Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Intellectual

INTELLECTUALS...Loving God with the Mind


“Intellectuals…are likely to be studying…doctrines like Calvinism, infant baptism, ordination of women, and predestination. These Christians live in the world of concepts.“When intellectuals’ minds are awakened, when they understand something new about God or His ways with His children, then their adoration is unleashed. (They) may feel closest to God when they first understand something new about Him. (20)…an intellectual can spend long seasons contemplating a challenging verse or concept.” (194)“Intellectuals remind us of the high calling of loving God with our mind. …The Bible is emphatic that our mind is one of the key elements that we can use to love God.” (194)“The Levites were released from other duties so they could function in the one duty of studying and teaching – loving God with the mind.” (196)
“The sermon…does not follow or precede worship – it is worship.” (196)“Scripture tells us our first search, our primary calling, is to get wisdom and understanding.” (197)“There comes a point when we stop teaching and start arguing. It’s a fine line, but we need to make sure we don’t cross it.” (209)


Dr. J. I. Packer; Dr. R. C. Sproul; C. S. Lewis; Dorothy Sayers, Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkein; Elizabeth Elliot; Calvin; Plantinga; Eugene Peterson; Colson; Gary Thomas; Bonhoeffer.SCRIPTURES TO PONDERDeut. 33:10; I Ki. 4:29-34; Psa. 49; Pr. 1:5-7; 2:3-4; 4:7; Mt. 22:37; I Cor. 13: 2-3; I Tim. 1:3-7; 6;4,5; II Tim. 2:23-25; Titus 3:9-11; Luke 2: 46-47, 52; James 3:1


Be Thou My Vision
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
He Was Wounded For Our Transgressions
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Firm a Foundation
I Will Delight in the Law of the Lord
Teach Me Your Way


1. Study the basic disciplines of theological training

2. Invest in biblical study: reading through Scripture; meticulous study of portions of Scripture;

3. Read books that help understand what Scripture says - books on theology; books on church history.

4. Do a year-long in-depth study of one topic

5. Listen to theology tapes/CDs while driving.

6. Study the seven basic topics in systematic theology: God, humankind, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Church, eschatology, and revelation.

7. Study Christian ethics

8. Gain understanding of both internal and external apologetics.9. Study the creeds


1. How thankful are you for your intellectual capacity? How do you express this and to whom?

2. In what ways have you applied your intellectual understanding of the Gospel to the service of others? In what other ways could you do so?

3. What are some of the most exciting discoveries you have made about God recently? How . have they influenced your worship times?

4. What most annoys you about other styles of worship? Ask God for His perspective on this? What does He say to you?

5.How do you react to the statement, “worship is God revealing Himself to You, not You discovering God”?


Clouse, Robert, Richard V. Pierard, and Edwin M. Yamauchi (1993).

Two Kingdoms: The Church and Culture Through the Ages. Chicago: Moody Press.Latourette, Kenneth Scott (1975).

History of Christianity. San Fransisco; Harper.Lewis,

C. S. Mere Christianity. (1978). MacMillan Publishing Company.

McDowell, Josh. Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sacred Pathways

How has God designed you to connect with Him intimately?
Take 5 minutes, follow the link below & take a sacred pathway assessment.

Sacred Pathway Assessment

A couple of books recommended for further reading in this subject:

  • Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas

  • Streams of Living Water, Richard Foster

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    God the Tailor

    “For we are His workmanship,
    created in Christ Jesus for good works,
    which God prepared beforehand
    that we should walk in them.”
    (Ephesians 2:10)

    This is an amazing verse! Paul begins by stating, you “are His workmanship.” Reminds me of something you could pick up on the clearance rack at Sears – workmanship. Or, was that Craftsman? Either way, it’s not exactly a word we typically use everyday. Isn’t it strange how often we read words like this in Scripture, not really sure what they mean or why it was used, yet very rarely do we stop and wonder what it is and why the author specifically chose to use that particular expression?

