Going from Woe is me to Send me

Isa. 6

1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

11Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

12And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

The Word “Woe” means death. Isaiah understood his place. He knew he was not holy, especially seeing the Lord seated on the throne. Isaiah knew he was a sinful man., not worthy. But yet Isaiah remained humble. He chose to have an encounter with the Lord. He repented from his sin. And he responded to the call of God to GO!

We have made so little of imagination

I am reading Spiritual Life : The Foundation For Preaching and Teaching for my class on Spiritual Formation.

The book has got me thinking a lot already. One topic addressed is that Christians recently, along with American society as a whole, has forgotten about mystery and imagination, in its quest for rationality and analytical thinking during the Enlightenment.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depends on how you look at it), humans are not analytical and logical but we also are creatures of intuition and imagination. There is healthy balance that needs to be in place. We “see” deeper meaning of our experiences. We can look beyond the mere surface, we are complex and mysterious creatures.

The Enlightenment left people thinking that objective truth is the only way. During this time things like the arts and other more subjective mysteries were neglected.

Faith and prayer are some of the other things that have been forgotten and left behind in the last three centuries.

Also an interesting note is that our teaching and preaching style in these years has been greatly affected by the Enlightenment. Instead of looking at Scripture from a theological angle, us looking down into Scripture to study it – we can and should from time to time change our method. We can allow the Scripture to meditate on top of us. Instead of looking to study we can be more intuitive and let the Scriptures engage our hearts. We can be flooded with the mysteries
on our hearts all day, instead of trying to control the Scriptures with our own minds.

Thomas Merton, a monk, had a dream about a Protestant theologian, in summary, the dream suggested that he [the theologian] would be saved more by the music lover in him than the theologian in him.

Reflections

I have been noticing that I get a lot of comments from many in opposition of the things I post about. I am okay with this.

I will say that I am not a real expert on most of the things I post about. I do not claim to be an expert. This blog is very informal and a fun way for me to express my opinions and learn more about topics. I do research and learning for this blog. I do not intend to contribute to science or anything like that.

I do intended to search for truth. And in my quest I post things that I am learning and thinking about along the way towards my quest for truth.

With that said, I know where Ultimate truth comes from, God and His Word – the Bible.
I am certain that science in nature, in biology, and in reality reflects God and his truth. I am not contributing to truth in this blog. I am expressing what I have found to be true.

When all is said and done, and my life is over, I know that some of the things I have posted about will be pointless. I know that I will not have gotten everything correct/right.
But I know that in the end, I will find truth. And others who have read my blog will have been exposed to truth. I will get a lot of things right.

I am not anti-evolution in general. And I have reasons for believing what I do believe. I think that a theistic form of evolution is feasible. Becuase of the Bible is not as clear as some would like it to be and therefore a theistic form of evolution is somewhat feasible.

But I do not think that a theistic form of evolution is totally correct nor do I believe that it is the most natural reading of the Bible.

I will continue posting on topics that I am not an expert on. I will continue to search for truth and I do not mind the opposition from others. I will be basing my findings on truth, the Bible and other resources. I am a simple blogger not trying to contribute to science, but merely expose truth, which already exists.

All I ask is that if you coming with opposition, I would like to see some evidence instead of a mere smear anti-God comment. Thank you.

The most dangerous thing …

…a Christian can do in this day and age is to live in a Christian bubble, with only Christian friends and never develop real relationships with the lost.

This has been my observation as have been studying evangelism, the post-modern culture, and the church.

You see the culture is more relativistic. They are less likely to be concerned with any theory that claims to be the one true way. They are more skeptical of any type of theory or logic, in general. They have questions but they are not sure what type of answer they want. They enjoy the journey of life.

What they value and want is real relationship. They want someone to love them, listen to them. 1. Becuase all humans desire this. 2. Becuase there is a higher value on this in the post-modern society. Community and social connection. People want to share ideas and blend the relative ideas together. They are extremely acceptable and tolerant of pretty much any belief system, as long as it does not claim to be the “One true way.”

Missional churches have placed a lot of time and creatively into the methods of evangelism. Let me tell you, these creative ways of sharing the Gospel, some of them are pretty effictive. But the biggest thing I have learned and like about most of these missional expiriments is this: the foundation of the outreach is a relationship.

