Welcome to My Blog Page

      I'm hoping to share reflections on events or various books and articles I have read that perhaps will be a blessing to you.

Last Week's Tweet

     This past week I have continued to think about our "God Tweet" from Sunday, October 12th and the verse from Isaiah 30 which said, "And you will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it. Do not err to the right or to the left.'"  This verse has caused me to think of Timothy Keller's book entitled Prodigal God
     In this book Keller writes about the parable of the Prodigal Son and mentions that the term "prodigal" means extravagant. He then suggests that the most extravagent character in the story is the father, who is extravagant with his love and grace. He welcomes his younger son back who has "erred to the left" with his profligate living, and he invites his older son who has "erred to the right" with his harsh and condescending attitude to join the "welcome back' party he is throwing for his younger son.
     The father of course, represents God who with his extravagant love and grace invites all who have erred to the right or the left to come back to him.
      Prodigal God is an inspiring book and I believe anyone who reads it wil be blessed.
     

Ebola

     Reports of the spread of Ebola continue to make the news and these reports can be a reminder of the importance of praying for those experiencing this terrible illness.  We need to especially pray for people in western Africa where the Ebola epidemic is the most pronounced.
    We can also pray for those caring for Ebola patients, that they might be safegaurded from this illness and encouraged in their work.
    We can be grateful that those first flown here from Africa with the illness, who happened to be Christian missionaries (I hope the world took note) on the front lines of helping those sick with ebola have recovered, even as we grieve with the family of the patient who lost his battle with this illness in Texas.
    May those sick with Ebola be healed and may this illness be eliminated.
    

LCMC Conference

     We had another wonderful LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) Annual Gathering. It was October 5-8 in Des Moines. I always return from these gatherings inspired and excited about bringing Jesus to this generation.   
  
    Our first keynote speaker was Professor Walter Sundberg from Luther Seminary, my alma mater. He  shared that historically it has been the restless ones in the church that have often brought the gospel to a hurting world, while the church establishment has often been complacent regarding this call or has even opposed those seeking to make disciples of Jesus in the world.  It was a reminder to me of the importance of never being complacent regarding God's call in life.
     The second keynote speaker was Margaret Manning of RZIM ministries.  She spoke of how quickly our culture has shifted from being faith friendly to being openly skeptical of Christianity and the claims of Christ. This shift has been especially pronounced among the millennial generation, those aged 25 to 34.  She would quote Frodo in the movie "Lord of the Rings" in a different context as saying he was sorry to see such things "in his  lifetime." She mentioned that in the same way, we may regret seeing this shift in attitudes toward our faith "in our lifetime." However we need to live in the world in which we find ourselves and respond.  Our loving response can be one which will always have the power of the Holy Spirit in it,  which is simply to issue invitations, to invite people to come and meet Jesus, or as Scripture says, to "taste and see that the Lord is good."
     LCMC president Mark Vander tuig would lay out a vision for starting a thousand congregations in ten years. He would also mention that even as we remain faithful to our doctrines, beliefs and values we need to be open to changing our methods and ways of doing things as our world changes.  He asked "what would you be willing to change so that your grandchildren are eager to attend church on Sunday mornings?"
     We were blessed to be able to finish our time in Des Moines assembling food packets with hundreds of others at the gathering. The goal was to assemble thousands of packets to feed the hungry in our world.