Hi Five Oakers, The weekend’s coming and there are a few things I don’t want you to miss:
What if God promised to bless you right now with the thing you most want? No more waiting for that job, that healing, the return of your wayward child, love and marriage…the thing YOU most want. Only one catch. While God will go out in front making things happen and watch your back, he will no longer live with you. Prayers will need to made through others. He will not be in your life and you will not be in him. No more Holy Spirit living in you, but the Holy Spirit will give you what you most want.
Sound crazy? That’s almost exactly what God offered to do for the Israelites in the wilderness. What did they choose? What would you choose? That’s what the weekend sermon is all about and you can prepare by reading Exodus 33.
It’s seems to me that lots of people are talking about Christians and alcohol consumption online lately. I received this recently in an e-newletter from Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today recently.
"I brew craft beer. Editor of the evangelical Christianity Today. Yes, it's true. A stout, brown, pale ale, and Belgian dubbel are my most recent works of culinary art. I get a great deal of satisfaction in engineering a brewing system, creating and executing recipes, and serving a fine beverage to delighted guests." (Mark Galli)
// I pretty much avoid the topic, unless the biblical text addresses it, because we have people with different perspectives in our church, and, frankly, I don’t want to stir the waters. But this writer thinks that’s a mistake and explains why in “Beer & the Pulpit: Why Churches Need to Talk about Alcohol.” Take a look and let me know what you think.
// Moody Bible Institute, one of the most conservative evangelical organizations in this country, lifted its alcohol ban for its employees. So has Wheaton. I’m pretty sure Northwestern University of St. Paul and Bethel University have lifted their employee bans a while ago. So take a look at “Why So Many Christians are Relaxing Over Drink: As colleges drop drinking bans, some see alcohol as a moral good.”
ONE MORE THING
A friend of mine was telling me about a man from his church who died a few years ago. He was brilliant. A renaissance man with diverse advanced degrees, a myriad of talents, an effective Bible teacher. He was easily the most respected man in his church. My friend was remarking about the change that had taken place in this man’s life. While his children knew him to be harsh, driven and lacking in fatherly warmth toward them, his grandchildren experienced him as a kind, patient and affectionate grandfather. What changed this man? Some very painful experiences.
Stop and think about your life for a moment. What rough edges are your kids experiencing from you now that some day will be smoothed out by painful experiences? How about your friends or fellow employees? What are they experiencing? I think of the ways I react under stress as just one example. How about you?
Why wait an entire generation to change? Why not ask God to change you now? Why not cooperate with the Spirit as he seeks to change you now? What if you were to look at what you blame for your own behavior in a new way? What if the things you blame are the means God wants to use to grow you now?
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4; NLT)
Blessings to you all, Pastor Henry