Jesus

Straight Up Temptation

The Lessons Appointed for Use on the First Sunday of Lent:

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11
Psalm 32

The Collect

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Sermon

I saw God mighty to save when I was working as a messenger in a law office. I worked there for a year while I took the LSATs and applied to law schools – just to make sure law was what I wanted to do.

One of my many duties was to occasionally sit in for the receptionist while she was at lunch. The phones were quiet one day and I had a verse to learn.- 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it.”

I memorize best by writing things out so I wrote the verse on a sheet of paper. I wrote it again and again until it filled both sides of the page. Halfway through the hour the phone lines started ringing and by the time Kathy returned from lunch my paper was buried under a pile of messages.

Kathy took her seat behind the desk and I rushed out to file a motion.

When I returned to the office a few hours later Kathy called me over to the reception desk.

“I assume this is yours,” she said, holding up the page.

Before I could apologize for leaving it behind she continued, “Thank you. It saved my life.”

One of our clients had been flirting shamelessly with Kathy. She was a lovely, Christian, married woman who politely declined his indecent proposals time after time.  But it’s hard to resist a wealthy, powerful, charming, persistent man who makes you feel desirable, so that day at lunch she decided that when he came in that afternoon she was going to say yes.

And then 1 Corinthians 10:13 emerged from under all those messages.

Help is always on the way.

This morning help is right here in the lessons in our bulletins.

Genesis 3 helps us recognize the tempter when we see him.

The Old Testament

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made.

The Hebrew word translated serpent here is nachash.  It is from the root word meaning “divination, enchantment, sorcery”.

The Hebrew word translated “wild animal” means “to live, have life, remain alive, live forever.”

That’s why, contrary to all the artist’s depictions, I don’t picture Eve talking to an actual snake. What intelligent woman is going to listen to a snake?

A more accurate translation would have her talking to an enchanter.

Scripture says the devil masquerades as an angel of light. Ezekiel said he was, “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”

The Hebrew word translated beauty is from the root word yaphah (yaw-faw), which means “to be bright, beautiful, handsome, fair”.  So instead of a snake, picture someone shiny. (I picture a young Robert Redford.  He was shiny.)

“Now shiny boy was the slyest, most hypnotically charming being which the LORD God had made.”  (Genesis 3:1 JHV – Julie Hintz Version)

Is your mind set on the picture here?  Eve has just encountered a bright, shiny, hypnotically charming replica of the One she conversed with each evening in the garden.  Sin has not yet entered the picture.  She knows nothing of evil.  Distrust has not even entered her perfect mind because distrust has not yet entered her perfect world.  Shiny boy knows he’s golden, so he makes his move.

Tempters always look good in the coming; they don’t look like a snake until the going.

You know what I mean.  You’ve met someone who looked shiny in the coming. It wasn’t until after he/she betrayed you, deceived you, broke your heart, that you said to your friends, “He/she is such a snake!”

Remember, he wasn’t condemned to crawl on his belly until the end of the chapter.

He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’”
Look back at the first paragraph (Genesis 2).  Did God say they couldn’t even touch it? He commanded the man – because the woman had not yet been fashioned – and in relaying the command to the woman, the man embellished.  “Don’t even touch it, Eve, don’t even think about touching it.”  Actually, he hadn’t named Eve yet. “Don’t even touch it, woman, don’t even think about touching it.”

It’s important in this temptation avoiding life to see for yourself what God actually said; go directly to the source.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

See how crafty he is? He even uses noble desires. Wisdom is a good thing, so how can desiring it be sinful? It isn’t. The sin wasn’t in the desire for knowledge, the sin was in the grabbiness.

Shiny boy portrayed himself as being more generous than God.  I see this temptation everywhere these days. The subtle temptation to believe that we humans are kinder, more compassionate than God. We’re not.

(Note to self: When someone wants me to do something that contradicts what God said, no matter how much that someone may look or sound like God, say to that shiny person, “Hold up, let me run that past God and get back to you.”)

Further down in the chapter we’re told Adam and Eve were afraid when they heard God coming, so they hid.  Do you think they had known fear before? This knowledge of good and evil that was supposed to be so great didn’t turn out to be so great.

And so it always goes with that snake.

I wonder if God would have invited them to eat from the tree the second they passed the test.  Once they showed they would trust Him, obey Him. (You can read Boot Camp for more on that.)

The OT helped us see that the tempter is shiny and sly. Eve said “the deceiver tricked me and I ate.”  If he can trick Eve, he can trick us. Smart as we are, Eve was smarter. She was an original, we’re copies of a copy of a copy…

So let’s learn from the Master.

