An interesting passage in Romans 6:14... " for sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace." So If you are under grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, you will follow Jesus. Jesus has said, as recorded in the gospels, a lesson that there will be some or many who will come to the gate and claim they preached and healed and performed miracles in Jesus name, and yet God will say that he never knew them. How could that be? Did they not follow?
What were they following? an idea in their head? or the real Son of God? Were they trying to fit the category, or was the spirit truly working in their hearts? Was their following a matter of duty and performance, or was it a matter of love?
Jesus said to follow, you had to give everything you have. Money, time, effort, purpose, direction, desire. Or maybe be prepared to give everything you have? To do so willingly and not reluctantly?
Maybe it is to demonstrate the grace that Christ gave to us. To forgive as he forgave, and because He forgave our much larger debt.
But the answer is not the same for everyone; it is a matter of the heart.
And God knows the ways of the heart, while we see only the outward things.
Thank you for your thoughts on Acts! These are some of the very questions I wanted to address in my book, "Together for the World: The Book of Acts." Thanks for keeping the conversation going on a book that's what we need these days as we learn to re-evangelize our culture.
Jeff so did I. What year and in what?
I have been pretty critical of quite a number of Do Justice articles in the past but this is a good one. It focuses on how each of us should regard and treat our neighbors, and avoids taking a position on what the government should do in terms of setting or enforcing immigration laws.
I am inspired by this article. It conveys what I know to be true and my experience in leadership. The metaphors of "a journey" and "marathon" are right on. Listening and making room for people who have different perspectives, cultures and experiences are critical in Christian leadership.
When I read articles in the CRCNA on leadership, I try to see myself , an African American woman who did not grow up in the CRCNA, and others like me in what is being said. This article is transparent and relational.
I especially like, "As a white male; I need to keep before me the need (if I am going to be a good leader) to seek out the voices of others who will bring wisdom and insights that I would miss—if I am not deliberate to listen and learn from them. If we really see value in a chorus of witnesses, we need to be willing to seek those voices out to be part of that choir. For me, this mean that I must seek the counsel of women, Canadians, African Americans, Brazilians, Chinese, Koreans, Latinos/Latinas and the list goes on. (I have a lot to learn.)"
A key question is really, "What do we value?"
Thank you. Have a blessed time as you continue the Reformation Tour.
Beautiful prayer. Thanks for sharing.
Here is a prayer I will use this week for our Friendship Sunday
Eric Westra - good friend
We have lost two children....both adults, and both with families
Gordon is where I got a DMin but they have a lot of offerings. I would check out their Shoemaker Center or talk with Steve Macchia who works at the Pierce Center for Disciple Building.
Jeff thanks for the suggestion. What did you participate in? Any brown bag offerings? Have you interacted much with the Ockenga Institute? Thanks.
Thank you so much for sharing, John. The book sounds interesting and insightful.
Just reading this. My heart breaks for this searing loss. Thank you for sharing. I am deeply encouraged by your testimony. Prayers until you see her again.
Each year during Holy Week - usually on Good Friday - I read through the book "We Call This Friday Good" - by the late Dr. Howard Hageman. Hageman, who served as a pastor in the Reformed Church of America and served as president of New Brunswick seminary - writes about each of the 7 words Jesus speaks from the cross. His writing helps connect me anew with the humanity of Jesus. Each year, as Holy Week draws near, I find myself eager to again listen and experience anew the deep love of Jesus.
Thank you for sharing this opening, Joan!
Please consider applying for our opening!
My sister Jeanet....
Gladys (Boven) Tacoma - my mom
Powerful. Thank you for sharing Patiliai.
Love this! "While Easter is deeply personal, it is also universal" is a statement that really resonates with me. Thanks for sharing.
Safe Church would like to post this update from Futures without Violence about teens taking the lead!
Young survivors of sexual assault and harassment, as well as their parents, are not backing down. They are taking on Congress and their local school districts - and winning. Take for instance this week’s news article about a group of teenagers in Oregon who forced their school district to change how it handles sexual violence.
Anyone can be an activist for change, and this week is a perfect time to join in the fight. Through the end of this week, Congress is in recess, which means your Congressional Representatives and Senators are back in their home offices. Let’s make sure our Members of Congress know how critical it is to fund and enforce programs and services that address sexual assault and harassment in K-12 schools across the country.
We encourage you to call or visit to express your support for items such as: Continued funding and support for the federal Office of Civil Rights and Title IX enforcement; Funding for consent education and prevention programs in middle and high schools; and Support services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and cyber harassment.
Let's follow the lead of these teens. I'm praying for the day when the Church will take the lead in the fight to end abuse.
Everyone enjoy their "Feast of First Fruits" (Some call Easter) Service!
Feast of First Fruits = Third Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread = 16th of Nisan, 5777
This day ends at sunset on 13Apr 2017 (sunset = 7:32 PM ET)
Why is that important?
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.
The day before the Sabbath was commonly called the "preparation day" because chores were done on that day to avoid working on God' day of rest. Clearly, we see from Jn 19:31 that Christ was crucified and His body placed in the tomb immediately preceding the Sabbath.
