Monday, July 29, 2013

God is still speaking
For some or many of you that phrase may seem like a no brainer but it was not always that way for me.  In many ways I was raised to believe that God had already said everything that was to be said, it was contained in one place and our role was simply to straighten up and get in line. 

 Thankfully, by the grace of God, I've expanded my thinking a great deal over time.  If God was actually finished speaking then we, as the church, would still be using the Bible to justify inequality on a number of subjects.  Think about what the church at one time believed was "God's" position on slavery, divorce & remarriage, the submission & silence women and more.  This list could really get long.  But, while generally the last to arrive at the dance, the church slowly heard God speaking and at least changed a number of views once thought unchangeable.  
I've become committed to that phrase, God is still speaking.  It really resonates with my soul.  It excites me because I know He has more to say to me and to the church.  I have more to learn.  I have more aspects of my thinking to change.  I’m in process and on a journey where God’s truth is being unfolded along the way.  I want to listen and truly hear. 
I've learned that God doesn't speak through just one means or only one voice.  God is as diverse as the universe.  You just never know when God will turn your world view on some subject upside down.  God is always out in front of us.  Yes, it’s humbling to know you really are not that smart but it is an extremely hope filled feeling to know that you serve a God who is both now and future.  God is light and as we come to see the light it is incumbent upon us to change. 
I sincerely want to be a relational part of a group of people who value that phrase and I trust you do as well.  Actually it is much more than a phase.  It may be the most important tenant in how you view our faith.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finding Ways to do the Right Thing

On occasion something will impress you because it is a genuine and sincere response to life.  Such in the case with Pastor John Danner (Sanibel Congregational UCC) who is about to turn 60.  I'm a little jealous because I've already passed that mark and would gladly like a couple of extra years to enjoy life.  However the impressive action I wish to share with you is how he decided to mark the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Beginning on Wednesday (July 31) John will start riding his bicycle from Fort Lauderdale to Key West.  Three days of riding 60 miles each day.  Here's the great part.  He's using this occasion and the bike ride he will enjoy to do more than mark a birthday.  In the process he has been raising funds for the purchase of wheelchairs.  Thus far he has raised over $16,000.  

This quietly committed minister will make his ride for three days, rush back to Sanibel on Saturday and be in his pulpit on Sunday.  Here is a man who knows what it is to do the right thing and he is making the most of his life by making it count for others.  I admire John and trust you will pray for his safety and for an exciting time as he turns 60.  May each of us be inspired to finds ways we can make a difference in the lives of others.