Great quote! Should church be thrilling?

“There will never be a church where every meeting is thrilling, but there could be a church where Christians gather with the anticipation that the Spirit could invade their hearts at any moment, and think that maybe He is, without their realizing it.”    From Real Church by Larry Crabb

Great quote, but when will we define the church as people; all day, every day, in or out of a meeting?  Let’s all expect the Lord to be at work in our lives every minute of every hour whether we are conscious of it or not.  He is!

Sublime Selflessness or a Gospel of Self

There is an instant, if only that brief, where we don’t care about ourselves.  We are lost in, engulfed in, the love of God revealed to us through the death of Jesus.  Since He died for us and made it be about us, we realize we can forget about ourselves.  Unfortunately, the moment passes.  We revert to pre-salvation, self-centered thinking, which gets married to and supported by incorrect Christian teaching.  We begin to believe that since He made it be about us, we should also.  Our liberty, freedom from self-awareness, is now gone.  We begin the slide to practical atheism that leaves us no different in outlook than the world.  If that is not tragic enough, we convince ourselves that the slide is actually maturity in Christ.

Time to really blow the Trumpet

Have you ever gotten off track, made a wrong turn or something of the like, and didn’t notice it until much later?  Do you remember the sick feeling you got when you realized how far wrong you were?  Way off course and so much time and distance wasted.  There is regret mixed with acceptance that sitting there stewing doesn’t get you closer to your destination.  You figure out where you are, make the needed corrections and get back on your journey, sadder but hopefully wiser and more vigilant.

We are reading the book of Isaiah together as a church.  Actually we read through the Bible each year following a rotating plan.  My Sunday messages come from the passage we read in the preceding week.  So we are reading the heavy hitter of the Major Prophets; and it is full of reminders, reminders that we are not where we ought to be.

You cannot read the Old Testament without being aware that a relationship with God has moral requirements. Isaiah and all the prophets dealt with the moral failure of the Israelites (among others) and not only called them to live uprightly, but warned them of judgment if they continued in disobedience.

Too many people today don’t even think about what the Bible says about the way they live every day.  They are insensitive to the leading of the Lord and ignorant of His word.  In a church I used to attend, we sang a rousing chorus about the army of the Lord.  This song had uplifting music with a fast tempo, and everyone loved to sing of the triumph of the Lord.  No one, not even the song leader, thought about the passage from Joel that we were singing.  The army of the Lord was locusts sent to destroy the land (Israel), strip its crops and bring famine.  The words were about judgment; but because the music was exciting, we enjoyed the song and sang stupidly along about tragedy and death.

The prophet reminds us that we are here in our world, our culture, as standard bearers of God’s righteousness.  The church (believers in Christ) is to counter the laziness in the land, the untruthfulness, the pleasure seeking and self-indulgence.  The church is to be self-sacrificing and bearing the burdens of others, not selfishly requiring others to fulfill our obligations.  Even many of our well-known preachers talk more about getting from God than what God has already given us.  We have entrenched in our thinking a spiritualized materialism which leads us to believe that everything revolves around us.

Maybe it is time to pull over and look at the map.

On this day in 1776–The Unanimous Declaration was signed!

John Adams wrote this to his wife on July 3, 1776:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade with shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more–

I’m afraid we disappoint the Founders

This is the closing of a letter written by John Adams to Abigail on April 26, 1777.  He is lonely, weary, ill and discouraged by the lack of action of others.  It is my sincere prayer, though I am very doubtful, that this generation will not disappoint his.

I have been lately more remiss, than usual in Writing to you. There has been a great Dearth of News. Nothing from England, nothing from France, Spain, or any other Part of Europe, nothing from the West Indies. Nothing from Howe, and his Banditti, nothing from General Washington.
There are various Conjectures that Lord Howe is dead, sick, or gone to England, as the Proclamations run in the Name of Will. Howe only, and nobody from New York can tell any Thing of his Lordship.
I am wearied out, with Expectations that the Massachusetts Troops would have arrived, e’er now, at Head Quarters. — Do our People intend to leave the Continent in the Lurch? Do they mean to submit? or what Fatality attends them? With the noblest Prize in View, that ever Mortals contended for, and with the fairest Prospect of obtaining it upon easy Terms, The People of the Massachusetts Bay, are dead.
Does our State intend to send only half, or a third of their Quota? Do they wish to see another, crippled, disastrous and disgracefull Campaign for Want of an Army? — I am more sick and more ashamed of my own Countrymen, than ever I was before. The Spleen, the Vapours, the Dismals, the Horrors, seem to have seized our whole State.

More Wrath than Terror, has seized me. I am very mad. The gloomy Cowardice of the Times, is intollerable in N. England.
Indeed I feel not a little out of Humour, from Indisposition of Body. You know, I cannot pass a Spring, or fall, without an ill Turn — and I have had one these four or five Weeks — a Cold, as usual. Warm Weather, and a little Exercise, with a little Medicine, I suppose will cure me as usual. I am not confined, but moap about and drudge as usual, like a Gally Slave. I am a Fool if ever there was one to be such a Slave. I wont be much longer. I will be more free, in some World or other.
Is it not intollerable, that the opening Spring, which I should enjoy with my Wife and Children upon my little Farm, should pass away, and laugh at me, for labouring, Day after Day, and Month after Month, in a Conclave, Where neither Taste, nor Fancy, nor Reason, nor Passion, nor Appetite can be gratified?
Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

You’ve got to start somewhere!

Well here is the first post to the new Blog.

I’ll be posting things here that deal with life from a spiritual, political and historical perspective.  We will also have some fun.  The name comes from 1 Corinthians 14:8.  It is my prayer I’ll be able to sound a clear note that all can understand and respond to, if they so desire.  The acronym is NUT.  I can live with it, if you can.

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Real, Practical Christianity