Right out of the gate, the devil tried to wreck  Jesus’ ministry.

The Gospel

Matthew 4:1-11
(Right after He was baptized) Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Just a casual, harmless, sly little suggestion.  You’re hungry, make yourself something to eat. No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong. If he had turned those stones into bread His whole mission would have been aborted.

He had to be one of us in order to take our place on the cross.  Can you turn stones into bread? I can’t either.

So if He did something we can’t do He would no longer be fully man.

“But wait,” I hear you thinking, “Jesus did miracles all the time.”

Yes, He did. But He only did what he saw His Father doing and He only said what He heard His Father saying.

And His Father wasn’t making bread that day.

As a human, He was completely dependent on His father to do anything of spiritual, miraculous value. Just as we are.

We can’t take matters into our own hands – if we could, Dixie would be happily pooping by now – so neither could He.

That’s why He said, “One does not live by bread alone, 
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

There are more important things in life than our physical appetites.

We’re going to be hungry for all kinds of things and the tempter will exploit every one of our physical weaknesses.

Let’s not get grabby, let’s not take matters into our own hands, let’s take only from the Father’s hand.

If you scroll down to the last sentence of the Matthew passage it says this: “Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.”

I imagine they brought something a whole lot more satisfying than some crusty bread.

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ 
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Are you kidding me?  ‘If you are the Son of God’? Please. What did He  just say at my baptism, right before I was led out to this place?  This is my Son.

Okay that’s my paraphrase. He actually said, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”   But they’re kinda’ the same. Either way when God clearly says something, it’s an insult to doubt it.

Temptation comes on strong when we think we have something to prove.  This one probably hits teenagers the hardest. Do I have what it takes? Am I desirable?

Tell them they do.  Tell them they are.  Tell them they have nothing to prove. Every day during Lent tell them in big and small and subtle and true ways that they have what it takes. Leave no doubt.

Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

All the kingdoms of the world were not his to give but he’s a liar so who cares.  He has no problem promising what he knows he can’t deliver.

The temptation here was to bypass the cross; to take the easy way.

“You don’t have to suffer,” the devil hissed, “you don’t have to die for these people.  Just worship me and I’ll give you an earthly kingdom.”

This last attempt must have been tempting.  Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross. He said so Himself. If there had been any other way He would have taken it.

But Jesus didn’t come to gain an earthly kingdom.

He knew that eventually every knee would bow to Him and every tongue in heaven and on earth would confess that He is Lord.  He knew that in order to draw all men to Himself He would have to be “lifted up” on a cross before being lifted back unto His heavenly throne.

He wasn’t going to settle for a cheap imitation of the heavenly kingdom He already possessed.

Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God, 
and serve only him.’”

In other words, “I’ll take what’s behind door number God.”

Let’s not settle for the cheap imitations that the tempter offers and then doesn’t deliver.

Let’s give up cheap imitations for Lent.

The devil, who had the audacity to tempt Jesus, uses these same tactics on us.

He exploits our physical appetites and weaknesses.

He exploits our pride.

He exploits our fears and dreads.

How was Jesus able to cut through these tough temptations like a hot knife through butter?

He trusted in His Father’s provision,
He was confident in His Father’s love and
He kept His eye on the better prize. Us.

May we be like Him.

P.S. I didn’t say this in the sermon, but here’s why I think was translated as snake:

The Hebrew word translated serpent here is nachash (pronounced naw-khawsh’). It is from the root word nachash (pronounced naw-khawsh’), which means “divination, enchantment, omen, sorcery”. The root word and the derivative are identical in spelling and almost identical in pronunciation. Here’s what the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) says:

“Because of the similarity of [the two words], some make a connection to snakecharming. More contend that there is a similarity of hissing sounds between enchanters and serpents and hence the similarity of words.”

Just a little bonus for my fellow word nerds.

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family, life

McDonald’s has its pink slime, I have purple.

I was just awakening from sleep when I heard a whisper.

“Follow the diet and exercise and you will beat cancer.”

I didn’t have cancer, my sister did.

Aware that I had no control over my sister’s diet and exercise, and aware that God often whispers things well in advance, I made a pot of my nutritious, delicious chicken, kale, carrot, onion and white bean soup – garnished with really good parmigiano reggianno – and took it over to her.

I suggested we walk the two or three blocks from her beautiful house into her darling down town.

Just in case.

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile you know that my sister did not beat cancer.

Actually, she did, because she didn’t let it wreck her life.

Then Bebe was diagnosed with cancer in October and I thought maybe the whisper was for her.  I could control her diet and exercise so I took her for long walks, cooked balanced meals and carefully administered Chinese herb blends and supplements.

