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.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Get Connected: Get Committed

THERE’S POWER WHEN YOU’RE CONNECTED! That’s our belief for those who seek to call Felton Bible Church their home. The question that arises is, “What’s entailed in being connected here at Felton Bible?” As I wrote last week, to connect means that a person will be living a life that is Committed, Obedient, Nourished, Nurturing, Evangelistic, Community Involved and Tithing.

This week I would like to focus on the term: Committed.

When we speak of being “committed” we a have three relationships in mind. First there is commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord of all, including you! Second, commitment to the Church, the living Body of Jesus in our world today. Third, commitment to being an active member of your local community.

Being committed to Jesus Christ means that He will have full reign over all areas and aspects of your life. That commitment will be exhibited through a life lived in accordance to the Word of God and for the glory of God. It is a life that does not segment Christ into a religious box, but that is seeking to submit to His sovereign rule in each and every part of our life.

Being committed to the Church means that we see the church as more than just an expression of organized religion, but rather as the physical expression of Jesus Christ in the world today. It means realizing that you are part of the Body, and that the full exercise of your gifts and strengths are vital to the full health of the Body of Christ, locally and globally.

Being committed to the community means that the sovereignty of Christ in our lives, expressed through the Church, must have a positive, gracious and loving impact upon the community in which we live.

I am sure that there are more nuances to this aspect of connecting, but then again, there is enough there to keep us busy for awhile. Therefore, I invite you to connect, for there’s power when we connect.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GET CONNECTED!

A WEEK AGO OUR MINISTRY TEAM gathered with some others from our church body for a day of prayer, study, and vision-gathering. It was a great day as we sought the Lord and His direction for the family of believers who call Felton Bible Church their home.

Some of our discussion that day centered around the question, “What is expected of those who call Felton Bible Church their home? The list we came up with was quite long and so we sought the Lord with more prayer, and during that time Linda caught the vision of the word CONNECT. We then spent time using that word to describe what it means for a member of our church family to truly be connected. We all felt very encouraged and excited in the ways we saw the Lord directing us.

Over the next few weeks I will be using the forum of the Shepherd’s Staff to share with you our preliminary thoughts concerning being a connected part of our church family. So here are the very basics:

Committed – to Christ, His Church, the Community

Obedient – the daily living out of God’s Word

Nourished – the feeding of the soul through Bible study, worship, growing in Christ.

Nurturing – meeting the real and felt needs of those within the community of faith

Evangelism – sharing the Gospel message through life and word

Community Involvement – living the life of Christ in the midst of our everyday lives

Tithing – giving unto the Lord the best portions of our time, talents and treasures.

There you have it, some beginning thoughts of what it means to be a connected part of the family at Felton Bible Church. So, watch this space over the next few weeks as we will share with you, in a little more detail, how each of these items can be experienced in each of our lives. Please join me in praying for a connectedness that leads to the glory of God and the building of His Kingdom.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Da Vinci was Right

WHILE TOURING THE DA VINCI EXHIBIT at the Getty Museum I read the following stenciled upon the wall, “The true knowledge of any body will be arrived at by seeing it from different aspects.” (The Leonardo da Vinci Notebook c1400) I think Leonardo was on to something, smart man that he was.

Of course da Vinci was most likely writing about drawing and sculpting, but his words also describe getting to know Jesus Christ. The more ways we stop to consider Jesus, the more we can learn about Him, and this never more true than through the different aspects that make up the Body of Christ known as the church.

God has chosen to reveal Himself in a few different ways; through His creation (Psalm 19:1-2), through His Word, (2 Timothy 3:16), through His Son (John 1:1-4,14), and also in these days though the Church (2 Corinthians 2:14-17). We are the Body of Christ in the world today, and as such we bear Him forth to those who gather around us and who intersect our lives. Quite a huge responsibility if you ask me. Thankfully, it’s not left up to me. It’s something in which all play a part.

