Lent 2019: A Few Thoughts

Isn’t Lent A Catholic Thing? Technically, no! It is most broadly practiced by Catholics, but also by ‘high-church’ traditions such as Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Anglicans. However, is has been observed by the church for a VERY long time. “In 325, the Council of Nicea discussed a 40-day Lenten season of fasting, but it's unclear whether its original intent was just for new Christians preparing for Baptism, but it soon encompassed the whole Church.” A Discipline of Abstinence - “Following Jesus means denying yourself, saying ‘no’ to the things that you imagine make up your ‘self,’ and finding to your astonishment that the ‘self’ you get back is more glorious, more joyful than you could have imagined.” - N.T. Wright Often, lent is associated with fasting (giving up on chocolate, coffee, social media, etc.). But if we are not careful, this can just make a hole that we will with something else (more food, other phone time, etc.). Therefore, rather than beginning a...
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Worship Album: KXC – All Things New

Recently I became aware of a church located in Kings Cross London called KXC (get it, Kings Cross Church - KXC). Shortly after listening to the album, I realized I had found the soundtrack of my first month of 2019. I have found the expression in the worship refreshing (not canned), the lyrics accessible and focused on God and his attributes. I have especially enjoyed the title track, Be Lifted Up, and David's Song. If you are looking for something to mix up the worship soundtrack of old staples like Hillsong or Passion, you might give this 2018 release a spin. https://open.spotify.com/album/6dyY0EjV3fwxl3JqK69VM3 ...
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Seeing God’s Goodness

Seeing God’s Goodness

The following are a few thoughts on the passages The Cornerstone church is reading together for Jan 28th-Feb 3rd (Genesis 39-50) . "Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that is may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time." - Deuteronomy 4:40 My wife, Melissa, and I were recently talking about Deuteronomy and Jeremiah's promises that if we obey, it will go well with us. (Deut 4:40, 5:16, 5:33, 6:3, 6:18, 12:25-28, 22:7, Jer 7:23, Jer 38:20, Jer 40:9) In our earlier years, we tended to place the emphasis on: Do the right thing, and God will reward you. Ironically, I was not prepared that "it will go will with you" (at least by practical worldly standards) could also be happening to those who didn't put the same priority...
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Are We Disregarding Spiritual Practice?

Are We Disregarding Spiritual Practice?

Good theology has long been a priority among evangelical churches. Pastors spend years studying, reading, and refining their theological understanding. Church members expect teachings that are biblically sound, critically sharp, historically grounded, with cultural savvy. And no-one is suggesting that we relax these high standards. As Hebrews suggests, believers should be concerned with their spiritual nutrition, "Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced...But solid food is for the mature - for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil" (Heb 5:13-14). But what if churches have put all their focus on nutrition, at the expense of spiritual practices? Ask any coach if nutrition is important, they will tell you definitely. Ask any coach is practice is important, and they will tell you that it is absolutely critical! In fact, given the choice between a team going for a week or two without good nutrition verses good practices, it is probable that most (if not...
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Turning Eyes into Ears

The following excerpt is from a book I am reading that I pray will be helpful as you read common passages in Genesis this week. The premise of the chapter is that reading and listening are not necessarily the same action, and that we very much need to hear the word of God. In summary, "Listening and reading are not the same thing. They involve different senses. IN listening we use our ears; in reading we use our eyes... These differences are significant and have profound consequences. Listening is an interpersonal act; it involves two or more people in fairly close proximity. Reading involves one person with a book written by someone who can be miles away or centuries dead, or both. The listener is required to be attentive to the speaker and is more or less at the speakers mercy. For the reader it is quite different, since the book is at the reader's mercy..." The author goes on to...
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