She died, as you know, in January.

So we adopted Dixie.

And almost immediately upon her adoption she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Unusual in dogs.

So now I’m cooking like her little life depends on it.

Because it just might.

She had her first chemo treatment yesterday – an injection of Carboplatin.

She seemed to handle it just fine until nausea kept interrupting her sleep and mine.

When she turned her nose up at her usual breakfast this morning, I made her some healthy snacks.

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I love the color combo.

1 cup organic wild blueberries
2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. dried basil – 4 Tbs. fresh basil is better but I’m out
2 Tbsp. coconut flour

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all whirled together

Add a pound of organic ground turkey.

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McDonald’s has its pink slime, I have purple.

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Plop the purple slime on a cookie sheet.

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Flatten it with a fork.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 350.

Normally she’ll gobble down as many of these as I’m willing to give her. Today she stopped at 2.

So I gave the food processor a quick wipe and made a batch of her other favorite.

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Whirl together a can of sardines,  1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1 egg, 3 Tbsp. almond flour and 3 Tbsp. hemp protein powder and plop it on the same cookie sheet. Why dirty another one?

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Flatten them with a fork and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Oh, yes, she was interested in these – ate 3 of them, I think.

Next up I made meatloaf: 2 pounds ground turkey, 6 Tbsp. ground hemp seeds, 4 oz. can of sardines, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 2 eggs, 2 ounces beef liver, 2 ounces fresh broccoli, 2 ounces fresh baby spinach, 2 ounces fresh red bell pepper.

Whirl it all together, spread it in a 13×9 pan and bake at 325 for an hour.

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The juices soak back in as it cools.

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Portioned out for dinner – Dixie gets 6 ounces, Maxy gets 12.

She gobbled a good bit of the meatloaf down.

I hope Dixie is the one who beats cancer.

But of course the whisper could have been for me.

This week I had two more pre-cancerous lesions removed from my legs – from my shins, which were flung over the edge of an inner tube exposed to the hot sun all day as I floated down the Verde River in Arizona while visiting my cousins in my youth. Sans sunscreen.

I don’t think they even had sunscreen way back then. Just tanning oils – shudder to think.

I remember putting cool washcloths on my badly burnt flesh that night. And I remember the steam rising from my legs as I did.

So if the whisper was for my future, what diet?

I trust I’ll know when the time comes.

Corrie ten Boom’s father didn’t give her the ticket until the train pulled into the station.

That’s probably when my Father will give me mine.

#symptom

P.S. No one wants to see a photo of a pile of dishes, but after all that cooking this morning, I’ve got a big one. Plus a million other things to do.

Serving God one beagle at a time.

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Food

Light lemon-lavender blueberry scones

I was in the front yard gathering hazelnuts – or was I in the backyard on a treasure hunt? (you dog owners know what I mean) It doesn’t matter, I was out in the yard picking up something or other when I had a thought – which may or may not have been profound.

I was thinking that maybe I should have parlayed my brains into considerable cash rather than taking the path of ministry.

‘Cuz Facebook is full of fabulous pics of fabulous trips. And it might be nice to have a lot of dough.

But then I started remembering Moses.

And how his feet stood atop a high mountain here on earth AFTER he was dead and gone.

Remember the pow-wow he and Elijah had with Jesus?

Scripture doesn’t name the high mountain, but most scholars think it was Mt. Tabor in Israel.

In the promised land.

Moses, as you will recall, was not allowed to enter the promised land while he was alive because of a breach in attitude. But AFTER he was a resident of heaven, he stood right there on Mt. Tabor, IN the promised land.

Because God is cool that way.

So I’m thinking that even if I never have enough dough to take a fab vacay, my glorified feet WILL stand on The Emerald Isle.  In the land of my people.

Or anywhere else they want to stand.

I don’t think I’ll miss out on anything by choosing a low-paying life of ministry.

‘Cuz I think God is going to turn out to be way cooler than any of us bargained and saved and worked all our lives for.

I trimmed my raspberry bushes way back so I’ll have a bountiful second harvest in the fall.

Then I gathered more hazelnuts.  ‘Cuz my gorgeous hazel rains nuts all day long.

After working hard in the yard – kinda’ hard, it’s hot – I didn’t feel like working hard in the house.

So I made scones instead.

I’ll walk you through the recipe in case you want to make them, too.

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Wash and dry 1 cup of blueberries and then stick them in your freezer.  Why? I don’t know. I read somewhere that you should so I do.

Preheat your oven. 400 degrees for a conventional oven, 375 degrees for a convection oven.

Put the mixer’s bowl on your kitchen scale and dump 240 grams of all purpose flour into it.  It’s a lot easier than measuring.

