Several events have come up where I can see that I need to be ordained. I need to have some backing behind my name so that I can walk into a congregation or a group and they’ll know that I’m orthodox, or at least I’m backed by people that are the same kind of orthodox as they are in a few points.
As I was preparing to figure out how to make this happen, I began to look into what it means to be ordained. One aspect of it is showing that you are educated in the Word, that you know and understand the Bible in a manner that you can teach, discern, and represent Christ in a great way. Another part of that is delving into church history and tradition and understanding classical fields of study such as Ecclesiology (study of the church), Bibliology (study of the Bible) and Pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit). Some of that sounds good to me, some of it sounds like a bunch of nonsense.
At the same time, finished the book Linchpin by Seth Godin. Near the end, he says that the main point of a resume is to show how you are just like everyone else. It’s a form of showing your achievements in a bland, lifeless, search-bot friendly manner so you can be weeded out.
This is the opposite of that. This is where I’m going to go after some heady stuff, wring out the scriptures, and look at all of the drippings. I’m putting it here because it’s easier to collect in a single place and because, someday, I might ask some guys to look at it so they may consider laying hands on me and standing behind me.
At the end of this, my brain was mush. I think it was more the fact that they had the band come out, sing worship songs and have a prayer time and then surprise us with another 30 minute speaker when it was supposed to be over that wore me out. Knowing how to pace yourself at these conferences is the difference between getting something out of it and just wanting to get out. I dismissed the guys at the mission as soon as Michael Frost was done talking, even though Verge still went on for unknown amounts of time.
That might also be the webcast aspect of it. It might be amazing in that room full of people worshipping and singing and getting on their knees praying, but as people watching it from home it’s different.
As I look over my notes, I notice the impact of having 5 speakers go “just a little bit over”on their time. I learned this the hard way once. Whenever people give you a chance to speak, it is your responsibility, as the one serving your audience, to not go over the time they’ve given you.
I look forward to the excerpts being posted on Youtube in the coming months.
Here are my notes from our prayer meeting Monday night. The topic was “How can we do mission work together if we are from all different churches?” There were a couple very good points in here to think on, but you just get a few notecard quotes from me here.
The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. (Exodus 11:1, ESV)
There have been a lot of movies made about the Exodus, and they all like to focus on the 10 plagues brought upon Egypt. As I was reading through here this morning, this verse stuck out.
After everything that happens, I try to read it like I don’t know what is coming next. After each plague I think “Now, surely, Pharaoh will release the Hebrews, right‽” and then Pharaoh double crosses them. For a while you wonder if God is just enabling Pharaoh to continue in his sins, if the mercy is just too much. There is real irony here because God’s mercy brings about more suffering than if He would have just wiped out the Egyptians from the beginning. But that wouldn’t have sent the right message. The Hebrews are going to leave Egypt to follow a god that is merciful, compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love and boy will they see His patience and love as He gives the Egyptians one chance after another after another after another after another after another after another after another!
So after all of that, I think this might be the most terrifying sentence in the whole book.
One plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.
There is one more plague coming, and it is going to be so severe that Pharaoh won’t let you leave, but he will drive you away completely! This next thing that is going to happen will be so profound, so powerful, so consummate, that Pharaoh will not change his mind like he did 9 times already. You will not be allowed to leave, but driven from this land.
It’s also interesting to note, that after the proclamation of the first nine plagues, Moses tells Pharaoh such and such will happen unless you let my people go. This time it’s done. Here comes the final plague, and we’re not asking anything of you, Pharaoh. The time for entreaty is over. The God of the Hebrews is done negotiating and yielding.
The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said. (Exodus 8:18, 19 NASB)
It was when the Egyptian magicians could not imitate God that they surrendered and believed. This has a message for us too. If followers of Christ can only do the things that the magicians (people) of this world can do and nothing more there is no reason for people to surrender to our God. If we are worldly, divisive, mortal, selfish, etc. then we aren’t showing the power we have from God to live life to the fullest. There is no reason for people to believe we are any different with or without God.
Today we went to OneLife West. I’ll post more links to the sermon later. Here are my notes.
With the new year comes a new chance to get on a Bible reading plan. As a family and at the mission we are doing the Chronological reading plan according to the folks at ESVBible.org. If you have never read the Bible all of the way through, or if you’ve never had the adventure of reading it through in the order that it happened, I suggest you check this out.
I want to plug reading the Bible at the website: If you buy an ESV study bible they give you a free unlock for all of the study Bible notes online. You can also use the notes section to write your own notes and then every few months dump them to Evernote for archiving. It’s really cool to be reading the Bible and come across a digital note you made 2 years ago (and not be distracted by 1,253 other people’s notes at the same time.)
The other thing is don’t let this reading plan be an opportunity for pride or shame. If you miss a day, press on, don’t give up. If you work 5 days ahead, shut up and praise the Lord. I’m currently in the 5th year of a “through the Bible” reading plan that was only supposed to take one year!
Nothing grows you spiritually like reading the Bible deeply and responding daily.
I was able to preach this past weekend at Westminster thanks to an awful bug that Dave caught. This is the closest I’ve ever come to a Christmas message, but it’s full of stuff that I’ve been thinking about for years. Hopefully in a few days I’ll post the audio, but don’t wait! Read on!
Christmas is this week: I always love to really think deep about the events, because the events of my life have lots of detail, lots of significant moments and turning points. It’s too easy to read the first parts of Matthew and Luke and not think about the reality of the events. (more…)