Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ultimate Intention -DeVern Fromke

I have completed reading another book, this one was a tough read, it was started six months ago, and one sleepless night I pushed my way through the last ten chapters. It has some great content, but the author wrote the book for pastors who have attended seminary in the sixties or before. Words like 'philosophical rectification' made the book difficult to read with distractions (All of India with a 3 year old) around.
All the complaining out of the way... the question that the author is trying to explain is that God has a bigger goal in what this world and time and humanity is than most people admit to. Quoted from chapter 27 of the book: "The Father receives a vast family of Sons like the First Born. The Son receives a glorious Body for His expression. The Holy Spirit receives a temple of living stones for his Eternal Abode." Fromke insists that even Adam, before the fall of sin, was in need of Jesus in order to reach the full potential that God desires.
I like that idea, the kingdom of God is bigger and better than even Adam before the fall, when life was "good." Christ did not just die to restore us, but to go beyond and make better. Some say perfection was the garden, and we should desire that relationship with the Lord. But no, Jesus pointed to a new heaven and a new earth, a city, a place for those that choose to follow. "The least in the kingdom of God is better than the greatest on earth" Luke 7:28 That is amazing to me, refreshing to me, so often I feel that I am the least in the kingdom. I know I am not the greatest on earth, by either the worlds standards, nor God's.
In my own words what DeVern Fromke is trying to say is that the world and time is like baking a cake. God took the good stuff, flour, water, sugar, eggs. And through the messed up world of sin, time, and personal choice is making a cake for himself. We have the choice if we are going to be part of that cake, to go through the hardship of doing what he wants or we are going to be hard, a shell, to live life easy, if a little cracked up by the happenings of life. Only later the shells and waste will be thrown out, only the cake will be kept.
If you are trying to figure out why in the world a perfect God ever wanted to make an imperfect world, then read this book. As you move forward it will help you see the world through the three faceted lens that God sees it through.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Consider Carefully

"Therefore consider carefully how you listen." Luke 8:18

How should I listen? What is the right way, what is the wrong way? Lets go back in Luke to see what Jesus said before this.

16"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18Therefore consider carefully how you listen.

What I am listening to is a light to what I already know. In Tim Stevens book he talks about how we filter things. What we read in the TRUTH (Bible) is a light on our filter. The dust, the things we keep hidden, the underlying desires for what we do, what we listen to and how we respond to that.

Therefore consider carefully how you listen.

Read the Bible in a way that you are willing to change, to sweep away the dust, and strengthen what is weak.

18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him." 19Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. 20Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."
21He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

If you think and work at improving your filter you will be given more on top of what you have been given. And then if you act on what you are Jesus' mother and brothers. Note how this passage starts with Light, moves to listening and thinking, then on to actions expected.

What worries me, is that working at GM, and from my Masters, it has been proven that one bad step for a company is worth about seven good steps. It is not one step back one step forward. If you do one bad thing, it will take seven good actions of equal weight to get back where you were, then one more to improve. One bad speck in your filter, leading to one bad action, will corrupt the whole system. It will take seven times the work to clean the lens, to get to starting over, then still there is the need to move forward. "Even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."

(all passages from NIV using Biblegateway.com)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Is Tie Day



When I worked for General Motors I use to be countercultural and save wearing a tie for fridays, a day we were told could be considered more casual.





I was told to bring a tie to India for those rare cases it would be needed.
I saw it in my dresser languishing unused.
I wore it on friday.
I was laughed at.





Now a month later.
It is Friday again.
Six of the 12 males in the office today are wearing ties, myself included.
I bought my tie in Thailand, for $1, the most I have ever paid for a tie.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"Not Far From The Kingdom Of God"



Mark 12:34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."


........What is close to the Kingdom of God?

Mark 12:33 "To love him [God] with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."





So often when studing this passage my teachers have focused on the the red letter verses of Mark 12:29-31. Not on the response of the teacher of the law.





As Nancy had said our heart broke in ChainMai seeing the long neck people. Living a life on show, actors on a stage they really don't want to be on to eak out a few dollars. They are away from their home they love, the peace and traditions they crave. How they need love. If I was called to long term overseas mission I think I would be involved at a resort, a place for christians to relax and see the world as God sees it. And to reach people like this teen, as real people. Nancy and I could feel her tension, she fully represents her people, her internal struggle showed, the older women were broken, the younger ones did not know yet.





But for now while I would love to show this teen God's love, she is not my neighbor, right now so many others are. Help me not to become so used to my neighbors that my heart does not break like it does for that teen.

Back to Mark 12:
I wonder why the man is only close to the Kingdom of God, what is between where he is and where he needs to go?

I wonder what are my burnt offerings and sacrifices.

I cry out to God that I want to love Him more.




Both verses taken from the NIV Bible.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Prayer

For some time I have been unhappy with my prayer life. For the most part my prayers boil down to "Lord codle me like a baby"

Reading Tim Chesters post about prayer gives me hope.

http://timchester.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/lessons-on-prayer-from-the-indian-church/

It is short, go over, take the time to read it. At the same time make Tim's blog one of your favorites, for me he is one that I find worthy of the 10 blogs I watch regularly.