Don’t have a kitchen scale?  Get one.  And just for today measure out two cups of flour.

Add 1 TBSP baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 cup lemon-lavender sugar.

Don’t have lemon-lavender sugar? Make some. And just for today use plain sugar.

Mix well.

Cut 4 oz. (1 stick) of cold, unsalted butter into tiny cubes and add them to the dry ingredients.  Mix well on low.

Whisk 1 large egg and 4 oz. (half cup) heavy cream together.  While mixer is still on low, add the cream/egg mixture until just combined.  Don’t overwork the dough.

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Dump in the blueberries.  Fold them in gently with your clean hands to keep the blueberries from breaking.

Form into a rectangle.  Cut into 8 triangles. Try to separate them a little.

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Pour a little more cream into the bowl you used to whisk the eggs and cream and brush it on the scones.

Sprinkle with more lemon-lavender sugar.

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See all the bits of lemon and lavender in there?

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When the hub comes home he’ll say something smells really good.

Then he’ll ask what’s in the oven.

You’ll say “blueberry scones” and he’ll say, “yay!”

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While you’re finishing your post he’ll have one and say, “I’m going to eat five of these for dinner.”

Which is good, ‘cuz you worked too hard in kitchen to cook.

#profound

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Jesus, Light

Never, Ever Bored

Alaska

Just as I was about to head over to the farmers market before it closes, someone pointed out on a friend’s Facebook post that Jesus called Peter “Satan.”

I paused to type a quick comment in reply: “I’m not sure Jesus was actually calling Peter “Satan.” I think He was recognizing the one who was behind Peter’s words and helping Peter see it, too.”

And then I started thinking.

And now my sunny stroll through the market, my purchase of coleus if they still have it, will have to wait until Thursday.

‘Cuz I have something to say.

Remember back in Matthew chapter 4 when Satan tempted Jesus?

It was that third temptation that Jesus recognized in Peter’s words:

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.

The offer was certainly tempting: Just sell your soul to me and you can bypass the agony of the cross.

But Jesus’s mission was not to win an earthly kingdom for Himself, His mission was to win a heavenly kingdom for us.  And that mission was going to be tough.  There was no way around it.

Tough or not, Jesus was sticking with it. So He said, “Away from me, Satan!”

See what I mean about the one whose words were behind Peter’s words?

Jesus told His disciples about His upcoming death.

Peter pulled Him aside and exclaimed, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”

And right away Jesus recognized that voice and He flashed back to that very high mountain and to the temptation to win an earthly kingdom full of faithful followers.

And He said no.

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

See how similar “Away from me!” is to “Get behind me!”

You are a stumbling block to me.

Satan couldn’t get Jesus to abort His mission directly – way back in Matthew 4, at the dawn of His ministry –  so he tried the back door at dusk, indirectly, using a loyal friend.

Because who can resist the loyalty of a friend?

But Jesus was way too smart for that.

Peter didn’t understand the magnitude of what Jesus was accomplishing. Peter didn’t understand that he was being used as a pawn in the enemy’s game. He didn’t recognize the enemy’s voice coming from his lips, but Jesus did.

Jesus addressed the one to whom He was speaking when He said, “Get behind me!,” and it wasn’t Peter.

Now that my mission to the market has been aborted, I think I’ll hang with the Holy Spirit – my best and most loyal companion  – and vacuum the furniture.

#favoritecompanion

#neverbored

 

 

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Jesus, life

Takin’ it to the Streets

As you know, church has been kinda’ bugging me lately, and one of the things that has been bugging me is the preaching.  It doesn’t really belong in church.

Preaching belongs in the streets.

One of the most powerful sermons ever preached is recorded in Acts 2. Peter brilliantly, powerfully, clearly and anointedly laid it all out in the public square and thousands accepted his message that day and were baptized.

Thousands of people got what he said.

They heard the good news and they got it.  They did not need to keep getting it.

Can you imagine how boring it would have been for them if, after they were baptized, Peter just kept reiterating the same message to them again and again?

Jesus’s parting words were, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

The word preaching does not appear in His commission to us.  He didn’t tell us to preach to the church, because preaching to the church is like preaching to the choir.  It’s unnecessary.

Preaching is implied, however, in the “go make disciples” part.  It’s what Peter did out there in the public square.  But once those three thousand new believers were baptized into the faith, they no longer needed preaching, they needed teaching.

Preach then baptize then teach.

Teach obedience to the things Jesus taught.

Preaching is like professing.  A professor stands behind a lectern and professes what he knows, take it or leave it.  But a teacher is hands on.  A teacher makes sure his/her students know how to apply the concepts.

