Thursday, September 28, 2006

Teach the Real

Warning, "Jude says that this should be cut up into parts... that some will find these too much to digest in one sitting". So I am publishing it here with the hope of Each of these points will be a good beginning for future surmon topics... I would love to preach on these themes...

Things we Usually do not teach our Kin... and maybe we should:

1. "Lord teach us to Number OUR days". If you are 15 years Old... In 3 years you will be a "Legal Adult" making adult decisions that will set the course of the first part of your life... In 10 years you will have full adult responsibilities and will need to be able to lead others...(Possibly including your own children)... In 20 Years you will be shaping within the sphere of your influence "The Content and Quality of life" for both yourself and those within your sphere of influence... In 40 Years (which may seem a long ways away... but in truth will come sooner than most of us think...) Your Satisfaction will be based on the history you have made... both for yourself and those around you... In 80 Years the next generation will either bennefit from how you Lived or Not... They will have a reason to name you in hisotry with a sense of thanks and gratitude... or Not. Reguardless, Each of us will answer to God for the life that we have lived.

2. "Every Generation has to choose what is of value to pass on to the next Generation." This is not automatic. Whole civilizations rise and fall on the Content and Quality of What they pass on and what the present Generation learns and discovers rooted in their inheritance. See II Timothy 2:2

3. We Are born lost and not knowing our way into a world that is lost in both confusion and "Sin"... this is both personal and public.

The state of confussion is easy to see. We all struggle with it to some degree every day. Confussion simply is not knowing what we are doing and why we are doing it. Only by facing bravely this state of mind does one mature and rise above it... Sometimes for short momments... and sometimes for longer periods of time. (Humility is learned in this cloud of Unknowing when we can say we do not know... only then is discovery possible.) Groups only rise out of their own confusion when they can wrestle honestly with humility the real questions that impinge on life.

The reality of being stuck in Sin is hard for the modern/post-modern mind to see. And if the adults will not see it for what it is then that makes it even harder for the youth who are growing up to see what is going on. (Hebrew 3:12-13) Sin hides itself in our pride and without honesty it does us and the next generation real damage. The most productive word picture that I have found so far is "taking the trash to the trash can". I know in my head what I am doing. I do it any way. Much of what is in there is not good for the earth and will end up in this place called a landfill. Generations after me will suffer for and from my actions. It is really hard to stop... Recycling to the extent that I do it only eliminates some of it. Yet anything I do not address is toxic for the next generation.

(The reason why this generation finds the language of the church about sin hard to understand is because of the pride and arrogance of our times... We have spent far too much time accusing others of evil and sinfull acts while ignoring our involvement with sin ourselves... In contrast if God can through the Holy Spirit convict us daily of the sin in our own life... it will be natural that those around us will bennefit from our humility and find themselves also convicted by the same loving and gracious Holy Spirit. Currently we live in a world that wants justice done to somebody else... rather than the more hopeful view that Mercy can triumph over justice.)

4. Understanding our Times. Currently we live at a time where we are being consummed by consummerism. Materialism has lost any anchor to meaning and reason. Many desire to posses things and in turn secretely find themselves possed by them as a way of being "Cool", Comfortable, Entertained, or Significant. More simply put we know that we should love people and use things; Yet, the current dominant culture teaches us to love things and use people. In fact the way we use the worlds resources shows us to what extent we value power and things over the value of a life. Our times are very far away from the values lifted up by Jesus... who said, "Whatever you have done to the least of these my brothers you have done it to me." (Matthew 25)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

II Timothy 2:2

I am asking for prayer as I am glowing with a sense of joy mixed with sadness. My friend Roxy teaches 6th grade at a local grade school. She is having her baby dedicated to God this Sunday at our church. She took a personal day today to help a friend...

My Friend Chris has helped his wife Roxy get through school. Supported her all along the way. Now it is his turn to go back to school and get his education. He is a loving and tender father... Supportive of Roxy their baby and now Roxy's efforts to help her friend in this time of need.

When the family network fails to be the support network... Where can people turn... "Who is our Neighbor?"

Families... Valued or thrown away... Roxy's friend needs to escape an abusive addicted boyfriend/father who says he does not want or need her and their kids anymore. So her friend takes a step towards freedom and hope for her children without their father. Roxy's desire is that the love and life that has impacted her life will be passed on to others... A love rooted in God (Ephesians 3:14-21).

What we live and teach is intergenerational. It all is about the quality of lives we live. We need to entrust the best we have learned to those who will pass it on as a heritage -- II Timothy 2:2.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dreams and Jacob's Ladder

I am struck by how Jacob in Genesis 29 responds so profuondly to a dream. His world view connected what he dreamed to reality. This became a doorway for his relationship with God to grow.

These days I am staying up to late to dream... taking in too many images in the form of movies, TV, and Advertisments... Lacking the stillness to dream...

There is a connection to dreaming, hope, and praying. When our deepest desires get burried in the imeadiate we forget to pray. Satisfaction is so different than entertainment. Sifted desires... to be left to long for holy longings and then to pursue those longings -- this is the true fruit of prayer.

The integrity of my life is bound up with the integrity of my dreams and my prayers.

Dreams are only as reliable as the soul that has them. Initiative can come from God and even very tainted souls can be touched by the devine in their dreams. The integrity of our response.

Anywhere where we can dream is Holy ground.