    The Greek word for "workmanship" is poiema. We actually get our word “poem” from this word. A poem is something that is thoughtfully, intentionally and intimately crafted deep within the heart of the poet. Often underneath the surface of the very words themselves are hidden many meanings, sayings, concepts waiting to be unearthened and understood by the hearer/reader. A casual hearer/reader will never grasp the height nor depth of what was meant by the poet as they penned this poem. It’s full of emotion, passion and experience.

    Likewise, this verse describes God as the Divine Poet who has reached deep down within and began to craft a life. A life, that like a poem was meant to be sung, read and lived. God intended each person to be a life full of meaning, purpose and intimate origin.

    This word “poiema” was a word that conveyed “weaving of a fabric into a garment.” It was the word picture of someone going to a tailor or seamstress to have a garment custom crafted. Before the tailor asked for colors, designs, or anything else, they would measure each dimension. After the dimensions were gathered, they would then begin designing the pattern, cutting the pattern, and so forth.

    Once completed, this tailor made garment would fit with great comfort. It would fit one person and only one person well. It was not some generic “S,M,L,XL” or a cheap “one-size-fits-all,” rather it had been measured, designed, and crafted to fit one person perfectly based on their unique measurements.

    Likewise, Paul says that God has “measured us up in advance.” He has uniquely and intimately crafted us as a poem. He has made a “coat” or “garment” that is specifically designed to fit us like no other. This “coat” is the life He has designed us to live from the beginning of creation. It’s our purpose. It’s our calling….
    “We are His poem, crafted in the heart of Christ Jesus,
    to live a vibrant expression of His purpose on the Earth,
    that will serve to establish His kingdom.
    It is imperative that we wear the coat God has tailored for us.
    It is of utmost necessity that we resound and resonate as the poem we were written to be. We are able to do this, we should do this,
    because this is who we really are…”
    (Ephesians 2:10 JET)

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    Community Reflections...jenni

    Jenni said...

    I really love this series and it's not just the series or the blog or the journalling. I love that I've connected into somewhere that actually cares what I do the rest of the week. In the church I grew up in I never once heard a person outside of our church speak of what God was doing in their life. Now I can't stop talking about God and scripture and sometimes it annoys the people that aren't Christians around me but when I do get to talk with a Christian it's so God centered that I think God shows up in the midst of our conversations.

    I really like the blog. I'm on the internet regularly and it helps me in the morning to look, reflect and think about not just the message sent over the web waves but the message God wants me to have and the lesson to be learned throughout the day.

    I love what Ramona taught on last night about the Secret Place. She's definitely right on! I think the biggest thing that I've learned so far in this series is that God is personal. Jesus paid a personal, intimate sacrifice for me and I'm actually important in the body of Christ whether I think so or not. And because I know that, it's not about me, it's about serving Him and give the Lord my life so that I can love Him just as He loves me.

    Wow, what an amazing priviledge we have to honor, praise and worship the creator of the UNIVERSE!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Rudder Wisdom

    "Look also at ships:
    although they are so large
    and are driven by fierce winds,
    they are turned by a very small rudder
    wherever the pilot desires."
    (James 3:4)

    Rabbi Joseph Telushkin comments: Over the past decade, whenever I have lectured throughout the country on the powerful, and often negative, impact of words, I have asked audiences if they can go for twenty-four hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, anybody. Invariably, a minority of listeners raise their hands signifying yes, some laugh, and quite a large number call out, no! I respond by saying, "Those who can't answer yes must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you cannot go for twenty-four hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. If you cannot go twenty-four hours without a drink, you're most likely an alcoholic. Similarly, if you cannot go for twenty-four hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have lost control over your tongue."

    “He who guards his lips guards his life,
    but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

    (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)

    "A turtle lays thousands of eggs without anyone knowing,
    but when the hen lays an egg, the whole country is informed."
    Malayan proverb

    "I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say."
    Calvin Coolidge

    “He who answers a matter before he hears it,
    It is folly and shame to him.”

