-Christian person I've met that knows that I am a Christian couldn't tell me what denomination I was or even what version of the Bible I read. They simply know that I am a real Christian.
I came to the realization yesterday that I need to stop trying to disassociate myself but rather spend all that time more closely associating myself with what really matters. It's more offensive than it is defensive. It's Jesus Christ.
Monday, June 23, 2008
At least that’s what the majority of Americans seem to believe: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/24/us/24religion.html?hp
That’s a little discouraging.
The article says that US citizens gave over $300 billion to charities. Giving to religious organizations is up over 4% and totaled over $100 billion.
The crazy thing is that in the US, collectively, $300 billion is a drop in the bucket, as the article says, it's only 2.2% of our GDP.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Someone shared on our trip to Moody what goes on at his church and I hope we never get to that at CBC. He said that when praise songs are being sung the older folks just stand there with their arms crossed and scowling but when they sing the hymns they sing at the top of their lungs almost defiantly -- some act of worship isn't it?
Or how about when someone refuses to play or sing because they don't like a particular song. There are plenty of songs I don't care for but I don't refuse to sing them because the songwriter wrote it to worship God. Maybe we can re-arrange it to update it but to not sing because you don't like it isn't the thing to do either.
Maybe one Sunday the worship team should just stand up there and look at the congregation during worship like some in the congregation look at us every week. We really need to check our attitudes and as the video says figure out what worship is really about...
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager1Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'
3"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg— 4I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'
5"So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6" 'Eight hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,' he replied.
"The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'
7"Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?'
" 'A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,' he replied.
"He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'
8"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?
13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
I don’t think I completely understand this parable. Who does the rich man represent? Who is the manager? What does being fired represent? What’s the message?
I’m gonna try to Wikipedia this in a few minutes to see if it has some thoughts. If I can’t find it there, I think I’ll search for a Bible wiki or look into creating a Bible wiki.