Forgiveness

Church Update
Here are some new pics that I’ve been promising. These first two show our new, white, sealed metal roof (plus some autumn leaves). Much better than the previous red-and-white fleck, and it has kept much rain out of the gym!

Here are a couple of the new road, too. You’ll notice the roof edge and light post from our property line in both of them to help you see proximity.

Pew plug again: If you know of a church that is looking to purchase pews and doesn’t want to have to pay for new ones, we are trying to sell ours. Visit http://www.usedpews.org/usedpews.htm#neast and look at set #1971.

Personal Update
Well, I start the next class in my master’s program soon. Just waiting for the CDs and notes to get here!

Saralynn will be gone this weekend, so I’m spending Sat – Mon with just the kids. I wonder what we’ll come up with. Whatever it is, it should be good. : )

BTW – If you are looking for a personal laser printer, I have a couple listed on eBay as “Buy it Now”. Check them out here

Scriptural Thought of the Week
The languages of the Scriptures are very precise – much more so than English. I read a quote today from an old rabbi who said, “Reading the Scriptures in a translation is like kissing your bride through the veil.” I study the languages in order to see behind the veil to what is really there. And then I pass along these gems when I can.

In Ephesians, Paul used the phrase kathos kai six times. The basic meaning is one of pattern – “just as also”. Over the next few postings, I’ll share some of these great patterns God has left for us to follow. Here is a familiar one:

“You all are to be toward one another kind (loving, benevolent), good-hearted (compassionate), graciously forgiving one another, just as also God in Christ graciously forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (my trans.) 

The pattern that God gave us was not just one of pardoning sin but rather a generous, gracious, unconditional forgiveness of those who have wronged us. It comes from a heart of benevolence and compassion for those around us – desiring their good ahead of ours. That is God’s attitude toward us, and we are commanded to make it our own toward others.

Quote of the Week
On this topic of unconditional forgiveness, John Ortberg writes,

 

“We are always to pursue forgiving people who have hurt us, even when the offenders don’t ask or deserve it. God commands us to forgive because it is the best way to live. He commands us to forgive others because he has forgiven us; he is the Great Forgiver. He commands it because the only other way is to remain a prisoner of the hurt for as long as I live. God commands forgiving because to refuse to forgive means I allow the one who hurt me to keep me chained in a prison of bitterness and resentment year after year. No human beings are more miserable than the unforgiving.”

Quoted from: John Ortberg, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), p. 160. ISBN: 0310228646

 

 

Until next time,

Dan’l

Life together

Church Update
Well we finally had a couple of nice days so we could get the rubber membrane sealer sprayed onto our metal gym roof without it washing away! We’ve been talking about it for several months now, and it’s finally done. I’ll get a picture up soon.

Also, if you know of a church that is looking to purchase pews but don’t want to have to pay for new ones, we are trying to sell ours. Visit http://www.usedpews.org/usedpews.htm#neast and look at set #1971 for ours.

Personal Update
Because of a “Parents’ Night Out” arranged by Emily Day’s Girl Scout Troop, Saralynn and I got some much-needed time together this past Friday night. We talked over supper, walked through Best Buy, and went bowling. It was a great night. Thanks Emily and Rhonda!

Scriptural Thought of the Week

“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.'” Genesis 28:16 (NASB) 


This has to be my favorite story and verse from the entire Old Testament. Probably in his mid-70s, Jacob had left home to go to a place he’d never been to family he didn’t know to find a wife he had never met. And, although he grew up under the faith teachings of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob had never had a personal encounter with God…

Not until that night, when God came to him in a dream, and Jacob’s world was changed forever. After introducing Himself to Jacob, God told him three things that he desperately needed to hear. (I’ll share them with you in a future post. Hey, I want you to come back!)

Like Jacob, many of us need to wake up and realize that God has already been where we are headed, and that He offers to take us there personally. Only doing life together with God can guarantee that we’ll accomplish His purposes.

Quote of the Week
I used this quote in the message this morning, but it’s well worth repeating here. If you have already heard it, review it and see where it fits into your life. Referring to a practical lifestyle of walking closely with God, Chuck Swindoll writes,

“Your spiritual life may be in need of some major changes. A new perspective is essential in order to rekindle that first-love kind of relationship where God is real again, where you and He are on much closer speaking terms. The kind of intimacy that doesn’t require a stirring message from the pulpit and doesn’t depend upon a great worship event or concert but simply exists as a natural part of your walk.”

Quoted from: Charles R. Swindoll, So You Want to Be Like Christ? Eight Essentials to Get You There (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005), pp. 8-9. ISBN: 084991731X

 

 

Until next time,

Dan’l

Tolerance, and the grace that pays the bill

Church Update
Still no official news from the Airport, but the work keeps right on going. The road seems to be nearing its completion. I’ll get pictures up here soon. They painted lines on Sunday, so it looks even more finished than before.

We’ve been trying to get our final sealer on the metal roof before it gets too cold, but every time we have scheduled to do it, it rains that day. Maybe it’s a sign! Anyway, we’re planning again for tomorrow (Friday).

Special Update
This past Sunday (October 1st) Crossway Baptist Church held its very first church service in Bakersfield, CA. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Mark and Charity Brock. The result? There were 87 people who attended the first service! There were others who said they would come and did not. Maybe next week. Keep praying!

Scriptural Thought of the Week
Pop-quiz question: Who is that fellow believer that you have a hard time loving? OK, have them in mind? So, how do you handle situations when you have to be together? Let the apostle Paul give you some advice:

“I, the prisoner in the Lord, I urge you to walk about in a manner worthy of the calling by which you were called, with all lowly thinking and meekness, with longsuffering, tolerating one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of the peace” Ephesians 4:1-3 (my trans.)

At his writing, Paul was under house arrest in Rome. This meant he was probably shackled to at least one guard at all times. That must have been pretty difficult, especially since the guards would not have started off being believers, appreciating Paul’s teaching, writing, visitors, etc.

Paul said that there are times when we simply have to “tolerate one another in love” for the purpose of keeping “the unity of the Spirit”. And how is that done? Through the “bond [read: shackle] of the peace.”

Sticking close to each other, spending time with each other, “bonding”, will bring out a lot of things we must tolerate in one another. But when we do so, the peace of God will grow our unity in His Spirit.

Quote of the Week
My intention is to share from many books, but I’m milking this one because I like his style and perspective, so here is another quote from Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis:

I was having breakfast with my dad and my younger son at the Real Food Cafe on Eastern Avenue just south of Alger in Grand Rapids. We were finishing our meal when I noticed that the waitress brought our check and then took it away and then brought it back again. She placed it on the table, smiled, and said, “Somebody in the restaurant paid for your meal. You’re all set.” And then she walked away.

I had the strangest feeling sitting there. The feeling was helplessness. There was nothing I could do. It had been taken care of. To insist on paying would have been pointless. All I could do was trust that what she said was actually true and then live in that. Which meant getting up and leaving the restaurant. My acceptance of what she said gave me a choice: to live like it was true or to create my own reality in which the bill was not paid.

This is our invitation. To trust that we don’t owe anything. To trust that something is already true about us, something has already been done, something has been there all along.

To trust that grace pays the bill.

Quoted from: Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), pp. 151-2. ISBN: 031026345X

 

 

Until next time,

Dan’l