Posts Tagged With: Harmony

Divide and Conquer

Spoiler Alert: As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, one of the disadvantages of words on a page is that we cannot hear tone; we do not see body language nor facial expression.

In this message, I am attempting tonight to place myself in Peter’s sandals, sit myself at Luke’s writing table, and to teach tonight’s passage—one of most important in NT—in the tone and with the emotions with which Peter confronted a potentially explosive situation; with which Luke recorded this nearly-catastrophic confrontation.

I do not think it a stretch that Peter was caught completely off guard, taken totally aback, disheartened and likely exasperated by the severe reaction he received upon his return to his beloved Jerusalem.

So on the one hand, I speak to you from a broken heart, as I believe Peter’s was broken too.

On other hand, this story in Acts 11 has a glorious ending; and so shall we! God will bring beauty for these ashes! As He always does. As He ALWAYS does.

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.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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“Jesus Wept.”

40364.pIf last week’s discussion revealed to us the iconic image of the heart of Jesus, this week’s PODCAST will unveil to us the iconic image of the humanness of Jesus.

The beloved Apostle John wrote this in the first chapter of his Gospel masterpiece:

“Jesus became human and made his home among us.”

Paul wrote this to his beloved little community of Christ-followers in Philippi:

“Though he was God…  Jesus became completely human.”

Here in John 11, we will see just how completely human Jesus truly was.

I’ll clue you in right here from the start: We are about to witness three powerful, very human emotions collide within the heart and soul of Jesus. And as a result, we will be all the richer for having witnessed this collision, each emotion in response to the death of Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus.

You are about to take a quantum leap in your understanding of who Jesus is, in a way that you may not be anticipating as we break the seal on this (to many people) very familiar story.

This entire discussion under this overarching question: What does it feel like to be Christ-like?

Rabbi, paint picture. OK, courtesy of John, let’s paint this picture. The picture of a very human Jesus, a human side of Jesus that perhaps you have never seen before.

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.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Beginning at the Beginning (A Throwback Thursday Podcast)

cropped-untitled-2-sign-2.jpegWelcome to this introductory lesson that launched the series: Jesus in High Definition.

Two and a half years ago, my faith was in a free-fall. I needed to get back to the basics. Wipe the slate completely clean. Forget about everything I thought I knew and believed about who Jesus was. Forget everything I had ever been taught about who Jesus was. Forget everything I myself had ever taught about who Jesus was.

Back to the beginning I went. With no preconceived ideas about this man, Jesus, I started with His birth and began moving slowly and deliberately throughout His life and ministry. 

At Safe Haven, 116 podcasts later, we are at about the halfway mark. It would be the height of understatement for me to suggest that this study has been for me absolutely REVOLUTIONARY. A picture of Jesus is emerging each and every week that is paradigm-shifting in the extreme.

This little blog post is my way of inviting you to come along for the ride. Depending upon your responses, each Thursday I’ll post the next podcast in the series. That way, you won’t have to jump in at #116. You can hear it as we gave it — every week — over the last many months.

I sure hope that you enjoy it!

By harmonizing the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — we will study the life of Christ in chronological order, from the first utterances of the angels heralding His birth, to His crucifixion and resurrection. It is our sincere hope and expectation that as we immerse ourselves in Jesus’ life and ministry, we will fall more deeply in love with Him (I certainly have!), and become more and more like Him (I certainly hope that I am).

In this first lesson, we will provide you with an overview of the entire Bible — think of it as looking at the boxtop of a puzzle — so that we will understand exactly where the individual “pieces” of the Gospels fall within the grand sweep of the biblical drama.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy our study of Jesus in HD.

PLEASE NOTE: With some browsers, it may take up to 60 seconds before the podcast will begin to play.

God bless you as you listen. And please, invite others to join us on this journey.

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Back to the Beginning!

Welcome to this encore presentation of the introductory PODCAST that launched what was then, back in November of 2012, a brand new and exciting and life-changing series: Jesus in High Definition

I know my friends in the midwest will laugh at us here in the Pacific Northwest when I say this. But when it snows — oh, around a half an inch! — the city and state virtually shut down. Well, we are into our third straight day of snow, now approaching a full foot.

snow1

Consequently, it was not safe for our precious people to travel to the Safe Haven this week. As a result, we will seize the day and take you all the way back to the beginning, to where our study started: Jesus in High Definition, the very first lesson.

