This one’s for you.

Subject: Last night’s sermon  

Format: mp3 audio                                             Portfolio 1 of 7 by SCUBAZOO      

Length:  15 minutes, 58 seconds

Place of origin: USA, Corona del Mar, CA

Topic: The spirituality of spearfishing for Tiger sharks on the Zimbabwe Estuary       …(right )

   

 

click here > ‘This one’s for you

 

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Seriously now. It’s about the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal Son, and how the story relates to us and how we ought view God, and more importantly…how God views us. 

 

Thanks to flickr and SCUBAZOO for the photo

 

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Scary, isn’t it?

Innocent... by Θ What??  You wanted something clever?? Θ

Freedom just scares the hell out of people. It might even scare the hell into them.

To be truly free in Christ, without any shackles of “literal bibles”, “3rd uses of the law” “Christian do-goodism projects”, or “Christian self-improvement projects”…just scares people to death.

Professor and theologian, James Nestingen always says, “The gospel is always in a fight. And that fight always revolves around freedom.”

“They really don’t care if someone’s doctrine doesn’t line up just right before they will share Christ’s Supper with them.”

Yes, we do care.  And yes, we will share…even before we are SURE they understand everything exactly as we do.  We care enough to baptize them first and to tell them exactly what they are receiving.   Who’s Supper is it, anyway?  Who is it that is capable of making someone into the kind of person that He wants them to be, anyway? 

Well, it’s always about the freedom, isn’t it?   And who’s freedom?

God’s freedom.   God’s freedom to love and forgive real sinners.   God’s freedom to take real people who just can’t quite cut it, and probably never will ‘cut it’ in this pride-soaked world, and say to them, “I love you.  I baptized you.  And you are mine.  Begining of story.”

And then it’s about our freedom.  The gift of freedom from our Lord, Christ Jesus, who has freed us by His death and resurrection. Who has freed us by declaring us forgiven and righteous, even though we know not what we do.

Just who is it that we are talking about here?  Can this God really make something out of nothing?  Or is he just itching for us to get it all lined up perfectly BEFORE He acts…for us?

Nope.  Our God is free.   Scary free to many. Wonderfully free to some.

The door is open.  You have been freed.

 

 

“But the Bible says such and such about such and such!”

Heeere we go again…

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Thanks to flickr and ‘O What, now you want something?’ for the photo.

 

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Here’s Pastor Mark’s class that goes along with the last post…

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Click here for mp3 audio >  The Word Alone

 

 

 

 

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What exactly, is the Word of God?

Is it the Bible?   In the Beginning was the Word by tadeusz deręgowski

Is it preaching and teaching about Christ Jesus?

Is it Christ Jesus Himself?

Is it all of those things, and if so, what order of importance would you place the three ‘Is its…’ that I have listed above?

Or…is it something else, or some other combination of things?

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 Thanks to flickr and tadeusz deregowski for the photo.

 

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Can you choose God, and choose not to sin?

Day 185 {365} by {andreajohnson}

If you think so, then you really should invest less than an hour to hear a very good argument opposed to that notion.

click here > So, you have a free will to choose God, do you?

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Thanks to flickr and {andreajohnson} for the photo.

 

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Lutheran Pastor vs. Biblicist

Thanks to ‘TheLutheranSatire’, and a hat tip to my friend ‘Martin Luther’s Disciple’ over at Phoenix-Preacher

 

 

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Did the Bible drop out of Heaven with a bow tied around it?

Bible by noshoes

Or did someone stumble upon it out in a field somewhere the way Joseph Smith (supposedly) found those golden plates?

No…actually there was a process involving a lot of players.

Here’s a primer, and a quick overview of how the Christian Bible came to be, and some of the different ways Christians view the Bible.

           click here >    How the Bible came to be

 

There are a couple of gaps or quick dead spots on the audio, but hang in for the  whole class…it’s worth it.

 As always, your comments or questions  are welcome.

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Thanks to flickr and noshoes for the photo.

 

The Bible pictured above is thought to be the actual Bible that St. Paul used in his ministry. :) .

