Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday Morning Preacher: June 30th


        "to impart new life or vigor to: restore to an active or fresh condition"

This week we had another guest speaker; it was Perry’s wife Andrea.  She gave an overview of the Elijah Project: a Bible-based program that she designed to help people address stress and exhaustion in their lives by learning how to rest.  I’ve personally gone through the Elijah Project and have found it to be extremely helpful and encouraging. 

I’ve heard about the importance of rest before both spiritually and physically.  Almost every resource I’ve looked at to help me train for the 100-mile bicycle ride I’ve committed to in September has said something to the effect of “REST as hard as you train”.  The simple truth is our bodies and spirits can only take so much without experiencing crippling fatigue. 

Andrea ended her message by talking about the Lord’s Prayer and how its something most Christians can drone through without much thought.  Like many other beautiful truths, its meaning had lost its vigor and effectiveness by being mindlessly repeated.   Andrea then talked about the reading the same text in a different translation of the Bible.  The “new” voice revealed truth and beauty that had always been there and it seemed to come alive and have new meaning.  It was this illustration that made me realize that the point of rest is to revitalize us, to give us new life and that it isn’t just for our benefit.

I don’t want to be dead and boring to my friends, family, co-workers, and customers like the Lord’s Prayer was to Andrea; I want to be a means by which God reveals His truth and beauty to others. The only way that I can ensure that will not happen is by taking time to rest and be revitalized.

God has some pretty specific and incredibly interesting things to say about how we as humans should find rest and revitalization.  He does not want to tire us out with endless lists of chores and rules, rather, He sent His Son so that we might have abundant life (see John 10:1-21).

The Elijah Project goes through many of these principles and iff you are interested in going through it for yourself all the resources are free online and can be found at

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday Morning Preacher: June 23rd

Imago Dei 

This week at Fellowship was a little out of the ordinary.  My friend Jeremiah the “guest speaker” and he did a topical sermon on Baptism (usually Fellowship goes slowly through books as a church: the Book of Acts took us something like 5 years).  To me, Baptism was something that Jesus’ crazy cousin John started right before Jesus' ministry started and that it is now something that Christians just do as part of their faith.  Jeremiah spoke about how Baptism fits into the “Big Story” of God’s interaction with humankind.

That “Big Story” starts with God creating the world and the first humans to live in it.  The idea that stuck in my head throughout the sermon and even after I left the service comes from Genesis account of that creation:

So God created [humans] in his own image, in the image of God he created [them]; male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’

Genesis 1:27-28 ESV

The point is this: ALL humans are created in God’s own image.  I often glance over that phrase and contently think it implies that God looks like a more rotund version of Gandalf without the pointy grey hat or friendly eyes.

What does it actually mean that you and I are created in the image of God?

God’s first command to humans after creating them reveals the first attribute of His imprinted image on us that I’ve been thinking about: authority.  He tells them to fill the world and subdue it; He’s entrusting the world that He just finished creating to them.  Growing up in Catholic School I remember this idea being called “Stewardship” but is synonymous with the more trendy term “Creation Care” used in the circles I find myself in today.  God has given us the task of caring for the earth He created and His image within us helps us do that.

What Adam did in response to God’s command reveals the second attribute that I’ve been thinking about: creativity.  Adam’s first endeavor into bring order to the world around him was naming all of the animals God has created.  Again, this is one of those things I tend to just pass over when I’m reading the Creation Story in Genesis, like it was something that Adam crossed off his “To-Do List” before lunch on the eight day of Earth’s existence.  But think about it: Adam had to come up with original names for everything from baboons and mosquitoes to grasshoppers and aardvarks.  That must have taken A LOT of creative power. 

Adam's naming of the animals is a beautiful image that explains what it means that humankind is created in God’s image.  God has Adam create in response to His own creation: God created the animals and Adam comes up with the names.  There exists a beautiful interconnection between what God is doing on the Earth and what He has humans doing on Earth. He set it up that way from the beginning. Isn’t that awesome!!!

That’s about all I got, this by no means was extensive nor exhaustive, simply a summary of the thoughts that have been rolling around my thought life because of the sermon.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blog: Resurrected

So, It's been a long time since I've last posted here.  I could give any number of excuses but that really doesn't seem to matter.  I am (once again) hoping to write on a consistent basis.  To  aid me in reaching that goal I've decided to introduce a few "series" into my writing.  Here they are (followed by a brief description of each one):

Monday Morning Preacher: I absolutely love my church! Check it out at fellowshipcf.org.  I'll try to post a link to the podcast early each week with a brief description of my "take away" from the sermon.  Not trying to rewrite or correct anything, just putting what I learned into words.

Spinning Thoughts: I own 6 bikes.  Needless to say I love cycling.  Most days I do all of my commuting on my fixed gear, but this summer I'm learning how to ride trails with my mountain bike and training to ride the Door County Century Ride; its 100 Miles Baby!!! http://www.doorcountycentury.com

I normally have a lot on my mind.  With the amount of riding I do I have plenty of time with my thoughts many of which are informed by the skills and principles I'm learning from cycling.  I hope that by sharing how I've sorted through my own personal quandaries I'll help others through their own.

Tales From Tobacco Outlet

I've worked at the same tobacco/liquor store for 4 years now.  Everyday seems to presents me with some great writing material, some of its serious and some of it is just hilarious, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.