In this first lesson, we will provide you with an OVERVIEW of the entire Bible — think of it as looking at the box-top of a puzzle — so that we will understand exactly where all the individual “puzzle pieces” of the Gospels fall within the grand sweep of the biblical drama.

By harmonizing the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — we have been studying the life of Christ in chronological order, from the first utterances of the angels heralding His birth, to His crucifixion and resurrection. 

It is our sincere hope and expectation that as we continue to immerse ourselves in Jesus’ life and ministry, we will fall more deeply in love with Him, and become more and more like Him.

Why not join us on this journey?

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this little side trip back in time as we revisit our very first study in our wonderful series, Jesus in HD.

If you like it, there’s a free iTunes subscription to this weekly podcast, available HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: Depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds before the podcast will begin to play. Well worth waiting for!!! 😉

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In a Word… “Irresistible.”

Someone near and dear to my heart shared with me something from his heart that, to be honest, broke my heart.

He admitted to me,

“If all I had to go by were many of the Christians I have known — the things they have said, the way they have said them, the way my family and I have been treated by those in the ‘church,’ especially when we needed them the most — I never would have become one.”

Ouch! That was painful to hear. But you know what? Upon sober reflection, I understand exactly why he said what he said.

He wasn’t the first to say it. He most certainly won’t be the last. 

I heard in his words an eerily-familiar echo. An echo of something the famous Gandhi once said. 

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Let’s say it together: “Ouch.”

It was this very sentiment that compelled me fourteen months ago — after experiencing what you could appropriately call a crisis of faith — to begin at the beginning. Laying aside everything that I thought I knew about Jesus — all that I had heard preached in “church” over all these years, all that I see lived out in so many “Christians” — and starting over with no preconceived ideas whatsoever about who I thought Jesus was/is.

With my fragile and faltering faith literally hanging in the balance, I dove headfirst into the four Gospels with but one singular goal in mind: 

To discover who Jesus REALLY is.

By harmonizing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and moving ever so slowly and deliberately through the life of Jesus from before His birth to after His resurrection, I was and am desperate to cut through all the haze, filter out all the noise, and see Jesus as He really is.

The dear people at the Safe Haven have joined me in this journey that we have called, Jesus in High Definition. And for each of these dear people walking this road with me, I am profoundly grateful. (By the way, you are more than welcome to join us on this journey. You can even start way back at the beginning. You’ll find each of our studies — free downloads each — by clicking HERE.)

Well, fourteen months later, we are halfway through the Sermon on the Mount. Want to know what I have discovered thus far?

Jesus isn’t anything like I’ve been taught that He is. Jesus isn’t anything like I’ve been shown that He is.

In a word, the Jesus who is emerging from the pages of the Gospels is irresistible.

jesushug

Gandhi had it right when he said so simply and yet profoundly,

“I like your Jesus.”

Well, with all due respect to Mr. Gandhi, may I amplify that just a bit? Fact is, “I LOVE my Jesus.” 

Not the Jesus I hear about in church, a picture that is far-too-often distorted.

Certainly not the Jesus of church history. You know, the Jesus of the Crusades, Inquisition, or Holocaust. The Jesus of the Gospels was NEVER a part of any of that.

Not the Jesus I hear pontificated about by politicians who invoke His matchless name to pander to the so-called “Christian right” (whatever that is) to win votes. (People looking to the talking heads at Fox News, or any other news, to see modern-day reflections of Jesus are looking in the wrong place!)

Not the Jesus I see when so many of His “followers” treat others unkindly, harshly, rudely, critically, uncharitably, insensitively, impatiently, judgmentally, with unnecessary cruelty. With an “I’m-better-than-you” arrogance. With a “You’re here to serve me” attitude. Quick to complain when inconvenienced. With an unwillingness ever to be wronged, a refusal ever to turn the other cheek. You know… an empty “fruit-of-the-Spirit” basket.

Jesus was NEVER.ANY.OF.THOSE.THINGS. Ever!

Yes, I LOVE my Jesus. The irresistible Jesus. The Jesus of the Gospels. The Jesus whom I get to introduce each week to the precious people at Safe Haven.

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