In Luke 6:27 Jesus says: “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” We most often think of this passage in a New Testament context. We see this as Jesus introducing a new philosophy or way of life. However, have you ever considered this principle in a much longer view?
Recently, I have been teaching a series through Genesis chapter one: Creation. As I have been studying and sharing, I have been overtaken by a sense of awe and humility at how God prepared all of Creation in perfection yet in preparation for fallen Man.
The other day my family and I went to see the “Misfits Tour” with Brant Hansen, (Producer) Sherri Lynn and special guest Jason Gray. (The show was amazing by the way!) My son and I had determined we wanted to be first in line, so we traveled to a nearby city very early. When we arrived at the venue, the had not yet even opened the line yet so we went to get some dinner.
As I sit here thinking about recent stories I have read, I am struck with the tendency in our society and culture to paint in broad strokes. This is what I mean by that. I am Caucasian by race; therefore, I am White. I am a follower of Christ by faith and an evangelical by theology. I am, for better, and often for worse, categorized as; “A White Evangelical”
Recently, we have been bombarded by women, and men, who have come forward to say that they were victims of sexual misconduct. This misconduct came in the form of verbal harassment all the way to repeated sexual assault. Some of those who have come forward are very well known while others are what we might call everyday men and women. It is appropriate for us to be horrified at what was perpetrated on these individuals; especially on those who were teens, young adults, or even children when these despicable acts occurred.
I appreciate Brant Hansen. If you do not know who he is, Brant Hansen, along with Producer Sherri (sorry I only know her from Brant’s introductions) host/produce a nationally syndicated radio show. What is so special about Brant is that he is completely open and transparent about having Asperger’s, one of the specifications on the Autism Spectrum. The cool thing is, that while he acknowledges his weaknesses related to Asperger’s, he focuses on the strengths the he and other “misfits” have. He is unashamedly committed to Christ and seeks to help others discover what God is really like.
This is an interesting time of year. New Year’s celebrations have come and gone. For many, this time of year brings what have become known as “New Year’s Resolutions”. I have thinking about this idea in the context of our culture. You see, it seems that there is a general flaw in this thinking. Not for all maybe, but certainly for many. There is even a well-known insurance company that is running a series of ads based on the premise that, “…resolutions are made to be broken.”
At Copper Springs Church we have chosen to observe the Advent season. For many, the only understanding of Advent is based on the Advent calendars we had as children. You know, those calendars where you open a new box or flap each day to reveal a new message. In many cases, there was some sort of treat associated with each reveal. At our home, we use a handmade Advent calendar where each day we open a new pouch that holds a small cloth figure that contributes a piece of the Christmas story.
It is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. I wanted to write a bit about the day, its meaning and how we, as followers of Christ should approach it.
Most of us relate our early understanding of Thanksgiving to the Pilgrims and Native Americans. While there were certainly shared meals and celebrations between these two peoples, there was nothing in these early celebrations that went beyond a local gathering.
When I first started ministry in the community I now live in, a fairly well known fast food restaurant was undergoing a remodel. There were banner signs on the outside of the restaurant that said, “Open During Construction”. For about three month I passed the restaurant during this construction phase.
Then, just the other day, I was driving by and saw a banner declaring: “Grand Opening of Our Newly Remodeled Restaurant” I was looking for a place to grab a bite, so I thought I would give the “new” place a try.