Posts Tagged "heart"

Bringing Jesus – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Bringing Jesus – Pastor Matt

This past Sunday, Pastor Mark said something that really stuck with me.  He said—to the effect—that since Jesus is in all Christians our role is to be present.  In other words, if we want Jesus to show up, we need to show up.  We could bring Jesus to the toughest atheist.  We could bring Jesus to the hopeless teenager who hates herself.  We could bring Jesus to our children every night before bed.  We bring Jesus, because Jesus is present in us.

Jesus uses the illustration of Christians being the “light of the world.”  He says, “You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden…in the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.”

Because we have Jesus inside of us, we bring Jesus everywhere we go.  That changes how we view ourselves doesn’t it?  Now we see church as a way we bring Jesus to our fellow believers.  Now we see going to work as a way we bring Jesus in the midst of the toughest unbelievers.  Now we see Jesus among our hurting family members.  Now we see Jesus spending time with the sick and destitute.  Now we see Jesus paying attention to the neighborhood kids.  We see Jesus do all these things because we are with him, and he is in us.

Friends, we are not called to simply pray that Jesus would affect situations and hearts; we are called to accompany him.

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Adjustments – Pastor Mark

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Adjustments – Pastor Mark

Recently we had refrigerator problems.  The first technician who came diagnosed the problem as a non-functioning fan motor.  He slapped one in and gradually it seemed the freezer was back to doing what it was designed to do, freezing food.

Unfortunately, another problem developed.  Along with the new fan motor came a noise that we hadn’t heard before.  We tried not to let it bother us but this was more noise than we had ever heard from a refrigerator.  I tried my hand at diagnostics and found that when I would press down on a place on the back panel and it would quit.  But I couldn’t stand there with the freezer door open pressing on a panel.  So I tried wedging something into the space that needed to be pressed down.  That helped…for a short time and then BRRRTTTTRRRTTTTRRRRTTT… it was back.  For reasons not germane to this story we looked for a new service tech.  He arrived, of course, when the fan wasn’t running.  So he did some diagnostics and replaced another part.  He left.  It seemed to be good.  No noise; freezer starting to cool.  Excellent!  Then… it started; the noise was back.  Awgghh!  So another call, a return trip and this time when he walked in the door the noise was there.  He listened for 3 seconds and said, “Oh, I know what that is.”

So he tore apart the freezer section; took out the fan motor and was just getting ready to make an adjustment when he realized – the first technician had put in the wrong part.  (I was not surprised.)  Long story short – another fan motor later our house is once again quiet.

I think about the noises within the human heart – fear, worry, guilt, dissatisfaction, shame, worthlessness, etc. – and how we try to fix them ourselves.  We listen to some people and their ideas.  We try our own solutions.  Both work for a while.  We all make our adjustments.  But so often it’s not an adjustment that we need, it’s a new part.  Jesus talked to people who “cleaned the outside of the cup and dish, but inside were full of greed and self-indulgence.”  These people were working the system.  But there were others who were sincerely trying to follow God but it wasn’t working.  To those Jesus said things like, “You must be born again” – “Come, follow me.”  It’s more than an adjustment of what we already have.  We need something to be changed inside of us.  We need a new focus; a new spirit and a new point of reference.  It’s not cheap but Jesus paid the bill and it makes a world of difference!

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Are All Religions the Same? – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Are All Religions the Same? – Pastor Matt

Are all Religions the Same?

This is a question that is raised all the time, because there are universal similarities to all religions.  In essence, all religions claim to have an answer/solution to THE big problem: evil.  Of course, there isn’t consensus to the definition of evil and thus no consensus to the answer/solution.  To illustrate, modern politicians seek to address issues like poverty, yet there is no consensus on the causes of poverty; therefore, there is no consensus on how to best approach the issue.  One wouldn’t then say all proposed solutions would solve the problem equally.  There are better ways and worse ways to address poverty.

Raising the question about the “sameness” of religions shows that there is at least a consensus about the existence of a problem.  Religions agree that there is something wrong with this world, even if they don’t agree as to what.  That only proves there is a problem.

If one concludes that all religions are the same, it would essentially minimize the meaning of all religions.  If all religions are the same they essentially are nothing and mean nothing.   It’s like playing a game of Trivial Pursuit and instead of earning wedges by answering questions correctly, you earn wedges by listening to questions being read.

If every proposed solution to end poverty garners the same results, then why propose a solution in the first place?  If we truly believed that, we would have to believe that poverty isn’t real.  But poverty is real, whether we do anything about it or not.  So, if we truly believed that all answers/solutions to the problem of evil garners the same results, then there must not be a problem of evil.  Most of us, however, know deep in our hearts that evil is real.  Responding to that evil is where it gets interesting.

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