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Tag Archives: prophetic

A Future Not Our Own: A Prayer for Rich and NLF

This comes from Archbishop Oscar Romero who was killed in his church in El Salvador by a right-wing death squad on March 24th, 1980 out of his commitment to the poor. It expresses my prayer for Rich and NLF as we prepare for his installation on Sunday. A Future Not Our Own It helps, now and then, to step backand take the long view.The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction ofthe magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.Nothing we do is complete,which is another way of sayingthat the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said.No prayer fully expresses our faith.No confession brings perfection.No pastoral visit brings wholeness.No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about:We plant seeds that one day will grow.We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold. Read more.

Equipping Singles and Marrieds: The Foundation of Transformed Churches

Geri and I have led a small group in our home for 25 of our 26 years at New Life. In fact, we begin our next one this coming week. We take a group of 16-18 people, marrieds and singles, and spend an intensive year together. Why do we do it?  The answer is simple: this is foundational to being a church where people are deeply transformed. Scripture teaches that both Christian singleness and marriage are sacramental vocations and prophetic. They each make visible the invisible reality of our marriage to Christ and are signs of God’s kingdom to a broken world (See Matt. 19:10-12 and Eph. 5:32). This vision is a far cry from both our secular and present church culture. I am daunted by the number and the complexity of issues bearing down on our people – the sexualization of our culture, dating, pornography, homosexuality, divorce, cohabitation, objectification of people, the challenges. Read more.

10 Top Quotes from Elie Wiesel's Memoirs

I finished Elie Wiesel’s memoirs last night. He is a Nobel Peace Laureate who lived through the horror of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I find his writing a sharp, challenging contrast to the kind of sanitized spirituality found in most Christian leadership bookstores. We had an inexplicable confidence in German culture and humanism…We kept telling ourselves that this was, after all, a civilized people, that we must not give credence to exaggerated rumors about an army’s behavior. (27) Moshe the beadle… madness in his eyes. He talked on and on about the brutality of the killers. “Listen to me!” he would shout. “I’m telling the truth. On my life, I swear it!” But the people were deaf to his pleas. I liked him and could not bring myself to believe him. (29) Yet we practiced religion in a death camp. I said my prayers every day. On Saturday I hummed Shabbat songs at work. I. Read more.

You Know You Need a Sabbath When…

You know you need a Sabbath when: The only time you are alone is in the bathroom. It takes you over thirty minutes to fall asleep because your mind is racing about things you forgot to do. You think rest is standing still in traffic. You go to check your e-mail for a moment and are still there an hour later. You cannot remember anything you ate the last 3 days. You drove upstate for an hour and had so much on your mind that when you arrived, you are not sure how you got there. You don’t know what day it is. You find yourself jealous and angry when someone else is enjoying life. When you can’t remember the last time you sat down to eat breakfast When you tweet during movie, text during dinner, read e mail during meetings and classes, and learn about your spouse’s day from Facebook. Sabbath is as. Read more.

Emotionally Healthy Deliverance!

For a number of years, in the early days of New Life Fellowship Church here in Queens, NYC. I was involved in driving demons out of people. Yes. Real demons. I didn’t seek it out. They simply began screaming out during services in the early years. In fact, there was a season in the early days of New Life’s history (from 1988-1994) that we had weekly meetings with people who had demons. It was exciting, exhilarating, exhausting. So we learned from the best deliverance ministries in North America at that time. However, something was clearly missing. They were “better” and “freer” for a while. Yet only for a while. Something was clearly wrong. Emotional health and contemplative spirituality  filled in missing components in people’s spiritual formation.Yet it is rare to meet pastors/leaders who are contemplatives, who integrate the emotional components of discipleship, and who also embrace the need for driving out demons when needed.. Read more.