 

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Shedding your sins

Blindfolded group "sheep" herding! by MarkAndMarina

 

How are you doing in that department? 

I’m not doing so well. I never have done so well at it. In fact, the longer I am in Christ, the more I realize just what an impossibility it is for me to shed my sins. But the longer I’m in Christ the more I realize that someone took all my sins upon Himself, that they might no longer condemn me.

And that, my friends, is what they call, ‘the good news’.

This evening’s sermon was along those lines. 

                    click here > Working on your sins

 

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Thanks to flickr and MarkAndMarina for the photo

Take the Blinders Off!

319/365 - I've got my blinders on... by Geekgirly

Got a rosey picture for the world and how it’s progressing? Got a rosey picture of how it will all end up for yourself?

Everything is progressing quite nicely, is it? Hmmm…

Here’s the truth about it…

                 click here >   The Truth about You, and Me, and the World

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You are all are invited to Lenten services tonight at 7pm.  2900 Pacific View Dr., Corona del Mar, CA 92625

This year’s theme is  ‘Breaking free of Religion’

From 6pm – 7pm is a soup dinner, then worship, then pastor’s class. Come for all, or part of the evening.

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Thanks to flickr and Geekgirly for the photo.

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Don’t take it anymore

 

Disneyland 2007 029 by KpakoI heard another guy on the radio today urging believers to really get “serious” about their Christian faith. He urged them (us) to give up “milk” for the real “meat” of the Christian faith by “getting busy”. By buckling down and acting serious about being a Christian. And he said, “If you…” at least 4 times. “If you really get serious, you will unlock all the blessings that God has in store for you.” “If you get serious about growing in Christ, you will have a much more fulfilling Christian walk of faith.”

Says who? The guy who reads the Bible like we would read an instruction manual for assembling a lawnmower?

I think he has it exactly backwards. I think that the “meat” of Christianity is realizing that we really are NOT serious about all of this God stuff. And that the only One who is serious about it is… God. Who was so serious that He actually became one of us, and lived down here with us, amongst people who would reject Him, revile Him and eventually kill Him. He was so serious that He forgave His murderers from the cross that they had murdered Him on. He was so serious that He uttered with His last breaths, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Yep… ‘Christian religion’ has it exactly backwards. For the religionist, it is all about OUR seriousness, and our efforts to be  what we ought be, SO THAT we will be more acceptable in the eyes of God…and to PROVE to themselves (and others around them) that they really are believers.

Give me a break. God does not need our seriousness, for He knows it is all a sham. He knows the thoughts and motivations that lie within the hearts of men and women. He knows fully well that if it wasn’t for Himself making believers out of us unbelievers, not a one of us would come to Him.

But He loves us anyway! He wants us anyway! He is after us and He wants to assure us of that fact in His promised Word. And in water, bread, and wine, attached to that Word of promise. 

“If you…”        Forget all that “if you” stuff!   When you hear that kind of talk connected to something that you should, must, or ought be doing to become a better Christian…turn off the radio…leave the Bible study…walk out of the church…because there won’t be any gospel there…only law. Law can’t help you where God is concerned. That is why St. Paul calls it the “ministry of death”. (that’s right – google it)

  God in Christ Jesus loves you. He died for you. He forgives you. He wants you. He will never leave you.  He will raise you from the dead when you need Him to. He has prepared a place for you with Himself.  He has freed you! Not the ‘cleaned up’ you , but the real, sinful, you… the you that really needs a Savior.

 If you would rather live by the “if you’s” and the religious/spirituality/self-focused growth projects… then go ahead. But you are going to rob yourself of the comfort and assurance and rest and freedom that Christ Jesus has ALREADY won for you on that bloody cross. And you are probably going to be so busy with yourself, that you might not have much time for those around you that could really use the help of someone who is available and free to help them.

So, here’s my advice. Chuck all that navel-gazing, Christian self-improvement religion, and trust in what the Living God has already done for you, is doing for you, and will yet do…for you. And realax a little.  And enjoy being what God made you to be in this world, a person… nothing more…nothing less.

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Thanks to flickr and Kpako for the photo

 

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