Monday, October 24, 2011

Sailing Through Ministry

(1 Corinthians 16:9 NKJV) For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 
On a calm day a sailboat will not give you any trouble, but it won't move forward either.  You need a brisk wind to fill the sail and provide the energy to move you through the water.

But that is only part of the story.  

Unless you are content to be driven in whatever direction the wind is blowing, you also need a keel and a rudder.  The rudder - at the stern of the boat, allows you to turn the boat.  The keel extends down into the water and creates resistance to drifting sideways.  Now the energy from the wind can be harnessed to allow you to sail across or even into the wind.

Good progress in sailing requires some resistance.  So does good progress in ministry.  If all we do is preach happy messages to happy people we are becalmed.  When the winds of adversity blow, our keel and rudder reach down deep into God's word and allow us to make good progress.  Sin and heartache are turned into righteousness and hope.

Don't pray for calm.  Pray for wisdom in trimming your sail and setting your course to maximize the Glory of God from your situation.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Climate Change & Modernity/Postmodernity

"It's one thing when people disagree on the effectiveness of different approaches to fix a problem; it's worse when they refuse even to believe that a problem exists — despite an overwhelming scientific consensus that says it does. One of America's major political parties has, in effect, adopted denial as policy. How did we get here?"

The quote above is from an article by Bryan Walsh in "Time" entitled, "Why Climate-Change Denial is So Powerful."  You can read if for yourself, but the gist of it is that most scientists agree that we have a climate-change problem created by human beings, but people are denying it because of the extreme propaganda blitz funded by big oil and big business.

It is fitting that Bryan Walsh and others would be stunned that anyone could disagree with SCIENCE!  Science in our world is seen in the naturalism & materialism of our age as the only trustworthy arbiter of truth.  Everyone should bow in worship of the "overwhelming scientific consensus."

But what Mr. Walsh is missing is that the same worldview that gives us Scientism also robs us of anything beyond our life in this world.

In the naturalistic, materialistic worldview of scientism everything is determined.  There is no such thing as free will.  You do what you were programmed to do.  Your "decisions" are an illusion.  Beyond this, (according to naturalism) there is no life beyond this one.  There is no higher authority to whom we will give an account.  There is no reward and no punishment.  When you die - you are just gone.

Under these circumstances, why should anyone worry about the effects of their decisions on future generations?  Life has no purpose.  There is no morality.  How can you say my actions are good or evil?  Why should you get rid of your big comfortable car on the chance that it might make a difference to a future generation that might or might not exist?

Perhaps some companies did put money into propaganda about climate-change.  But I don't think that is the deciding factor.  (The other side does the same thing.)  I think that people are living according to the worldview that scientism has pushed off on them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scraping By

(1 Kings 17:11–14 NKJV) 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
12 ¶ So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
13 ¶ And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel: “The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ ” 

Elijah lived at the widow's house. Every day they used up everything they had. Every day God supplied everything they needed for that day. But God provided just enough to meet their needs, every day.

This is the God we serve, but we often live with the illusion that WE provide for our needs and that we have stored up resources to meet our needs for years to come.

Sometimes we need a good long drought that drives us our of our complacency and lets us see the daily provision from God.

Praise God for providing our needs - every day.