Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bicycle Wheel


   I read an article recently about the reasons this presidential primary has been so vicious.
   One explanation was that our political discourse has become an extension of our Social Media discourse.
   I recall that in the early days of Social Media, conversations were fairly respectful, with an occasional troll. 
   Later, anonymous screen names became popular, and one could say anything without consequences.
   Then many people stopped caring about anonymity.  Without a standard of behavior,  empathy died.
   How do we overcome this?

   The Christian Church is like a bicycle wheel where Jesus is the hub, the center.  Each denomination, each church, and each of us are like the spokes.  The closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to one another.  The farther we get from Jesus, the farther we get from one another.

   Get close. 

   www.faithsd.net

Big Dreams, Big Consequences


   I know I had some weird dreams the other night, but I only remember one.

   I dreamed that, on my own initiative and without consulting anyone, I bought a huge cargo plane for the congregation.

   The cost of the plane didn’t bother me in my dream.  Instead, I was concerned about how we were going to pay for the fuel, where we were going fly and land it, and store it, and pay to insure it.

   Big dreams.  Big consequences.

   I thought of this when I read an article on a congregation’s purpose.   

   What are we passionate about? 

   What is the big dream God has given us to realize, whatever the cost?

   Our mission is “to introduce people to new life in Jesus Christ that grows into enthusiastic Christian living.”

   That’s a pretty big dream.  And the best thing is that Jesus has already paid for it!

    Come and worship the living God with us this Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church at 8:30 a.m. or at 10:00 a.m.  We’re located at 505 East Bonita Avenue (one-half block east of the Post office) in San Dimas. 

   Find more information at www.faithsd.net.  Contact me at flc@faithsd.net or at 909 599-3978 if you have any questions.

What's Your Calling?


   When I was a kid, there was a lot of talk about people being “called” to ordained ministry.  How had God called you to be a person set apart, a sort of professional Christian, a learned presence, a leader of Word and sacraments, a pastor?

   I struggled with this for a long time.  I knew I would be a Lutheran pastor from my earliest memory.  No one in my family had been a pastor.  No one pressured me or even suggested that I be a pastor.  I just knew that that’s what I would be.  How I came to an understanding of my calling is another story.

   For now, I’d just like to say that my story is not unique.  In fact it is just the opposite.

   Each of us has a calling.  It is the answer to the question, “What does God want me to do with my life?”

   The word vocation comes from a Latin word “vocare”, “to name or to call”.  “Vocal” comes from the same root word.

   God has called each of us to do certain things with our lives and given us the gifts we need to do them.  There are therefore no special callings.  Being a pastor is no more holier a calling than being a teacher or a business executive.  It’s just a different way of serving God.

   In fact, a sentence attributed to the 16th century Christian Church reformer Martin Luther,  advises, (in a time when only men could do such things.), “Send your good men to the ministry.  Send your best men into politics.”  Don’t we all wish that this was widely practiced today?

   What is your calling?  Come and worship with a bunch of people who are trying to understand and live their callings every day.

Come and worship with us this Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church at 8:30 a.m. or at 10:00 a.m.  We’re located at 505 East Bonita Avenue (one-half block east of the Post office) in San Dimas. 

   Find more information at www.faithsd.net.  Contact me at flc@faithsd.net or at 909 599-3978 if you have any questions.

Seek God's Face, Not God's Hand


   Through all of the darkness of the current presidential campaign a light emerged.

   One of the presidential candidates, asked about his/her (no gender clues here; it’s not /important) faith said she/he and their spouse had agreed to seek God’s face and not God’s hand.

   That struck me.

   How many of us throughout human history have used God to support our causes.

   How often do we still today treat God as our servant?

   Rick Warren once counseled Christians not to ask God to do bless what they are doing, but to do what God is blessing.

   The psalmist writes, ““Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, do I seek.”  Psalm 27:8

   God speaks with us to draw us to God’s self.

   It doesn’t mean that God’s does not want us to ask for what we need.

   The paradox is that, when we are drawn to know God’s will, and to do it, we receive everything we need.

   Jesus said, “But strive first for the kingdom of God[a] and his[b] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

   Would you like to experience the support of a Christian community in living in the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness?  Come and worship with us this Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church at 8:30 a.m. or at 10:00 a.m.  We’re located at 505 East Bonita Avenue (one-half block east of the Post office) in San Dimas. 

   Find more information at www.faithsd.net.  Contact me at flc@faithsd.net or at 909 599-3978 if you have any questions.