Archive for November 2009

The Two Ways Jesus Leads Us

November 30, 2009

Welcome to day two of *28.

“Following Jesus. Following Jesus wherever he leads us. Following Jesus, wherever he leads us, whatever the cost…for love.”

Where does Jesus lead us?

I’m realizing that it’s important to answer that question both broadly and narrowly. If we don’t grasp the broad answer, we may miss or misinterpret the more narrow ways he leads us. (more…)

Good Morning, Fellow-Travelers

November 29, 2009

The journey we are calling *28 has begun. Some of us are getting an earlier start than others. Maybe a few of you woke up in the night, remembering what day it was and wondering what the journey will bring.  As Sharon and I prayed in our advent-decorated living room last night, I sensed him calling, saying it was time.

“Following Jesus, wherever he leads us, whatever the cost…for love.” Thank you, Jesus, for this amazing opportunity. I pray for manna to be given to each of my companions at this the beginning of our journey together. Give each of us the direction and sustenance we need to fellowship with you, learn from you, and serve your purposes in everyone’s life we meet today. You are so awesome to allow us to travel with you like this. We love you.

Hey, Wait Up!

November 24, 2009

Okay Bobbie, Chris (see comments at end of previous post), no fair getting a jumpstart on the rest of us! Just kidding. (Actually, I’ve been doing a little cheating myself.) Seriously, some of you may be thinking, “I’m already trying to make Jesus the center of my life. How does this *28 apply to me?” First, I don’t want anyone to feel like they “should” be taking this journey. The call to join this band of pilgrims needs to come from your own desire and from the Lord himself, not from me. I’m hoping that you can let your imagination run with this a bit. (more…)

*28

November 23, 2009

People who were at worship yesterday morning heard about *28 (Star 28), which is the code name for a journey that I’m inviting people to join me on for 28 days, beginning this next Sunday. (If you didn’t hear the sermon, I encourage you to listen to the podcast. You can get there through this link.) The focus of this journey will be revolving our whole lives around Jesus Christ. (more…)

More on Staying Connected to Jesus

November 4, 2009

Yoke2I plan on our spending more time in the book of Revelation on Sunday mornings over the next few weeks. We’ll be looking at the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor. As we examine the strengths and weaknesses of these churches, we’ll have the opportunity to prepare ourselves for the future God has in store for us as a congregation. I trust that God will give our BRC Future Task Force a vision for our future. But it’s important that we all prepare spiritually for that vision. These chapters in Revelation should help us do that.

In yesterday’s post I began to talk about what it takes to stay connected to Jesus as we live our days. The first thing is that we have to want to. This next Sunday I’ll say more about what we can do to increase our desire.

A second suggestion I’d like to make is that we attempt to bring him to each place and person we encounter during our day. (more…)

Christ Awareness

November 3, 2009

WailingWallTough day yesterday for Mario. He really appreciated the love and tears he experienced from the kids and adults at the youth group meeting on Sunday night. Both he and his mother have a challenging road ahead of them. Without getting into specifics, please be praying for their safety. I’ll e-mail his address to folks in case you want to send him a line. It may prove to be a lifeline.

In the Old Testament reading for this morning (Nehemiah 12) there was great rejoicing over the completion of the rebuilt wall around Jerusalem. Today, in this age of the New Covenant, we rejoice in the tearing down of the wall between Jew and Gentile, between insiders and outsiders, and especially between us and God. I’m reminded of how, immediately after Jesus’ death, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple was torn from top to bottom — signifying that we now have immediate access to the throne and presence of God.

This reminds me of the politician who after winning a hard run campaign said, “So what do we do now?” (more…)

Out on a Limb

November 2, 2009

IdolsMade a last-ditch effort yesterday afternoon to see if Mario could stay with Sharon and me for at least the next little while. Mom wasn’t open to it, and she gave a couple of decent reasons why it would be a problem. I’m going to miss that guy. Mario is amazed at all the love you folks have been showing him. And like I keep saying to people, the story isn’t over yet. I’ll be driving Mario and his mother to the Bronx sometime today. Thanks for all your prayers.

I’m really looking forward to the first meeting of the BRC Future Task Force. It should happen in the next two or three weeks as we try to coordinate our schedules. There are times, like after yesterday’s sermon, when it feels like I’ve stepped out onto a limb that can’t possibly bear my weight, much less the weight of all the other folks I’m asking to join me. I’m also absolutely convinced that this is how it’s supposed to be when we’re following Jesus. And that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I’ve been spending some time this morning memorizing the vision of Jesus in Revelation 1 that we reflected upon yesterday. First century Christians needed such “counter-images” in order to deal with all the visual reference points to the Roman empire and culture that surrounded them. There were empire temples, statues, signs, insignias, entertainment venues and military personnel everywhere they looked. Today we are bombarded through television and computer screens, roadside billboards, newspapers and magazines with constant visual references to the idols of our age. So I appreciate John’s visualization of Jesus that contains so many powerful symbols.

May each of us provide a visual glimpse and foretaste of Jesus’ kingdom to the people around us wherever we live, work, learn and play today.