In the comment section of a recent post, Reuben Kerr wrote, “The church desperately needs Shepherds but with the ‘over-emphasis’ on teaching today a minister is more likely to be chosen for his leadership qualities or his speaking ministry over his pastoral heart. In the UK the ‘pastoral care’ has been given to the ladies of the church. Men may be getting ‘fed’ but they’re not being cared for. And men really do need men to pastor them! And what happens – men struggling with all kinds of sin, get discouraged, defeated and eventually give up. In the meantime, the LORD is saying – where are my Shepherds? It’s a dire problem that needs urgent attention.”

That over-emphasis on teaching sounds like it might be an over-emphasis on preaching.  Because teaching goes hand in hand with good shepherding.  It comes alongside. It shows a struggling person how to overcome his/her struggles.

I was attending an inner city church earlier this year.  The pastor there is doing an amazing job of caring for the community.  His actions are preaching the good news of Christ.  And that form of “preaching” in the community is bringing people through the doors of the church on Sunday mornings.  And that is great.

Preaching is meant to bring lost sinners into the church, but the job is not done.

Yelling repent Sunday after Sunday while the “choir” shouts their amen does not complete the mission. It does little good to stand at the pulpit and admonish the addicts and the prostitutes to repent unless you show them how.  Unless you take them by the hand and walk them to victory.

“Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

And how did Jesus teach? Well, He didn’t stand behind a lectern and yell.  He taught by example, by action. He modeled love. He went out to where the hurting people were and He touched them. He healed them.  He redirected their thinking. He counseled. He removed scales from eyes. He stooped to wash the feet of those closest to Him.  He showed us what His Father is like.

Jesus taught His disciples by taking them along on His mission.

Perhaps Pastors should teach us to obey Jesus by getting us up out of the pews on Sunday mornings and taking us with them to preach in the streets.  So we can welcome any resultant new believers into a fellowship of actively caring for one another.  While we all go out and rescue some more.

Perhaps church should be nothing more than us out on mission with Jesus – learning together how to care for those He loves.  Because actions have always spoken louder than words.

So weigh in. Is your pastor using nitty-gritty, hands-on actions, mere eloquent words or a perfect combination of both to show you what the Father is like?

Is anyone in your church meeting your deepest needs?  Does anyone in your church even know what your deepest needs are?  Does anyone know your struggles?  If so, are you takin’ it to the streets?

I’d love to hear how a truly effective Shepherd shepherds.  Reuben probably would, too.

“Take this message to my brother, you will find him everywhere…”

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war on women

Jesus, Juxtaposed

The stuff I was thinking yesterday got my daughter thinking, too:

Two weeks ago I was sitting in church watching an annual update video, the kind that lets you know what God has been doing through the community and whom He’s been reaching. I find that one of the beautiful things about a large church (there are plenty of beautiful things about small churches, too) is that so many people are out there serving the kingdom in so many ways that it’s impossible to even be aware of everything that’s going on until one of these videos comes along. I love these videos. This most recent one highlighted a new global partner, a group of people in Nepal who are rescuing girls from sex trafficking, loving them, and empowering them:

“Ramesh and his team rescue girls who have been trafficked into prostitution and slavery and turn them into church planters and community builders.”

I wish I could show you the original video announcing the partnership with Ramesh and his team, the one that’s more of a mini-documentary about what these people are doing over there instead of just a few lines, but my google search came up empty.

I will tell you this, what’s happening in Nepal has Jesus all over it.

When women are valued and allowed to take on positions of leadership to transform their communities and the kingdom, the Holy Spirit is present.

But all of this couldn’t help but make me think about another video, one I viewed years ago that stands in harsh juxtaposition to the one in the annual update. The video is called A Good Soldier, and it features former Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll talking about the requirements for a church planter.  For nine minutes, Mark uses the words “man” and “men” over and over and over again, speaking of women only to say that although 60% of Christians are women and that he’s glad that women are loving Jesus, we need men.

Mark doesn’t believe that women are called or qualified to plant churches, and that’s a shame. I watched the video again this morning to refresh my memory, and I honestly wish I hadn’t. It was hard to do so without vomiting. It felt like poison. The synopsis I gave spared you a lot of the macho, misogynistic details, but if you want to view it for yourself you can do so (at your own risk) here: https://youtu.be/JIrIKbCz3n4.

I’ll tell you this, the Jesus I know is nowhere to be found.

It absolutely breaks my heart knowing that many Christians would consider the second video to be more in line with God’s will than the first.

Something needs to change.

Amen, sister.

You can read more from my girl here:  I’ll Return to Biblical Womanhood

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