Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Counselor

This week we focus on the Holy Spirit. Here are a few passages to get you started:

John 14:16-8, 26-7

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 15:26,27

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:5-15

"Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

What do you think about when you think about the Holy Spirit?

What is your experience with him?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Opossum and a Raccoon

I’m not sure what this means.

Last week I was leaving my church office when I heard a large truck emptying a dumpster at the small manufacturing business across the railroad tracks from the FLC. I really thought nothing of it. I got in my truck and drove a few blocks, to the other side of the railroad tracks, to make a visit.

As I got out of my truck the dumpster truck drove by. As it drove by something moving on the back caught my eye. I turned and took a good look. I saw a terrified raccoon, scrambling up and down and all around the back of the truck, presumably trying to figure out what to do next. I don’t know how the issue was resolved because the truck got out of sight.

I am guessing the raccoon was in the dumpster and got dumped into the truck. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.

* * *

This morning I was coming back from the Park after a very nice run. As I passed city hall I looked to my right. Something was in the grassy strip between the street and the sidewalk. It was a cage; actually it was a trap. Inside the trap was a stupid looking possum. He was just sitting there in the trap, looking straight ahead; it was almost like he was waiting for a bus.

He too must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, probably doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.

What do you think this means?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Need a Brake

OK, maybe the title should be "Need a Break." But I meant to use "brake," because I want to slow down a little. I am continuing to make adjustments after my sabbatical, adjustments that I hope will position me for long term effectiveness in the Kingdom without "burn out." I have considerably changed some of the things I do and how I do them. Most people don’t notice, and that’s fine; maybe even good. But I am finding that I am getting busier and busier (again), to where I cannot get my work done and have much time or energy for things around the house. I am not complaining; just trying to adjust. I’ve been down this road before; need to turn around now.

One area I have been wondering about for quite a while is this blog. I don’t think I am finished with it, but I do plan to take a break. How long? I don’t know. I’ll let you know when I know. Could be a short break or a long one. Time will tell.

I’ve been doing this for more than 2 years in one form or another, and I like it. I think it’s been helpful and good for the most part, but lately it has become "another thing to do." I don’t need another thing to do. I getting ready to make the biggest adjustment in my family since the birth of Ben. Lester gets married, and then Luke leaves for Lipscomb. Wow. It’s all good but pretty draining.

I am doing some work with Lipscomb this fall in connection with their Conference on Preaching; this is related to my doctoral work. I am very excited about it. I am also working toward some specific Bible studies with our food pantry folks, and this also excites me greatly. Both are fairly time and emotion-consuming projects.

Thank you to all who have made this a stimulating experience over the last couple of years.