Pastor's Blog
DEVOUT CONVICTION PDF Print

Dear Rachel,

I’m a college sophomore.  About a year ago, through a ministry on Campus, I started learning what it means to be Jewish.  Up until then, I was Jewish in name only, and even that with a small “j.”  Little by little, I started going to Jewish events and taking on observance.

I have three good friends I found in freshman year, and we’re a real foursome.  One day, we decided to go ice-skating and I wore a jean skirt so as not to call attention to the fact that I was wearing a skirt.  Well, turns out the place didn’t allow jeans, even skirts.  One of my friends offered to lend me a pair of pants she had in her car, but I refused.  When I said they could go without me, they offered to go out to eat instead.  But then, I wouldn’t go to our usual cafe, having just taken on kashrut.  I suggested the kosher pizzeria; we went there, but they weren’t thrilled with it or with me.  They basically implied that I had ruined the evening with my religious craziness, that I wasn’t the same person anymore.

They’ve been cool to me ever since, and I suspect that they’ve been going out to have fun without me.  I could use some advice.

– Hurt and Confused


This letter was written to a Jewish blog.   How would you advise her?  I was left wanting from the answer given by this particular blogger.

I use that story to say this, “How are our spiritual convictions pressing in upon the relationships in our lives?”

What an extraordinary opportunity for this young woman.  To live out her faith in stark contrast to the world around her.  That takes bravery . . . or perhaps better put, devout conviction.

Could we be so bold with Jesus Christ?  The One who is the completion of all Jewish prophecy and who is the Hope of all mankind?

May we be so radically different from the “World” – meaning everything around us – that “it” can’t help but take notice how wonderfully weird we are!

“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:16

– Dale

 
MEMORIALIZED FOR ETERNITY PDF Print

“Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”  Matthew 26:13 ESV

One simple act of devotion, and it’s remembered into eternity.  This story, this recollection, has become a memorial for this devotee of Christ – remembered by all who read His word...  Why?

Perhaps it is the extravagance of the act that causes it to be so.  Because it is that.  The expensive perfume we are told elsewhere, is worth a year’s wages – amazing!  She clearly regards her Lord above filthy lucre.

The radical act itself could be the cause for the remembrance?  A woman performing such an act upon a man, who was not her husband, or family member – scandalous.  She breaks protocol – she acts outside the accepted norm.  Could that be the reason for honoring and memorializing this precious woman?

All of the above certainly is part – but not the full reason.  We remember her because of who receives the action – and why!  Jesus is the Christ!

Whether she is aware of this or not, she is moved by the spirit, to perform an act of love and devotion that causes a commotion.

She hears...
She does not question...
She performs the action, without even knowing why.

An obedient act of love perpetrated without questioning – memorialized for eternity!

This response, is actually the destiny of all such selfless, love-gorged acts performed for our Savior!  God remembers!

May we become loving memorials for our Christ!

– Dale

 
BILLBOARDS FOR CHRIST PDF Print

“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.”  1 Corinthians 15:12-15 ESV

Paul is building an argument here, so please forgive me for interrupting him in the midst of his most salient point...  But I wanted us to mull-over this thought of “misrepresenting God.”

Have you considered, dear friend, that we (Christians, believers in Christ, blood-bought individuals) are billboards for Christ?  His life, love, compassion, and even righteousness, are expressed within all that we think, say, and do!

We represent the Savior and King!

So... are you effective signage for your Lord?

Is there a passion each day for you to present Jesus in the best possible light?

It may be a familiar adage, but it’s true – “that you may be the only Jesus that some people ever see.”  So, SHINE! ... And remember that most fixed signs sooner or later become invisible.  I highly recommend regular new growth!

Peace!

– Dale

 
LABORERS NEEDED! PDF Print

In Ronald Reagan’s famous inaugural address as California’s 33rd governor, he warned: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

That’s certainly true, and I’m sure it was a powerful speech delivered in an exquisite manner by a wonderful orator.  But I’ve been hearing that phrase repeated in one form or another in regards to Christianity for as long as I can remember...

That Christianity is only one generation away from extinction...

That certainly is not true!

Yes, it’s correct that our task is to share the gospel.  To be more precise we are charged with the responsibility of “making” disciples.  Not merely share, but to labor in the formation of a believer who is capable of going out into our culture and then duplicate the process — proclaiming Jesus’ victory over death and the grave.

But the crucial fact of the matter is that God chooses to use us!  He does not have to use us in order to accomplish His overarching will.  We are His!  He is not ours – in the sense that we control any of the activity whatsoever!

Make no mistake this is God’s creation, His future – and His predetermined plan will unfold as He sees fit.  However, please note, we can be blessed by being an obedient part of His process or we can be cursed simply by ignoring His demands.

Your present generation needs laborers in the field right now...

Which will it be for you?

– Dale

 
HE LIVES! PDF Print

The horror of the crucifixion on Friday gives way to the absolute glory of the resurrection on Sunday!

Sob-racked bodies are gloriously lifted and filled with heart-pounding hope.

Is He really alive?  Did the impossible suddenly become only the improbable?  Did this man, Jesus, actually conquer death?

The questions that rang throughout the streets of Jerusalem that day long ago are still some of the same questions reverberating throughout our communities today.

Is Jesus really alive?
Did this man actually squash death?
How does that effect me?

There comes a moment in each person’s life when they must grapple with these and other questions regarding Jesus!  The fixed reality of the resurrection must be faced squarely and dealt with by every heart that hopes to take part in the eternal story of Jesus.

He lives!
He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!!!

“And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen; He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.'”  Mark 16:6 (ESV)

God is for you. . . so He made a way for you to come to Him. . . Jesus!

– Dale

 
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