Tag Archives: the church

Amen Sister!

alanandleslieIn this awesome post by Leslie Chambers (wife of Alan Chambers President of Exodus International ) she shares about her marriage, grace and true freedom in Christ! Read and enjoy! From the Exodus Blog. . .

Leslie Chambers Tackles Heterosexuality, Hyper-Grace, and Offers Hope.

Have you ever wondered what people think of you? As my husband is Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, I have. At present, he is somewhat of a conundrum for a lot of people. There seems to be some confusion about who he is, what he is saying and what he stands for. Here it is in a nutshell: while he has repeatedly stated his biblically orthodox view of sexuality, he has also stated his belief that one particular sin is not somehow more offensive to God than another. As his wife, I have stayed out of most of the chaos, but there are a few things that I cannot be silent about any longer. So here it goes… click here to read the rest!

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Brennan Manning. 1934-2013

With heavy hearts we share with you today a statement from the website of beloved author Brennan Manning.

It is with mixed emotions that we must tell you that on Friday April 12, 2013, our Brother Brennan passed away.

While he will be greatly missed we should all take comfort in the fact that he is resting in the loving arms of his Abba.

Sincerely,
Art & Gerry Rubino

 

The written works of Brother Brennan have touched our lives and helped us draw closer to the relentless love of our Abba Father, we are so grateful for his willingness to be honest and vulnerable so that we in our own brokenness could begin to understand how much Abba loves us.

He fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. – 2 Timothy 4:7 & Psalm 116:15

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Condolences can be made at the Brennan Manning Facebook page. Purchase Brennan’s books here.

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Thoughts on Life: Don’t They Know It’s The End Of The World?

Thinking_44121810I’ve been thinking about some big things. Now, I will be the first to tell you that

  1. I might be way over my head in these ponderings, and

  2. I might also be completely wrong ( or at least a little off base 🙂

But let me go on and you can add your thoughts and ideas and arguments in the comments, I would love that.

In our current social/political climate I think it’s understandable that I would be asking a lot of questions about the fate of our world, from gun laws and mass shootings to same sex marriage and divorce, I think it’s fair to say the moral compass of our land is in question but my big thoughts are more concerned with  the roles of the church and followers of Christ in this present situation.Are we really doing what , based on the Bible, our beliefs command us to do?As a very wise friend of mine said, in a fabulous blog post you should totally read

“ In the Great Commission it says to make disciples of all nations … not disciple the nation.”

If, as the Bible teaches us , we believe that this world will part ways with the way God intended it to be to the point that Jesus returns, what then is our role in this predictable sinking ship, if you will ?

As Galadriel says in The Lord of the Rings ” The time of the elves is over.Do we leave Middle-Earth to this fate? Do we let them stand alone?”

If we look at Jesus in the Gospels we do not see a man concerned with the political arena, a man desperate to change the morals of the people by way of the laws of the land. We see our Saviour in the communities he finds himself, reaching out for connections with the people. We see Him meeting their needs, reaching into their lives through relationship, compassion, kindness.

Right now is a trying and yet wonderful time to be a part of the Body of Christ, Grace is being taught and lived in our churches in a more honest way than it has been in a long time, but at the same time our influence in the world is  decreasing.Truthfully I would have to say that we are in the middle of two extremes, on one side we are overly concerned with “ discipling  the nation” and on the other we are courting the worlds affection and second guessing every sermon to make sure we aren’t offending anyone. I know this is not an easy road to navigate,it’s right for us to proclaim the Gospel and to be fearless in our desire for holiness, and  it’s right for us to challenge ourselves against scripture and check our selves to make sure we are being loving and speaking truth in that love , at the same time Jesus made it very clear that the world would hate us the way they hated Him.  (John 15:18) Can we handle that?

In an open letter to the American Church, author Brennan Manning wrote at length about the state of our church today , the whole letter is worth reading but I will only quote a bit of it here, You can read the rest in his book The Signature of Jesus.

