“The thwarting of strategy is an invitation for God to do a deeper work of character.”
The question of whether testimony of following Jesus Christ is genuine isn’t a new question birthed solely from a time on the planet when mass communications highlight celebrity lifestyles. The early church dealt with this question, and leaders often counseled prudence, care, pastoral sensitivity, and community accountability.
Recently, I heard a church leader describe the instinct to "drop Facebook napalm" in an online debate. What a great image. Our cultural currency…
This is what happens when we employ shibboleths. We don’t engage in critical thinking, we don’t assume the value of the other person, and we don’t speak with kindness to or about those outside the boundaries of our groups.
This weekend we are pleased to share a sermon from Rev. Tara Beth Leach, Senior Pastor, and Pastor Julie Keith, Pastor of Special Needs at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena, California.
The reality is that we’re providing immigration legal services – which means we’re using the immigration law as it is currently written to help people navigate through the process if there is a pathway for them.
I need to “move into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message) like Jesus and grow roots. I must become more specific and contextualized in my discipleship. All of this, of course, is grounded in the interdynamic relationship between humanity and land, which is quintessential to neighboring – to discipleship.
Someone living with an anxiety disorder (or any medical condition) that makes being in loud, dark areas or separated from family unendurable does not feel welcomed. This is not a commentary on the theology or religiosity of the “turn up the volume and dim the lights, no children allowed” movement. The concern here is how the Body of Christ meets those who would dare join in for worship.
The plea and blessing she sought from God wasn’t just hers alone. Guests and visitors who arrived to a home in which the daily chores were being tended greeted their hosts with the Gaelic blessing Bail o Dhia which translates to, ‘God’s blessing on the work!’ The declaration of such a blessing expressed the implicit knowledge that the monotonous backbreaking work was not simply the laborer’s alone but a joint effort blessed by God upon which all of society depended.
We will not always be liked. But we must always love.