Thursday, January 20, 2011

Moving Next Door

I've reached the point where 2 blogs is redundant, but I like Blogger better than WordPress.  So, I've moved both of my blogs to a new address in the Blogger world.  Visit the new "The Village Pastor" website for future posts.  If you subscribe to this feed, I invite you to switch to the new site as well.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Happy Epiphany!

OK, most of you didn't even know that it was Epiphany, let alone were celebrating it.  That's fine, since most of us didn't grow up following the traditional church calendar.  But this was a celebration of the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God in the world.  In the western (Roman) tradition, from which Protestantism sprang, it commemorates the coming of the wise men--which supports my contention that the wise men were not at the birth!  Gentiles from a faraway land came and announced just who this child was to those in Israel who had ears to hear.  In the eastern (Byzantine, or Orthodox) tradition, it is a general celebration of all the ways Jesus was manifested as God in the flesh (they call it "theophany"--God manifestation).  This includes the birth, the Magi's visit, and Jesus' baptism by John. 

What was the point of this celebration?  The fact that God's redemption plan was NOT some sort of secret wisdom hidden from view, but that it was manifested.  Paul spoke of this in his "mystery" references (remember Ephesians 3:1-13)--God's plan of redemption hinted at in ages past now revealed in Christ Jesus.  He was to be a light dawning on the people walking in darkness (look up Isaiah 9:1-7).

If Advent begins the story with anticipation and waiting, and Christmas tells us the promise is fulfilled, then Epiphany becomes the unfolding of this promised light--the beginnings of the ministry of Jesus preaching the gospel of repentance.

John's introduction of his Gospel speaks of this powerfully:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... (vv. 1-5)
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (v. 9)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (v. 14)
May your Epiphany day, and every day be one where the light of Christ shines to you, in you, and through you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Benjamin Zander: Classical music with shining eyes

This is a remarkable video, not just in terms of gaining an appreciation for classical information, but for the leadership lessons the artist teaches. It's long, but worth it. Someone shared it with me on Facebook, and I wanted to share it with others.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Would you like fries with your Hallelujah Chorus?

This has been around for a while, but for those who haven't seen it, you should. A "flash mob" breaks out in a sterling rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus in a mall food court last month.

Watching it makes me wish that those of us who know the Messiah would be as bold as those who are singing "The Messiah" in this clip.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Carson's "The God Who is There" Audio/Video Available for Free

This is a great book, by a wonderful teacher, and now we get to see the 14 part series done at Bethlehem Baptist Church in 2009 upon which the book is based.  Here is the first episode, and if you follow the links at the bottom, you can find the next 13 episodes as well as links to supporting materials for use in small group study.  I highly recommend this to you.

The God Who Is There - Part 1. The God Who Made Everything from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to Anyone Checking This Long Silent Blog!

Keeping 2 blogs, Twitter, and Facebook going hasn't worked too well for me--this is the site that has suffered, even though it's much easier to edit than my other blog, The Village Pastor (my official blog for my church family).  

But if you are here, which may mean you have a very boring Thanksgiving Day going, I do want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Day.  I have so much for which I am thankful!
  1. I can never be thankful enough for the mercy and grace of God, given to me freely through Jesus Christ, and experienced more and more through the work of the Holy Spirit.  As I set my affections on things above, I am immeasurably blessed and changed.  So much could be said, but I'll move into preaching unless I stop.
  2. My wife and best friend, Kathy, has blessed me throughout the years in so many ways.  Her love and support give me the confidence to seek to be the man she sees in me.   I never want to take for granted such a great wife.
  3. My family teaches me so much, from the power (and sometimes pain) of love, to the marvel of God's work in each of us, to discovering the wisdom we never know our parents had, to having our siblings become more to us than we would have known, to the miracle of watching children become "people" (you know what I mean).  I love you all.
  4. The body of Christ amazes me.  My local fellowship, Grace in Cedarville, loves me so well.  I love you back.  Dear brothers and sisters who serve with me here, and serve for us around the world have enriched my life even as they model selfless service to the Lord; you are in my heart and prayers, and I think about you with gratitude.
  5. I have some very incredible friends, whose impact on my life far exceeds the time we sometimes get to spend together.  Just hearing your voices on the phone, or getting a random email, gives me so much joy.
  6. I don't want to be trapped by what I have, but I also want to express great thankfulness for the ways in which God has blessed us with a bounty!  We will eat some of that bounty today!
So thankful!