A walking concordance no more knows God’s heart, than an existentialist knows His mind.
Ideas have consequences, as do doctrines …
Including the doctrine that doctrines don’t matter.
I applaud my brothers and sisters in Christ who stood firm in Ukraine against oppression and earned with their blood the right to now rebuild their nation.
Cynicism and retreat are popular today among some Christians who have never suffered national tyranny, corruption and malaise, but enjoy the ease of privileged comfort because of past sacrifices by others.
They have not earned the right to criticize those – in Ukraine or elsewhere – whose faith is big enough to redeem cultures, affirm virtue, and establish liberty.
The older I become, the more I become grateful for life’s simple things – love and honor, mercy and truth, grace and redemption – and resolute against those who distort them to exploit others.
Tonight, Marianne and I will have a romantic dinner at the country inn where I asked her to marry me.
Our friends often kid us, because we take time to celebrate key events in our life together. Our first date, our engagement, our wedding, and other anniversaries are important to us.
We don’t go on anniversary dates to create intimacy and passion between us, but to express the amazing, ever-deepening intimacy and passion that continues to grow between us – from the first time my heart unexpectedly fluttered at the sight of her, to the profound thrill I still feel when I see her.
There is a love between us that I seldom see in others. It, and our marriage, are testaments to the power of God to redeem lives.
Abundance often emerges from the impossible. Many times the very fact that the impossibility exists creates the opportunity for the Lord to bring forth His abundance.
Sometimes an act of faith is required. For Abraham, he had to believe in the midst of impossibility that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens.
Abundance wears many faces. Some assume that abundance implies health, wealth and prosperity and for some people that may be true.
However, God’s abundance does not come with a guarantee of those things. The churches of Macedonia experienced great trials of afflictions, but they possessed an abundance of joy even in the midst of deep poverty.
Claims of “radical faith” and “deeper life” hold no appeal. Often, they become distractions from God’s desire that we become whole, complete people of simple faith and simple obedience.
The older I get, the more I want simple.
One day soon, you are going to wake up to a new world where your liberty to pursue virtue as an expression of your faith – and your right to proclaim those beliefs in the public square – are gone.
Vice is now using “tolerance” to bludgeon virtue, and virtue is currently losing.
This newest weapon in the war against virtue has met with great success – and, most disturbing of all, the naïve support of many “Christians”.
Somethings, it seems, never change.
Last week, several local leaders openly intervened – after private efforts failed – to deal with a few individuals who were trying to dominate a particular fellowship with their false, hyper-grace heresy.
I don’t give a hoot whether you celebrate Christmas or don’t.
Let’s learn to honor the Lord in our own choice, while respecting those who likewise honor the Lord – but choose differently – in this non-essential matter of personal conscience.
Are your God-given gifts about advancing your ministry, or about advancing God’s wonderfully diverse gifts in others?
Originally posted on Crossroad Junction:
I wrote this report in early 2007, following an extensive ministry trip in Ukraine. Ukraine previously was the western-most region of the former Soviet Union, where it bumped up against Europe, but is now an independent nation.
With all that’s happening in that part of the world, I thought it might be interesting to post this on Crossroad Junction. Please be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Since this trip, the situation in the country has deteriorated as Russia continues to challenge Ukraine’s fledgling democracy, the economy is in shambles, and political infighting grips the nation.
We need to stop!
Every time we meet someone who has no family in the area or is homeless, Marianne and I invite them to spend Thanksgiving (an American holiday) with us.
Each year, our home is filled with family and new friends, but this year we may have more guests than seats – even with several tables!
Somehow, I’m sure we’ll figure out how to fit everyone in, make them feel at home, and have a great day of food, laughter and fellowship.
How about also reaching out to those who have no home or family this year?
Invite them to your home and your table.
You will be blessed even more than them.
~ Jim and Marianne
Sometimes, because He’s gracious, Jesus asks us to surrender the very thing He created us to be good at or value, so He can then restore it under His Lordship.
Otherwise, we end up seeking after the gift, rather than the Giver.
While a prepared message has its place, it is no substitute for a prepared man or woman.
Everyone loves the poor, until asked to share a meal in their home with one.
Everyone loves mercy, until they have to embrace the actual mess of inconvenient victims.
Everyone loves justice, until it disturbs their comfort zones.
Everyone loves the prophetic, until it exposes sin among them.
Everyone loves grace, until it calls them to repent.
Everyone loves love, until it speaks truth.
Postmodern Angst: When you finally figure out that trying to be relevant is no longer considered relevant.
Oh, the crazy webs some weave!
Someone asked if it is God’s will when evil happens.
I suspect it is God’s will that we have the right to reject Him and choose evil, because He wants us to have the related ability to freely choose the love, grace and rule He offers us.
I also suspect that He grieves with us at what some have done with those choices.
~ Jim Wright
Is it any wonder that a generation raised to believe it’s all about them has a hard time grasping that it’s all about God?
They are easy prey for those peddling God’s amazing grace, love and acceptance, while rejecting repentance, truth and change.
The greatest deceptions, however, involve half truths.
Unfortunately, there’s just too much of this going around these days, and it’s terminal when it comes to healthy believers and healthy ekklesia.
Grace is the means – God extends undeserved mercy, forgiveness and truth.
Repentance is the result – I accept, submit and change.