Live out your faith, live out Jesus in your life. Build a real relationship with your lost friends and do not base the relationship on if they go to church with you or not. Do not base it on if they accept Jesus or not. Just be real with them. Be honest with them. Love them. DO invite them to church with you, but do not try to force anything on them.

The most dangerous thing a Christian cna do is to not have any non-Christian frineds, not share his faith, live in a Christian bubble. This is dangerous and bad for all Christians for several reasons!

It portrays a selfish “fat baby” Christian and Christinity. We have portrayed Christianity in a negative light and outsiders have a negative (false) perception of what Christianity is and what we are about long enough! It is time to demonstrate the Gospel and live as Jesus did!

It is not responsible way to live. God has called us to share our faith with others.

It shows lack of maturity, shallowness , and misplacement of priorities. Is Jesus Christ your first love? Prove it.

Intentional Christianity.

Starbucks Spirituality – article from Christianity Today

I recently read an eye-opening, thought-provoking article called “Strabucks Spirituality”from Christianity Today.

The article is quite long, but worth the read. The article challenges us to find ways to relate the Gospel to Gen Y and a post-modern society. In the past the answer for salvation was presenting in words the Gospel message with PowerPoint presentations and four-point evangelistic outlines.

In today’s world spreading the Good News requires more than words. Christians have mastered the art of proclamation of words. But words alone aren’t going to answer the trust question.

Trust is built by actions, not words.

“We’re supposed to proclaim the kingdom of God and demonstrate the kingdom of God,” says Soong-Chan Rah, pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church near Boston. “Evangelism for our generation means learning to do both.

“People are not looking for theological comparisons but for attractiveness, relevance, and usefulness.”

But the best part is that Christianity is useful. relevant, and attractive…we need to demonstrate it as such. If we truly live it out, true Christianity (live like Jesus) then Christianity will appear as useful. relevant, and attractive, as it really is!

“Simply put: Being a Christian means following Jesus. If our discipleship is not leading us to continue to give away our lives to other people, at great personal cost, then we are not following Jesus.

“Be intentional and authentic in your friendship,” he says. “Their response to my overtures can’t determine whether we stay in friendship. If it does, then it’s not a friendship but a manipulative ploy to get them to become a Christian. It’s a difficult paradox to reconcile.

I recommend this article.

From UnChristian to Christian

My reflection on Chapter 9 of UnChristian:
This is my final reflection on The book Unchristian. I wish that every Christian will read this book (or at least all my posts reflecting on this book, lol 🙂 ) It was a good read and well worth the time. It has got me thinking a lot and the book has a strong impact on my soul. I really hope we can change our perception over the next 10-30 years of what it means to be a Christian!

In sum, it all comes down to this: being more Christ-like!
We must learn to respond to people the same way Jesus did!
The more mature we become in our faith the more we are able to see our need to continue learning and growing. expect persecution but understand who your real enemies are. It is not flesh and blood but of spiritual warfare. Satan and his demons want to see you miss the mark in your faith. They want to distract you from the main goal. (your relationship with Christ!)

When you respond to cynics and opponents of your faith consider defending God’s fame. Not your own image/fame! maybe this will be humbling, admitting you might be wrong, but bring glory to God!

Connect with people with relationships! Spiritual influence occurs more often in the actual relationships you have with people. God has put people and opportunities in your life to have an impact on! Jesus said that we would be known for our love in these types of relationships.

Be Creative! Just as Jesus was a master communicator, we have the oppurtunity to be creative in our relationships, in the way we communicate, and the way we share the Gospel. Breaking through to our audience is something that modern day Christians are lacking today. We need to find fresh ways to communiate the Gospel to a society that no longer has a background in the Bible! Ask the right questions, engage minds, get people to think for themselves about the Gospel. The Word of God is sharp and the Holy Spirit will turn that Word in thier minds, but we have to get their attention!

One of the biggest eye-openers, and heart changers is simple servce. Jesus did it. And Christian leaders that make an impact are servants. We need to cultivate a deep passion for outsiders and trly love on them with all our hearts and serve them. Put them first. Show them justice and love. This will require sacrifice, but it is nessicary!

Learn to listen. All humans are craving attention and real relationships. Do not make the relationship about you. But listen and love them!

