God Said - Oh Please!

From the church where I had my spiritual awakening, while in seminary, and in the churches where I’ve pastored, I’ve heard and uttered the words: ‘God Said’ I have to confess, the few times I spilled those two words, those seven letters, I felt pretty spiritual. Pretty special. I also recall hearing other ministers, men in leadership pronouncing, ‘God Said’ And with that phrase all questions were shut down. Discussions ceased. No one is allowed to engage, because of with that statement. After all, who wants to argue with God? But that’s exactly why saying ‘God Said’ can be so dangerous, it's a discussion ender. Let’s be honest with ourselves, often, ‘God Said’ is just hyper-spiritual code for: “I want to” but with a slick spiritual veneer.
I’ve repented of the misuse of this brief but caustic phrase. And I encourage my colleagues and readers of this article to consider the potential harm that follows its use, or the culture that allows it. Does God work through our desires? Does He …

After God Show Up

What does God want to add to your story that wasn’t there before?
A Story.  There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come … The Holy Spirit was upon him …the Spirit led Simeon to the Temple. There he saw Mary and Joseph who came to present the baby Jesus, as the law required. Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, and prophesied saying:I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.’ Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Simeon blessed them and added ‘This child is destined … but many will oppose him.’ Regardless, ‘the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed’ because of him. Let the description and attributes of Simeon sink in for a minute. He was a just and pious man, patient yet full of anticipation; He was led by and in touch with the Holy Spirt. He shared truths: “In the end he (the Christ) will lay bare the secret thoughts of many hearts” After God …

Why Bother to Pray?

Prayer. I pray. I like to pray. Prayer has moved hills and mountains in my life. So I continue to pray as if I know for an absolute fact that the one to whom I'm praying can:
Do anything but wrong; Create something huge out of literally nothing;Ignite the universe with the sound of His voice;Feed 5000 with 5 loaves & 2 fish of some unnamed little kid...#pkes
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Friendships Matter - 2019

The average Facebook user has 155 friends, but would trust only four of them in a crisis.The Average Twitter User Now has 707 Followers.77.6 million Instagram users are from the US; Six in ten online adults have Instagram accounts.
Friendships Matter Strong friendships are a critical aspect of most people's emotional well-being. They can: bolster against loneliness; decrease anxiety, and improve one's physical health. When it comes to establishing a friendship, the quality of time spent together is often more important than the quantity. People who study ppl say that it’s not necessary to form a large network of friends. Rather research shows that building, cultivating and sustaining just a few close friends can be huge — providing tremendous benefits.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.”(John 15:15WEB)
How wild it is to think that he…

Love With Us

As a child I had an Advent calendar almost every year. Each day I would open a little cardboard door to reveal a small piece of chocolate candy. One year an opened door netted a plastic charm each day, twenty-five of them in all, not cool. Regardless, the goal was to not open all the doors early, or at once, but to daily wait … unlocking an Advent portal each day while counting down the days to Christmas, and the anticipation of Jesus’ birth.

How is it that the creator of the universe would come among us in diapers? The humility of our God is absolutely astonishing. Because of the presence of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, God with us has personal knowledge of all our hopes and fears in all the years; They are met in Him each Christmas - love is with us. 
Advent is drawing to a close, so I reflect. I appreciate being made for and by someone beyond this world. I, like you, was created by God and for God. St Augustine said it well: “our hearts cannot rest until they rest in God. W…

Growing Hungry For Joy

We often miss Advent's power because these December weeks leading up to Christmas are full of parties and festive holiday preparations. Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having the joy the Advent season truly possesses.  Look around. For many the holiday season isn't filled with joy but with gifts, anxiety, stress, and sometimes - sadness and despair. In experiencing the waiting and the quiet contemplation of Advent, and blended with the joyful beauty of this church season, we can reframe our experiences with new expectations, that will likely not disappoint. It's in this expectancy that a new hunger for life will start to grow within us. 🎵Come thou long expected Jesus Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee... 🎵
Scriptural Text: The Prophet Isaiah wrote: “..With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tel…

Quiet Contemplation

I don’t know if you’ve engaged in Advent in the past, maybe you have, maybe not. This year my hope is that you will journey with us, in our Advent practice as we align with the historic church Calendar, over the next three weeks. Edging closer to Christmas, we have an expectant hope and comfort that fills our hearts as we make room for our Messiah, Jesus Christ. From Isaiah to Malachi, and even in Luke’s Gospel, there is a consistent theme of waiting in lament, in preparation, in anticipation, for God to act. The Hebrew prophets, each in their own way, composed their prophetic poems around this recurring theme: The Lord is coming, God is about to act, but for now…we wait, we hope.
"..See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight - indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts[1] the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into …

Waiting Is Hard

The Advent season is a time of anticipating the coming of God, in Christ, a time of turning our imagination toward the revelation of God’s love for us. For more than two decades I lost track of I the Christian calendar! Once a rich part of my youth, the rhymes of Advent: Peace, Hope, Joy and Love gave way to modern fashionable worship. In reality what I needed was not not more contemporary adoration but more contemplative devotion. So as the Christian calendar turns over today and we begin the pilgrimage towards Christmas, I embrace this holy journey which enables me to anticipate and re-tell and re-live, and enter into the Jesus Story — from the crowded stable to the empty tomb.
Observe with me the deeper richer rhythms of Advent, week one, with Scripture and Prayer:
Scriptural Text: The day will come, says the Lord, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them. In those days and at that timeI will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line.He …

Pergamum - The Seat of Satan

“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:  ‘I know your works, and where you dwell... where Satan’s throne is..." Today, all that's left of the ancient city of Pergamum, now in modern-day Turkey, are ruins. But when  John The Revelator wrote his letter to the church there, it was one of the most influential cities in the Roman Empire. At the end of the first century, Pergamum  was a thriving city. So why does the book of Revelation call it the dwelling place of Satan? The answer lies in the ruins of the city's temples. On one side, the city was incredibly beautiful. But on the flip side, it was one of the darkest, eeriest cities in the whole Roman Empire. But why the darkness? Why the stern rebuke from Jesus? Not really sure how things at Ministry in Motion work? Don't sweat it. Come by and say hi... 
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Christ the King - The Collect

Christ the King -The Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Repairing - Tikkun Olam:  The world is aching for restorative hope. Whether we’ve done things that are our own fault, or whether it's the enemy who has stolen from us, God is the Restorer. “…God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces..”Our Father has a plan, a  goal, for restoring this broken world. N. T. Wright wrote: “The point of Christianity is not… [just] to go to heaven when you die. [Rather it’s] putting the whole creation to rights…” So I take solace, that ultimately, God will repair all things. There is nothing that will not be se…