Archive for December, 2009

Partnering with the Holy Spirit for 2010

December 31st, 2009 No comments

As we prepare to enter another New Year, we do so with a variety of experiences and expectations. For some, 2009 has been a year filled with trials and obstacles. Perhaps you experienced the death of a loved one or you are in the difficult place of trying to find steady employment. For you, 2010 can be an exciting opportunity for breakthrough or simply the continuation of a dreary and difficult season. 

Imagine what things were like before we experienced the first New Year. The Bible tells us, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.”  (Genesis 1:2) Each New Year, since the first one, looks the same from our perspective. After all, “we see through a glass, darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). The New Year is filled with uncertainty and unknowns. Only the Lord fully knows what lies ahead for America and planet Earth.

But look what happened next. The Bible says,  “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit has the power to bring clarity out of chaos and meaning out of the madness of this fallen world. We remain “prisoners of hope” as we allow the Holy Spirit to hover over our lives, our families, our church, our nation and our world. Our confidence in the Holy Spirit becomes and anchor which steadies us through the storms we encounter. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul” (6:19)     We stand in faith ”being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

I want to invite everyone to join us January 3-8 at 7pm at the Crown Point campus as we gather as a corporate family to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to “build ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). As we saturate ourselves in the presence of the Lord, God will begin to reveal His plans and purposes for the New Year. As He gives revelation, we have the privilege of of joining the Lord of History in declaring His heart and agenda. As we say, “Let there be….”, God’s power is released from within us to create that which the Lord wants done. The formlessness must give way to Spirit created structure and the empty void becomes a fruitful garden! All this occurs when we choose to partner with the Holy Spirit! Like John the Baptist, let’s join together to prepare the way of the Lord for His powerful entry into this New Year!

Calvin, Congress & Christmas

December 23rd, 2009 No comments

Most Americans are absolutely outraged at the reckless, corrupt and immoral behavior we are witnessing from our congressional leaders during this “debate” on health care reform. Of course, that’s part of the problem. There has been no real debate at all. While the President promised an open, transparent process, ”we the people” have been offered a steady diet of mafia-esque back room deals. Most disturbing of all was the reprehensible behavior of Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who sold out his pro-life principles for a putrid bowl of ”Medicare exemption.” The latest polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans, 3 to 1, strongly disapprove of using taxpayer dollars to murder young Americans through abortion. Yet this Congress seems intent on shoving abortion on demand down our throats and sending us the bill as well!

The battle, however, is far from over. Please call your Senators, once again, and give them the most popular gift this holiday season: OUTRAGE.

The corrupt Congressional circus taking place this holiday season should remind us of the critical need for Christians to be actively engaged in the public arena. I have been reading a wonderful book by David W. Hall entitled, Calvin in the Public Square, which is part of a series of new works celebrating the anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. It was Calvin’s teaching on human depravity which led to the emergence of radical new ideas in government such as the consent of the governed, the balance and separation of powers, the supremacy of God and the right of resistance to all other authority. Calvin proclaimed the belief in the right of the individual to remove the magistrate who disobeys the word of God, thus justifying the right for citizens to oppose tyrannical leadership when necessary.

So what do Calvin, Congress and Christmas have in common? Congress reminds us our depravity. We are all prone to shameless self-interest. Calvin places a mirror before us, allowing us to see how ugly and oppressive we can be when left to our own devices. And Christmas points us to Jesus, the Savior of the world, who came to set us free from our sin. The good news is that “the government will be upon His shoulders” and “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end!” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

From my house to yours, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a New Year filled with the blessing of the Lord!

Shut Up & Stay in Bed

December 7th, 2009 No comments

I am currently teaching a class in our Living Stones College entitled “Developing a Christian Worldview.” I love this class and its content because it is so relevant to all that is taking place in our world. For a worldview to be “legit,” it has to be able to pass four critical tests:

  • The Test of Reason: Is it reasonable?
  • The Test of Reality: Does it fit reality?
  • The Test of Breadth: Does it explain all of life?
  • The Test of Practice: Is is livable?

The last question poses a serious problem for our “Green without God” friends. Let me explain.

This month more than 170 countries are meeting in Copenhagen to discuss the reality of a world treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gases. There’s only one small problem with this gathering. Someone estimated that the conference itself will create an estimated 40,584 tons of carbon emissions. To put that figure into perspective, this is roughly the carbon footprint for the entire nation of Morocco in 2006!

So let me see if I get this right. We’re going to have a conference to create a document that will mandate the cutting of  greenhouse gasses, but the “environmental experts” will actually create an overabundance of gasses from all the hot air that will be released as a result of this gathering. Hmm. The very folks who are convinced we are destroying the planet with global warming will actually be expediting our demise by their own irresponsible behavior. Shame on you! How do you sleep at night?

You see, there’s only one reasonable, non-hypocritical conclusion for these well-meaning, but misguided, self-appointed saviors of Mother Earth – Shut up and stay in bed! To do otherwise only contributes to the problem.  I’m a big advocate of leadership by example. If you really believe in your worldview, then set an example by living a carbon-free lifestyle. Don’t eat, don’t breath, don’t move, don’t procreate and don’t consume. Call me in six months and let me know how it’s working for you.