Showing posts from 2019

Faith, Doubt and Certainty

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. Listen to this quote by MacDonald: Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth. Part of my personal story over the past seven years involves my own journey away from sub-standard certitude and moving towards a more authentic faith. Certainty is a poor substitute for authentic faith. Certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. It's easy…until it’s not.
From time to time we have to wrestle with questions, with doubt to arrive at real faith. Certainty can’t be bothered with all that.Real faith makes room for doubt and questions. Real faith gives us space to work out our salvation — understanding that the effort to believe is the very thing that makes doubt possible.Real faith is not afraid of doubt, but the faux faith…

Click "Like" 👍

There’s a big difference between liking Jesus 
and being like Jesus.
What is Christlikeness? The simple, theologically sophomoric, definition is a person who has qualities like Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth saying: “…Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ…”Being Christ like says we are a kind, forgiving, sincere, caring and accepting person. “…Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did…” 1 John 2:6

Perfect God,  Broken Man.  What forms our  identity as Christians, but the patterns of our lives in direct reflection of the life of Jesus. Consider the early 1900’smusical lyrics from James Rowe:

🎶Earthly pleasures vainly call me;
I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me;
I would be like Jesus. 
Be like Jesus, this is my song… Easier said than done. Perhaps it seemed like a good idea in 1900, but is it doable today? What might that look like in 2019? Hint - it looks like servanthood.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, there’s the mandate from the pro…

#Soxtoberfest 2019

We aren't pulling the wool over your eyes!  Clean new socks are good for the soul;
 new socks change lives.  #Soxtoberfest - it’s a movement we’ve done for a couple of years; It’s a hoot for our grown-ups and teenagers; Just another way to be the church outside the church.
We share a meal and laugh a lot and stuff hundreds of pairs of tube socks, with bunches of personal care items and yummy snacks, to share with our brothers and sisters who call the streets of Houston Texas their home.
Join us Wednesday October 9th @ 6:30pm
If you can’t team up with us in person, feel free to partner with us electronically. For a gift of $10 you can help us distribute hundreds of pairs of new, much needed, stuffed socks. Very Cool!#pkes

Donate  /  Directions All gifts are tax-deductible and a year-end giving statement is prepared and sent, the end of each January. Ministry in Motion is a Texas Nonprofit Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) corporation under the US Internal Revenue Service Code.
#MetroLifeChurch #MinMChurc…

“Pax Vobiscum” (“peace [be] with you”)

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister they called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to her guest, Jesus, and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
When Jesus arrives at their home, there is a clear contrast in behavior between the sisters, Mary and Martha . While Martha was in the presence of the Prince of Peace she was also the picture of stress. Why? As a result of her Martha’s stress, her building resentment, she  finally lashes out. Martha focuses her tension on her sister, bad-mouthing her to Jesus. And, isn’t that just like stress? It causes us to: become easily agitated, frustrated, and moody; Feel overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control; Have difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind — the…

Do It Well

Anything worth doing Is worth doing well
There is some debate as to the wording and origin of this idiom. Was it Aristotle or Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield ? I guess it's really not that important. Suffice to say, my parents, second generation Americans, were motivated by the quote’s application. They weren’t college educated but they were schooled in hard work. Work well done was a lesson they taught me and my siblings at a very early age.
My brothers and I all worked at some various jobs, through high school: paper routes, shoveling snow, cutting grass in the neighborhood — an unquestionable work ethic was rooted in us. Once, I recall my mom walking down the street to evaluate a neighbor's lawn that I had just mowed. She was not happy with my work-product and made me cut, edge and rake the entire yard, a second time, for free.

These personal experiences and my upbringing got me to thinking about a young Jesus — what did that look like?In seminary I had several course…

The 7 Sacraments - Are they all Biblical?

The seven Sacraments celebrated by the historical church and pictured in this graphic all have their roots in scripture, although some are featured more prominently than others. Consider that: There are many references to Baptism, of course, beginning with Jesus’ Baptism by John.The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus at the Passover Supper (Matthew 26:26-29). 
Confirmation, though not specifically named in the Bible, it's loosely traced back, by some writers, to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his Baptism.“And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."Mt 3:17.I would have to chew on this explanation a bit more to be convinced it’s confirmation...
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, while not practiced in the same way in biblical times as we know it now, is rooted in Jesus’ ministry of forgiving sins.Look at the time after Jesus’ resurrection, he breathed on the disciples, imparting them with the Holy Spirit and stating, “I…

A Confession

I have to confess,  I have not contemplated, steeped in, or spent enough time in, the Sermon on the Mount; not as often as I should — as I must.

