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Showing posts from June, 2013

Rest

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8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Rest is vital for us all.  No matter how much we try to push our bodies, minds, or souls, eventually they wear down and cry out of us to cease, STOP.  We pop down in the chair after mowing the lawn or we collapse into bed at night.  And after minutes or hours, we will ourselves to get up and start over again.
Sabbath is different the rest.  Sabbath is a pattern God established.  And it is a pattern that was established before the giving of the Commandments on Mount Sinai.  It actually began right after the People of God crosse…

10 Commandments ~ God

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The first three commandments have to do with humans having a faithful relationship with God.  From Exodus 20:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.  4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.  7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Basically, the first three are: 1). No other gods before me; 2). No idols; 3). Words when talking about God matter.  As I posted previously,…

10 Commandments Revisited

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When was the last time you reviewed the 10 Commandments?  Well...as a matter of fact, Wes, I was just thinking to myself the other day about this.  Or, I just happen to always carry a copy of this in my wallet right next to the US Constitution.  Or maybe not so much.  You may have learned the 10 Commandments when you were a kid...or even memorized the every word.  But at some point we forget about this until around Easter when one of a t.v. station re-plays the movie which bears the same name.  
Where do we start with the 10 Commandments?
Some initial thoughts:
The 10 Commandments are found in Exodus chapter 20.  This is after the Israelite people have liberated from the land of Egypt.  This is after they have crossed the Red Sea.  This is after wandering in the wilderness for some time.  It was not as though the people of God entered the wilderness and immediately God gave them the rules.  Rather it took some time...And it took a lot of grumbling on the part of the people that they …

Prayer postures

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Recently, our church began a sermon series on the Lord's Prayer.  Since I have already posted with some thoughts on this central prayer, I will only add that this Prayer encapsulates a living faith that Jesus embodied in his life.  He sought a life-giving relationship with God.  He tried to live in this world, not according to human rules or laws or rulers, but according to God's wisdom and love (what he called the Kingdom of God).  He sought to break bread and share with others.  He sought to forgive others.  He sought to see each person as a beloved child of God.  Every Sunday we say these familiar words which have left a well-worn rut in our minds, like the tires of a truck leave in the mud.  Yet, how often do we let these words linger and even challenge the way we live our life?  
Part of what the Lord's Prayer reminds me of is that there are two dimensions to prayer.  There is a vertical dimension and a horizontal dimension.  The vertical is what connects humans to G…

The Bible Part Two

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For the last month our church has been discussing David Lose's Making Sense of Scripture.  We discussed questions concerning how the Bible is true, how to read the Bible for deeper understanding, and how the Bible was put together.  The conversation was a blessing and allowed people to be honest about their doubts, questions, and insights.  
I am thankful for books like this that invite us to open the pages of Scripture rather than thinking the Bible is only for people with seminary degrees on the wall.  In fact, the whole reformed faith is built upon people reading Scripture together.  Martin Luther translated the Bible so people in his congregation could read the Word.  
Yet, it is difficult to wrap our minds around some stories and we can get discouraged when stories seem so distant from our lives; which is why it is good to read in a community.  Verses you struggle with, someone else might have a keen insight into.  Trying to read the Bible as a solo endeavor can be frustrati…