RSS

Category Archives: News stories

Tired of waiting?

Tired of waiting in line? Got better things to do with your time? Short of patience yet filled with places to be and things to do? Then hire a professional line sitter!

Hate long lines? Consider a professional line sitter” tells the story of Robert Samuel, who founded S.O.L.D. or Same Old Line Dudes, a professional line sitting company that fields requests to wait (and wait and wait) for everything from sneaker launches to concert tickets. “Whatever you want, we wait for it,” he said, provided you’re willing to pay $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour.

In a culture where time is worth more than money, it’s not surprising a business like this sprang up. However, I doubt very seriously whether or not God will allow someone else to take our place when he wants to work in our lives.

Psalm 130:5–6 (ESV)   I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Culture, News stories, Scripture, Time

 

Ripples that touch our lives

On Thursday, June 5, our country endured yet another school shooting. Paul Lee, a 19-year-old student at Seattle Pacific University was killed when a gunman walked into Otto Miller Hall and opened fire. Kudos to Jon Meis, the 22-year-old engineering student working as a building monitor who took down the gunman.

Although the tragedy occurred on the other side of the US from where we live, Carol and grieve with the SPU family. We know several SPU professors personally as they attended the two churches we served in Seattle. We have friends who are alumni of the school. As it turns out, Paul Lee, the student who was killed, was part of Carol’s sister’s church in Beaverton, OR. Sometimes we live in a very small world indeed and we discover there are very few degrees of separation.

One member of the SPU family has written “an open letter to the SPU gunman” expressing the range of emotions one feels after an incident like this while at the same time demonstrating grace and a deep faith in God.

Pray for SPU

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 7, 2014 in News stories, Seattle

 

Is it OK to be an “ordinary” Christian?

Are we creating a new brand of legalism by pushing Christ followers to be “radical” and “missional”? Are we telling people it’s not enough to simply love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40)? Are we contradicting Paul’s instruction to “live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11)? Are we communicating the impression that you are a second-rate Christian if you have an ordinary job, get married and raise a family, and live in the suburbs? These are the questions posed by Action Institute Power blogger Anthony Edwards in an article entitled, “The New Legalism: How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God.” It is a thought provoking article. I’m not sure if I agree with all of his conclusions, but it is making me rethink what I communicate about what it means to follow Christ wholeheartedly.

 
Image

Lest we forget

Peanuts - D-Day

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 6, 2014 in News stories

 

Are you following orders?

The current issue of Decision Magazine, June 2014, has an article by Franklin Graham entitled, “Following Orders.”  He tells the story of Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who did not surrender until 30 years after WWII ended. He was assigned a secret mission by his commanding officer and sent to the remote Philippine island of Lubang in 1944 and served faithfully until a Japanese adventurer told him the war had ended and the Japanese military located Onoda’s retired commander and sent him to the island to officially relieve Onoda of his duties. Graham explains that our battleground is life and that our commander left us here on earth to share the gospel and make disciples.

Followers of Christ are called by Him to continue in obedience to the Great Commission until His return. We are not to yield to the world, the flesh or the devil. Loyalty to the Savior and faithfulness to His commands are our supreme calling. We are holdout soldiers in God’s great army, wielding the sword of the Lord.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Bible Study, News stories, Quotes

 

Has “blessed” become the new cliché?

Michael Sam, who became the NFL’s first openly gay player when he was drafted by the Rams, was formally introduced at a press conference in St. Louis. Sam thanked Rams coach Jeff Fisher, owner Stan Kroenke and General Manager Les Snead for bringing him to the team.

“I’m blessed,” Sam said. “I want to thank my head coach, Coach Fisher, and Mr. Kroenke and Mr. Snead, for giving me the opportunity to play here.”

After signing a four year contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks, cornerback Richard Sherman announced, “I am blessed to announce that the Seattle Seahawks and I have reached an agreement on a contract extension.”

When athletes equate contracts with blessing, and when ordinary people end conversations with, “Have a blessed day,” I wonder if we have trivialized the meaning of the word. That’s the conclusion of author Jessica Bennett in an article in the New York Times,

There’s nothing quite like invoking holiness as a way to brag about your life. But calling something “blessed” has become the go-to term for those who want to boast about an accomplishment while pretending to be humble, fish for a compliment, acknowledge a success (without sounding too conceited), or purposely elicit envy. Blessed, “divine or supremely favored,” is now used to explain that coveted Ted talk invite as well as to celebrate your grandmother’s 91st birthday. It is carried out in hashtags (#blessed), acronyms (#BH, for the Hebrew “baruch hasem,” which means “blessed be God”), and even, God forbid, emoji.