    (Proverbs 18:13)

    "It would be better to leave people wondering why you didn't talk
    than why you did.
    When all is said and done,
    there's a lot more said than done."

    Author Unknown

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool
    than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
    Abraham Lincoln

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    “Be an example to the believers in word (speech)…”
    (1 Timothy 4:12)

    Paul was saying, “Timothy you need to be an example in every utterance of your voice. The very concepts that roll off your tongue are to be etched with grace. The boundaries of the things you discuss and talk about need only leave the impression worthy of a leader. Moreover, your responses should be guarded from harshness, but rather in a manner fitting for a shepherd of God’s people.”

    Scripture has much to say about our speech and what come out of our mouths.

    “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
    so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
    (Colossians 4:6 NIV)

    “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking,
    which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
    (Ephesians 5:4 NIV)

    “For He who would love life and see good days,
    Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.”
    (1Peter 3:10)

    Words have an enormous amount of power.

    Think about some of the words that have been spoken to you over your life. Our beliefs are formed based on the repetition and the impact of words that have been spoken over us. Out of the mouth, the Bible says, flows forth the power of blessing or cursing. James says that with our mouth we bless God and then turn around and curse our neighbor.

    When Scripture says that the mouth carries the power to bless or to curse, it is not merely being poetic (see Proverbs 18:21). Rather, literally, with your mouth you can bless something or you can curse something. You can release life or you can release death. You can release vitality or you can release a stench that proceeds and begins to rot.

    Paul, speaks of words as if they were containers. Containers that hold something and that something goes forth and when it hits the person or thing that it is talking about it has the ability within the container to explode. The power of that explosion will either build up constructively or break down destructively.

    We must understand that our words the power to bless or to curse. To be used by God, we must be purified in our speech so that we are constructive agents of change, not destructive. The foundation of this is laid in our everyday lives. This foundation isn’t laid at church. Even Jesus said, any one can love those who love you. To the Pharisees He said, it’s easy to forgive those who forgive you. This foundation is laid in our daily lives. Many are they that wish to prophesy from the platform, without the implementing discipline of the tongue on the daily basis of their “private” lives.

    “If anyone among you thinks he is religious,
    and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart,
    this one's religion is useless.”
    (James 1:26)

    “5-Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
    See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6-And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
    8-But no man can tame the tongue.
    It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
    (James 3:5-8)

    He’s talking to Christians. And he tells those blessed, God praising saints that there’s a realm that even they can participate in where their very words are inspired and set on fire by hell itself.

    “The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
    (Proverbs 18:21 NIV)

    Many a blunt word has a sharp edge.Keep your words soft and sweet;
    you never know when you may have to eat them.
    Author Unknown

    Aesop, the ancient storyteller, told this fable: Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.

    “Out of the abundance of the heart,”
    Jesus said,
    “the mouth speaks.”

    “You are snared by the words of your mouth;
    You are taken by the words of your mouth.”
    (Proverbs 6:2)

    A survey asked mothers to keep track of how many times they made negative, compared with positive, comments to their children. They admitted that they criticized ten times for every time they said something favorable. A three-year survey in one city's schools found that the teachers were 75% negative. The study indicated that it takes four positive statements from a teacher to offset the effects of one negative statement to a child.[1]

    As much as 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive and works against us.

    People who grow up in an average household hear "No" or are told what they can't do more than 148,000 times by the time they reach age 18.[2]

    Result: Unintentional negative programming...
    One of the characteristics that marks a spirit-filled person has to do with this part of the body called the mouth and tongue.
    Sometimes spiritual maturity isn't so much demonstrated by what's said,
    but by what's not said.

