Monday, May 29, 2017

When Helping Hurts - How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting The Poor... And Yourself

One of the things that has quickly become a favorite thing to do is to connect people with books, with information, ideas that can change their minds and their lives.

In this post I want to share with you a book, By Steve Corbett, whose title I found quite provocative.


While I certainly disagree with the Author on a few points, this book is a necessity for Christians who have a heart for the poor (that should be all of us by the way). The benefits that this book provides in perspective and practical/actionable information is unmatched when thinking about ministry for/with/by the poor.

You can get yourself a copy and form your own opinions to argue with me if you want.

Or

You can read my review of the book and just send a copy to a friend who you think should have it on their shelf

   


 Here Is My Review:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Christianity and Democracy are opposing ideas

Over the last several months, I have been bothered by the political rhetoric of Christians on both sides of the political aisle. The sermon (below) was influenced by the frustrating divisions that exist in our culture, even among Christians.

I must say that I do put forward my political position in this sermon and I will be even more direct right here.

Christianity and Democracy are opposing ideas. Christians are to pledge their loyalty to Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus, therefore, is who we acknowledge as the sovereign of our own lives. By doing this we are claiming that we do not put our trust and hope into a democratically elected political figure but instead we entrust our lives to a benevolent monarch.

Furthermore, although not addressed in the sermon below, Christians should have a heart for minority concerns as Jesus himself advocates for the least and the lost. While admittedly many utilize democratic process to try and advocate for those in the margins of our world, democracy itself gives no concern for the minority. That is a basic civic statement that I am confident some will find controversial but it should not be. Think about it… anytime you put a matter to a vote, the majority wins and inversely the minority loses.

Nonetheless, faithful Christians are not excluded from participation in democracy. Personally, I encourage participation in politics in whatever setting you are governed by. I also believe that democracy is the next best thing to a benevolent monarch and Jesus is the only one history has ever seen that has lived up to the standards of a king that our scripture provides. So really a democracy, while imperfect, is the best we have and our participation in it should be influenced by our faith in Jesus Christ.
*** This in no way means that we should vote for a person because of their stated faith. It means we should vote for who we believe can execute the office to which they are being elected in order that they may bless the entirety of the people they serve***

My point in the sermon is this – We as Christians are called to love even the people we disagree with.

Check out the sermon below and accept the challenge.



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Madeline's Baptism

I have had the joy and pleasure of baptizing two of my three children. The following video is the special occasion that it was to baptize my daughter Madeline at Lake Cities UMC in January of 2017. It is a gift to be in covenant with a group of people who will live in loving community to help raise your child to know God.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Even when God is silent - John 1:14

This is a message about those times in life when God is silent. Perhaps you are in a place in your life (or know someone else who is) where you are begging God to say something. You want God to speak into your life, yet it feels like God is not responding. This video is for you.



In this video I point out a few things that I will elaborate on here:

1st - I say that sometimes it is better to live things out than to say things. Another way of saying this is that "It is better to walk the walk, than to talk the talk." A great example in your everyday life for this would most certainly be an apology. Think for a moment about something in your life that you are constantly needing to apologize for, do you think that after a while your words become less than enough? It is certainly better to live out your amends by changing your actions for the better.  However, Jesus does a LOT more for us than just living out an apology.

The thing that Jesus communicates to us by becoming flesh instead of "just saying it" is the degree to which God loves us, and the lengths to which God will go to prove that love. 

2nd - I want to actually list the scriptures that I reference in the video. They are:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 8:8 - And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. (The context here is there was a woman who was caught in adultery and the men asked Jesus if they should stone her, he responded "he who is without sin cast the first stone" then we have verse 8 where Jesus became silent again. He said what he said, and trusted that it would have the desired result. He did not need to say anything more.)

Matthew 27:14 - But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Jesus standing silently before Pontius Pilate, which has a great significance in teaching us that Jesus is not reduced simply to his teaching because even here where he gives Pilate "no answer" Pilate was in awe of Jesus)


I hope you enjoy it. God bless you. If you have any questions or would like any guidance on your personal walk with God please feel free to reach out.