Showing posts with label Lake Worth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Worth. Show all posts

13 September 2009

Lake Worth - Strife or peace?

It was a real joy to meet with my friends in Florida, we sat by the pool as the evening light faded, shared salad and chili together, and chatted and sang and talked and prayed and talked. The Fountain of Time, ChicagoSteph and Earl had invited Theresa (a lifelong friend of Steph's) and Tony and his wife were with us too (Tony is a friend of Earl's).

We discussed some aspects of simple church, and we considered the thought that to the Lord, a day is as a thousand years. Another topic was righteousness, ours is worthless, Christ's is perfect, but that's OK as long as we remember that he is our righteousness!

We were also impressed with the idea that peace is everything. There is so much strife - in life, at work, in the home, even in church - if we don't bring his peace we cannot be in peace.

Considering all of this, that we need his righteousness and his peace, we thought that our direction must be first up (to him) and then out (to one another and to the world). We can only succeed in going out if we have first been in his presence.

Right at the end of the evening a question was asked about the Sabbath. If we discover that the Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday, shouldn't we switch to Saturday? It is no light matter to be disobedient, so once a believer knows that Saturday is the day of rest, isn't it sinful to continue with Sunday?

Several of us argued that it's no longer about the Law, as followers of Jesus we are called to deal with principals, not the letter of the Law. Jesus told the Pharisees that even they are practical about such things, for example by rescuing a donkey from the ditch even on the Sabbath. And he also told us that the Father looks for hearts that are holy, not deeds or behaviour. He has given us hearts of flesh, not stone! If our heart is right so that we love the Lord and also those around us, we need not be anxious about the details of any point of the Law. Paul wrote that some hold special days but others treat all days alike - and that's acceptable.

08 September 2009

Lake Worth - A book discusion

On Tuesday evenings Steph has been inviting friends, some of them her students, for a book discussion. From Eternity to HereWhile I was staying with them I was able to join in for just the one Tuesday. It was fun and a privilege to be included.

There were seven of us - Steph and her husband Earl, Steph's friend Theresa, three students, and me. We discussed chapter 12 from Frank Viola's book 'From Eternity to Here'.

I thought it was a really useful time, and something we might try back home. I have a feeling that Neil Carter's book 'Christ in Y'All' would be a good choice for a group exploring what it means to be church together. We'll see!

But back to the discussion on this Tuesday evening in Florida. Chapter 12 of 'From Eternity to Here' is entitled 'The Story of a Homeless God'.

Summary of the chapter - Earlier chapters have established that 'God's ageless purpose is to obtain a bride for the eternal Son'. Now a different perspective is covered, the idea that the Father intends to obtain a home. This idea of a home for the Almighty is a thread running right through the Bible.

In Hebrew thought, house and home are synonymous. A home is a place of rest, a place where you can be yourself, somewhere that expresses your personality and can communicate freely. It's a safe place, free of fear, and the place where you are accepted and welcomed. It's a place where you can commit your presence and a place where you are lord and king.

Before creation, the Almighty had no home.

Prayer - After discussing all this and having a lot of fun doing so, airing all the arguments and asking one another pertinent questions, we moved on to a time of prayer.

We prayed for a family member who had been taken into hospital with pneumonia (well on the mend at the time of writing). We prayed about college work and career options, and we gave thanks for the fact that our individual strengths and weaknesses enable us to help one another as we live our lives together, and that Jesus' strengths support us too as we live our lives together in him.

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