Author Archives: Pastor Mark

From Formula to Relationship

Our false self demands a formula before he’ll engage; he wants a guarantee of success; and mister, you aren’t going to get one. So there comes a time in a man’s life when he’s got to break away from all that and head off into the unknown with God. This is a vital part of our journey and if we balk here, the journey ends.

Before the moment of Adam’s greatest trial God provided no step-by-step plan, gave no formula for how he was to handle the whole mess. That was not abandonment; that was the way God honored Adam. You are a man; you don’t need me to hold you by the hand through this. You have what it takes. What God did offer Adam was friendship. He wasn’t left alone to face life; he walked with God in the cool of the day, and there they talked about love and marriage and creativity, what lessons he was learning and what adventures were to come. This is what God is offering to us as well. As Oswald Chambers says,

There comes the baffling call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is implicit. The call of God is like the call of the sea, no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because his call is to be in comradeship with himself for his own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what he is after. (My Utmost for His Highest, emphasis added)

The only way to live in this adventure-with all its danger and unpredictability and immensely high stakes-is in an ongoing, intimate relationship with God. The control we so desperately crave is an illusion. Far better to give it up in exchange for God’s offer of companionship, set aside stale formulas so that we might enter into an informal friendship.

(Wild at Heart , John Eldredge,  p.  213-14)

Marble’s Monday Menagerie 02.27.2012

The number of published writers on the world wide web has become so large, one could literally spend every waking minute of his/her day perusing and reading the nearly infinite key pecks folks are putting out.

In an attempt to be more ‘read,’ I wonder if the time spent is worth the time or a waste of time.  (That didn’t take long to find a rabbit trail.)

Some bloggers will collect articles they have read and thought were worthy to archive for future reading or study.  I have lists of articles on various topics which I refer back to.  I imagine though that I will forget I have archived material stashed away in one of my computer files and never get back to it.

Other bloggers will provide a list of the posts they deem worthy of repost and retag.  They have done all the surfing and scanning and felt their short list for the day is the best of the moment.  Truly this tactic saves time and does cull the finest articles for my daily reading.

I have decided to do the same thing.  Links will be to a menagerie of topics, however due to the nature of my worldview, the preponderance will lean towards Biblical and spiritual topics.   Because this will be a weekly endeavor, some of the articles may have already been read or so “14 minutes ago.”   Enjoy it for what it is and be blessed.

The latest on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani of Iran who refuses to renounce Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

The worship war continues to rage on.

The critics of critics of worship styles continue to defend.

Pastor Ed Dobson on what he is thinking about Christianity as his body is slowly dying.

An article on archaeology and The Exodus.

The first of a series of articles on creation, evolution, and Christian laypeople.

B90X “Jeremiah” pt. deux

A few things from our reading Jeremiah today which grabbed my attention:
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B90X2012 “Servant Song #5″

The fifth and final song comes in Isaiah 61:1-11.  The good news comes.  The Servant is anointed to bring the messianic jubilee, where the people will be restored to the land after exile.  There is no introduction by God.  The servant says, ‘here I am.’  Lots of review and progression from the previous Songs.

Look at all the verbs involved in what the Servant has done and is going to do- preach, bind, proclaim, release, proclaim (again), comfort, provide, bestow, rebuild, restore, and renew.

Isaiah’s tree imagery pops out in v. 3- ‘oaks of righteousness.’

Jesus broke the silence and the mystery of who the Servant was in Luke 4 when he preaches his first sermon.  He purposely turns to Isaiah 61 and reads a portion of that Song.  He purposely stopped short at the section about vengeance because that day has not come yet.  His time on earth at that time was for revelation about Father and reconciliation of humanity.

Then ironically, right after this first sermon and the unveiling of his Messiahship, the crowd wants to take him out and push him off a cliff.  Now that is a flashy kick-off to a preaching tour.  Kind of makes me not feel so bad.  Folks didn’t want to kill me after my first sermon.

Everything explodes with Jesus!  He is the Servant.  He is the mystery man.  Everything stated in the five Servant Songs is true and is fulfilled.  A new definition of freedom- not just socio/economic, but physical and spiritual as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour into this special literary aspect of Isaiah.  It is so cool to find this stuff and see how the Holy Spirit wove it into the Word.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Prov. 25:2

B90X2012 “Jeremiah”

We are now in the thick of the warnings and woes of the prophetic call.  I used to think that these guys said the same things over and over to the same people.  It seemed kind of redundant and way over the top.  What I found out was that they were on a preaching tour around the country and that these words were shared with different groups of folks.  So what may sound familiar was that the prophet was repeating himself as he moved around.  He would just find a different way to say the same thing over and over.  Hence the appearance to us that it is so monotonous.  There are very few markers that tell us that it is a new group or a new town.

Some stuff about Jeremiah:
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