Pastor Lee's blog

Same Song....Same Verse

Well, here we go again. For the fourth time since 1996, the Presbyterian Church USA will be debating and fighting over an amendment to our constitution dealing with the standards for ordination. Last week, the General Assembly of the PCUSA approved an amendment which would change the wording on who should be eligible for ordination to the office of Minister, Elder or Deacon. (I have included the actual text in a box below.) If you are thinking, “didn’t the church just vote on that,” you would be correct. A very similar amendment to the one below was defeated 78-95. in the spring of 2009.

Dominican Republic Mission Trip - October 16-23, 2010

We are beginning to make plans for our 5th adult trip to the Dominican Republic. This trip is a wonderful opportunity to put your faith into action and help our Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ.

God Answers Prayer!

God is active in our lives all the time, but sometimes we just don’t see where. If we happen to witness God’s hand in something obvious, I believe it is important to share the story. This helps us cultivate the ability to see God’s handiwork in both the subtle and not so subtle ways that God works. Recently, my family had a very clear “God - sighting” that I feel compelled to share.

You Go Nowhere By Accident

Former chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Richard Halverson once wrote: “The maximum impact of the church of Jesus Christ in history in the world is not the impact of great and eloquent preachers or denominations, or church hierarchies, or even popes, priests, or cardinals, or all of the programs that the church has invented. The maximum impact of the church of Jesus Christ is the influence of the aggregate of believers where they are between Sundays.”

The "With-me" Principle

Over the last few months I have been looking at specific practices that we can undertake as individuals and as a church that can help us experience the transforming power of Christ in our lives and can help us become a transforming influence in another person’s life as well. This week I want to look at the “with-me” principle.

From Fear to Faith

Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks in the Christian year. I love the pageantry of Palm Sunday, the somberness of Maundy Thursday, the reflective nature of Good Friday, and of course the joy of Easter.

As I think about the message of Holy Week, and especially Easter, I often wonder why there are people who refuse to believe. This week teaches us that we have a savior who understands our suffering; a humble king who gave up his life for his followers; and a risen Lord who shows us that death is not the final answer. This is good news for us all!

Caring and Studying

One of my favorite parables of the kingdom told by Jesus is the “parable of the growing seed” found in Mark 4:26-29. The kingdom of God is compared to a man who scatters seed on the ground. The man prepares the soil, plants the seed, and then harvests the grain when it becomes ripe; but he wonders how it grows without him. This parable shows us that there is work that God expects us to do in our lives in order to prepare for the growth that only God can bring in us.

Reaching Up and Out

A number of weeks ago, I explained that we are living in a time of high velocity change that is characterized by a shift in how truth is understood and in a world where the Christian worldview can no longer be assumed. In order to minister effectively in this new world, we need to recapture the missionary vision and purpose of the church: that being making disciples and meeting human need. As we move forward toward a vision of becoming more like Christ, we can make a difference for God in this radically new world.

But how do we move toward this vision, practically? Well, we engage in certain practices that purposefully place us in the presence of God. Then through those practices, God begins to transform us. Two of these practices can be grouped under the heading of “reach.” These are ways that we reach up to God and reach out to others.

The Gift of Nothing

I was given a very precious gift from our Heavenly Father this was the gift of nothing. With the bad weather cancelling everything from my children’s activities to even church services on Sunday, I was forced just to relax for a couple of days. Because I didn’t have to be anywhere and because I couldn’t get anywhere, I gave myself the permission to stop and rest. I played out in the snow with Madison, Kinsley, and Mollie; I read a book I had been meaning to get to; and I even did a little “work” around the house which really wasn’t work.

A Vision of Transformation

In my last posting, I explained that we now find ourselves living in a time of high velocity change where the perception of truth is based not on some unchanging constant but on the experience of the individual. In addition, the once prominent place of protestant Christianity in our nation has given way to religious pluralism and an increasing secularism. What we are finding as a result is that the ministries developed in that simpler time, which were good and appropriate, just don't seem to have the same impact on people today, and church participation in many denominations have plateaued or are in decline.

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