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I'm not sure that becoming a new creature is something that gets done once and for all. In fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Becoming a new creature in Christ is a full-time job.
I come from God and will return to God. The psalmist's highest aspiration is to be one sheep in God's flock. Not the best. Not the wooliest. Not the bleat-ing-est. Just one in God's many.
What noises accompany the activities that bring you joy? Maybe it's an instrument or voice, the hum of a sewing machine or the rasp of a pencil. Make a joyful noise to the Lord!
Every Christian is called to be a finger pointing to God—whether or not we live out the gospel perfectly. We worship the Creator, not the creature.
Hear the many prayers of gratitude from those who look to church to keep from running aground in the fog or during a moonless night. Amen.
No one ever comes to me seeking "don't worry" platitudes or a privilege-centric "be not afraid." They are worried, panicked, grasping at straws … and I am not Jesus.
Sheep are a mess. The evidence of their presence turns a pasture brown. Clearly they are thoughtless, clumsy beings who need to be led in right paths. I could sympathize.
The river wants to flow where it wants to flow. God's grace and mercy are like that. Grace wants to go where it wants to go. Mercy wants to flow widely.
It is legal to leave water for non-human animals in the desert. Leaving water for humans who crossed the border illegally is a federal crime. O God, may love never be criminal. Amen.
What if church growth was less about a plan or a program and more about an orientation, an attitude, a way of being? What if the most attractive feature of your church was peace?