Posted by: Ed | September 29, 2009

ELIJAH, ME v. WORLD and the WEEKEND That Was

I had this cool feeling as I was leaving my office Sunday morning & walking over to the worship center: Church is fun! There’s lots that goes into every weekend at Journey. Every time there is a service, there are hundreds of volunteers serving, there are dozens if not hundreds of hours of prep, there are lots that can go awry. But no question, those are some of the best hours of the week.
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This week we looked at one of the truly EPIC STORIES of the Scriptures. The contest with the prophets of Ba’al on Mt Carmel is a defining moment in redemptive history, heck in all of history. Here’s another reason why James statement that is framing our series is so startling:

James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain & the earth produced its fruit.

Once again, Nancy Regas did a spectacular job of interpretively reading the story.
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Speaking of great moments in history, we did our entire service with no announcements. Everyone know they are critical to connect people with church beyond the services, but it was pretty cool to soak in Worship for a little longer than usual.
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A few times a year we gather prayer leaders from as many ministries as we can to connect, communicate & to encourage them. I’m usually pretty shot after the services to b be honest. But I’m always stoked after being with these people. There is something about people who are consciously structuring their lives to pray that is refreshing to be around. Pam Turner leads this ministry & this meeting.
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Wisely we don’t just talk in theses meetings we spend some time with the Lord, usually in Lectio Divina & small group prayer. She brought an excerpt from one of the best devotional books ever written (in the top 10 – 15 for sure), Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion. I’m going to post the whole thing tomorrow, but here’s the 1st paragraph:
The Simplification of Life
(Excerpt from “A Testament of Devotion” by Thomas Kelly)

Our lives grow too complex, overcrowded and busy. Even the necessary obligations seem to grow overnight, and we find ourselves weighed down under burdens, and appointments. As we try to meet at least the minimum demands, we realize we are weary, and can even come to regret that our life is slipping away, having tasted so little of the peace, joy, and serenity Christ speaks of. Where is that deep life of unshaken composure in the holy Presence?

We tend to blame the complexity of our lives on our complex environment. But this is not fully true. Nor can we say simplification of life will follow simplification of environment. The truth is that we are not skilled in the inner life, where the real roots of our problem lie. For the true explanation of the complexity of our lives is an inner one, not an outer one.

Wow!

Somehow I felt a little football deprived this weekend. I taped the Charger game only to find out when I got home that a power outage jacked shut the VCR (yes, still a VCR) off. The Sunday night game was boring. So hopefully tonight’s game will be that sports fix I need… that is before Linda ousts me from the living room when Dancing with the Stars comes on. Part of the falleness of creation that will be redeemed someday.

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Responses

  1. Linda Noble is powerless to oust. If Ed gives the TV up it’s his own decision to be unselfish:)

  2. Hey Ed,
    Thanks for a great teaching. It was powerful and encouraging and my favorite raw. I think Kings is a bit raw, but anyways all the bit that happens to us when we get distracted and start worshiping idols, ie cutting and bleeding, thats exactally what happens. Some of my favorite points that are coming back to me and that I keep repeating to others…The point is not to become a “church person” but to do the life God has designed…and not the “ideal one” you may think it is….More Trust…more Grace…Thankyou Jesus!! Today Iam so greatful…Even when my life following Jesus is sloppy and not like I would have it…one things for sure…I don’t ever want the way it used to be!

  3. Yesterday was a great service. It was special in that it was a service about God’s power to restore and heal and show himself real to those who know him, those with forgetting mindsets, those who need to know him and those who don’t understand him. When Nancy read the scriptures, within my hearing, were alive and running through the service like a truth that couldn’t be denied. The book became alive and showed us the real knowledge of God is not just a story we read, it is alive and still showing up weeding out all the fallen noise of mistaught doctrines. To me the Service was Alive and weeding out all the crab grass for his green pasture to be shown to show those who need rest from false Gods and idols that keep them from enjoying God’s Kingdom presence and reality of who he is. HE IS GOD. He is LORD over all. KING of Kings and LORD of Lords. What greater gift do we have then HIM. Thank you Jesus for nailing all the curse to the cross and giving us the cure. Forgiveness and right standing with THE FATHER.

    PS: This is on my heart to share for others who need to hear this.
    Resently, I was told something that really stunk. Someone said they can’t forgive some people who hurt them from church and didn’t think these people deserved to be forgiven because of who they were as far as their positions in church leadership goes. This person also claims to have several help ministries. I couldn’t understand how someone can say their ministry is to help others and then hold unforgiveness toward those who may or may not of hurt them at church or did not live up to their expectations. Their ministry is their ministry for sure, because God’s ministry is about FORGIVENESS. May this help those who need to remember that we are called to forgive others like Christ forgave us. We are called to receive forgiveness and give forgiveness to those who need it. Hope this helps whoever needed to hear it.

  4. I’m going through a pretty rough time right now, and this series has been a true blessing for me. I appreciated the words on bravery, knowing that God is LOTS and LOTs, and if He is with me, there is no reason to fear. Thank you, God.


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