Saturday, February 25, 2006

What Is Truth?

I finally made it to ACU to teach my Lectureship class. I missed out on most of the events at Lectureship. Thankfully, I was able to spend some time with friends.

It was great to spend time with Chess and meet his fiance, Megan (did I get your name right?).

Lectureship is about the only time I get to see the Melikians. They are making me proud with the campus ministry at OU, Sooners for Christ.

I had a great time visiting with John Grant. It was inspiring to talk about a project that seems to be bigger than both of us and is growing still. Could this be how a "movement of the Holy Spirit" occurs?

I enjoyed teaching my class on "What Is Truth?" I have promised the participants and anyone who bought the CD that I would have PowerPoint files featured on this blog. They are coming soon. The Internet is fast but I am slow. Tune in later this weekend and I will have a link here.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Treasure in Clay Jars

Tomorrow begins a new "season" at West-Ark. From tomorrow until the end of April our congregation will be focusing on 2 Corinthians 4. I do not remember another time when I focused so intensely on a single text. I usually preach from an entire gospel, epistle, or book. Although I am sure there will be moments when I will bring other texts into the sermon or study, 2 Corinthians 4 will be the base.

This text presents the image of priceless treasure being kept in ordinary and fragile clay jars. The gospel in this image is the mercy of God. We are privileged that God has the mercy to entrust us with such a noble and joyful ministry. Despite the difficulties we face we have the encouragement of God and we do not lose heart.

I have been encouraged by this image over the past week and more. As a leader in the church it is tempting to think that the congregation one serves must be made perfect - that is flawless, not mature. Church leadership has too often devolved to problem solving or troubleshooting. The conventional wisdom of church growth has been that if we fix it, polish it, and dress it up then "they" will come. Paul is offering a variant concept of church leadership. He authentically gives an account of his flaws, weaknesses, and trials - not in order to be exhibitionist, but because he knows that his message or content is what counts. He is a vessel for something more wonderful. He contains a power and wisdom that comes from God and not from within himself. I find this encouraging.

The Treasures in Clay Jars blog is here.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Musings of a Medieval-Aged Man

I am neither young or old. I guess that is what middle-aged is all about, but I don't like to think of myself as middle-aged because it sounds very mediocre. Middle-aged reminds me of middle ages, or medieval. Thus, I prefer to think of myself as medieval.

Being medieval - that is, neither young or old - I believe I can speak with some authority on why the old and young need each other.

Here is the lesson the old should impart to the young: "Be humble. Live as though you depend on God for everything, for in fact you do."

Here is the lesson the young should impart to the old: "Be hopeful. Live with the confidence and joy that the future is entrusted to God, for in fact it is."