“If the apostle (Paul) were to return to the earth today, I believe he would call the entire American church to return to the discipline of the secret. This ancient practice of the apostolic church was implemented to protect the sacred name of Jesus Christ from mockery and the mysteries of the Christian faith from profanation. The ancient church avoided mention of baptism, Eucharist, and the death and resurrection of Christ in the presence of the unbaptized. Why?  Because the most persuasive witness was the way one lived, not the words one spoke. Soren Kierkegaard once described two types of Christians: The first group comprises those who imitate Jesus Christ; the second are those who are content to speak about him. “ (emphasis mine)

If we are supposed to leave people with no question of our faith and if the best way to demonstrate and share our faith is through showing real tangible love in the ways that Jesus demonstrated then aren’t we called to be set apart by our unfathomable love for others and extreme acts of grace and mercy ?To truly set ourselves apart by our actions in this world? Perhaps living our faith out loud is not about standing on a street corner yelling about the sins of the world but being a people that act so differently that the world is forced to ask “ what is the hope that is in you?”

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Fantastic Article: Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University

This post is so good, it’s long but read the whole thing. Man if we could all show love this way and have this kind of impact on our fellow humans the world would be such a different place.

It was the fifth time that night that my Theology and Biblical Greek professor was calling. And, like the previous times, no way was I answering the phone. I knew why he was calling. Earlier that day, I emailed all of my professors to tell them I’d made the difficult decision to withdraw from school. As my cell phone went to voice mail, I crawled into bed under my covers, dreading the next morning when the rest of my professors would get my email, when the university would call my parents, when my roommates would ask me why I wasn’t waking up for class. “Why did I come here?” I asked myself. “Out of all the colleges in the world, why did I pick this one?”….

Read the rest of the article here!

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Easter Things!

OldRuggedCross_Sept06cropBWsmall.sized_Easter is such an important time. A sacred time of reflection,  thankfulness, Victory, love and remembrance. This year I have been so overwhelmed with the amazing works of tribute to this important weekend that I couldn’t think of anything better to do for our readers than to just share those things with you. So here is a list of some of the things that have been a blessing to me this Easter. If you think of something that should be on this list, share it in the comments and I will be sure to add it. Happy Easter Y’all!

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Video Tuesday: Let It Be Known!

Hopefully this song will get you up and dancing this fake Tuesday. I am posting this today because Mon. was a holiday and that completely threw me off  and I totally woke up today thinking it was Tuesday . My bad. Anyway you get to profit from my silliness by enjoying this wonderful video and song!

I found this video on a really great blog from a guy named Peter Ould , we’ve shared some of his writings before .

He is a brilliant writer (among many other things) and speaks with a lot of wisdom check out his blog An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy .

The video comes from a group of people called Worship Central, check them out as well, very cool stuff!!

Anyway happy fake Tuesday or real Wednesday !

Come on let’s turn it up
We’re gonna sing it out
For all the world to hear
Oh oh oh whoa

There’s love for everyone
A new day has began
Something to shout about

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Nothing can stop us now
No one can keep us down
We’ve found out voice again
Oh oh oh whoa

No need for fear and shame
There’s power in His name
Come on let’s free the reign

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Yo
Let it be known, let it be known
That our God reigns, our God rose to the throne
Let it be known that everybody know
That love has won, love has come

We lift Your name up higher and higher
We lift Your name up
We shout Your name now louder and louder
We shout it out now

We lift Your name up higher and higher
We lift Your name up, Jesus
We shout Your name now louder and louder
We shout it out now

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Let it be known, let it be known
That our God reigns, our God rose to the throne
Let it be known, let it be known
That love has won, love has come
(Let it be known)
Let it be known, let it be known
That our God rose to the throne
Let it be known that everybody know
That love has come, love has won

