Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Theology Matters

Biblical theology, according to Eugene Peterson, "does not so much present us with a moral code and tell us, 'Live up to this,' nor does it set out a system of doctrine and say, 'Think like this.' The biblical way is to tell a story and invite us, 'Live into thisthis is what it looks like to be human; this is what is involved in becoming and maturing as a human being.'

We do violence to the biblical revelation when we ‘use’ it for what we can get out of it or what we think will provide color and spice to our otherwise bland lives. That results in a kind of ‘boutique spirituality’ – God as decoration, God as enhancement.

Rather, when are to submit our lives to what we read, we find that we are not being lead to see God in our stories but to see our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which all our stories find themselves."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life is Better in Groups

An academic journal called The Journal of Happiness Studies publishes studies using the tools of research to identify what makes human life flourish. When researchers look at what distinguishes quite happy people from less happy people, one factor consistently separates those two groups. It is not how much money you have; it is not your health, security, attractiveness, IQ, or career success. What distinguishes consistently happier people from less happy people is the presence of rich, deep, joy-producing, life-changing, meaningful relationships. 

This week at PVC, we're launching our fall groups - from Flag Football to Divorce Care and everything in between. As the church grows larger, the challenge is to simultaneously grow smaller. Groups are one of the ways that we are endeavoring to grow smaller. A smaller venue where people can simply connect with one another and grow closer to Christ.
Life is Better in Groups.

Eight Rules of Leadership

So a few friends and I are weekly getting together to work through Jack Welch's book Winning. In his chapter titled "It's Not About You," he outlines Eight Rules of Leadership. Personally, as I've recently reflected on these in context of my own leadership, I've been challenged significantly.

When you attain a leadership position, everything changes. Leadership requires distinct behaviors and attitudes.

Prior to your leadership position,
your success is all about growing yourself.
Now that you’re a leader,
success is all about growing others.

There are Eight Rules of Leadership:

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Cosmic Billboard

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.”
(Psalm 19:1-6)

Reread that passage again, this time out loud.

The circuit David describes here is the rotation of the Earth from the viewpoint of a man on Earth and is not teaching that the sun revolves around the Earth. By comparison, we use works like “sunrise” and “sunset” to describe the Earth’s rotation, when technically the sun does neither.[i]

“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


Friday, September 03, 2010

Headed towards the Farm...

"An African Christian described it to me this way: “You Americans think of Christianity as a farm with a fence. Your question is, ‘Are you inside the fence or outside of it?’ We Africans think differently. We think of Christianity as a farm with no fence. Our question is, ‘Are you heading towards the farm, or away from it?’ “The church’s identity is not defined primarily by its edges, but by its center: focused on Christ, the sole source of our identity, no intruder poses a threat." ~Almost Christian, 65.

Divine Architect

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens.”
(Proverbs 3:19)

Have you ever bought something new and tried to assemble it? Chances are, if you’re like me, often those pieces don’t always seem to fit as snug and sturdy as I remember the store display being. Or, what do you do with the three bolts left over? “Did I forget something?” I’ve asked myself more than once. “Oh well, it looks fine to me. At least it’s standing…” “It’s only leaning a little to the right.” “The wheel does seem to be wobbling a little bit, but I think it’s okay.” Any of these sound familiar? Sometimes the extra pieces turn out to be a little more significant than others and before long the whole thing falls apart.

Imagine if you had been contracted by God to design and assemble the universe, or perhaps just little ole Earth. Consider the following intricacies of the planet we live on.
If the earth were as small as the moon, the power of gravity would be too weak to retain sufficient atmosphere for man’s needs; but if it were as large as Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus, extreme gravitation would make human movement almost impossible.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Free Audio Book :: Spiritual Leadership

This month is giving away a free audiobook of Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. Simply go to the site, add the download to your cart and use the coupon code SEP2010.

"Christianity needs a powerful voice in today's world. Such a voice can come only from strong leaders guided by God and devoted to Christ. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at His disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory." the beginning.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—
his eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

(Romans 1:20 NIV)

“Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting,
you are God”

(Psalm 90:2)

God is eternal, i.e., God is without beginning or end. God not only pre-existed creation, He preceded and created time. Sometime ago I came across a fictitious story about a group of men who set out to find an answer to the question, “Where did the earth come from?” They compiled much data covering many areas of investigation and then fed it into the mammoth computer. When they had completed their work and had given the machine all the information, they pushed the “answer” button and waited expectantly for the results. Lights flashed! Bells rang! Buzzers sounded! When the great moment arrived, this printed message emerged: “See Genesis 1:1.”[i]

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Meditate on the following statement: God is eternal. He has no beginning, nor end.

What thoughts, emotions and questions does this arise for you?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard." ~Psalm 19

The heavens are telling the glory of God, and their expanse declares the work of His hands. The Apostle Paul wrote, that “by taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.”

This series will take you on a rich journey through the cosmos, allowing you to peer into God's universe to discover the amazing magnitude of His greatness and grace.