A Much Needed Reminder For Those In Ministry

I just read an article over at Christianity Today that is really excellent and makes a fantastic that applies to everyone in the Ministry or who has been trained for it. Here’s the quote:

We as trained exegetes and theologians can and should also have this posture, but honest self-reflection reveals that for most of us, our learning often creates layers of distance between us and hearing the Bible as God’s Word to us. Although it was obtained for the supposed goal of bridging the gap between us and the biblical text, our training in fact often creates in our hearts and minds an elaborate structure of paper walls and divisions that create a maze of distance between us and Scripture. Relegating meaning to the sensus historicus, obtained through the employment of an elaborate skill set, and making understanding and application secondary steps only opens the door for this deferral more widely. Instead, we can learn from our faithful mothers-in-law that to read Scripture is to seek to hear and obey God now in very practical ways. Anything less is not reading Holy Scripture according to its purpose.

His point is that over focusing on the historical, historical, language side of things we under focus on what a passage means to us right here and right now.

That’s a real issue for many of us and I find it happening to myself all too often. It’s something to be very aware of so we can make sure it isn’t happening to us. You can read the whole thing here and I hope you do.

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A Much Needed Reminder For Those In Ministry

New Tales From the Scrypt Series

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I just got back from recording this week’s edition of Tales From the Scrypt. The reason I’m posting about it here is that it’s  the beginning of something I hope will be special. I’m doing an eight part series on the week leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection on that first Easter Sunday.

[Note: I just got a call that I need to go back and do it again. I recorded it the first time but hit the wrong button so it actually didn’t record. The second time through I thought it went really well. Just heard they had a technical glitch and so I’m off to go back into town and try it again! It worked.]

Yep – eight weeks which is by far the longest series I’ve done so far and I have to say I’m really looking forward to it. You can listen online at KLPZ1380.com.

Doing this show has been a really interesting experience for me. At first I had some trouble with it because what I do on the show is tell stories. But what I’ve done for a long, long time now is teach Scripture. So my first impulse was to dig into the passage and find the meaning and the message. When I teach and preach I try to be very careful not to add anything to the text or take anything away for that matter. To be a good teacher you have to be precise and drive to the point.

Not so much with story telling. It’s taken a while to learn this how to do this. It’s a skill that’s closely related to teaching and preaching but is different. Now I do add somethings in that aren’t spelled out in the text, like how someone feels, or a dramatic description of what’s happening, etc. You have to do that if you want to be a good story teller.

I love writing these little stories now. I’m 64 and am leaning a new skill and having a great time doing so. 

Retirement? Bah Humbug to that!!  I’m too busy having fun, and am planning on expanding my ministry into other areas as well when the time is right and I am able to do so.

Anyway, if you get to listen to the show let me know. It comes on on Thursday mornings, sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 AM. Keith does live radio so there’s no set time to air the program. So if you tune in at 9:30 Arizona Time you should hear it.

New Tales From the Scrypt Series

30 Years of God’s Faithfulness At CCR

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Today was the big day. After weeks for hard work by both Amy and myself, we finally celebrated God’s faithfulness to CCR for 3 decades! I’m very happy with how well it went. I only wish more people had been to there to celebrate with us.

Below are two of the videos we showed today. I had to remove the music because of copyright reasons, but you can still see the pictures so I hope that’ll be enough.

Enjoy!

30 Years of God’s Faithfulness At CCR

Tales From the Scrypt!

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I cut the first promo today for a new short form radio show that I’ve been asked to do on our local station KLPZ, 1380 AM. Here’s a bit about it:

In the Arabian Nights Tahir Shah said, “Stories are a communal currency of humanity,” and he was right of course.  In “Tales From the Scrypt.” starting on September 22nd I’ll be sharing stories taken directly from the Bible, the source of the greatest true stories ever told, every week. They’ll be dramatized yet remain true to the Scriptures so you’ll be drawn into these stories that illustrate the truth about life, humanity and eternity itself. You’ll hear stories from both Testaments, stories that Jesus, the Master Teacher told, and maybe some stories that you didn’t know were in there.  So please join me every Thursday morning on KLPZ at 9:30 AM for Tales From the Scrypt, “Stories You Can Believe In.”

