Archive for October, 2009
Last Sunday, Ryan preached on “Understanding the Kingdom of God” from Luke 13. This is a really important theme to grasp in order to understand how the flow of the Bible relates to Jesus’ message. Make sure to listen to it if you missed it.
Along the same lines, Graeme Goldsworthy has written a short article that maps out how the kingdom of God theme runs throughout the whole Old Testament. If you’re like me and you sometimes struggle to understand how all the various events and writings in the Old Testament fit together, this is a very helpful article.
For a slightly more in-depth treatment of this theme, see God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, by Vaughn Roberts. This book examines the whole Bible and explains how Jesus’ promise of salvation and bringing the kingdom of God is one story with one purpose and not just a collection of unrelated narratives.
How many of our thoughts about music and worship revolve around what we like, what we prefer, what interests us, and what we find appealing? And how often is that attitude passed on to the next generation, who then focus on what appeals to them?
I suspect this may be one of the reasons churches develop separate meetings for different musical tastes. In the short run it may bring more people to your church. But in the long run it keeps us stuck in the mindset that musical styles have more power to divide us than the gospel has to unite us. (my emphasis)
How do we pass on biblical values of worship to coming generations when we can’t even sing in the same room with them?
We have to look beyond our own generation, both past and future, if we’re to clearly understand what God wants us to do now. Otherwise we can be guilty of a chronological narcissism that always views our generation as the most important one. As Winston Churchill insightfully wrote, “The further back you can look, the further forward you can see.”
Enough thinking about ourselves and what kind of music we like to use to worship God. God wants us to have an eye on our children, our grandchildren, and even our great grandchildren. We have a message to proclaim: “God is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let’s not allow shortsightedness or selfish preferences keep us from proclaiming it together.
As a follow-up to Ryan’s sermon on money, here are four great books about money and giving.
- The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn, is a short book that we have available for free at the resource center. This book is about seeking joy through giving; it is a challenging, but exciting, devotional-type book. If you read only one book from this list, this is the one I would recommend.
- Another short and easy read is In God We Trust, by Michael Haykin, also available at the resource center. This book was written as an evaluation of the current financial crisis, specifically answering the questions, “What is God trying to tell us in the midst of this crisis?” and “How should we respond in a financial crisis?”
- Slightly longer is Randy Alcorn’s, Money, Possessions, and Eternity. This book provides a more comprehensive view of money and possessions than either of the previous books, and calls Christians to rethink their perspectives in a biblical light. This is a great reference book to have around when you’re wondering what the bible teaches about anything from tithing and helping the poor to gambling, debt, and investing.
- One further resource, which Ryan mentioned during the sermon, is Juliet Schor’s, The Overspent American. Although this isn’t a Christian book, it still provides a helpful evaluation of consumerism and the mechanics of desire in our marketing-driven culture.
…unless you’re living in one of the few states where H1N1 isn’t rampant.
Greg Schneeberger, our youth minister, is teaching this round of our membership class (a.k.a, Knowing Christ, Knowing the Church, or KCKC). He shared a wonderfully encouraging story with our leadership today — a story about sacrificial care happening within our membership class (i.e., among new people!).
Here’s how it starts: a lady in the class wrote Greg last week, saying,
I’m worried that my husband and I and I won’t be able to make many of the classes left. As embarrassing as it is, I feel you deserve a reason why. A month ago we lost our mini van. My husband had started teaching me to drive his truck. What a pain! But we were thankful that God had left us with an open window sorta say. This past Sunday after church we were headed to my grandmothers for lunch. The clutch in the truck went out. And we were lucky to get to her house. Now with no transportation to speak of, I worry that we won’t be able to get to the church. It pains me to miss church and KCKC, it being the only time I really got out of the apartment. I will however, pray that something changes or at least that we can retake the class in the future. We do love DCS!
Greg then wrote our leadership today with the rest of the story:
Just wanted to encourage us all with a cool story from last night’s KCKC. In brief:
1. A young mom wrote me that their car had exploded and they would have to drop the class. She said the repairs were under 1k but for their family it might as well have been a million dollars.
2. I told her to try and make it on Wednesday and we would get a strategy going.
3. As she arrived I was talking to a young professional in my home group. He overheard me make a few comments to her about the situation.
4. He proceeded to pull out a set of keys and tossed them her way. “We have three cars and there are only two of us. So why don’t you guys go ahead and use our X-Terra for as long as you need until things get worked out.”
5. The lady just about fell off her chair. The couples talked, got to know each other, and my home group buddy took some time to explain that this is how things are supposed to work in the Kingdom. It was pretty glorious.
6. So, this mom of three left with a ride on loan and the home group couple drove home in their other car. They shared contact info and everyone was very excited about how God was moving in love and generosity.
Even though we all weren’t a part of this, let’s thank God together that this, and many other like-things, are happening at this church. I truly believe that DSC has seen significant growth in this kind of body-care in the last few years.
This Sunday, Zach Nielsen will be preaching for us, as we consider:
- our spiritual adoption in Christ
- the church’s call to care for orphans
- opportunities for adoption and orphan care in and through DSC
Zach put together this touching and encouraging video. Towards the end, it shows the families at DSC who have adopted or are making plans to do so. Praise God for his goodness in the love and care shown through so many in our body!