June 9, 2021

A Word about the Word

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. [James 3:17–18]

Wisdom…pure…peace…gentle…open to reason. Outstanding!  Where can I buy some?

Makes me think of our newly started series in Ecclesiastes. What will we “get” out of this? More than a million questions about life and, hopefully, a character that is peaceful and kind to others because it rests in the wisdom and person of God instead of scrambling for all of the answers he may or may not give. Read those verses again and pray that you can start to “see” them in your mirror.

Close to Home

I’m still planning to do a “doubt” reading group this fall. Are you in? 

“Trust in God is a gift. But trusting in Jesus and having beliefs about Jesus are not always the same thing. Faith is a gift; beliefs are not. Forming beliefs takes time and often hard work.” (A.J. Swoboda, After Doubt)

We’re still looking to have fun, quality, Christ-introducing children’s classes during both worship hours this fall. Are you in? Yesterday I saw the first classroom where Sue and I as college students taught eager young kids on Sunday morning. Nothing better!

The World as It Is

What’s your bet: Do the Tokyo Olympics happen later this summer? Volunteers are dropping liking flies. Dissenting countries are barking too. About 80% of athletes are expected to be vaccinated (per the Olympic Committee).  Not even 3% of the Japanese general population has received the vaccine. The risks to the volunteers (and the fans) are real. 

Stuff I recently read: Christianity is spreading so quickly and effectively presently in China that it is quite possible that China could have more Christians than America by 2030 and, by 2050, have a majority of their population as Christian! Say what!?! 

Not so fast, China, here comes Iran! Did you know that there is somewhat of revival going in that enigmatic country? Read this: “About 20 years ago, the number of Christian converts from a Muslim background was between 5,000 and 10,000 people,” Crabtree said. “Today that’s between 800,000 to 1 million people. That’s massive growth.” According to Operation World, Iran has the fastest-growing evangelical movement in the world.

Summer Reading

May I recommend: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen; Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe by Voddie Bauchman; As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God by Eugene Peterson; The Beatles, the Bible and Bodega Bay by Ken Mansfield; The Reflective Life by Ken Gire; Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson; and The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

And We Pray

This summer will be
full of new experiences
for me and my friends:
new jobs, exciting mission trips,
and vacations to places
we’ve never been before.
Grow us, stretch us
through whatever we do,
and through wherever we go,
so that we’ll end the summer
just a little more like you.
[Unknown author]

I’ll catch you on the other side.