- Gardening just lends itself to mulling, cogitating, ruminating, and masticating ideas. Today I wrestled with myself a lot. I tend to take both sides of a debate, question myself relentlessly, think impulsive thoughts through to their logical conclusion and then start over. Don't be confused - this doesn't make me brilliant so much as honest.
- I thought a lot about the damage so many Christians continue to do to Christ's message by loading it up with their own prejudice, judgmentalism and exclusivity. I'm still thinking about my friend Marvin's question: "One has to wonder how (insert name of bigoted, judgmental Christian leader here: ___ _________ ) got that influential in the first place?"
- In a related line of thought, I found myself wondering about the tendency of many Christians to create a religion that is - essentially - interchangeable with nationalism.
- And I also took a long look at the way that I act and interact, and examined my life to see if it says anything substantial about the life abundant. Do I - as Paul suggested in Philippians - "hold out the word of life"?
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. - Mark 10:13-16
Friday, January 22, 2010
As I've said before - I truly love my new mac mini desktop computer (and the mind-boggling "magic" mouse). But I've just about come to the conclusion that I may have to go to the apple store and cash in some of my pre-paid mac-tutorial hours.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Praise God with trumpets and all kinds of harps. Praise him with tambourines and dancing, with stringed instruments and woodwinds. Praise God with cymbals, with clashing cymbals. Let every living creature praise the LORD. - PSALM 150
Monday, January 18, 2010
"The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams." Jesus: Mark 4: 18-20 - The Message
- The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I think that Haiti is pretty much front and center in everyone's hearts and minds today - particularly here in Florida where we have so many Haitian-American residents.
- You are a sad, confused man, Mr. Pat Robertson, and you do not speak for followers of the Jesus Way! God loves you so much, as he loves all of his children - regardless of where they live and the culture that surrounds them; I pray that, one day, you will embrace the wonder of that truth and break free from the chains of judgement that appear to define you.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
- Marriages that truly represent Christlike love in action
- School teachers motivated to literally be the presence of Jesus in the classroom
- Fathers interacting with children in terms of agape love
- Retirees with the freedom to plan out their day in response to the initiatives of the Holy Spirit
- Men disappointed with marriages defined by conflict making the choice to - first and foremost - be kind to their spouse
- Friends relating to one-another in terms of Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
“People talk about revolution,” she said, “but we lived revolution because we had no choice. We knew the leaders in the community (Brooklyn) and the meetings were at our house. But revolution died in this country – today we’re too comfortable and that’s it.”
- We don't have to wait for a marriage to be on the rocks to begin putting our spouse ahead of ourselves...
- We don't have to wait for desperation to invite God into the details of our daily live...
- We don't have to wait for children to be gone before we realize how much we love them...
- We don't have to wait for financial stress before putting our house in order...
- We don't have to wait for discrimination to enter our neighborhood before working for social justice...
- WE DON'T HAVE TO WAIT!!!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
God be in my head and in my understanding:
God be in my eyes and in my looking:
God be in my mouth and in my speaking:
God be in my heart and in my thinking:
God be at mine end and at my departing.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Happy freezing Monday to everyone! It looks like the cold snap here around Tampa may end in the next couple of days but it's been an interesting diversion for us tropical types!
“Get into the shelter!” he yelled, literally shoving his family through the door.
The bomb hit directly across the street, completely demolishing three adjacent homes. At my mother’s house every window and door was blown out; every ceiling came crashing down; every piece of glass was shattered and the dining room table was thrown across the living room, almost crushing the kitchen wall. The next-door neighbor was standing behind his front entry and the door killed him - shot like a bullet shot from a gun.
Later, after V-E Day, my mother’s church started a ministry to German prisoners of war. They sponsored a weekly Sunday-afternoon reception, contributing tea and snacks from their own ration cards.
Just a short while previously huge German bombs had destroyed much of the neighborhood, people were killed, and my mother’s home had been severely damaged. But war, and the potential for hatred didn't stand a chance against grace. My mother’s church extended grace because they knew Jesus - they simply followed the pilgrim way of Christlike love.
A young soldier named Gunter found a place in the Kemp family's hearts. When he was eventually repatriated, Gunter's home was behind the Iron Curtain and my mother's family lost touch. But eventually, almost five decades later and after the demolition of the Berlin Wall, my mother - along with my dad - was finally able to visit her old friend.
“I never knew what real love was,” Gunter told them, “until those days after the war when your church reached out with God’s love to me and to the other soldiers.”
Grace is active, it is insistent, it is counter-cultural and it is difficult to understand. Grace does not allow evil to dictate the boundaries of its expression; instead, it gets up and does something that makes a lifetime of difference...
My prayer is that this week will be grace-filled for each one of us - DEREK
Saturday, January 9, 2010
- Yes, I'm writing about my latest cooking experiment from "The 2010 Gourmet Initiative" - but that's not really what today's post is about.
- And, yes, I'm writing about the joy of performing serendipitous acts of service in the context of marriage - but that's not really what today's post is about.
- And, yes, I'm commenting on the new phrase I coined - "The work of a counter-culturalist is never done" - and that pretty-much IS what today's post is all about.