Showing posts from July, 2017

Just a drop, and maybe not even that - part two

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains All the cops have wooden legs And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs The farmers' trees are full of fruit And the barns are full of hay Oh I'm bound to go Where there ain't no snow Where the rain don't fall The winds don't blow In the Big Rock Candy Mountains . - The Big Rock Candy Mountains,  Harry McClintock As wonderful as the pleasures of the Big Rock Candy Mountains sound, we know that they are just a foretaste of the joys of heaven. In fact, heaven's joys are not bound in just having a more frequent (or even never-ceasing) taste of the pleasures of this earth at all. The joy and pleasures of heaven are not found in a place (although heaven is a place) nor are they in happy circumstance (though heaven is that for sure), but it is wrapped up in a person. The foretaste of heaven that God brings to me today is not focused on the gift at all. In its proper context it is focused on

Just a drop, and maybe not even that - part one

Much to my family's dismay I have been listening to the soundtrack from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" and I have found it to be not only an enjoyable listen but a spiritual one at that. There are more than a couple of songs on it that remind me of my position in God and even about the reason why I have been created at all. There is one song in particular that has me thinking about heaven a little more: Big Rock Candy Mountain. It is not like the song takes the truths and principles found in the heaven-relevant passages in the Scriptures and pairs them with a catchy melody or American Bandstand inspired dance beat. In fact, it does quite the opposite (from a lyrical perspective anyway): In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, There's a land that's fair and bright, Where the handouts grow on bushes And you sleep out every night. Where the boxcars all are empty And the sun shines every day On the birds and the bees And the cigarette trees The lemonade spri

Invitation as participation in the Divine's nature

O sinners, let's go down Let's go down, come on down O sinners, let's go down Down in the river to pray - Down to the River to Pray Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. Genesis 1:26 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  Genesis 3:22 This is going to be, mercifully, a rather short post but I couldn't help thinking about community this morning (maybe because I am reading books about relationships and the Trinity) and, specifically, about invitation. I find that when I invite someone to come along side me and do this or that, well, I am acting just like God. Obviously, the members of the Trinity moved i

The space in between us

Funny how I find myself In love with you If I could buy my reasoning I'd pay to lose One half won't do - Talk Talk, It's My Life I am reading a book entitled The Divine Dance: Exploring the Mystery of the Trinity by Richard Rohr and it is proving to be a very good read. The central theme of the book is the recapturing of the doctrine of the Trinity and the impact that should have on our lives as Christ followers. Of course, when we have an incomplete picture of God we are out of balance in our reflection of God's image and our journey of sanctification. With right doctrine comes right living and this has me focusing on the space between the members of the Trinity. There is no doubt that each one of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Spirit) have power that they can claim as their own. I don't think we need to deny the immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, etc. of any one of them. But, it is their relationship, their love, that adds a whole other inscrutable di

Preaching at the jail on Sunday

I'll be preaching at the Monroe County Jail on Sunday night. I like to distribute notes to the people that attend the service. Here they are: Idols of the heart Key idea: The idols of our heart take us far from God  Both Old (Deuteronomy 8:19, Exodus 20:3, etc.) and New (Galatians 5:20, Romans 1:18-32, etc.) Testaments warn about worshiping idols  Worship = the highest amount of respect or admiration for or devotion to something we value – can only worship one thing at a time (Matthew 6:24) Idol = an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship; a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered  An idol something you feel you must have to be happy, fulfilled in life We find in that idols are actually created in our hearts (Ezekiel 14:3) It is not something “outside of us”, it is “inside of us” – It becomes more important to your heart than God himself  Lying –we would not lie unless first we had made some thing (human approval, reputation,

Death in the Dust Days - part one

This is the continuation of what I hope to be a treatment on what Death has taught me. I already posted the prologue . Again, I do not know where this is going to end, but it just seems right and real to record this in this way. Lesson 1: Its  Color   I stared at death, his eyes were still closed tight. I half expected them to open and for him to show me that they glowed an awful green or red. Shouldn't Death have e yes that  reminded me of wounds and decay? They wouldn't be a peaceful blue or a jet black. I shook my hea d and noticed  that he held my hand in  a manner that  was causing it to cramp. I tried to let go a bit to signal that I wanted to shift its position but there he  remained;  a  still, solid stone.    As beads of sweat began forming on his forehead and his hand grew moist and warm my initial perceptions of him began to change. I was beginning to see him more tormented than tormentor. Wanting to inquire who could be oppressing him so my tongue