Monthly Archives: February 2015

Swimming in a Sea of Tranquility

lake_tranquility-1920x1200In this PODCAST, we will discover together an amazing privilege that is ours, especially given tormented world in which we live.

We have been given a unique gift of God’s blessing that Jesus Himself empowers us to bestow on His behalf to others.

Just so you know, this is the kind of person I long to be.

This blessing and privilege defines a pretty amazing purpose statement for our lives.

This is HUGE!

There are so many troubled people in this tortured world of ours. In case you hadn’t noticed, this world has become a #Very.Scary.Place. There seems to be a fog of uncertainty that leaves many of us reeling from feelings of unease in our world today — on a global level, as well as on a personal one. It seems to so many as if the world spinning out of control, as if their world is spinning out of control. To the point where God’s peace is the polar-opposite of what people experience in their self-medicated souls.

Something that is as unsettlingly true in our day as it was in Jesus’ day. Believe me: Life was tough then too.

So in this passage, a very gentle Jesus, who sees people then and now as harassed, helpless, confused, fearful, insecure, fragile… Precious people whom Jesus describes as vulnerable sheep without a loving, caring shepherd.

To people just like them, He then and He now offers the blessing of His peace: the calm contentment that in a world spinning increasingly out of control, Jesus is and ever shall be very much in control.

The most amazing aspect of this is the fact that — as you are about to hear — Jesus gave us, gave YOU, the ability to confer His peace on those so desperately in need of, and craving, His peace.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

May God bless YOU with His peace as you listen.

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Oh What Might Have Been…

CentsTruer words were never spoken. It is an axiom of life. An undeniable reality that is obvious on its face:

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.

Now what in the world does toothpaste have to do with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10, you ask? Everything, my friends. Everything.

For the fact of the matter is that there are some things in this world of ours which, once they are done, there’s no going back. Which is so ironically true about the passage in this PODCAST.

I suppose on the one hand, one could ask: Then why even discuss this? If indeed it is how it is… If it’s how the game is played today… If it’s how the game has been played for years… If it’s not going to change… Not by you. Not by me. Not by anyone…

Then why even discuss this?

Because on the other hand Matthew 10:8 IS in the Bible. Because Jesus did indeed say this. Because Matthew did indeed include this in his Gospel masterpiece. Because these ARE the words of Jesus. So God obviously WANTS us to discuss this.

So despite the fact that I have no illusions about changing anything, the precious truth contained in this passage is well-worth our consideration and understanding. And the fact is, WE don’t have to play this game the way it’s always been played.

We can play by a whole different set of rules. Rules of Jesus’ own making.

As He sent out His disciples, Jesus clearly and unambiguously told His men six words that are paradigm-shattering in their impact. So let’s talk about these six words: What they meant to His followers then. More to the point, what they mean for us, His followers, today.

Or at least what it ought to mean to us today.

And as we do so, please permit me to speak in this podcast with a distinct tone of wistfulness in my voice and body language as we contemplate together what might have been… What might have been, if only our evangelical world had simply taken these words of Jesus seriously and applied in our churches consistently.

Oh, what might have been…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And please share a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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What DOES the Bible Truly Teach about Healing Today?

facebook-depressionThe day before yesterday, I read a recently released report out of University of Missouri on the subject of Facebook Depression.

Well, as you will hear in this PODCAST, I really didn’t need to read a report about that. I know all-too-well what happens in my own rather sizable soul when I scan my FB newsfeed.

Sometimes I just can’t help but to feel so deeply and compassionately and sadly for many of the challenges so many of my friends are going through, especially as they relate to their issues of health.

I, like so many of you, just want to wave a magical wand and fix everything. But I can’t. Of course, as the cliché goes, I do know Someone (capital “S”) who Can.Fix.Everything.

But what happens when He doesn’t?

Perhaps amplifying my FB depression, this was the week for “I don’t know if I believe in God anymore” messages. Messages sent to me by a few of my friends, unsolicited on my part, each message unrelated to the others, in which their faith is floundering, seriously so. This precisely because they have things broken in lives, significantly so. Yet despite their cries and pleas to the Almighty Who — as that name for God so powerfully suggests — has the power to fix it all. But He didn’t. He doesn’t.

Now what?

What does a person do when, in their moment of greatest need, it appears that God is either…

1. Silent/indifferent/deaf to their pleas, or worse…

2. Appears to be powerless to fix it all?

And so, in the lives of some of my friends, faced with a seemingly silent/indifferent and/or powerless God, their faith in God is in a free-fall.

I say all of that so that you know that I take this podcast’s passage in Matthew 10 Ever.So.Seriously. Tonight’s discussion hits me Ever.So.Personally. And so I will endeavor to bring to this discussion Ever.So.Compassionately the understanding of what it’s like to have one’s faith collapse.

Because it’s simply a fact that, despite the title of the runaway bestseller that just celebrated its 30th anniversary with a rerelease of a 30th Anniversary Edition — the book entitled He Is There and He Is Not Silent — for many of my friends, just when they needed Him the most, from all outward appearances God was NOT there and He was deafeningly silent.

Why so silent?

It all comes down to what you will hear in this podcast.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

If it is a blessing to you, PLEASE share a link to this podcast with your friends.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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“These were His Instructions:”

jesus_and_disciplesWe have come in this PODCAST to a monumentally significant section of Scripture.

And yet ironically one of the most ignored.

As we will learn over the next several weeks, here in Mark 6, and its much more complete parallel passage in Matthew 10, we read of something that was for Jesus enormously emotional, and for us incredibly instructional.

Emotional because of its context (Jesus’ compassion for people will shine ever so brightly against dark backdrop of His own rejection); instructional because of its content (that includes wonderfully practical principles we can readily apply).

There is no way for me to overestimate the value of the insights that we will discover together here as we sort of eavesdrop on Jesus as He prepares His men for ministry.

Just to give you a sneak peak of just some of the things that we will learn together as we dissect and digest this that we could call The Master’s Message to His Men, we will discover:

  • How Jesus wants His ministers — both then and now — to conduct their ministries;
  • How Jesus wants His present pastors to pastor;
  • What the template for any ministry that Jesus develops here in Matthew 10 actually looks like;
  • Where the lines of the ministry blueprint are drawn;
  • Jesus’ purpose statement for all future ministries;
  • Jesus’ own philosophy of ministry, and how it translates into our own ministry contexts today.

You could say that Jesus wrote the ministry manual that He intended each of us who dare to minister in His name to follow, and that Matthew 10 is that manual. A chapter of epic importance that was completely overlooked, and never-once-considered throughout my four years of Bible college, three years of seminary, and five years completing a doctoral program.

#Never.Mentioned.Once.

I cannot help but to wonder how different the church landscape would look today if we actually taught future pastors what Jesus taught His men. Jesus planted here in Matthew 10 the seeds of ministry principles that will come to full bloom in rest of New Testament. In short, how we view the ministry and discharge our own ministries begins right here.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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