The beauty of our Lord can truly be seen when the church, in all of its different aspects works together in unity expressing its God-given gifts in love for God and in love for each other. (Romans 12:1-21). You see, in order for the world to see God in His fullness, you’re needed! What you bring to God’s Body helps God’s grace and love be seen by the watching world.

Every part has a place. What’s yours?

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

THEOLOGIANS EVERYONE

I MAY NOT KNOW ART, BUT I KNOW WHAT I LIKE. I may not know a lot about God’s Word, but I know what I feel. Do those phrases strike you as “missing the point?” They do to me. There is more to appreciating art than just knowing what you like and don’t like, and there is more to knowing God’s Word than to divining it by our feelings. To fully appreciate art takes time, study and maybe even a little desire. The same is true about knowing the Scriptures.

For many, the role of being a theologian is something to be left to those seminary-trained pastors. That’s what we pay the pastor for,” some might say. Or even, “Who has time to be a theologian? There’s life to live!” The problem with these statements is, besides them not being true, is without a good handle on theology our lives cannot be lived as God intended them to be lived. And when we are living contrary to God’s design, ... well,... that’s not a good thing.

So, what is theology, anyway? Most simply is a Greek conjunction of the words for God (theos) and for word (logos), it is the “Word about God,” or the stud of all things God. Thus, for the Christian it is the very underpinning of our beliefs, worldview, faith and even hope. Without a good theology it is nigh impossible to know God and to live a life that pleases Him and bears forth His blessings.

Many followers of Christ leave their to how they feel about a portion of Scripture, or they gain their understanding of God solely from the teachings of the latest popular teacher, whether that teaching comes from the pulpit, the airways, books or the blogosphere. Now, I am not saying that we should not listen to those pastors and teachers you work hard at “rightly handling the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15) hey, I am one of those guys! What I am saying is that each one of us must bear the mantle of theologian. We must each be people of the Book. We must each plumb its depths, not just so we can answer all the nick-picky questions of a doubtful world, but more importantly so we can know God and in knowing Him, seek to live according to His designs.

We are entering the spring and summer of our year, a time for new growth. A time to put down strong roots and reach out with fruitful branches. With this picture in mind I challenge you to become the theologian God desires you to be. I challenge you to daily carve out time to seriously and prayerfully consider God’s Word. I challenge you to take serious the times presented you to interact over God’s Word with others of like heart and mind. I challenge you to turn off the TV, close the laptop lid, silence the cell phone and open your Bible and do the work of a theologian. I challenge you to begin again with God.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

MY FAVES


TODAY WE HAVE ALL SORTS OF “FAVES;” those lists of things that we like best. We have our five best friends on our cell phone calling list, we have our list of favorite friends on Face Book, we have our “fave” restaurants, songs, sports teams and television shows. I suppose we even have our “fave” list of our “faves!”

One list that many of us keep is the list of our favorite holidays, and this is especially true I believe for those who mark themselves out as followers of Jesus. I think that on my list of favorite holidays that Easter (I like to rename it Resurrection Sunday) would have to be at the top of my fave holidays. It is this day that makes the other faves have their fuller meaning.

Without the resurrection of Jesus His birth (Christmas) as miraculous as it was can seem like nothing more than another visitation to our planet by God. Even Christ’s death on the cross of Golgotha becomes nothing more than a tragic martyrdom without the resurrection.

It is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which brings the glorious truth to the birth of the Christ-child. His birth was not just miraculous in its conception, but powerful in its Person, the Incarnation of God, and in its purpose; the redemption of mankind through Jesus sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross.

It is the resurrection of Jesus that makes Good Friday, good. Without the resurrection of Jesus, we would always wonder if the sacrifice had truly atoned for our sins. But it did, and Jesus’ resurrection is that living proof. It is because He lives that I too shall live, and that is why this day, this Resurrection Sunday, tops my list of faves! How about you?

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!
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