God's Original Plan

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Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” prioritized the habit of BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND. Indeed, a wise person does not set out on a journey without knowing WHAT their destination is and what ROUTE they need to take in order to arrive there (like our GPS saying “please follow the high-lighted route.”). That single idea helps me understand our incomprehensible God. The “destination” of God is described in Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. When viewed through the lens of that verse we are able to see what God’s original intention was

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This past Sunday (November 22, 2015) in my Episcopal tradition is usually referred to as “Christ the King” Sunday. The Gospel lesson is the conversation between Jesus and Pilate in which Pilate asks Jesus if he is “the King of the Jews”. In my way of thinking, every Gospel reading should raise a question which each of us must answer for ourselves and then work out the implications of the answer we conclude.
In this case, the question is “Do I accept Jesus as my King?” By answering “Yes!” I must then wrestle with the implications – i.e. what does it mean for me in practical terms to confess that Jesus is my King?

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Spiritual Journaling

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Journaling is an often misunderstood practice; Spiritual Journaling is probably even less understood.

Journaling in general is used in many contexts – for some, journaling is just making a list of the day’s activities; for others it is a form of self-examination.  It is used in therapy groups, recovery groups, school groups (especially for ADD students), and others.

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“Be Ye Transformed…”

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One of Paul’s many profound declarations comes at the beginning of Romans 12 – “Do not be conformed [to become like] to this world, but be transformed [in Greek, metamorphosis= to be changed in both form and substance] by the renewing [in Greek, anakainosis]of your mind. The Greek word anakainosis is more clearly translated “renovation”.

Like some of you, I imagine, I have worked in the building trade as a home remodeler or “renovator”. I’ve learned three things about “renovation”:

  1. In a renovation project, change happens slowly over a period of time;
  2. In a renovation project, there are usually numerous set- backs and starting(s) over;
  3. A renovation is a total change, so much so that the renovated space is often unrecognizable when compared with its original shape or form.

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Let’s Talk About Hell

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Greg Garrison writes for The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama. In his article on Friday, August 7, 2009, titled “Heaven? Sure. Hell? Not So Much,” Garrison highlights discussion at a recent annual Beeson Pastors School at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. He quoted Kurt Selles, director of the School’s Global Center, who led two workshops on the subject “Whatever happened to hell?” Selles asked how many of the pastors had ever preached a sermon on hell. Nobody had, he said.”

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