The old Sunday School lesson says that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and spit out three days later to preach God’s message to Nineveh. So the story goes anyway. While the original text does not require the specific word whale be used, Jonah 1:17 does give that account. Historically, the event would have taken place during the reign Jeroboam II around 793 – 753 BC. The context is one of Jonah being commanded by God to go and preach to Nineveh which he didn’t want to do because of his personal and national animosities to the Assyrians. Nineveh was their capital city. Jonah rebelled and went in the opposite direction by sea. God intervened and the men of the ship threw Jonah overboard into the ocean which is where the oversize critter showed up for lunch. It was during his time in the big tuna that Jonah himself repented and thus God caused the fish to vomit Jonah up onto dry land giving the prophet a second chance at obedience. Jonah did obey this time and the text tells us that after his preaching to Nineveh the city repented and accepted God’s grace. Nice story. But did it actually happen and so what? (more…)
Everybody has an opinion. But how do we prove our point? When it comes to Jesus, people usually bring Him into a discussion when they believe He can lend added weight to their argument. Socially and politically speaking, conservatives will bring Jesus up regarding a pro-life position and liberals will enter the Jesus card to support their call to feed the poor and take care of the down and out. Good Samaritan type talk. But what about the passages where Jesus doesn’t always say what we want Him to say? Do we really believe Jesus when He talks about issues that we’re not quite sure about or maybe even just don’t agree with?
What about the times where Jesus spoke in reference to Old Testament accounts as if they were really true? Stories like Jonah and the big fish that are often placed alongside cute little kid myths of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. (more…)
Here I go again. It was 6:45 last night and I “just had” to check online to see who was leading the pack in the second caucus of the 2016 race. There’s nothing wrong with having an interest in politics or even entering the political ring. The problem for me though is that sometimes it just gets too tempting. I want to raise the black flag and dive into the fight with such intensity that I forget my focus on the real and eternal answers.
While I tend to lean toward a more conservative Republican bent, the fact of the matter is that neither major political party has it all right. They both have some huge things going for them but neither one really possess a corner on the market of truth. (more…)
They did it again! It’s just another reason why I’m proud of Cypress Crossings Christian Church. This past weekend volunteers from the C4 family reached out again this year to bless children and families in our area. For a church family of our size; they did an amazing job in providing just under 150 children and families in our region with Christmas presents. The thrilling part is that this outreach project was not something pushed by the lead minister. It actually grew up organically from within the body and that’s what Christmas and real Christianity is all about.
Jesus clearly noted that he came to seek and to save that which was lost and to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus came to give. The folks of C4 have not only experienced the life changing grace of Christ but have turned around to bless others. They are giving.
People have pointed to John Lennon’s song, Imagine, as a hope for humanity. As for me, I like imagining a world, not with or without religion, but where more people truly know Jesus Christ and are radically pursuing Him. Such a place might actually do what politics simply cannot accomplish. Change the heart and thus the world. To indeed bring “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men.” Yes; Imagining a world with more Jesus, more Christmas.
But for now . . . I’m stoked at how C4 is giving it an amazing shot.
What does it mean to live Glocally? Like me, pastor and author, Bob Roberts Jr. has a way of creating new words and Glocalization is one of his best. I love that word and what it represents. Thinking glocally is that healthy neighborhood between touching those locally around us and those who live on the other side of the globe. What was once a near impossibility is now a present reality in our modern early 21st century world. Yes, it really is possible to engage the world no matter where we are.
What is God doing in the world today? How can we engage a globe that has gone flat with modern technology? What is the vision of Christ for his disciples in our modern times?
Join us as we look at these and other questions for the Discussions Sunday night at 8p Central. Our special guest, Bob Roberts, will be with us to answer your questions and talk about living the life of a Glocal Christian. Bob has written a number of books and we will be giving away a copy of one of them to someone listening or watching our live webcast. The show can be viewed here or on our Google + Sunday Night Discussions page. Questions can be sent in live via Google + of through email here.
So make plans to join us then and feel free to send in early questions.
I had heard the story of Dave Roever before. But I listened a little closer this morning as he was being interviewed by Focus on the Family on the radio. I suppose part of the reason being that my second son, David, went off to Marine Boot Camp last month and is on the road to being a veteran himself. If you’ve not heard of Dave Roever, he is a veteran of the Vietnam War. Dave is also a personal testimony of how God can move in some very profound ways even today. Roever was wounded and almost died from a white phosphorus grenade but lived and demonstrated a life of profound power and help to others. (more…)