the blog

title

Lent :: A Reminder


content

Lent :: A Reminder

I’ve felt it in my bones and have been reminded, both in the sermon yesterday and in the homily today during morning prayer that we are about half way through the season of Lent.

There are reminders all around.

For instance, I read this Psalm in morning prayer today…

Psalm 119:25-32
ד Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust;
revive me according to your word.
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Put false ways far from me;
and graciously teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
for you enlarge my understanding.

“My soul clings to the dust…”

I want that to be true of my Lenten experience. Really, I want that to be true of my life. To always keep my humanity and mortality before me, knowing that my every breath is a gift of God.

We are halfway through Lent but far from eternity. It is with this in mind that we let our lenten disciplines begin to shape our heart and mind and our desire toward life that is most truly situated in the reality of the Kingdom of God. This reality that we will someday day live fully.

So this day, right now, we live like we will fully live someday. Lent is God’s gift to us, helping us have space and practice to do this very thing in intentional, practical and communal ways. Hopefully we are learning to live during Lent, a little more like we should live all the time and will fully live in the time to come.

Hang in there. Cling to the dust. Resurrection is around the corner!
Grace and peace
Erik

Discuss

title

Bless the Lord…


content

I was reading Psalm 103 today, it goes like this…

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit

And it so it goes.

But what does it mean to “Bless the Lord?”

I have asked this question for a LONG time and nobody really gives me a good answer. I have never heard a pastor preach an insightful message on it and i have NEVER heard explanation that doesn’t sound trite and contrived. What does it really mean to “bless the Lord?”

I think this might help with our understanding of blessing and being blessed if we could work this out.

Now i do have an idea. And maybe my idea is WAY off. Who knows…
i’ll share it soon but first i want to get some of your ideas.

What do you think?

Peace and blessing
Erik

Discuss

title

Sovereignty & all things…


content

Don’t you wondering how this whole sovereignty thing works? This idea that God has all things in his hands and works ALL THINGS for the good of those who love him. You know, all that action.

Don’t you wonder?

Doesn’t it just seem like life tosses crap our way all to often. And beyond that life tosses HUGE curve balls our way from time to time.

Psalm 136 seems to think that All that God does is because his steadfast love endures forever. I like the idea but when you think about and if you are honest, it’s hard to embrace that sometimes, isn’t it? It’s hard to think that God’s steadfast love does some of that things that happen in our lives, it’s hard to think that God’s steadfast love caused some of things we read about in the bible.

There is a story told by old Jewish guys recounting the story of the Israelites cross the Red Sea. You know, the whole parting of the waters deal. The story (from these old Jewish rabbis) is that the angels began to celebrate when the Israelites cross over but God rebuked them saying that it wasn’t a time to rejoiced because some of his creation has just been destroyed in the waters, a.k.a. the Egyptians.

It’s seems like God’s heart is bent that way, to love and protect his creation but sometime the things that happen in our world and more specifically in our / my life makes me wonder where he’s at and what he’s up to.

Just some thoughts as I’m meditating on Psalm 136 this week.

“for his steadfast love endures forever.”

I HOPE!
Erik

Discuss

title

Psalm 127 // A reflection…


content

.V 1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house,
        those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
       the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
      and go late to rest,
 easting the bread of anxious toil;
      for he gives sleep to his beloved.

I have been reading this psalm all week and it seems extremely fitting for my life! Last month everything changed for me and the ministry God has called me to do. At least it feels like everything has changed. It’s tempting to just push through and try and build life and ministry on my strength and on my own efforts. But with a psalm like this God reminds me that my striving and pushing through are all in vain if He is not really the one doing the building and opening up the doors.

But there is a tension here isn’t there? How much do we sit back and let God construct our “house” and orchestrate the song that is our life and ministry? And how much to we strive, using the abilities and energies that God has given us? I heard a story of lead pastor who puts in 60 hours work week at the church and also puts in 20 – 40 hours (in the same week) into the business he owns and runes. The church he planted has blown up, they have three campuses now and are one of the top 10 fastest growing churches in America according to Outreach Magazine. It looks like God is using this mans efforts, his striving. I happen to know someone on his staff who told me this but he said it in on a positive note following it with, “and he still has a great relationship with his family, ect. ect.”

How does one know when our “toiling” in vain or is in line with the proper effort that God and his work deserves.

Just thinking about that today.

Shalom
Erik

Discuss