Archive for January, 2010

The Power of an Obedient Act

January 31st, 2010 No comments

I was recently with Pastor Keith Tucci, the Pastor of Living Hope Church in Ligonier, PA and part of the Network of Related Pastors, a group to which I belong. He shared a powerful message from Hebrews 7:1-10. I was especially impacted by verses 9 and 10 which read:

“Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizadek met him.”

Here’s the short version. Levi wasn’t born for another four hundred years or so, yet, from God’s viewpoint, he was present in the loins of his spiritual father Abraham. Abraham’s powerful act of obedience was still bringing God’s blessing to those four hundred years down stream!

Pastor Keith admonished: “Don’t discount your outrageous acts of obedience!”

What you and I do today has an impact on our seed. A heroic act of radical obedience can bring the Lord’s blessing on your great, great, grandchildren! SELAH – pause and let that sink in. The opposite is also true. Our outrageous acts of disobedience have devastating impact on the destiny of our descendants.

The bottom line is this - our choices matter. Let’s CHOOSE LIFE today! Be radically obedient to God. Your great grandkids will thank you.

PS – Pastor Keith Tucci will be ministering at Living Stones Crown Point on Sunday, March 14 for both the 8 & 11 o’clock services and at our Men’ s Network Meeting on Monday, March 15 @ 7pm. Mark your calendars!

Embracing the Tension

January 28th, 2010 No comments

I just came back from a great conference in sunny Florida. I’m sorry I had to mention that for all of us who are currently embracing single digit temperatures in the frozen Midwest! I was talking to Marion yesterday and reminded her of the good news that we are actually knocking on February’s door! “Can you believe it,’ I excitedly chirped, ‘now we only have four months until Spring!” Hey, all you can do at this point is laugh!

Anyway, back to the point. I was reminded of the important truth that life must always be lived in tension. No, I’m not referring to stress, fear, anxiety or the like. I’m talking about maintaining a balance between those things which seem to be opposites. For instance, many of the older preachers and hymns emphasized the depravity of our condition apart from, or before Christ. Jonathan Edwards, for instance, referred to sinners as “a loathesome stench” in the nostrils of a holy God. The great hymn, Amazing Grace, reminds us that it was grace that “saved a wretch like me.”

These descriptions seem awkward and out of place in a culture where self-esteem is pre-eminent. After all, we live in a strange time where every child in the Little League wins a trophy just for showing up! Our churches today emphasize our right standing with God and our unique role as the Lord’s friends. We are sons and daughters of the King, not sinners saved by grace.

Which is true? Actually, both sides are correct and our spiritual health rests upon our ability to keep each perspective in tension. If we lose sight of our wretched and hopeless condition apart from Jesus, we will never fully appreciate the favored status  we now enjoy because of the cross.

While it’s unsafe to live with our eyes glued to the rear view mirror of life, an occasional glance is vitally important if we hope to arrive at our destination safely.

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Government Sponsored Misery

January 26th, 2010 No comments


Our Founding Fathers liked to refer to good government as that which is benign. In a medical context, a benign growth is good news. It means you do not have cancer. A benign government refers to that which is kind, gracious, propitious, pleasant, non-malignant and self-limiting. In other words, government should not hurt. Like most growths, if we discover that we have one, we prefer them to be small and non-cancerous. While they may get in the way or cause minor discomfort at times, they are generally harmless.

I wish the same could be said of our federeal government today. The prophet Isaiah aptly described our present condition when he wrote:

Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed
Isaiah 10:1

From a biblical perspective, unrighteousness or sin is like cultural cancer. When our government actually decrees unrighteous laws, we reap misfortune. It’s like the man who keeps smashing his fingers with a hammer. The pain is totally self-inflicted. Bad government is like a quick spreading malignant tumor on the backs of the people.

Our President is set to give his State of the Union address at a time when, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, only 30% of Americans believe we are headed in the right direction. Let’s pray he is hearing the concerns of “We the People” and that the government sponsored misery will turn benign! 

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