Blogger Rachael Held Evans observes,

For some reason, I feel like calling myself “blessed” sends the message that I have somehow earned God’s special favor, that God is rewarding me for good behavior, and that the millions of people who suffer from war, famine, poverty, and sickness because they weren’t lucky (or blessed or fortunate) enough to be born in the wealthiest nation in the world are simply not as loved by God.

According to the New Bible Dictionary, when applied to God, the word “blessed” has the sense of praise. When applied to man, it denotes a state of happiness. I certainly want to feel happiness. What do I need to do to sense God’s smile and approval on my life?

Scripture gives numerous examples of the type of people that receive God’s blessing.

  • Those who delight in God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-6)
  • Those who find refuge in God (Psalm 2:12)
  • Those who experience forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-2)
  • Those who trust God (Psalm 40:4; Jeremiah 17:7)
  • Those who take care of the poor (Psalm 41:1-2; Proverbs 14:21)
  • Those who experience God’s discipline (Psalm 94:12)
  • Those who practice justice and righteousness (Psalm 106:3)
  • Those who fear God and live uprightly (Psalm 112:1-2)
  • Those who represent God (Psalm 118:26)
  • Those who live with integrity and obey God’s law (Psalm 119:1-2; Proverbs 29:18)
  • Those who acknowledge their spiritual condition, long for God, and are persecuted for their faith in God (Matthew 5:3-12)

In light of these conditions and many others that could be added, perhaps we should rethink how we use the word “blessed” and whether or not we claim to have received God’s blessing.

 

 

NFL Recruiting Season

NFL team executives seek to build their teams through a combination of the draft and free agent signings. Even with all their research, it is not an exact science and there are no guarantees. I recently read two articles that offer differing perspectives on the building process.

NFL draft - poker gameNFL draft will unfold like a highly competitive game of poker” compares the NFL draft to a poker game. Both are high stakes games where the best players win more than they lose. Both games require the players to make decisions on incomplete information. While the article was insightful, I especially enjoyed the graphic of the mascots playing poker.

“Seahawks send out unique brochure to the agents of potential undrafted players” describes a unique approach to recruiting. The Seattle Seahawks sent a 12-page brochure to the agents of undrafted players encouraging their clients to consider signing with the Seahawks because of the team’s core value of competition. They “very much want the new class of undrafted players to think Seattle is the kind of place where you can make a difference if you win battles in the team’s ultra-competitive environment.”

We will see how it all plays out over the few days and whether or not it translates into success on the field this fall.

 
 

How to destroy a church

Destroy a Church in 4 Simple Steps” is another insightful post from the mind of Tim Challies. I found it especially timely as I am preaching through 1 Timothy where Paul charges his protégé, Timothy, to confront false teachers and teach sound doctrine. Words to take to heart.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Church, News stories, Tim Challies

 

Can you get to heaven the old fashioned way?

Actor John Houseman was known for his catchphrase in commercials for the brokerage firm, Smith Barney. In his distinctive Mid-Atlantic English accent, he stated, “We make money the old-fashioned way. We earned it.”

Apparently, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes one can get into heaven through the same way–by earning it. In an interview with the NY Times, Bloomberg predicted his crusades against guns, smoking, and obesity would serve him well in the afterlife.

“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg said.

What a contrast to the thief on the cross who was crucified with Jesus Christ on Good Friday. Recognizing the desperation of his situation, he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he (Jesus) said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43).

Praise God for grace that saves us from having to earn our way into heaven. His grace is enough!

Ephesians 2:8–9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Good Friday, Heaven, News stories, Scripture

 

How do people view the Bible?

Do people still read the Bible? Do people still believe the Bible? These questions and others are answered in the latest research from the Barna Group in “The State of the Bible: 6 Trends for 2014.” This year’s research reveals six trends in Bible engagement: from the Bible’s continued role as a cultural icon, to increased digital Bible reading, to a rise in skepticism toward Scripture, particularly among Millennials. Regardless of whether you are discouraged or encouraged, the results help to define the attitudes and trends of the society in which we live and are called to minister.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Culture, News stories

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 248 other followers