Posts Tagged 'The Church'

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Lost (and Found) in Translation: A Day in the Life of the Du Family


 

The Du family is making a home in Fort Collins while still longing for a better country.


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God Is Weaving Our Stories Together into Something Beautiful


 

Your service and presence matter—to others and to God.


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Women Are Made in God’s Image, Too


 

But you wouldn’t know it by how we treat them.


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Pastors Are People, Too


 


Several years back, John Meyer shared a verse at a leadership training class that I often think of in relation to our pastors:

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! (I Thessalonians 5:12 -13, The Message)

October is Pastor Appreciation month, and we’ve been encouraged to sit down and write our leaders a card of thanks. But perhaps this is also the time to think beyond the card of gratitude we write every fall and examine how we communicate with our pastors on a regular basis.

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Relationship Status: Do We Really Have a “Personal Relationship” with Jesus?


 


Being a relational creature, I had to wrestle with a popular phrase that came to my attention very early on in my Christian journey. To this day, it is used like bait for the spiritually hungry and emphasizes a dimension of experiential faith that stodgy religion rarely even acknowledges. You won’t find this phrase in the Bible. The concept is there but its connotations have elevated our expectations so high that we can actually succumb to frustration, disappointment and even despair.

So what is this tantalizing carrot-on-a-stick that seems to have trumped all other benefits of the gospel—including eternal life itself? It’s the popular phrase, “My personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Humanity craves spiritual experience like I crave a stout, French-pressed dark roast on a crisp fall morning. It’s why saints throughout the ages have employed stained glass and statues, icons and artwork, candles and incense in order to heighten their sensory “connection” with the divine. In contrast, unassisted faith in God’s word can seem drab, cognitive and unsatisfying. There is nothing inherently wrong with subjective experience but it can easily morph from means to end. Is this “personal relationship” really an orthodox summary of what is offered us in the gospel or is it a therapeutic placebo, catering to a culturally conditioned version of Christianity?

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