Sati

Baby feetIn the Beginning

“In the beginning…”

Are there any more famous words than “in the beginning”?

Let’s turn back to “in the beginning” and look God’s handiwork:

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:1-10).

I know that a bit of a long reference…but I wanted to get to the very last word we read…which was?

Good.

“And God saw that it was good.” [Read more…]

“All You Need Is Love”

Beatles Love album

The Beatles

I can’t say I was ever much of a Beatles fan. They broke up before I started really enjoying music…and, other than a few of their tunes like “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” and “Come Together,” none were my favorites.

However, they did one song that is fitting for this sermon:

Love, love, love

Love, love, love

Love, love, love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made

No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time

It’s easy

All you need is love, all you need is love

All you need is love, love, love is all you need

So, what do you think…is all you need is love?

First of all, what is love? It’s a word we throw around a lot. For instance, I love cookie dough ice cream. I love the way you did your hair. Didn’t you love how that movie inspired you?

Don’t worry…I’m not going to do a sermon on the three types of love in scripture: brotherly, erotic, and agape.

But I do think it’s important to note that when, up here at the pulpit, I speak of love I am speaking of a biblical love, not a worldly one.

Not one of desire or one of flippant use.

But is love all you need?

[Read more…]

Dividing God

Scissors cutting heartI have been blessed with the opportunity to lead the tween/teen class for church, and the material I’ve been provided is very good. However, in today’s lesson (based parts of Amos) it appeared to separate God’s judgment and discipline from God’s love.

I think this is a mistake. I love my 7 year-old more than life itself, and might, out of that love, be “long-suffering”…but if I never never called him to the carpet when he needed it…how loving would that be?

Not very.

Ditto when it comes to the larger world. For instance, in a classroom it would not be loving for a teacher to never correct a student…not loving to that student nor the rest of the class that suffers because of that child’s misbehavior. I’m sure you could start thinking up a bunch more examples (e.g. enabling a drug-addicted son or daughter).

So, I don’t think that our Lord’s justice and discipline are separate from His love. Instead, I believe it is a vital…loving…aspect of it.

And I would suggest Hebrews 12:5-7 confirms this (emphasis mine):

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Praise God He loves us so much He will do whatever it takes to set us straight!

The Hand of God

A Father’s Hand

In this week’s bulletin article, "A Father’s Hand," I compared my holding Augie’s hand to how our heavenly Father holds ours. I won’t regurgitate all of it now…but before I wrote that I used my Logos Bible Software 4 to look up every occurrence of the word "hand" in the English Standard Version. There were enough that it had to split the results into two pages…and a huge hunk of the results spoke of the hand of God.

Enough that all this sermon is going to be able to do is lightly touch on the subject…but hopefully in a way that by the end you’ll not only want to have that hand touch you, but that you’ll realize just whose hand is reaching down from above.

Whose had?

And let’s start with the question of whose hand…

Looking through all the uses of "hand" in the Old Testament, my favorite book was Isaiah. In his poetry and prose I couldn’t help but connect our Lord’s hand with our Lord’s majesty. For instance, let’s turn to Isaiah 45:11-12:

11 Thus says the LORD,

the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:

"Ask me of things to come;

will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?

12 I made the earth

and created man on it;

it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,

and I commanded all their host.

[Read more…]

“Mighty Mouse come down and save the day…”

Mighty Mouse

(October 19, 2010 for October 24, 2010)

Today was day two of week two of my “Couch Potato to 5K” running program…and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that twenty minutes filled with repeating periods of jogging ninety seconds and walking two minutes is so exhausting for me–by the time I reach the final jogging cycle I’m pretty much spent. I was pleasantly surprised this morning, just as the last interval began, to have Tesla’s “Mighty Mouse” start playing through my headset. It’s a favorite song for both Michael and me, and was a perfect tune to provide motivation through that last painful minute and a half.

Was it luck? Coincidental timing?

God causing my iPhone’s shuffle mode to play the song I needed just as I needed it?

[Read more…]