Monday, November 22, 2010

Who Are You, Lord?

This short homily on Acts 9:1-22 leads into a video of SM Lockridge's sermon, "That's My King." There are several versions on YouTube. I used the 6:50 version with no music. Everytime I see hear it I clap my hands and want to shout.

Monday, November 15, 2010


In last week's sermon, we were challenged with several questions inviting reflection on our own lives and histories and how God has been at work.
So I've decided to share some of my own thanks. I'm thankful for the Body of Christ. Recently I've been blessed to hear how I've been used by God in the lives of others through cards and letters, and these words in turn are used in my life to encourage me.
I'm working with a clergy group reflecting on ecclesiology, and I remember with thanks the Church fathers who delved into these issues in past years and left us Confessions and creeds.
I remember with thanks my grandmother, who faithfully studied the Bible and followed Jesus, whose commentary collection I have and use now.
I'm thankful for a loving family and for the sweetest husband in the world.
I remember with thanks those past and present who have courage to stand for the gospel in the misdt of the most difficult and trying of circumstances.
I'm thankful for God's abundant forgiveness for the times that same courage fails within me.
I'm thankful for eternal life in Christ that I can live even now by the help and presence of the Holy Spirit.
I'm thankful for the Scriptures and the easy access we have to them.
I remember with thanks that our unknowable God has chosen to make Himself known, even to the point of coming to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, rose, and ascended so that we can be in full Communion with God.
I'm thankful for things that can so easily be taken for granted--good health, enough money to pay all bills, give some away, and still save a little, plenty of food and a great variety of it, reliable transportation, a warm and safe house, clean water, the convenience of a washer and dryer, air to breath...
This is the mere beginning of my thankful list.

Remember with Thanks

Please read Isaiah 12 and click on the title to listen.
This Sunday was not only Stewardship Commitment Sunday, but also the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Earlier in the service, we watched a video and learned that in 52 countries, the gospel is illegal. Please go to to see videos or learn more.
My thoughts about the fact that 52 countries feel the need to outlaw the gospel demonstrate that the gospel is powerful--powerful to not only to transform individual lives, but to transform governments and social systems.
I also think that as long as anticonversion laws exist, some human rights will never be recognized.
I also thought about our God. Though it is commanded in Scripture, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." God isn't threatened when we "go awhoring" (as Scripture puts it) after other gods. And if we are honest, we will admit to idolatry in ourselves. Looking at Scripture, what does God do to those that chase after other gods? God punishes and blesses in turn. God sends prophets and teachers. God refuses to answer prayers and performs miracles. God does whatever God can to restore people back to Himself. And God always accepts and receives with welcome and rejoicing those who turn and return to God. The Godhead is totally secure in personhood and identity. God is jealous, angry, and grieving when people turn away from God, but God doesn't need followers enforcing anticonversion lawsin order to maintain Lordship. He is Lord or Lords and King of Kings regardless of what people do, and that will never change.
How insecure are followers who must use anticonversion laws and prevent exposure to the gospel in order to maintain religious order? How does that reflect upon the god(s) being worshipped?