The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fighting Gravity

GRAVITY COMES IN DIFFERENT TYPES. There is the gravity of earth which causes earthquake-shaken walls to fall and the gravity of sin which causes man to fall. Both types remind us of our own limitedness. We are bound by these gravitational forces, and try as we may to break away from the laws of gravity; sooner or later we all come crashing down.

For the past month we have been riveted to the pictures arriving from Haiti and the terrible and tragic results of gravity’s power, but recently another set of pictures have been appearing before our eyes. Pictures and stories of hands raised in the prayer in the midst of the very walls brought down by the earth’s mighty shaking. The call to cry for mercy has been given to the people and the people of Haiti have risen to the call. They are calling to the God of all creation, not only for safety but for salvation, and the all powerful God has heard and has responded.

The people of Haiti are fighting gravity. They are seeking not only safety for their families and homes, but salvation for their hearts as well. Revival is not to great a word to use. The stories of hundreds gathering and calling out, and responding to God’s grace are daily coming across my computer screen. Blogs and emails are declaring the gravity-defeating power of God’s grace.

We rejoice with the news. We declare “Yes, God is good. Yes, this is what the people of Haiti need.” But wait, how much more do we need to defeat the downward pull of the gravity in our own lives? We need to pray that the revival that sweeps the hearts of the Haitians shall sweep our hearts as well. That we too “shall mount up with wings as eagles” to the praise and glory of our gravity-defeating God!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

8-3-1


EIGHT LETTERS, THREE WORDS, ONE MEANING. That’s what the phrase “I love you” contains, and yet it contains so much more for us.

It seems that everything we know today is being digitized and compacted. Even the powerful words, I love you, have been shortened to things like “I  U” or as in the title of this piece, “831.” The problem is that having done so we also truncate the meaning that those words are to hold.
Love was never meant to be relegated to the domain of words, be they spoken or written. Even the deeply romantic poetry of Shakespeare cannot fully express the truth of love. Love is not love until it has been expressed through some outward action. One of my youth pastor’s once wrote, “Love is an emotion and an act of the will that is in response to an intellectual evaluation of the person’s character,” and I would add, the other person’s need, as well. Love is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling, it is taking action to reach out and meet the needs of the person, or persons, we say that we love.

This is the love that God has for us. Not just a love of kind and happy thoughts, but a love that saw our need and did what was necessary to meet that need. It is expressed well in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he wrote, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) God sending His own Son to die in our place, to die so we would not have to (Mark 10:45). Now, there is love expressed, not in words alone but in a selfless sacrifice. And it is in His love for us that we are to find our example of how we are to love others, be they family, friend, or foe.

As we have been loved, so let us love.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Metaphor about the Church

I came across this great lesson from Pastor Francis Chan, the teaching pastor at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA. Nothing teaches like a good story.

The Big Red Tractor from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.


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Sunday, February 07, 2010

GOOD ENOUGH

“GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK,” or so the saying goes. That’s the way many people face their tasks in life. Whether they are working at the office, or working at school or working around the house, it’s all about doing just do enough to “get by.” We tell ourselves that we don’t have to do our best because nobody’s going to notice anyway. We often only do our best when it matters to do our best, otherwise good enough is good enough.

I wonder what our world would be like if God had the same attitude when it came to creation?

What would it be like if God, at the end of each day of creation, looked around and saw that it was “good enough?” What if day and night only worked when we were paying attention, or gravity had away of not working every so often? What would this world be like if sometimes cows flew, or the sea drained every fourth Thursday? Needless to say, our world would be in quite a mess if at the end of God’s creative work He would have sat back and declared under His breath, “Well, it’s good enough for government work.”

Thankfully, God doesn’t work that way. And neither should we!

God made things to work correctly, even those things that we may never see. And as those created in His image we should give the same due diligence to our work. Sure, we can never be perfect in our creative work as God is, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it our best, whether were cooking a meal, parsing a sentence, writing computer code, or mowing the lawn, we should all e able to look back over our day and say that it was good for we gave it our best, even when no one was looking.

Oh wait, He was looking, so give it your best!
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