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Archive for April, 2009

Water

April 28, 2009 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? Water can be a dangerous thing. I am sitting here in Houston and we have just recieved around 10-12 inches of rain over the past 24 hours. Things are underwater, and vehicles are stuck everywhere. Schools have been cancelled and things around the church are quiet as our activities have been cancelled as well. Water- a good thing and a dangerous thing! I think back to the symbol of water in our faith. Martin Luther recognized the importance of recognizing our baptism each and everyday. Remember your baptism when you wash your hands, when you take a shower, when you go swimming. Remember. I don’t think we can’t NOT forget with all this rain we have been having. I started to think today though, really in baptism water can be a dangerous thing too. When we are baptized we all become children of God. Baptism is a new birth. We are members of the body of Christ. We are freed from sin and death to righteouness. And that’s a dangerous thing. Now we are called to do something greater as members of the body of Christ. We are called to “take up our cross and follow” Christ. That’s not easy. That’s not something to take lightly. It is in a term, dangerous- but in a good way. To be a follower of Christ is not something that can be easy. Jesus tells us in scripture that there will be people who speak bad about you, rebuke you, and sometimes even persecute you on account of His name. Look at the life of Paul- shipwrecked, imprisoned, and almost stoned to death. That’s dangerous stuff! Yes, water can be a good thing (in baptism we are buried with him and are raised from the dead by the glory of the Father), but it call also be a dangerous thing (picking up our cross and following Christ) as well.  Let us not forget in whose name we are baptized and what that means in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. That’s the good word!

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Our Gifts For His Glory

April 18, 2009 1 comment

What’s the good word? Well, I am at our junior and senior high retreat at T Bar M Sports Camp in New Braunfels today. I have a short break and wanted to share some of what we have been talking about. We have been talking a lot about discovering our gifts and then using them for God’s glory. Today I told them that in order to discover their spiritual gifts, they need to realize how important they are to God. It’s not hard to remember our baptism, as it’s been raining A LOT lately, but we need to first remember that in our baptism God calls us and claims us as beloved children. We are God’s beloved, with whom God is well pleased.

Then it’s up to our GPS. To discover your gifts, you have to use your GPS. First, What are you Good at?  That’s the “G”. What are the things that you think you are good at? Next, the “P”- what are you Passionate about?  You have to be passionate about your gifts. What are you passionate about? Are you passionate about teaching? Serving? Healing? Being Welcoming? Whatever it is, make sure you are passionate. Finally, realize that there are going to be Struggles. That’s the “S”. There will be days when you ask yourself, “God, am I supposed to be doing this?”

Remember, we are God hands and feet in the world. The ELCA’s mission statement is, “God’s work, our hands.” I just read in a book that we are the flesh of God in this world. When we order “Queso con carne” we are ordering cheese with meat. Well, we are God with meat!! I know a little gross, but you get the drift. This goes along with what Luther said talking about being “Little Christ’s” in the world.

You are chosen by God. You have been given gifts to use for the good of others. Discover those, and use them to the benefit of God’s glory!

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Do You Have It?

April 10, 2009 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? Have you ever heard that saying, “That person has it.” I remember hearing coaches saying an athelete has it. What do they mean? They have it? What is it? I have been reading this book recently called, “It- how churches and leaders can get it and keep it.” It explains a little about what it is, but really doesn’t get at exactly what it is in particular. The author talks alot about how to get it and keep it, but that’s about it. Can the same be said for us? I’ve been wondering, do I have it?  Do you have it? The truth be told, whether we actually define it or not, one thing is for certain, when someone has it, you can see it. Right? It‘s unique, powerful, life-changing. It’s nice when churches have it, but I’ve been thinking as I’ve been reading this book, in order for a church to get it, does it have to start with us getting it?  Maybe it does. I think we can get a glimpse of it and what it is from Jesus’ own words from the Gospel of John “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Hmmm….now there’s food for thought. But maybe we haven’t gotten any further to defining what it is, maybe we can’t.

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Another Book, Another Message

April 1, 2009 2 comments

What’s the good word? Today I was at a meeting with our synod’s staff. I was sitting in the board room when I looked at the center of the table and there it was…another book. But not just any “another book.” This was another book about the Bible. I just finished reading one, and now here I was being drawn to the book like a flying insect flying towards the bug zapper. I got zapped by the last one I read. How did I get zapped? Well, deep down, I realize that we can always use another book on the Bible. The Bible istelf is such a complicated collection of books, written by many hands over many years. It also has in it a wide variety of media: poetry, history, parable, theology, and apocolypse. Just saying they are divinely inspired doesn’t make them any easier to read. Let’s face it, if the Bible were simple to undersatnd, I would have nothing to do, and we wouldn’t have any need for any spiritual institution. Would we even have a need for God?  Hmmm….I’ll have to think on that. So here I sit, typing this blog with another Bible book sitting next to me. Did I learn something from the last book?  Most definately. Truth of the matter is, no matter how many times I read a story in the Bible, no matter how many professors I have had and how many hours I have sat in classes on the Bible, every time I pick it up, I learn something new. I see something different. So maybe another book on the Bible is justified. Well, I’ll see once I read it!!

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