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Monthly Archives: January 2009

(This post is from my weekly Pastor’s Page in my church bulletin – Next week will see the completion of this first part)Feature-water2LG

I’ve read in the local paper that the IID (local utility company) is thinking of rationing water to the farmers in the valley.  An action that would undoubtedly affect both, you and me as residents of the valley.

This reminds me of another story.  Two years ago I heard about a man that fills water station in the desert between the Imperial Valley and San Diego.  The purpose of these water station are not for overheating cars or the occasional animal.  Instead these water stations were set up specifically for people walking through the desert in order to come to this country in hopes of a better future.

The big debate that has taken place as a result of these ‘water stations’ is one side arguing that these water stations help to promote illegal entry into this county.  The other side, though not disagreeing with that premise, propose that though they may not be taking the appropriate steps to enter legally into the US their lives are still of infinite importance and for some of them access to the water in these water stations may save their lives.

Who is right?  Both are right and both are wrong.  The deeper issue at hand is to whom do you pledge allegiance to?  If to the law of a particular country what happens when that law makes you oppose the way of God.  And if your allegiance is to God, what happens when you faith to God is called into question by a law of the land you live?

What then?  Make sure to check back here next week to see what the biblical narrative has to say on a topic like this.

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(This is from the weekly pastor’s page in our church bulletin)

What does God require of us?

In a conversation with his disciples Jesus says, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;  and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;  and whoever does not  take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me;  Those who find their life will lost it, and those who lose their life will find it.” (Matthew 10:37).

That sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  It is important to note that Jesus was trying to make a powerful point.  First of all Jesus, does not want you to hate your parents or children.  That is obvious.  But He needed to make a strong point.  That point being that following Him(Jesus) would not always be easy and that it would sometimes cause us to sacrifice – Sacrifice the very things that makes us who we are and the comforts of this life.  This is evident because Jesus says, “take up the cross” for Jesus the cross was the ultimate act of sacrifice.  He wanted us to live our lives as a living sacrifice, always serving others. That is what it means to take up your cross.

Sacrifice is not just about dying a physical death.  Sacrifice is about putting to death selfishness.  Jesus was selfless, which is the opposite of selfish.  Jesus kept emptying himself daily of anything he felt was owed to him.  He lived his life as though it was a gift.  Perhaps that is how we must strive to live our lives.  As a gift from God, and as a gift to other.   Life is where we get to show the world that God is alive and moving in this world.  We are after all the Body of Christ.

The New Year is finally here, so let’s party like it is 2009.

As I write this, today, still feels like another Thursday in a long line of Thursdays, followed by a Friday and preceded by a Wednesday – So ordinary.  Which makes me wonder if anything will be different in 2009.  Will something amazing happen, something life changing? One thing is certain, life is what you make of it.  My prayer for you in this New Year is that you would experience life in such a way that you can sit back every day and say to yourself, “Life is good!”  I pray that you would have a deeper experience of faith and that you might even get a glimpse of the presence of God.

In the Bible mountain tops were considered the places where people met God.  Over time the phrase, “mountain top experience” has been used to describe the experience one has when they are encountered by God.  With this understanding in mind, David asks, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place?”  David then answers his own question.  “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who do not put their trust in an idol or swear by a false God.”

Where have you placed your trust?   Do you trust God?  Do you trust Jesus?  Do you trust the Holy Spirit?  These questions are much more difficult to answer than they appear. Trusting means letting go of past letdowns, broken promises, painful experiences and as difficult as that is to do, letting go is the only way to really live.  I pray that you would give God a chance this year.  Let go of things, and grasp onto God.