You can listen online if you’d like too at www.klpz1380.com at 9:30 AM Arizona time. Just remember Arizona Time is like unto God in one way – it doesn’t change. No jumping forward or falling back around here!

I’d like to thank my friend Meredith for the title and my friend Keith for an idea that helped me come up with the tag line. These will be short (& hopefully sweet) little bits of truth and wisdom from the Scriptures, hopefully everyone will benefit from them.

So, what are you favorite Bible Stories? Do you have some that you’d like to hear adapted and presented on Tale From the Scrypt? If so let me know ok?

God bless and I’ll see you on the radio soon!

 

 

 

Tales From the Scrypt!

Remembering MLK At Work

I’m remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today just like I always do, by doing ministry. That’s what I’ve been called to do so today I’ll just keep trying to bring more light into a very dark world. Given how he lived his life I’m pretty sure Dr. King would much rather we do that than take another day to goof off and entertain ourselves.

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I’m actually old enough to remember Dr. King. Of course I never saw him in person or spoke to him, but I did see him on the TV. Even through that medium you could feel the impact of his personality and faith. I remembering hearing part of his “I Have a Dream Speech” and even at that age being moved.

He wasn’t perfect. Far from it in fact as we now know. But no one’s perfect and his lack of perfection doesn’t in anyway diminish what he tried to do. 

Sadly today we’ve wandered far from what he spoke of. Instead of ignoring color and focusing on the “content of our character” we are move focused on race, color and creed than ever before. Most of those who tried to take up Dr. King’s mantle of leadership have either failed to understand him or just aren’t listening. So we focus on race and then wonder why racial tension is rising?

The answer is obvious and I believe Dr. King would have called us out on it if he were still here. You become what you focus on. By focusing on our differences we only divide ourselves from ourselves. This Greek Tragedy that’s being played out today in America doesn’t have to happen. If we’d only listen to the prophetic voice of Dr. King we could still find that promised land he spoke of at the end of his life.

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If only…  

Rest in Peace Dr. King. God willing we’ll still find our way to the Land you now inhabit. Amen. 

 

Remembering MLK At Work

My Day In Jury Selection

I just spend today, December 4th, at the courthouse in Parker. No I wasn’t on trial – they keep missing me!  But I was in a big room with a slowly shrinking number of people selecting a jury.

I kept thinking of an old quote so checked it out tonight:

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.

Variation on a traditional proverb, appeared in various forms over the millennia. Traditionally refers to gods or (later) Christian God rather than justice. Early recorded form of sentiment by Euripides circa 405 BC The Bacchae, line 882, translated as: “Slow but sure moves the might of the gods.”

My personal rewrite of it would be this: “The wheels of justice turn slowly, really, really slowly & keep repeating themselves until your mind is ground into a fine powder.”

Yeah – I know not so catchy but oh so true.

What really got my attention was all the detail and minutia that the lawyers and judge dealt with over and over again. It slowed everything down and nearly drove me crazy. I know why they do it. Both to ensure a just outcome and to find every advantage possible.

It still drove me crazy.

It also made me exceedingly grateful that I don’t have to do that every day. I would go out of my mind if I did.

But I think that’s what a lot of people think I, and other Pastors, do. We are often viewed as little “religious lawyers” who pick away at the Bible to fine new ways to make people either conform or be miserable.

Happily I can assure that’s not true of most of us. I’m always looking to know more about God, and to know God better, so that I can share the grace of love of Jesus with everyone. 

I thank God Jesus died on the cross to set us free from that kind of legalism! That doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have standards, or that I don’t confront people about their sin and dysfunction (I’ve got a couple of  those awful conversations coming soon I fear).

Bur even those are done in love. Because standing on the truth always sets people free. Living in the darkness of denial never has a good ending.

So I’m done with that for now and O so grateful to be living in Grace and not Law!

My Day In Jury Selection