Archive for the ‘Presence’ category

Covenant Renewal: Spiritual Practice 3 – Develop a Personal, Conversational Relationship with God

October 26, 2016

christdoorAs we continue our journey toward Covenant Renewal Sunday, this week’s spiritual practice is “Develop a Personal, Conversational Relationship with God.” Some people might read this and think, “Ah…Christianity Light.” It’s true that some people talk about a personal relationship with Christ in a way that privatizes their faith and avoids the costly discipleship of engaging with a broken world. Yet, it is a personal, conversational relationship with God that provides the necessary direction, transformation and power for doing ministry and mission. We take Jesus at his word when he said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). (more…)

The Sound of Silence

January 4, 2012

After the fire, there was a soft whisper.”

A soft whisper. A still small voice. The “sound” of silence. How and where Elijah experienced God after his battle with the prophets of Baal and close escape from the queen.

As I read these words in yesterday’s Old Testament reading, my mind went to “The Hut,” a small, single room cabin I used to visit for monthly overnight retreats. It’s on the property of a retreat center in Three Rivers, Michigan called The Hermitage. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, just a wood stove to ward off the winter chill. The Hut stands by itself in the woods, about a half-mile from the main retreat complex. (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…)