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Archive for January, 2012

A number of years ago I was looking to buy a good size wooden cross, maybe a foot tall or so, to have around the house.  I wanted it to be something that would sit on my dresser or some other table around the house.  I wanted it to be visible and ‘in the way’ so it wouldn’t just become a part of the wall but something that I saw often.  I went to many places looking for one including multiple Christian stores and every other place I could think.  Of course they had crosses, but they are always the metal fancy crosses and I didn’t want that so I decided to make my own.  Easy enough.  Get some wood, mark it up, and cut it to the size that I am want, boom, cross.  For the past 6-7 years I have kept this around and it has spent time on my computer desk, in my living room and sometimes hung on the wall.  Recently my cross has been part of an assortment of things on my dresser.  If you look at the picture, there are a bunch of things that I like on there and it says quite a bit about me.  There are some bullets for my SKS Russian Assault Rifle, my hat from when I worked in New Orleans, a cool floating pen that I picked up from a NASA base, notes from my wife Melanie, hiking magazines that were given to me, and a number of other things.  Underneath all of this is the cross.

This struck me as a metaphor of something we can easily fall into.  When you first turn to Christ it is the biggest thing in your life and years later it still is!  What in life could surpass this massive change?  I don’t think anything could, but unless I work to keep life focused on Christ, I may unknowingly block out Jesus.  Looking at these things on my dresser, nothing is bad in itself and nothing by itself is large enough to block out the cross but when everything is piled together and my thoughts and attention are divided among many things, I may lose focus on the cross and it may end up being obscured by a pile of interests and activities.

Half the battle is realizing the problem, now I need to move forward and clean the clutter so I can refocus on the cross.

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The fall semester is coming to a close soon and it has been a good semester!  We wanted to focus on personal growth this semester.  We felt kind of like Paul in Romans 10:14-15 

 

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”


We wanted to talk about growth but first we wanted to talk about the progression of a Christian from seeker to new believer to mature Christian.  After those three weeks, we spent five weeks looking at Titus 1 and the qualities of an overseer and we looked at these qualities as that of a mature Christian.  We took the five negative qualities and paired them with the good qualities as opposites.


An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—(1)not overbearing, (2)not quick-tempered, (3)not given to drunkenness, (4)not violent, (5)not pursuing dishonest gain.  Rather, he must be (1)hospitable, (2)one who loves what is good, (3)who is self-controlled, (4)upright, (5)holy and disciplined.  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.


After talking about the need to grow in our faith, we came across a problem.  Here we are teaching rules to follow but we didn’t want to fall into the trap of legalism where the point is to follow these rules.  


We just started a new series last week called “Christianity isn’t what you think…” We began with a discussion about developing a relationship with Jesus and not just following rules but instead, the love of the relationship makes you want to follow Him.

Tonight, we are discussing the church.  What is the church?  Is it Sunday mornings or all week long?  Is it sitting in rows and singing or living in community and sharing meals?  It is acting like everything is ok or being truthful with struggles so you can get help?

Moving forward who knows what is in store for us!  I know I don’t, but I do know that as long as we seek Christ, where ever we end up is where I want to be!

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