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Torn: A Review by Christopher Yuan

torn

If you have read this book I hope you will check out this insightful review by Christopher Yuan. If you have not read this book I hope you will because I believe that what Justin shares is an important thing for The Church to hear. We need to hear what it is like to feel misunderstood in your struggle as a member of the Body of Christ. We need to understand that it’s not simple, it’s not easy and sometimes fellow Christians do not make the confusion any easier to navigate. We need to learn to see people that deal with Same Sex Attractions as more than just a person with a solvable problem and we need to acknowledge the ways that we bring shame and more confusion to the table by not taking the time to try and understand. I am very grateful that Justin was willing to share his experiences so that we can start to change the way we respond to those in our midst that are hurting and perhaps with this understanding we can make choices in the future that will save the hurting people around us a lot of unnecessary pain.

That being said, there are some areas in this book that I do not believe are true to Scripture, Christopher Yuan does a great job of helping us to look at the Scriptures and better understand . What ever you believe about the biblical stand on homosexuality I hope you will give both of these a read !

Oh and don’t forget to click on the image to go to Justin’s page where he talks about the book .You can get the links to buy Torn from Justin’s page as well.

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Help Support the film Reconciliation @ The Attic Film Fest !

Hey friends, an amazing opportunity has come to our attention and we wanted to let you know about it.

The Attic Film Fest (TAFF), Austin’s own independent Christian film festival, brings you Reconciliation, a Clean Freak Production at Alamo Draft House, 2700 W Anderson Ln, from Noon – 3:00. Reconciliation won for Best Feature at TAFF 2012.”

If you have not seen this film check out the trailer and then come experience it on the big screen.

If you have seen this film come anyway and lend your support to a very moving and important story!

Here’s the info

When & Where:
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
Doors Open 12:00 Noon – Show Runs – 12:15 PM to 2:15 PM
Alamo Draft House, 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX
Tickets & Info:
Tickets are $5.00
Food Service Available
TAFF Rating: PG-16 (for content including gay lifestyles, gay issues, and AIDS.)

You can go here for tickets!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/29541342″>RECONCILIATION – Now Available on DVD</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5069147″>RECONCILIATION MOVIE</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Going to Hell with Ted Haggard. . . and Adam Lanza. . . and Lance Armstrong

opendoor A couple of weeks ago Kristin text me a link to this  article by Michael Cheshire about his fallen and shunned friend, Ted Haggard. Most people within Christian circles (and a good many without as well) are familiar with Ted’s “fall from grace” so to speak, it hasn’t been pretty.
I’ve never been comfortable with the way the Christian community handled Ted Haggard and when I read Michael’s  article I wanted to sob and cheer all at the same time. This part especially stood out to me…

“A while back I was having a business lunch at a sports bar in the Denver area with a close atheist friend. He’s a great guy and a very deep thinker. During lunch, he pointed at the large TV screen on the wall. It was set to a channel recapping Ted’s fall. He pointed his finger at the HD and said, “That is the reason I will not become a Christian. Many of the things you say make sense, Mike, but that’s what keeps me away.”
It was well after the story had died down, so I had to study the screen to see what my friend was talking about. I assumed he was referring to Ted’s hypocrisy. “Hey man, not all of us do things like that,” I responded. He laughed and said, “Michael, you just proved my point. See, that guy said sorry a long time ago. Even his wife and kids stayed and forgave him, but all you Christians still seem to hate him. You guys can’t forgive him and let him back into your good graces. Every time you talk to me about God, you explain that he will take me as I am. You say he forgives all my failures and will restore my hope, and as long as I stay outside the church, you say God wants to forgive me. But that guy failed while he was one of you, and most of you are still vicious to him.” Then he uttered words that left me reeling: “You Christians eat your own. Always have. Always will.”

I encourage you to read the rest of the article, you won’t be sorry.