The question to consider is "which Sabbath"?
Most people assume John was speaking of the regular weekly Sabbath day observed from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. From John' clear statement here, most people assume Jesus died and was buried on Friday-- thus the traditional belief that Jesus was crucified and died on "Good Friday."
But is that true?
Most people have no idea that the Bible speaks of TWO KINDS of Sabbath days-- the normal weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of the week. (Friday Sunset to Saturday Sunset. Not Sunday. Sunday is the first day of the week), and seven ANNUAL Sabbath days, listed in Lev 23 and mentioned in various other passages. These annual Sabbath days could fall on ANY day of the week. Once we understand this we see that "Good Friday -- Easter Sunday" never happened that way!
Notice again in Jn 19:31 that the Sabbath Day is referred to as a "high day". That term was used to differentiate a weekly Sabbath from an annual Sabbath.
So what was this "high day" that immediately followed Jesus' hurried entombment?
Mt 26:19 - 20, Mk 14:16 - 17, Lk 22:13 - 15 tells us the evening before Jesus was condemned and crucified, He kept the Passover. This means that He was crucified on the Passover day. Lev 23, which lists God' festivals, tells us that on the day after the Passover, another festival, known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. ( Lev 23:5 - 6). This day is the first of God' annual Sabbaths.
This is the "high day" of which John wrote on Jn 19:31.
Passover began at sundown and ended the following day at sundown when this annual Sabbath began.
So this is the correct order of events:
Nisan 13 (Tuesday ends at 6 pm sunset. Nisan 14, Wednesday begins at 6 pm sunset and ends just before sunset the next day.)
1. Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples and then arrested later that night.
2. After daybreak, the next day, He was questioned before Pontius Pilate, crucified, then hurriedly entombed just before the next sunset when the "high day", the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread began.
Jesus gives up His spirit approximately the 9th hour which is 3 pm. So Nisan 14 begins at sunset right after Jesus is placed in the sepulcher.
Computer programs have demonstrated that Nisan 14, 31 A.D. was a Wednesday, not a Friday.
Nisan 14 ends at 6 pm sunset on Thursday. Nisan 15, the "high day", of the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at 6 pm sunset on Thursday and ends just before sunset on the next day.)
Jesus has now been "in the Earth" for 24 hours. (One day and one night.)
Nisan 15, the "high day" ends at sunset and the weekly Sabbath, Nisan 16 begin at 6 pm Friday and ends just before sunset the next day.
Jesus has now been "in the Earth" for 48 hours. (Two days and Two nights).
Nisan 16 ends at 6 pm Saturday and Nisan 17, "First Fruits", which is the third day of the 7-day feast of Unleavened Bread that begins at 6 pm Sat and ends at sunset the next day.
At sunset, in the last few minutes of Nisan 16, God, the Father resurrects God, the Son from death! Because it was not possible that death could hold him. He has been "in the Earth" for three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17, Acts 2:24)
1 Wed evening - Thu evening (24 hours)
2 Thu evening - Fri evening (24 hours)
3. Fri evening - Sat evening (24 hours)
So, in conclusion when we understand the difference between God' weekly Sabbaths and His annual Sabbaths any confusion about the days of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection go away.
1 Cor 15:20 -23
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam, all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
So our Lord and Saviour is alive! Risen from the dead and given all honor and all power that can be given. Literally on the day that celebrates the reality that Jesus is the firstfruits of God' Elect!
We crowned him King but the crown was of thorns, he mounted a throne, but it was an unadorned cross, yes it was for my sins that he endured all...
When our daughter Nicole, who has multiple disabilities, still lived with my wife and me, I would sing this blessing to her each evening using Michael Card's Barocha. After I finished, since she cannot use words, she would usually touch my face gently. So thinking about what your wrote about the Lord's name being put on you and Edward, Nicole's touch was her way to put the blessing (and the Lord's name) back on me. Thanks for making these blessed memories even better!
Beautiful! Thanks John for this message which is especially appropriate for this holy week.
Thanks for sharing. Growing up my parents were big Johnny Cash fans. I think I'll use this as our devotional at Easter this year.
I love the historic hymns that we sing during Holy Week. One of my favourites is, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" written in 1707. That means that Christians have been singing it at Easter for 310 years! While Easter is deeply personal (Christ died for me) it is also universal. I love feeling connected to the church of all times and places during this week.
Thanks for sharing Monica. :)
So good to hear about ways others, like Lantern Coffee Bar, are creating safe, encouraging and meaningful spaces. This is definitely something that we as the church body can learn from both in other third spaces we are a part of - as well as in our spaces of dedicated worship.
This is a great article - thanks Monica. Simple things can mean so much. I love the idea of partnering with a local ribbon campaign, what a simple way to raise awareness and show support!
One of my favorite songs is How Deep the Father's Love for Us by Stuart Townsend. Every time I listen to this song (and especially during Holy Week) I am struck by the line "It was my sin that held Him there..."
