On this Valentines Day I offer this prayer, from the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal Center, that Pete and I have been praying regularly for the last few months: Lord, grant us the strength to answer your call to become a living sign of your love. Make our love for each other like your love for us: passionate, permanent, intimate, unconditional, and life giving. May we be as present to each other as you are to us, so that all the world can see your presence manifested in our tender love for one another. Help us stay close to you in the Body of Christ and continue to nourish our love with your love. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen
What looks like great strength is actually great weakness. What appears to be great weakness is actually great strength. We think a “strong church” is big in numbers, powerful in influence, has great programs, lots of money, great buildings, a gifted staff, and tens of thousands of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram followers. As Jean Vanier says, the push of the world is to pretend we are big. We are not. We are extremely, fragile, dependent, and vulnerable. Paul learned a hard truth over many years and though much pain – that “God’s power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor.12:9). What will it take for me, for us, to deeply learn this and thus become the change our world so desperately needs?
A number of people have asked me about where God is amidst the devastation of the recent earthquake in Haiti. What do we tell our children, our young people, our church, and seekers? Last Sunday I preached a summary of the Book of Isaiah to our church as we concluded a recent teaching series. We distributed two weeks of a Daily Office based on Isaiah that you are welcome to download. It can be found at: http://newlifefellowship.org/resources/sermons Why does God allow evil like the earthquake in Haiti? The answer is: “I don’t know.” Nobody does. The Jews went through repeated tumultuous, confusing, often disastrous, events during the time of Isaiah. The country was shaken to the core after King Uzziah died. He had provided 52 years of stability and relatively good leadership. They were invaded by the Assyrians and later conquered by the Babylonians. They lost everything and were carried into exile 500-700. Read more.