Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Finished Reading

The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to ComeThe Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come by Rob Moll

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Given the number of people I know who have passed-on lately, and those that are "waiting in the wings" I found this a helpful, informative, and encouraging book. Filled with positive reminders and helpful thoughts as we deal with the reality of death. Good thoughts for helping those who are close to dying and those who shall grieve their passing.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


NAMES CAN BELIE MUCH ABOUT A PERSON. We can learn a person heritage, nationality, often and decade and place location of their birth all from the name that was given them. Some kids grow into their names and others may turn and run from their implications.

Truthfully, sometimes I have to wonder just how sober the parents were when they named their children, or if they gave much thought to the ramifications of how a class full of third-graders can massacre a classmate's name. The art of names and naming is serious business, it is that which is closest to us, and without getting to "pun-ish," names name us.

Of course, all this naming stuff is nothing new, it has been going on from time-immemorial. What is interesting to me is not only what the names may have said about a person, but how they in many instances seemed to determine what they would become.

My sermon text for this coming week is Genesis 29:31-35 and Genesis 30:1-23. Contained in these few verses is the birthing and naming of Jacob's 12 sons. The sons who would eventually be the patriarchs of the Twelve Tribe of Israel. Their names not only speak of the heritage, but would also speak of their future. Not only did they seem to "grow into their names," but so did their progeny.

Each of us have been given a name (or two or three for that matter, not to mention nicknames), some of us have loved our names, and borne them with honor, and some of us may have despised our names and maybe even sought to change them. Yes, names do name us. For those of us who have chosen to follow and obey Jesus Christ, as Savior, Lord and God, we have been given another name as well, His. It too, is a name that can make us. It describes not only our heritage, but also our future. It is a Name that names us.

How well are we wearing that Name?

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Now THAT was GOD!

IT MAY NOT BE AN APPROVED TEXTING ABBREVIATION, but for years we have used the initials TWG, to declare, That was God! Whenever we would experience an event, or heard a story where it was clear that God has "shown up." Sometimes it was a miraculous healing, or sometimes it was a special gathering with God's people where the Spirit of the Lord was evident, or sometimes it was just that "serendipitous" encounter that was anything but serendipitous. It was clear that is was nothing short of a TWG encounter.

This coming week's sermon text is Genesis 28:1-22 and it most definitley contains a TWG encounter for Jacob. While on his way to seek a wife he has a dream while using a rock for a pillow (I guess that would give you dreams, if not a sleepless night!) In his dream he witnesses a ladder ascending from earth to heaven, and if that is not enough, he hears the voice of God reminding him of the blessing that was given to his forefathers and which will also belong to him. The LORD not only restates the blessing of which Jacob is a part, but He also reminds him of the great truths that He shall never leave him, and that the LORD Himself will accomplish what is needed to bring about the culmination of the blessing!

It is all a pretty amazing TWG moment.

What strikes me, too, is Jacob's comment, "Surely the LORD was in this place and I did not know it." I wonder how many times I am in the "LORD's presence" and I do not know it? How many TWG moments do I miss because I am sleeping with my head upon a soft pillow or am I napping in the relative comfort of my life?

I believe this passage gives us some "clues" as to how to keep ourselves aware of the TWG moments, beside using a rock as a pillow. Care to venture what some of those might be? You can also join us on Sunday to get this pastor's take on it as well.

Sweet dreams!

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