During Holy Week I take some time to reflect on the weight of my sin. Looking at my sin really brings me face to face with the magnitude of Jesus' sacrifice. A grace I could never earn. Following this I am filled with a deep gratitude and hope. Praise God for making ALL things new!
Hi Meredith, Have you found your ride? If not, I would like to help! Could you email, I have a couple of questions for you. Here's my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The question about the longevity of digital records is very real for archivists. First there is the question of ongoing software changes, after several new generations of softwares, files generally became unreadable. This problem now is being resolved, but another question is longevity of digital media. It seems to be accepted that digital files can be stored for about 10 years without degradation, although it may be longer, there is no way to know until the time passes. Copies can of course be made, but with each copy a little bit of the original is lost. Related to this is that all digital systems rely on mechanical devices, which can physically fail, so backups are necessary.
In short, paper-based records will last much longer than digital files. But many files now only exist in digital format, so we have to deal with storing digital files, indexing them, and accessing them. I would not recommend converting existing paper records to digital as a means for preservation.
Thank you so much for this comment, Bob. Your insights and references help give a much more accurate and complete picture (and show the trouble with picking and choosing statistics to share). One thing I did appreciate about Hatmaker's article was how she used the lens of a consumer culture to highlight the need for pastors and churches to be equippers, so that each and every person can become a disciple.
I helped distribute a retired pastor's library who is from our church. Credo was OK but didn't take much. I found the best price & distribution at the local seminary's used book store. (Multnomah Seminary in Portland). They were glad to receive all the older volumes as well as more recent ones; they had a ready market of fresh seminary students.
We distribute a monthly serving calendar and on the back of it we have a list of those who have a birthday that month, as well as the couples that are celebrating a wedding anniversary. We indicate if it is a milestone number with a happy face next to the date and a note under the list that says ":-) = "Special" Birthdays (1, 5, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100+)" And then the highlighted anniversaries are 1, 10, 25, 50, 75+
Hope that helps!
What I find fascinating is the fact that only 21% of pastors feel as though their employer has unrealistic expectations of them. And the posted information does not consider how many of that 21% deal with the unrealistic expectations with healthy boundaries. The fact is that according to the March 2011 American Psychology Association's survey, 40% of the general workforce feel that their employer has unrealistic expectations of them. So if 79% of the churches have realistic expectations, where does the negative stuff come from? Certainly not the employer.
As I read through the original article I find that it is exceptionally positive and hopeful for people in ministry. It is a great career with exceptionally positive working relationships, support networks and job satisfaction ratings.
Ed Stetzer's article on the misuse of statistics is helpful to blow away the myth that ministry is the worst calling in the world that leads to terrible marriages, resentful children and burned out pastors. see: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/october/that-stat-that-s...
It would be refreshing to hear conversations that focus on helpful facts like the fact that 93% of Protestant pastors strongly agreed with the statement "I feel privileged to be a pastor" and an additional 4% who agreed with that statement (Lifeway Research). Try to find that satisfaction rate in any other career.
Hi, Gil. Remember teaching in Moscow together. Good times.
I offered everything I had to Gary Vander Scaaf at Credo Books: https://www.facebook.com/Credo-Books-Books-for-Believers-Since-1983-1505...
He gave a fair price for what he could use (not as much as I'd like, but fair) and in my case hauled the rest away to donate or recycle. Not sure how that would work in St. Louis. Maybe you can send digital pictures of your library and get a quote on what he can use, and ship them via media mail.
P.S. I'm not quite retired yet. Got a year to go. Bit I did this when i was moving from Michigan to Alaska four years ago. Too much weight to ship that far. Besides, almost everything is available digitally today.
Interesting idea. Does this limit your office hours or just maximize efficiency?
Appreciate the good suggestions for LED lighting.
I'm with Chuck, I love books. I've been blessed to have inherited a few small collections from former pastors. I would suggest finding a young minister who would be blessed by having such resources available.
Hi, Pastor Gil--
No good advice here, except to say that I wish I were closer to St. Louis--I'd drop in and buy some from you!
I'm as much of a bibliophile (or book hoarder!) as my dad was. Not sure what I am going to do if I ever need to downsize. Shalom, and best wishes on your retirement.
One of your former catechism students,
I am a Coffee Break Co-ordinator from Neerlandia Alberta and have registered for Inspire. I would like to fly to London (direct - as there is no direct flight to detriot from edmonton.) I am wondering if there are any women from London going to inspire that would consider giving me a ride.
Meredith Van Dijk
www.scripturalreasoning.org. If you wanted to talk with someone who has done this often, contact Doug Leonard of the RCA,who is part of the two-denomination group planning the pastoral trips to Oman,or else Justin Myers. They can tell you a lot more than I can.
Hi Barbara. Thanks for sharing. Relationships and love are so important. Can you share with me the link also for the academic based site? I want to do a report on Scriptural Reasoning for our Christian Interfaith Reference Group.
Dirk, thank you for your honesty and transparency in your prayer request. It was an honor and a privilege to come together as the body of Christ to pray last week at the Prayer Summit.
Joshua, thank you so much for sharing this prayer request. It was a privilege to come together as the body of Christ to pray last week at the Prayer Summit.