    [1] Institute of Family Relations in Homemade, December, 1986.
    [2] Shad Helmstetter in Homemade, Jan, 1987.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    is anybody home? anybody home? I'm sitting here starring at my computer screen...thinking...reflecting... mostly wandering... is anybody out there....reading...thinkiing...reflecting...? We, as a church, have embarked on a journey, a way of living, a way of life, the best way of life - the way of a GodWalker. The goal before us is that we wouldn't merely be people who believe in Jesus, rather we would be people who actually follow Him. And by that, we don't merely mean people who follow His precepts, rather His very way of life. a with-God kind of life. A life that is better trained than tried. do so, we have facilitated several means in addition to our Sunday morning messages... weekly bulletion inserts (consisting of: message notes page and 5 days devotiona/journals -- monday - friday). We have also been utilizing this blog aka. the wanderings of the present are.... How have the devotionals/journals encouraged, enhanced, enriched your walk with God? As well as this blog...?

    ...we'd love to hear from you... to give your thoughts, etc. click on the "comment" link just below to the right....

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    put the extra in ordinary

    “So it was while he (Zacharias) was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord….
    Then the angle of the Lord appeared to him…” (Luke 1:8,9,11)

    Zacharias was simply doing that which he was responsible to do before the Lord. This was an act he had performed hundreds of times before and over a period of many years. Yet, it was as he was being faithful to do that which he had been called to do, that he became positioned to encounter the Almighty.

    As we are faithful in the ordinary, we experience the extraordinary.
    In doing so, we posture ourselves to move from the natural into the supernatural.
    To post a comment to this blog
    click on the "comment" link just below on the right.

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    Strain or Strength?

    “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
    In returning and rest you shall be saved;

    In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
    (Isaiah 30:15)

    In our Western world, we are often influenced to believe that to get more we must do more. To grow in strength and power we must exert more energy. Success is achieved by arriving early, working hard, staying late. Working as long as needed, no matter the cost. Though elements of this may be true in the world of commerce, it is not so in the kingdom of God.
    The kingdom of God operates on principles vastly different. To be strong, you must become weak. To become great, you must become small. To go up, you must bow down. Everything is seemingly backwards and upside down.

    In the day of Isaiah the prophet, 8th Century BC, success and status was achieved by frantic, anxious military and political posturing. It is in this context that the word of the Lord comes. Rather than a reliance in one’s military, political or personal strengths, he say’s, let your complete reliance and trust be upon Yahweh. Isaiah is not a pacifist; rather, he believes that trust in Yahweh is the taproot of security. All trust in armaments and alliances, he reasons, is an act of mistrust and idolatry that will only lead to destruction.

    “If you do not stand firm in faith,
    You shall not stand at all.”
    (Isaiah 7:9)

    Something happens when we intentionally pull away and pull into God in Solitude and Silence. Salvation (wholeness, freedom, healing, deliverance) is experienced in the midst of returning to the Source, and rest (intermission) in His Presence. Strength is released into our body, soul (mind/emotions/will), and spirit.

    It will never happen unless we are intentional about making it happen. The writer of Hebrews even says that there is a rest that remains, but that it is not automatically experience and appropriated by followers of Christ. It is something that we must position ourselves in such a way to partake in it.

    “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,
    lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
    (Hebrews 4:11)

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    click on the "comment" link just below on the right.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    east or west?

    I was recently reading a leadership book and it made the comparison between eastern and western ways of thinking. They used the illustration of a person walking down a hall way and looking into another's office or cubical and seeing them sitting there in a chair "doing nothing" no typing, writing, talking on the phone etc, just sitting there with eyes closed.

    In our western world we would assume this person to merely be day dreaming, dozing, wasting time, loafing, etc... Yet, in an eastern culture, they would be assumed to be in deep contemplative thought. Thought that would give rise to innovative ideas, strength, energy and creativity...

    In this case, the less was considered more. We typically, peer into the office of another...and if there busy at work, typing, phoning, writing, frantically moving about their desk...we assume they are busy, significant and on the move upward.

    In eastern cultures, this would be considered more of the "rat race" -- lots of churning in the wheel, lots of noise, but in the end - not much movement - only perceived...i thought this was interesting.

    How often do I equate my "movement" to success and significance? Too much...

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