Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekend Wanderings

Well, the groundhog said we were going to have six more weeks of winter. The daffodils in our yard say, "Winter? What winter?" The temperatures are ranging from the mid 50s to around 70. Of course, March may change all that. Some folks are having some pretty bad weather issues right now and I hope things calm down soon.

On to the good stuff:

Shades of Jurassic Park?
Dominick Santore on forgiveness.
Searching for immortality.
This is bound to work!
Alternative faith.

Looks like a cool place to visit.
Decline narrative.
Good post from Daniel Jepsen.
Disease of being busy.
I didn't know this was a thing.

Good post from Frank Viola.
Walking around money.
Good post from Mike Erich.
Scot McKnight asks a question.
Good post from Keith Giles.

Have a blessed week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Following Jesus: Part 2-Loving God

If we follow Jesus, we will seek to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The problem is that we don't often really know what it is that we love. We may think that we love God, but our love actually belongs to something else. We pursue a different version of what the good life is, a different kingdom. In You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, James K. A. Smith makes the case that we are primarily loving beings and that our love is formed by habits and liturgies that we engage in. Many of the things that we do in our day-to-day shape us and present a vision of a life worth living that is antithetical to the kingdom of God.

Smith makes the point that our love for God is formed and strengthened by the liturgy of the church through the centuries. Coming from a background where we said that we didn't do liturgy (even though it really was a liturgy of sorts,), I have come to appreciate the parts of a worship service, from the greeting and call to worship where we are welcomed by God and called to come apart and lift him up, to the benediction where we receive one final blessing from God and are sent out to bring his Kingdom to bear in our day-to-day. In between, we sing praises to God, confess our sin and receive a reminder of his forgiveness. We give a portion of what God has given to us as an act of worship, and we hear the truth, goodness, and beauty of Jesus from the words of Scripture. We gather around the table and remember what Christ has done for us and receive a foretaste of the feast to come in the new heavens and earth.

All of these things have deepened my love for God, his Kingdom, and his people. I have found that they have begun to work in me to wean my heart from those things the culture says we need to flourish. I have a long way to go, but I am confident that God will continue to work in me and give me a heart for him.

May we all come to love our Father more and more.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weekend Wanderings

This weekend, the NFL season ends Many folks will be watching tonight, some for the game, some for the commercials, and even a few for the halftime show. Unfortunately, there is also a fair bit of  sex trafficking going on in Houston this weekend. Pray that law enforcement officials are able to find those doing the trafficking and bring them to justice.

On to the links:

The groundhog.
Becoming robots?
Bubbles.
Saying, "I'm sorry."
The real problem with driving and texting.

Good post from Bruce Hillman.
Don't overthink.
We're stuck.
Scandal.
This is good.

Music for dogs.
So there is one!
Leaving on a jet plane.
Good post from Keith Giles.
Good post from John Frye.
Learning to get along.

Have a blessed week!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Following Jesus: Part 1

When Jesus called people to follow him, they understood that he was calling them to spend time with him, to listen to him, and to learn to relate to God as he did. For Jesus, this meant seeing God as Father and following God's commands. Jesus did something a bit different than the other rabbis though. He went to the spirit of the Law rather than just the letter. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that the Law went beyond actions all the way to the heart. Jesus then took the entire Law and boiled it down to two commands; love God with every fiber of your being, and love others as you love yourself. And then, Jesus gave us the new command to love our brothers and sisters as he loved us.

I believe that these two things sum up what it means to follow Jesus. We love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength. We spend time with our Father, we learn what is important to him and those things become important to us. We seek his Kingdom above everything else. This involves far more than just reading and even studying the Bible, although that is an important part of it. It involves far more than just hearing sermons and Bible lessons, although that too is important.

We live in a world that asks us to love other things in place of God. There are a number of things that clamor for our affections and allegiance. These things all present a vision of the good life, a vision of a kingdom. Like the Sirens, these things try to draw us into the treacherous rocks where ships run aground and are destroyed. I want to look at that in a future post.

May God help us to love him and follow his Son as our King.

Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings will be away for the next two weekends. We're heading out to the Left Coast to meet our new grandchild, who is expect...