Yesterday, I took my youngest son to watch the New England Patriots practice. First, I was amazed that 7,000 people show up to watch a practice. Why is that? I considered a few things. 1. To learn the techniques of a winning team. 2. To get close to famous players. 3. To sit and wonder why you are at a practice.
For me it was a great reminder of what it takes to win. Practice. Running the same play over and over again, so that when the game happens you are ready. Running so that when the game comes you have the strength and endurance to play hard. Practice. So you learn how to play as a team and the role of each player.
Much to consider here for my spiritual walk.
It was a great day for Alexander and I. We are looking for a great season from the Pats.
Sitting in Harvard Square after a day of meeting with pastors in the Boston area.
As I reflect on the day, I marvel at the Kingdom relationships I am honored to be a part of. One friend said today that " the Kingdom only exist through a series of God initiated relationships". What a gift from God.
June 11 was my last Sunday as Pastor of Boston Worship Center. Beginning in mid-July, I will serve as the Executive Director of Minister Development for the Southern New England District of the Assemblies of God.
While my heart is still torn with leaving the church I have served for 9 years, I am turning a corner. This will be a new adventure. One that I'm confident that I don't know where it will all end up. Like most adventures in following God, the results are in His hands.
I would never make this move (and leave a great church and city), if I did not believe this was God's direction.
After some rest, I will give glimpses of the new journey.
Most of us don’t need a lot of convincing on this one. We have all observed the results of anger. It is reckless and hurtful and can result in much destruction. James is clear that anger needs to be very rare and only for good purposes.
The passage states that anger does not bring the righteous life that God desires. Can you think of anytime that your anger brought about Godliness in your life?
Anger that is destructive, is a symptom of something else in your life. To be slow to anger, we often need to step back and take a look at what is making me act this way.
Slow to anger….if anger at all.
The power of words. The can steal life and the can give life. So many times we forget the resource we have in our words. They don’t cost any thing to spend, but can produce a life changing effect.
James tells us two things (Chapters 1 and 3). First to be slow to speak. Use caution and when you speak, do it in a timely manner. Second, keep a rein on your tongue. This speaks of control.
The kicker of the passage is that if we are not careful with our words, we can disqualify our religion. A uncontrolled tongue can take away from what our walk of faith represents.
What do you have to say….slowly?
This week we are in James 1:19-27. We starting things off with "quick to listen ". We know we are all better if we are good listeners. But, James steps it up with challenging us to be quick to listen.
What makes a good listener? What gets in the way of listening? Why prioritize listening by putting it at the front of the line with 'quick"?
I think you a have to put aside certain impulses in order to be quick in listening. One impules is to talk before listening. Another impulse is to look like your listening, but your are really ignoring or enduring. The final impulse you might deal with is formulating what you are going to say while they are talking.
Thanks for the great posts! It is tremendous to wrestle together with these passages. Keep it up!
Jesus is resurrection. He raises Lazarus from the dead. What inspires me, is that now Lazarus is dangerous. In John 12:9-11, we see that those who oppose Christ, want to kill Lazarus as well.
For Lazarus to simply walk in the room, he became a threat. He is living, tangible evidence that Jesus is who He says he is.
As God works in our lives, we fall into the same category. Our presence with others communicates the truth that Jesus is who He said he was. By God working in our life, the subject of Christ is on the table to be dealt with.
For some it will be life, hope and a future. For others, to consider Christ is a threat.