As I said before it comes down to Christ-likeness. Have we lost sight of the main thing?
Is Jesus, the main thinkg in your life. Once you build upon the rock of Jesus – you mature and become more Christ-like and develop all of the things also talk about in this post. So to start get your relationship wiht Christ right. When we act like Jesus, when we look like Jesus….(guess what?), people will see Jesus and they will want what we have. They will desire to be around us. THey will come to know Jesus, in just the little Jesus in us, but the real thing!

Fat Baby – Amy Grant

know a man, maybe you know him, too.
You never can tell; he might even be you.
He knelt at the altar, and that was the end.
He’s saved, and that’s all that matters to him.

His spiritual tummy, it can’t take too much.
One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch.
On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best,
And gives his language a spiritual rest.

He’s just a faaa…
He’s just a fat little baby!
Wa, wa, waaaaa….
He wants his bottle, and he don’t mean maybe.
He sampled solid foods once or twice,
But he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice.
Ba, ba, ba, ba…ba, ba…ba, ba!

He’s been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood,
But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud.
He knows the books of the Bible and John 3:16.
He’s got the biggest King James you’ve ever seen!

I’ve always wondered if he’ll grow up someday.
He’s momma’s boy, and he likes it that way.
If you happen to see him, tell him I said,
“He’ll never grow, if he never gets fed.”

He’s just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat…
Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fa-at, Fat…
FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAT, FAAAAAT…
…little baby…



Are we Christians merely fat babies? I hope not…..

If we have the truth…

…we are we not using it?

Truth has power. The Word of God is a double edged sword, sharper than any other sword!

We are to be salt.

We are to be light.

God has given us the tools to succeed!

Why are we not transforming the world?

Why are we so afraid?

Let the Holy Spirit produce good fruit in your life!

That is my prayer today!

The Pushy Christian

This is a reflection and call to action about chapter 4 of UnChristian by David Kinnaman. This is a book every Christian should read, in my opinion. And I will soon have a reflection from each chapter up shortly.

This chapter is called “Get Saved!” It addresses the perception that Christians are insincere and concerned only with getting converts.

In today’s post-modern mindset, the journey of life is stressed as more important that the destination. The process over the product! So with that said there is a lot of skeptism about any religion, far more about which religion is right!

Outsiders sometimes relate Christians to salesmen. Not only are outsiders skeptical about which message is correct, but they also question Christian motive and intention for sharing and being pushy about sharing the Gospel mesage.

Thinking about the reading, here are some thoughts that stick out about what is happening and what we should be doing:

Instead of converting the masses, focus on the relationships.

Don’t do risky things. Be a good steward of the Gospel and remeber that how you choose to share the Gospel is as important as actaully doing it!

Respect people. Do not offend someone in order to share the Gospel!

The logical barrier is not the only one. In fact most people come to know Christ for emotional reasons, rather than logical ones. The point is let the Holy Spirit do the convincing and do not focus just on the logical reasonings.

Keep in mind a lot of people think they are “Christian” (becuase they live in America, their parents were, they went to church when they were young, or they truly have gotten off track…)
so be respectful of their pasts, get to know them. Talk through the issues. Where do they stand with Jesus Christ? Is it a shallow superfical belief or is there something really there?

Others have truly had a real expireince with the church. It might have been a negative expireince and they have left the church completely. They have formed conclusions are really skeptical of anything you are going to say. They were searching and did not find the truth or anything worthwhile at church. This should be a wake-up call to the church!
If we are missing these oppurtunities, then how well are we truly loving and sharing God’s love?

It is time to stop living self-righteously as a church. Time to stop. Open up the doors to the outsiders and listen to them!

It should not be about a mere conversion, but about full transformation. Not just a “get out of Hell free,” but discipleship and growth in lifestyle.

Think, Love, Listen.
Let outsiders think about the Gospel. Love them. Listen to them. Build a real relationship and not just a conversion. Make visible the invisible, God and his love!

location limitation

Has anyone ever put much thought to how small we actually are….
How we are limited in our location compared to how big this earth is….
Sure there are cars, train, and planes but it still takes time to get places.

We are efficient when we are settled in on one location, focused on goals that we accomplish in that one area!

This limitation effects all compartments of our life…

dating
jobs
social/economical
who are friends are
what teams we root for
what church we go to
our beliefs/values

Something interesting to think about….