Friday, July 31, 2020

Just 3

3 years into Jesus' ministry, Jesus declared that He would be leaving his apostles to be with his Father.  3 years earlier, the apostles had uprooted their lives to follow Jesus, watched him perform miracles, and even performed miracles in his name.  They were shocked and saddened, and they questioned his reason for leaving them.  Jesus led 3 of them, Peter, James and John, to the 9000' peak of Mount Tabor - just 3.  At that site, Moses and Elijah appeared to them.  Peter exclaimed, "Let us put up 3 shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."  Just 3.  Jesus' clothes became dazzling white and there was a radiance that surrounded him that was other-worldly.  A cloud covered them, and a voice came from the cloud saying, "This is my Son, whom I love.  Listen to Him."  Jesus' transfiguration gave these 3 apostles the strength to accept Jesus' approaching departure and the will to pass his message on to all who followed.  600 years later a church was erected at the base of Mount Tabor, which was most certainly considered one of the most holy places for followers of Jesus.  The discovery of that church was announced last week, 1300 years after it stood at that location.  The exterior walls of the church are clearly visible.  An apse is a semi-circular, domed recess area in a church frequently used to display statues of deity.  This newly discovered church has 3 apses.  Just 3.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Iron Sharpens Iron

I continue to be embarrassed that sometimes my first introduction to great men and women occurs at their death.  J. I. Packer passed away last week, and I now learn that he is one of the most influential evangelicals in North America.  I hope that many of you are already familiar with his work.  I was not.  One of his most widely read books is "Knowing God" which was written in 1973.  That book is now on the way to my house in hopes that I can learn how to know God more from someone who obviously does.  This is the most recent video I could find of him when he was 90 years old - still full of life.  I hope you will take time to listen.  

Friday, July 17, 2020

Together Again

My good friend, Richard, is working through some health issues right now.   He cannot see the doctors he needs to see until they get the results of his COVID test, and those results have been delayed.  He is in a waiting period that I can only imagine to be excruciating.  Many are praying for peace and healing for him right now.  His daughter-in-law sent him this worship song, and he shared it with all of us.  I see the congregation in this video worshiping together, and I yearn for the time when I can do this again with my church.  But I believe in the power of prayer - and the power of God.  Watch the video along with me and ask God to fill you with his spirit as if we were physically side by side. Pray together with me for Richard.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Worship al fresco

I have missed being able to gather with friends at The Vine Church for worship on Sundays.  We are hoping to start back in August, but for July, we are meeting al fresco in the parking lots of our two campuses.  The staff has done a great job planning safe events so that people can at least see each other, even though we're not shaking hands and hugging like we used to.  Most importantly, it has provided a time for me to slow down and focus on God and his amazing creation.  I hope you are finding time with Him.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Sacrificial living

I have never served in the military and not many of my close friends have either.  At 59 years old, it seems a lot of us avoided that opportunity.  Lucky - I guess.  Sacrificing for family and friends is one thing, but I can't even imagine a life dedicated to sacrificing everything for people that I don't know.  The best I can do is appreciate and honor those that do.  I think this poem does a good job of that.  Happy Independence Day.