And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” John 1:19-20
I have failed as a leader. As a father, most importantly, and also as a leader in the fire department. Many of the scraps of wisdom you read on this blog come from my failures. I offer what I offer so you don’t have to fail where I did. You can learn from experience but it doesn’t have to be your own. I invite you to learn from mine. And this idea that I am not the Christ, that was one of my greatest failures of all.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself right now, “That’s not a problem for me. Of course I know I’m not the Christ.” If that’s you then let me just say, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about intellectual understanding. I’m talking about behavior. In my case, I was one of those people: a type A personality. I tried–to the point of exhaustion–to be the rising sun of my organization and my family: simultaneously.
It doesn’t work.
I can tell you (because I’ve lived it) that when you forget you’re not the Christ you’ll fail. More specifically, you’ll tend to experience the following 5 problems: Continue reading
Speaking of the early church in the Roman Empire, Kevin Palau writes:
“All they had was the real, living presence of Jesus Christ himself–living in them through the Holy Spirit, giving them what they needed to bear witness and radically love in ways the world could not explain.” From Palau’s book Unlikely)
Unlikely is one of the most important books I’ve read in years. It’s just what I needed to hear. You might have the same reaction: Unlikely: Setting Aside Our Differences to Live Out the Gospel
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13
Women Are More Amazing Than Men
Women are amazing, aren’t they? I mean, they have an ability no man has. They have the ability to Continue reading
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. John 1:6-8
The Most Inclusive Of All Religions
John the Apostle wrote those words about John the Baptist. God sent John the Baptist so all might believe through him. All–everyone–every single human being. That’s what God wants. And He went to extreme lengths to make that possible. He sent the Light, His own Son, to die on your behalf. Unlike other religions, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It’s not dependent on the works you do or the depth of your meditative state. Christianity is the most inclusive of all religions. Anyone, anyone at all, can receive the Light who is Jesus Christ. “This is the work of God,” Jesus said, “that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
“…that all might believe,” that is God’s heart.
But as you read the scripture at the top of this post you might be saying to yourself, Continue reading
In The Beginning Was The Word
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3
The Exact Representation of God’s Nature
In the beginning was the Word. The Word with a capital W. The Word is logos in the Greek and it means a thought. The capital W means the Word is divine. The Word is what John calls Jesus in the first verse of the gospel of John. In other words, Jesus The Word is the expression of God’s thoughts. Jesus is a living expression of God’s mind. Or as the writer of Hebrews tells us, Jesus is the exact representation of His nature. (Hebrews 1:3)
When Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus answered,“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:8-21)
The God We Can’t Understand
And we’re so immensely blessed by Jesus’ incarnation. Think this through with me: If you believe Continue reading
Myra Thompson, a relative of one of the Charleston shooting victims:
“I forgive him and my family forgives him. But we would like him to take this opportunity to repent” and “give your life to the one who matters most: Christ.”
Powerful Words of Forgiveness, Washington Post, June 19, 2015
If You’re A Christian There Was A Death In Your Family Wednesday Night
Witnesses said the gunman specifically asked for the church’s well-known pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, who was also a state senator, and sat next to him in the Bible study. First he listened, they said, then he argued, and eventually he began ranting against black people, until finally, he stood, drew a gun and fired, reloading as many as five times.
He fatally shot six women and three men, ranging in age from 26 to 87. Among the dead was Mr. Pinckney. (New York Times, 6-19-15)
Nine people. Nine people were murdered, during a Bible study just the other night. There’s anger and outrage all over the country because of it. But you know what? Even before this tragedy there was anger and outrage everywhere. Everywhere we look we see it. We see it on Instagram, Facebook, TV, and Twitter where friends, family, talking heads, and politicians rage against one thing or another. Or against one person or another. Do you ever share your anger and outrage? Or do you ever have urges to share your anger and outrage?
Did you know there is someone in the Bible like that? Continue reading
Who Did He Think He Was?
I heard this story recently about a guy who ran a construction company. He was very successful and not surprisingly, he was industrious too. And when he drove he was often on his way to do something important.
Now this man is a Christian and, from what I understand, a guy you would probably describe as mild mannered if you talked with him face to face. But, if another driver did anything to slow him down when he was on the road, he would lose his composure. Bad drivers made him angry.
Then this man, the one with the anger, was diagnosed with cancer. And with the cancer came the treatments.
Well one day Continue reading
God Uses People
Before we get to the one thing, I just want to establish that God uses people. He always has in the past and He still does today. God uses people to reveal Himself to the world. There are exceptions, like the time he led the Israelites with the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night (3,500 years or so ago). But it’s people He uses, most of the time, to reveal Himself to the world. Even a casual reading of just a few chapters of scripture affirms this.
Are You A Christian?
Are you a Christian?
If you are, then God wants to use you. He wants to use you to reveal Himself to the world, and He wants you to do one thing in particular. And here’s the one thing: Continue reading
The following is a blog post from Matt Nelson. You can read more from Matt on his blog at Reasonable Catholic.
Conversions from atheism are often gradual and complex, no doubt. For many converts the road is slow and tedious, tiring and trying. But in the end unbelievers who find God can enjoy an inner peace that comes from a clear conscience in knowing they held to truth and followed the arguments faithfully.Of course not all converts from atheism become Christian or even religious. Some converts only reach a deistic belief in God (an areligious position that God is “impersonal”) but the leap is still monumental; and it opens new, unforeseen horizons.
The factors that lead to faith are often diverse. It is clear that every former atheist has walked a unique path to God. Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked how many ways there are to God. He replied:
“As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man’s way is an entirely personal one.”
Of course, the pope-to-be was not endorsing the view that “all religions are equal” but rather that there always seems to be a unique combination of factors—or steps—that move each convert towards belief in God. It also seems that some of these factors are more prominent across the board than others.
Here are eight common factors that lead atheists to change their minds about God:
1. Good Literature and Reasonable Writing.
Reasonable atheists eventually become theists because they are reasonable; and furthermore, because they are honest. They are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads; and in many cases the evidence comes to the atheist most coherently and well-presented through the writings of believers in God.
Author Karen Edmisten admits on her blog: Continue reading