Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Snakes in the Grass

I am presently in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Ahhhh... I love the Smoky Mountains. It is absolutely beautiful. The kids and I went on a hike this morning and went up to a high mountain lake and made our way around it. The lake trail is right off of "Rattlesnake trail" which takes one to "Rattlesnake" Summit and "Copperhead" Summit. Yes, we had to watch for snakes on the trail as they warm themselves in the sun. In fact, we were out about an hour and sure enough there was a big black snake on the trail. The trail lives up to its name. So the conversation with my kids started off with ... "don't pick up any long sticks... they may slither away!" and ended with "Isn't there a "Bunny Rabbit" trail around here?"
In Matthew 24 Jesus warned His disciples and us to watch out for those who are false prophets and deceivers in life. In fact, he said that times will get so difficult many Christians will be tricked into thinking that these liars are speaking the truth!
As you are walking this journey.... which is sometimes a difficult and strenuous walk... watch out for the snakes. Not every stick that is in the path should be picked up! It may eventually slither away!
How do you spot a snake on your hike?
  1. Know the Word of God better each and every day. Seek Transformation not just Information.
  2. Allow yourself to be accountable to others who are hiking the same path. I walked part of the Appalachian Trail with a friends when suddenly I stepped right beside a rattlesnake. After passing the snake I turned to warn my buddy who was fast approaching. This could of been a bad situation if he had not headed my accountability in order to keep him safe.
  3. Be a person of prayerful obedience. Pray on all things and be open to the Holy Spirits moving in your life. When you live a Holy Spirit conscious life you are aware of the snakes that would like nothing more than to interrupt your journey.

Happy Hiking!
Pastor David

Friday, April 16, 2010

Focus for your Day...

This is one of my favorite translations of this passage from Colossians 2:6-23 it is from the Message translation by Eugene Peterson. Enjoy!

6-7My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

8-10Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

11-15Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you're already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

16-17So don't put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

18-19Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are. They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

20-23So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? "Don't touch this! Don't taste that! Don't go near this!" Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice.They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they're just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

Enough Said!

Have a Great Day!


Monday, April 12, 2010

The End is Near!

“The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." an Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BCE.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip. 4

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr physicist

"Jesus is coming soon...look busy!" bumper sticker

OK maybe it isn't ending today...but we never know...maybe...
Jesus said no one knows the hour or the day but we can keep our eyes open, our hearts ready and hands busy. This is not just a "Looking busy" but a genuine following heart after his. Jesus encourages us to persevere through difficulties, to stay focused on him during deception and to remain faithful through it all.
Read Revelation anew this month with a heart for worship and awe.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Authentic Love

Jesus had key relationships: Martha, Peter, Mary Magdalene and John. Each of these profiles of friendship were unique unto themselves. These people walked, talked, loved and were loved by Jesus. Each of us may be similar in some way or another to one or more of these folks but ultimately they walked with Him. What they experienced is special, unique and will never be replicated.


We do share the most important things in common...

the need for and ability to receive His ultimate love through the cross and resurrection. Each of these special people needed to choose to follow, repent and receive the grace and mercy provided through the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is what we share… We must do the same. Jesus Died and rose from the dead for them and for us.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13