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Showing posts from November, 2012

Jesus Smiles

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Have I said anything with a stern look or manner, especially on religion?     - Evening Self Examination, 30 Days with Wesley

That self-examination is normally a serioussubject is why this question about a stern countenance catches me totally off-guard. In the most traditional liturgy for Holy Communion, we pray that we "bewail our manifold sins and wickdeness." 

If that isn't a prescription for a self-condemnatory scowl I don't know what is. But just because self- inventory is important doesn't mean we have to start aping the judgement scene from Michelangelo's The Last Judgement.
If you believe that the power that transforms us resides in God's love in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that is poured into us, then any and all self- examination is a means to greater self knowledge, healing, holiness, and sanctification.

But that movement is blocked when we think we can somehow improve on God's creating us in God's own image and likeness. No amount…

God's Generosity Doesn't Run Out

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"The farmer, without preparation, just went out and began to sling the seed. This is farming Jesus style...The Master seems to find more joy in careless sowing, miraculous growing, and reckless harvesting than in taxonomy of the good from the bad, the worthwhile from the worthless, the saved from the damned." Will Willimon, Why Jesus?, p.78.
It's a rare autumn in Houston. Everywhere we walk, there's the crunch of a live oak acorn. They remind me of the larger ones seen every fall in my native Ohio. They're  so plentiful there that my buddies and I could fill trash cans and buckets, then spend the rest of the day chucking them at each other.

The wonder is how in the world do any of these odd little nuts turn out to become anything at all! But they do!
Richard Lischer, who well chronicles his first pastorate in Open Secrets, sheds light on this parable of Jesus from Matthew 13. Lischer served a rural parish where the calendar was set by the corn harvest…