Eating Our Own
What brutal imagery, brutal and yet so very true. I don’t think I’ve heard a better phrase for describing the way we treat the fallen among us. It made me think, though. While I agree with Michael’s friend that we offer much more grace to those wounded on the steps of the church than we do to those who are bleeding inside, what about those who we’ve decided have fallen too far? What about those who have committed crimes of horrifying proportions? What about those who no longer have the option to repent? What about the leaders who become liars and cheaters and disappointments? What about the families who are left in the wake of their loved ones devastation? Sometimes it seems as though we take all of our frustration at evil in the world and pour it out into these people who do the unthinkable, and it seems ok because of what they’ve done, but we never think about who they’ve left behind. If we eat our own then we starve these others to death.

Connecticut
The day after the Connecticut shootings I went to work to open with my Boss. She came in a little late and looked as though she had barely slept. She has a first grader and had spent most of the night watching the news coverage of the shootings. I had watched a lot of the coverage myself and mourned with the rest of the world for the parents and family members who had lost. I have young nieces and nephews and the thought of losing them to something like that is literally unthinkable. It breaks my heart to even think of them having to live through an experience like that. I cried every time teachers described how they got the surviving children out of the school with their eyes closed so that they didn’t have to see the lifeless bodies of their classmates. What happened there could be no less than the product of pure evil, and yet as I had watched the stories on the news and stood and talked to my boss about it, I realized something that was really troubling me in the midst of all of the obviously troubling events. The whole world had joined with Connecticut to mourn the loss of all of those innocent lives, but who would mourn with Adam Lanza’s family? Adam Lanza was once someone’s baby, he was someone’s brother, he was someone’s student. Those who loved Adam, because I cannot believe he walked this earth being unloved, lost too, but they don’t get to mourn like the victims families. In addition to their loss they get to carry the burden of what their loved one did, they get to wonder for the rest of their lives what they might have done differently that could have prevented this horrible horrible thing. They get to bear the weight of the angry and the hurt of all of those affected. Christians are called to be counted among the outcast, but do we ever stop to think of those who aren’t allowed to mourn the loss of their children because their children were the guilty instead of the innocent? Do we know how to mourn the loss of life when it’s villain instead of the victim?

Live Strong Fallen Hero
Last night I watched the first part of Oprah’s big Lance Armstrong confession. I hadn’t followed Lance’s big fall too closely, but I was surprised when I saw him in this interview how unlike himself he seemed. And by that I mean, in the past he’d struck me as kind of a jerk, and I expected to see someone who looked angry and defensive and instead I saw the opposite. My dad mentioned at one point that he looked like he was at peace, and I agree. The entire time I watched the words, “Come to me, all those who are weary, and I will give you rest” kept coming to my mind. As Lance described the great deception he had been living for years, the titles he won and didn’t deserve, it seemed exhausting to me. I appreciated that he took personal responsibility and didn’t seek to take others down with him. Then we changed the channel only to see people rip his confession to pieces. Facebook, twitter, and just about every other social media outlet has been full of people’s disappointment and sometimes rage.
I believe that public figures should be accountable for their actions the same as any other person walking the earth. It’s my personal belief that if you are going to step into the role of a public figure that you ought to do so with the understanding that many many people will look to you and you, in a way, become accountable to them as well. It’s a consequence of living your life in front of millions. But in the face of confession Christians and non-Christians alike continue to tear the man to bits. Why does our society have this mentality that attacks a person when they are already down, and the more important question for me is, why do we, as Christians, participate?

We Have To Change

Understand, I don’t say any of these things to minimize the actions of the people mentioned. However, sin is sin and I am a sinner along with these people. I am just as deserving of eternal separation from my Creator as any one of these. I can’t fully acknowledge what Christ has done for me if I can stand in judgement of anyone of these men or be without compassion for them or the families and friends they have left behind. I know nothing about grace if I cannot find it within myself to show grace when it is hardest and most needed.
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25: 42, 43, and 45

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