Monday Morning Musings for 4.9.18

"And Jesus appointed twelve that they might be with him and that He might send them out..." Mark 3:14

  1. We live in an entertainment-driven, entertainment-saturated culture, and that influence bleeds over into our experience of church and worship. We come to worship thinking we're an audience, but that is not at all what's true – or what God wants. God doesn't want His people to be an audience, but an army. We are called into worship to be in His presence so as to reorient our lives towards who He is and what He wants, but then we go out into the world as agents and builders of His kingdom. We go to fight the battle knowing that the war has been won. As Jesus did in Mark 3, we are called to be with Him, that He might SEND US OUT. This is where the Church – our church – must move away from the consumer mindset, seeing the church as only a place to consume what is wanted or needed, but instead as a place where we are nurtured and equipped to go build God's Kingdom wherever we may find ourselves. Don't fall into the trap of being an audience or you'll miss the joy of what it means to truly be a disciple of Jesus. Come in – be with Him – but then realize you're being sent to fight the battles and contend with the enemy in this world.
  2. In order to accomplish #1, we have to maintain our spiritual vigilance. We have to be alert. In Judges 7, God called the army of Israel by 9,700 because those soldiers had failed to remain alert. Ephesians 6 is a sobering reminder that the enemy seeks our destruction and that of our family, so we need to remain alert and prepared through prayer, Scripture, worship, and engagement with the body of Christ. This is the source of our courage as we enjoin the daily battles!
  3. Kaylee is my favorite child. (This was written by Kaylee after peering over my shoulder about to head to the airport.)
  4. I had a wonderful time with Kaylee over this weekend. I still can't believe she's living in Nashville working as a nurse. She still seems eight-years-old in my heart.
  5. Kudos to the City of Orlando for their good work on breaking ground on the new Village on Mercy, one of four affordable housing developments in progress. It will be 166 units for the working poor, as well as homeless families and the chronically homeless.
  6. Whenever we come to challenging questions or issues and we turn to Scripture for answers, we must consider the WHOLE COUNSEL of Scripture, not merely one text. If all we do is "prooftext", selecting one verse we think supports our cause, we will build a faith according to our own ideas instead of God's truth. As the book of Judges reminds us, when we live in the absence of the true king, "everyone did what was right in his own eyes." We just do what we want, and that will always be a path towards darkness.
  7. EINSTEIN COFFEE LIDS: Be careful!! They switched from Solo lids to some other flimsy brand, and they aren't strong enough to support the cup when you grab it. The past two days, I have started by grabbing my coffee out of my car's cupholder only to have the lid pop off and all the coffee slosh all over the place.
  8. SPEAKING OF COFFEE: This just in. It was not invented by Starbucks. It was invented by Christians. Ethiopian monks, actually. Cappucino actually refers to the color of brown used for the cassocks they wore while working on the beans.
  9. WHAT I'M READING: Tiger Woods, Armen Keteyian. It was a fascinating read the week before the Masters as it gave an honest look into the good, the bad, the worse, and the really ugly of Tiger's life. I'm not a fan, but I do appreciate that he has even made it back this far.
  10. WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: "Craig", Walker Hayes. It's basically about how we should live in the church, and it's climbing the country charts. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.