Friday, November 20, 2009

No Class This Sunday

stop sign image
In case you did not get Allison's email, we will not have class this week. We were not planning on meeting the week of Thanksgiving and after a month of not meeting, we felt it would be better to have the remaining classes on consecutive weeks. This means that the next class will be December 6th.

We miss you all and hope you are doing well. See you in a couple more weeks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things To Do in Winston Salem for Kids

Sorry I have been holding out on everyone, but here is a link that Allison gave me a while back that you will find helpful. It has an updated calendar of things going on around town that are good things to do with kids. It is perfect for our stay-at-home moms. It also has great afternoon and weekend events.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Orphan Sunday - Videos

Anna - "I want you to know someone's searching for a way to get you here."
These two videos (via ABBA Fund blog) are to help gear you for orphan sunday this week. As you know God has given Allison and I the desire to adopt and both of these songs strongly pulled at my heart.

This first video is from Aaron Ivey. He has been in the process of adopting two children from Haiti for the past two years. The video is a song he wrote telling the story of the parents to the child.

This second video takes the view from a child who has been adopted. This takes the music of Cat's in the Cradle and rewords it to tell his story. The artists involved are Darryl McDaniels aka DMC from Run DMC fames and Sarah McLachlan - both of them had been adopted. And yes, this song also made me tear up. You can call me sweet or weak. Whatever, I love the girls God has given and is giving me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He Loves Us by Kim Walker

Here is another resource to the last two posts. We have sung this song at Reynolda, but it has been awhile. Allow it to sink in. Enjoy.

What Does God What From Us?

This newsletter came this morning, and I thought it went along nicely to the last post. God is not looking for sacrifice or service; He is after our hearts because He loves us. Enjoy.

Ransomed Heart

What Does God What From Us?

The gospel says that we, who are God’s beloved, created a cosmic crisis. It says we, too, were stolen from our True Love and that he launched the greatest campaign in the history of the world to get us back. God created us for intimacy with him. When we turned our back on him he promised to come for us. He sent personal messengers; he used beauty and affliction to recapture our hearts. After all else failed, he conceived the most daring of plans. Under the cover of night he stole into the enemy’s camp incognito, the Ancient of Days disguised as a newborn. The Incarnation, as Phil Yancey reminds us, was a daring raid into enemy territory. The whole world lay under the power of the evil one and we were held in the dungeons of darkness. God risked it all to rescue us. Why? What is it that he sees in us that causes him to act the jealous lover, to lay siege both on the kingdom of darkness and on our own idolatries as if on Troy—not to annihilate, but to win us once again for himself? This fierce intention, this reckless ambition that shoves all conventions aside, willing literally to move heaven and earth—We’ve been offered many explanations.

From one religious camp we’re told that what God wants is obedience, or sacrifice, or adherence to the right doctrines, or morality. Those are the answers offered by conservative churches. The more therapeutic churches suggest that no, God is after our contentment, or happiness, or self-actualization, or something else along those lines. He is concerned about all these things, of course, but they are not his primary concern. What he is after is us—our laughter, our tears, our dreams, our fears, our heart of hearts. Remember his lament in Isaiah, that though his people were performing all their duties, “their hearts are far from me” (29:13 italics added). How few of us truly believe this. We’ve never been wanted for our heart, our truest self, not really, not for long. The thought that God wants our heart seems too good to be true.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Inching Closer to the Goal

stretching for the goal imageimage courtesy of NFL

Many of us missed the Just Walk Across the Room discussion this week. We can discuss if we want to continue with this detour or whether to come back to Sacred Marriage. Please send me an email if you have a preference.

The discussion for this week focused on how many Christians over time pull away from contact with non-Christians. While this metric can be useful, it is not altogether accurate. The assumption behind that thought is that the more non-Christian friends you have is a sign of more spirituality. Or, you can't do the work of ministry if you do not have non-Christians in your life.

Hybel's does a great job of moving you away from the mentality that you need to share the complete gospel presentation to have an effective ministry to non-Christians. But, at least in our conversations on Sunday, the end goal was definitely to get the conversion. You may be patient with getting someone to that point, but that was the end goal.

Isn't salvation the main goal? Before you cry heresy, realize that God cares much more for you than just to get you into heaven. He wants you to be free! Free to experience every spiritual blessing in Christ. People can come to Christ but still be in bondage. The main goal is not salvation but sanctification - or in other words, for you to be conformed into the image of Christ, who you were created to be. There is much rejoicing when people come to Christ because it is the first step in a long journey. It is a celebration, but it is not the finish line.

Therefore when we think of the timeline analogy of people being at any point between negative 10 to zero with zero being salvation point. We not only want to get people to the goal line; we want to take them to Christ over and over again. So no matter who we are with Christians or non-Christians we are to be taking them to Christ and allowing them to have a new touch from Him.

God loves you. He does just want you to work for Him. You are not a pawn or a worker bee. He is looking for people to become His friends. To love Him. To look to Him constantly. To share our hearts with Him. He is wanting a spouse not a slave. Strive to enjoy Him and then desire others to know Him the same way.