The Beatitudes describe the ideal disciple and his rewards, both present and future. Each is a Proverb-like proclamation, without narrative; each is somewhat cryptic yet incredibly precise — full of heart wrenching application and meaning. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. St Gregory of Nyssa, a theologian who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around …


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Privatized Salvation 2.0

Previously I dropped a post and spilled some opinions about  Privatized Salvation. Of some 36k views, this post was the second most read post from Ministry in Motion.

Today I was moved as I stumbled upon this quote from the late American Presbyterian minister, scholar, theologian, author, and poet, Eugene Peterson: “Jesus is our primary revelation that God is personal....Everything we know about God we know through and by means of Jesus. And Jesus is nothing if not personal--a living body and soul, who eats bread and fish and drinks water and wine."
The Apostle John wrote in his Gospel:“…And this is eternal life: that people know you, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the One you sent…” When I speak of knowing God, it is important to understand that I’m are not talking about an abstract or speculative thought concerning a heavenly deity.Or a mystical experience or a climactic event with the Eternal, but about a coming alive to God. Moses came down from Mount Sinai,…

Unity - A Dialogue of Nature, Art and Science

Artist, naturalist and author Christopher Marley reveals the sometimes obscure beauty in nature through his three-dimensional work with animal, mineral and plant specimens. While wondering around the Houston Museum of Natural Science I was struck by this quote at his Biophilia Exhibit

"…Unity is the backbone of the Biophilia theory. It is because we are part of nature that we innately love it. And when we begin to see natural elements that relate to one another visually…it is enthralling…because it reinforces that fact that we also belong. Our love of nature is not just a star-struck crush or a hopelessly unrequited pursuit. If minerals and insects can match, if birds and fish can go together, if fossils and servants can form a perfect ensemble, then surely humankind belongs as well. When nature is unified, humankind cannot help but be included in the group hug…”
Unity. No matter our heritage—Jew or Greek, insider or outsider—no matter our status—oppressed or free—we were all given…

Faith & Flexibility

Previously I dropped a post with some thoughts about rigidity: Political, Cognitive, Social and Religious inflexibility.In this post, we read of Christ’s encounter with the religious and political movers and shakers of his time, the Pharisees, Chief Priests and Scribes all  illustrated in Mark’s Gospel. Fast forward to 2019, in America, and we see, and are experiencing, an amalgamation of unyielding ideas and attitudes that is becoming deafening and defining. What causes a large community people to move towards societal rigidity?
Experts opine thatwhile each person is unique, several causes may be common. 
Two are: An early-childhood experience, trauma, can lead to the unwitting, unconscious, need to control other people and situations.Another consideration for excessive rigidity can be seen as an attempt to make an unpredictable world safe from confusion, doubt, and pain.Author and psychologist Andrea Umbach wrote: "Adults and children must find a balance between structure and spont…

Interpersonal Relationships

How do you manage interpersonal relationships? I asked that question recently and to no surprise the answer I received was....poorly. An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring.The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship.
Your interconnection with others is customizable,  with God it's vital to your Christian walk. Consider that social life, the health of your marriage, and your family relationships all reflect on your personal walk with the Lord. I'm motivated by these verses of scripture from the Greek Testament: "...And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live....Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one …

Rigidity - Religious, Political & Social

In 2017 Pope Francis reportedly said:  “…many young people in the Church have fallen into 
the ‘temptation of rigidity’…”Catholic Herald What does the adjective rigid bring to your mind when describing a person? 
Rigid can mean unbending, strong, unyielding, righteous, fanatic, immovable, and/or stiff. These qualities can be assets or liabilities, depending on the situation.  Politically rigid ppl often view facts and evidence as simply inconvenient road bumps to their political ideals;  Cognitive rigidity. The technical definition of cognitive rigidity is “difficulty changing mental sets.” Simply put, this means switching from thinking about things one way, to thinking about them a different way. This trait is not unique — we all have it or express it, some more than others; 
In psychology, Social rigidity refers to an obstinate inability to yield or a refusal to appreciate another person's viewpoint or emotions characterized by a lack of empathy;  Religious or Theological Rigidity.Dogma…