Archive for July, 2011
July 25th, 2011, a date that will live in infamy in the mind of millions of Americans. No, cancer was not cured on this day. Wars were not ended, and not all the poor were made rich. No, the NFL lockout ended. A massive celebration started on social networks, television networks, and conversations in sports bars all over the country. The scheduled arriving of the NFL would happen and the nation rejoiced.
I do not wish to damper anyone’s excitement, rather call people’s attention to an event that is coming which will be more awesome than anything that has happened in history. I just want to raise awareness to the fact that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth. Now we don’t know when, but we know that when he does it will be awesome.
In Revelation John attempts to describe the fan fare that takes place around the throne of God. He talks about choruses of angels, thousands of saints, and creatures that look incredible that surround the thrown of God giving him praise and glory. Really the entire book of Revelation talks about how the glory of God culminates in his coming to redeem his creation from sin and death. This will not be a blip in human history, rather it will be a glorious reflection of all that God has done.
While we here at theDispersion are celebrating the NFL lockout ending, we want people to understand that the coming of God back to earth will happen. When it does it will be epic and receive even more acclaim than the ending of the NFL lockout could possibly have gotten. Don’t forget that Christ is coming, and live in that reality.
In Exodus 6 God is calling Moses to continue with His plan of redemption for the people of Israel. He is calling Moses to faithfulness in light of what happened in Exodus 5 when Aaron and Moses went before Pharaoh and told him to let the people of the Lord go worship in the desert. Pharaoh was offended and retaliated by making the labor of the Hebrews much harder. In ancient days bricks were made of mud and straw, straw helping to form the brick into the brick shape. Pharaoh commanded that the Israelite’s not be given straw, but still make the same amount of bricks. Imagine if someone took away a vital part of doing your job and still expected the same amount of production. Now multiply how bad that would feel times at least three, because the children of Israel were slaves.
Moses, who from chapter four we can see is not exactly feeling the most confident in this mission, comes to the father and says in chapter five verses 22-23 Moses says, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.” This is quite a curt tone to take with God. God does even seem to notice that Moses is whining like a little girl. God just stays on the mission.
Much of chapter six is just God restating what God had said in Exodus three and four. God was in control. God was going harden Pharaoh’s heart. God was going to rescue the people of Israel. Moses did not need to freak out because God had everything under control.
One of the most underestimated but most beautiful attributes of God is his ability to do work. God is not an inactive God. God’s will is done in creation. Boom, done, roasted. Just because it is not apparent to you or I that God is there doesn’t mean that he is not. Twice in chapter six Moses whines and twice in chapter six and chapter seven God just restates his purpose over the situation. It’s not like God is reprimanding Moses, He just doesn’t pay attention.
If you are whining to God and not hearing a reply, it doesn’t mean that he is mad at you. He is rather working out the situation for the good of those who love him. He is not obligated to give you a reply or to ensure that your situation feels just peachy. Moses was under a lot of pressure and God ignored the temporary pain to bring about greater glory. If your life seems to be on the rocks, just take a breath and enjoy the fact that God is definitely in control.
Synopsis: By the title of this book you might think that it is a self help book, and in a way it is. However John Piper is not digging deep into your psyche to help you from wasting your life, he is actually showing you Christ to lead you to a better life. Don’t Waste Your Life is all about making yourself low and making Christ big. John Piper does not hold back punches, nor does he hold a curtain over any of the glory of God. Be sure to check out a lot of the resources that came out of the Don’t Waste Your Life conferences and media. Just google Don’t Waste Your Life and you will find a lot of different resources.
Buy, rent, read: All of the resources produced by Pastor Piper are very cheap through his website. You should get this book if you have the means. It is an excellent resource.
Synopsis: What if we took what Jesus said literally? The question has been asked a thousand times in Radical. David Platt, a preacher from Alabama, attempts to show how cultural trends towards prosperity keep us from the truth of the gospel. A well traveled and sharp guy, Pastor Platt tries to peel back the thick layer of cultural tarnish on the church and awaken our spirits to know what it means to truly know the gospel.
Buy, Rent Or Own: If you struggle with intense worship of money and success, then you should buy this book and read it.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
By nature I am a feeler. I am a pretty touchy feely kind of guy. I do cry, and have cried, at the end of sad movies. I have cried at an episode of House. I have cried at funerals, I have cried at birthday parties. While I would not call myself a sissy, I do have a soft spot. Emotions to me are like scents and flavors. When I walk into a room I can smell anger, fear, happiness, joy, and sorrow. I can look into someone’s eyes and see how they feel. I also feel for them. I lead a very blessed life and I have not known pain like so many other’s have. However I get close to people and I feel them and live in their world. Unfortunately the world is a very dark and evil place. When man fell creation fell with him. The best analogy that I can imagine is when the old man takes the lamp from inside the Cave of Wonders. Immediately the cave begins to crumble around him, and the entire glory of the cave is brought to naught by a single man’s actions. When man took the fruit the creation crashed, all we have left is a couple of used up relics and a pile of sand. That is a really nice way of putting it. The not so nice way is that we live in a world where the strong crush the weak. Children starve, fathers leave, and people die. Women are raped, priests touch boys, and some of their crimes are never brought to justice. Ponzi schemes ruin lives. (more…)
A hot head is often the subject of a lot of ridicule in today’s popular culture. Anger is often laughed at but if we wanted to be honest with ourselves we laugh because we know anger. Whenever Snooki or Pauly D take a swipe at each other on some boardwalk in Jersey we think that it’s very interesting. However I think that if we are honest with each other we can all say that we have had experience with both anger and seeing anger around us. I would like to say that I am the most peaceful person I have ever met, however I know that I am no stranger to the dark force of anger. To be honest some days I feel like I am living on two sticks of dynamite. Anger is not in and of itself a sin. Anger is a God made reaction to felt injustice. When something is off in the universe the God given reaction is anger. That is why we feel anger when we see reports of child abuse, Ponzi schemes, and politicians that use their power for personal gain. Jesus felt anger. God feels anger. It is important to understand why and how God gets angry, and what happens when he does. That way we can be angry like God is angry, and be peaceful like God is peaceful. God can be angry because he is God. He sets the rules because he is God. He has our best in mind because he is God. Whenever we deviate from his plan he gets angry. We are disrupting his perfect order. The way that he designed things to be is perfect, so when we break that plan we are shattering his perfect order. This makes him angry. (more…)