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The Journey

Posted by Major Dave on 6:22 PM in , ,
One of the core values of our little church is that of Journey. Like Abraham, we're trying to follow where God leads. It's a true adventure.

My good friend, Maj. David Ivany, just sent me this reading below from Thomas Merton. What do you think?

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton

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Reading Old Covenant Material with New Covenant Eyes

Posted by Major Dave on 8:59 AM
How are we supposed to read Old Testament passages which have some much accent on judgement, when in fact we live by the superior promises of the New Covenant?

  1. We read to understand the historical context.
  2. We read to understand and appreciate the contrasts between the Old and New Covenants.
  3. We read to find principles which continue in the New Covenant.
  4. We read to discover hidden promises.

Here are a few examples taken from Isaiah 14 and 15.

14:1-2 - Inspite of temporary discipline, Israel will outlast Babylon. If we perservere, we WIN. According to the OLD covenant, God will again choose Israel. The superior promises of the NEW covenant indicate that "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." (Rom. 11:29).

14:3 - a hidden promise - God wants us to experience "REST from our PAIN and TURMOIL and SERVITUDE.

14:20 from The Message: "The progeny of your evil life will never be named. Oblivion!". This is a curse - your children will not succeed you to the throne. The blessing which we (New Covenant) need to claim for our children (spiritual and natural) is that they will succeed us... and move into their inheritance.

14:30 - the promise of God and the heart of God for the "poor".

15:4 - the enemies of God will have "terror" in the depths of their souls, by contrast the NC declares the "shalom" of God ruling in the hearts of his friends and children.

Why not add a few examples that you see?


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5

Planting not sowing - A new season

Posted by Major Dave on 11:21 AM in , , ,

I preached at a local church just over a week ago, and at the conclusion of the service, Julie said something strange to me. You weren't sowing, you were planting! Since then, I have been meditating on the differences and implications. I will be looking for your thoughts and contributions, as well. Please feel free to post a comment or reflexion.
Further to Julie's comment, I had a phone conversation with Tim, and he encouraged me to understand and move into the NEW SEASON that God has for my life and ministry. He also had some interesting insight on the difference between Sowing and Planting.
Later the same week I had some discussions with Paul, and most recently Alain.
There's definitely some digging to be done here. Want to help??
To make matters even more interesting, I have observed an interesting evolution in Winds of Hope. Where we were meeting 4 or 5 together, now I am having numerous one-on-one meetings, building up individuals, seeing the Winds of Hope blow on one relationship at a time.
Further reflexions to follow.

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Even a cup of coffee in my name!

Posted by Major Dave on 4:45 PM in , ,
Starbucks Report.
Monday. July 3 @ 3:24 p.m.

I waited for a quiet moment @ the cash. Left the cashier $10, and explained that I wanted to pay for the coffee of the next person to come through the doors.

The beneficiaries of this random act of blessing were two ladies: an older and a younger - perhaps Mother and Daughter.
Their initial reaction was Awkwardness, followed by a huge smile. The cashier pointed me out. ''C'est vous Monsieur? Merci."

The staff were incredulous but really enjoying the gesture. When I later went to pick up my change, the young man at the cash said: "What you are doing is really an amazing thing: To bring a smile to another human being. This is a good thing. If only we could see more people do this sort of thing!"

I remarked that I would be continuing this exercise for the rest of the month.

Personal Reflection: Interestingly, I felt significant awkwardness in the gesture. Was I trying "to set a hook"? Was I seeking or expecting acknowledgement? What an interesting take on Jesus' words about "offering a cup of cold water".

Question: Next time should I limit my gesture to a person on their own? They might be more available for conversation. (Although I like the idea of something purely random.)

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Reading to Discover the Kingdom

Posted by Major Dave on 11:23 AM

One of the benefits of reading the gospels over and over is how they give us a picture of life in the kingdom of God. Because Jesus operated out of that kingdom, he was so full of compassion and justice that he temporarily suspended his own arrest to lean over and heal the wound of his captor’s servant.

The idea that the kingdom of God is within us, that it is present and available to all who seek it, is one of the most exciting truths of Scripture. Life in this kingdom is possible today as I do mundane things that could bore me, as I work at projects that seem beyond my skills, as I deal with people who presence reveals my pride or impatience. With this vision of the kingdom, I am released from these earthly shackles and freed to live another kind of life.

As we read through the gospels again, we need to look closely at the person of Jesus, especially how he behaved and taught. As you read, think about these questions:

What does Jesus want me to learn and live out this week?

What is Jesus giving me that I need to share with this group? Others?

Where do you spot Jesus living out the kingdom of God—where what God wants done is done – through his teachings, behaviors, and choices of whom to associate with?

How well did those around him spot the kingdom of God in him?

What do you learn about the kingdom of God – its nature, powers, and character – from what Jesus said and did?

After you finished your reading, sit and ponder what fascinates you most about life in the kingdom of God. What touches you? What scandalizes you – makes you gulp hard? What confuses you? Talk to God about these things, and share them with at least one other person.


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The Starfish and the King - A Parable

Posted by Major Dave on 9:30 AM
Once there was a great and mighty king who would celebrate his birthday each and every year by going to the beach. For one week before the great event, heralds would be sent to the seashore, and the great edict read for all to hear. The King would celebrate his birthday at the beach, and all creatures were to clear the beach in preparation for his arrival. The hermit crabs would pack their meager belongings and move further down the beach. Seagulls would gather up any lazy clams and carry them away. The King was sovereign, and the beach was his.

But this birthday would be different. As the King waded ankle-deep into the warm ocean waters, there on the sand he spotted a creature - a starfish.

"What are you still doing here?", asked the King.

"Mighty King", said the Starfish, "You have ruled for many years. But I am no ordinary creature. I am an idea whose time has come!"

"I must make a lesson of this creature so that all may learn the rules of this kingdom", thought the King.

He ordered his servants to cut the Starfish into pieces, and to cast them into the sea as a warning to all. New ideas would not be tolerated in this kingdom.

And so, the servants did as the King had instructed, and all did learn a lesson.

1 x 5 = 5

5 x 5 = 25

25 x 5 = 125

125 x 5 = ...


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Draft of Logo

Posted by Major Dave on 2:47 PM in ,

Since our inception, I have been trying to figure out what kind of symbol might be used for "wind"... The sense of wind is communicated by the letters leaning forward (italic) as though pushed by a mighty wind. The Starfish is there thanks to my friend Glenn G. He recently had me read a "business" book that spoke of the role of catalysts, and of leaderless organizations. I also love the idea of multiplication. Cut off an arm, and you end up, not with a disabled starfish, but with two starfish. I'm dreaming of multiplication, and "splinter cells", and spiritual movement with a contagious ideology, but with no leader. An equal among equals... with a mission to spread an ideology like a virus through the Church.

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