Friday, March 1, 2013

No Creed but Christ

The true genius of our Disciples of Christ movement is direct contact with God by each person.  No priest stands between you and God. This also requires that each believer takes personal responsibility for his or her relationship with God. This also means that when some domination's provide easy quick answers to questions, Disciples must struggle for answers. The struggle usually provides us with answers that have deeper meaning for each believer.

No creed can take the place of our affirmation that Jesus is the Christ our Lord and Savior. Trust and obedience in Jesus the Christ is the Disciples foundation for faith and action. Each person in the community of faith is responsible to God for the Study of the scriptures, their interpretation and the determination of his or her own faith discipline. Each Christian Church provides you with the tools that active Christians need to discover their own personal ministries, but you must make use of them. These tools are found in Sunday school, Bible studies, Theology Discussion Groups and worship.

Some might say, "That means that you can believe anything you want as long as your are sincere."  That is not the case, as every disciple is responsible to God for testing his or her faith. Discovering the truth is a life long project that is more than a personal search. In Christian Covenant with each other, we are bound to call each other to accountability and to nurture each other in commitment and growth. Let us each ask our self the question, "What is God calling me to be and to do?"    

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Be Still and Know

During the early years of my adult spiritual life the most difficult lesson for me to learn came from Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God” and it still gives me trouble. My mind is always generating thoughts that distract me from my quiet listening time in Prayer.

In the formative years of my spiritual life my prayers were all one sided. I told God what I wanted and said Amen. I wondered why my prayers were never answered. My problem, and it was MY problem, was that I was not paying attention when God was trying to answer.

I was a member of Hyde Park Christian church and was asked to teach the Jr. High boys Sunday school class. One series of lessons was on prayer and I was ill equipped to teach it. I met with the pastor and he gave me some books including a small one called: “Prayer A Conversation With God” and I went home to read. I taught the class using that little book. It said that prayer is a conversation and conversations are two way sharing. What a concept!

The last chapter was entitled: “Before you say amen, shut up and listen.”  That chapter changed my prayer life and the rest of my life. My call from God to the ministry came from my listening for that still small voice. The most difficult part for me was that being still in my head and truly listening. It was worth the discipline to finally have my prayers answered and develop a relationship with God during a two way conversation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Imperative Verb

"Follow Me!"

Have you ever, thought how often the first thing Jesus said to a person began with an imperative verb? A challenge to act was his way. So he spoke these words to Peter and Andrew to come and follow him. Take some action was his request to the servants at the marriage feast to fill the water pots, to the woman at the well to give him a drink, and the lame man to take up his bed and walk.

So many times Jesus said, "Follow Me!"

Even today, when we honestly come face to face with Jesus the Christ, he calls us to follow him. It is not just to believe but to follow. As we take action on his commands our insights of faith and our qualities of Christian character begin to grow. But these things only come after we commit to walk after him and take that first step on faith.

So many people clearly hear the call to follow Jesus. They believe in him but then hold back when it comes to actually following and taking action. They make excuses, often to themselves as much as to the Lord.

The Christian life will be a transforming experience for any person who determines to answer Christ's call to follow him and then take action to actually do it. The power of the Christian life is in the daily walk with Jesus. It will include acts of kindness and love along with the basic and simple act of good daily devotion, prayer, and humble obedience.

Jesus calls all of us to take Action. But so many people make excuses for not saying yes to Jesus. They want to put off the decision until the very last thing. Like  Emperor Constantine – the first Christian Roman Emperor who had a priest follow him around with orders to baptize him if he was about to die. Are you putting off taking the action that Jesus asked you to take?

Monday, February 25, 2013


1.                         Besotted

As a sailor I knew the word “Besotted” to mean drunk past the point of self control. This besotted was the drunken sailor that had to be carried back aboard the ship and dumped in his rack. Sometimes the same word can mean two very different things and yet be connected.

Some years ago I began reading a series of science fiction books and in more than one of them the author referred to man who was totally besotted with love for a young woman. In looking up the word besotted I discovered that an alternate meaning was indeed “Strongly Infatuated.” A word like this having a second meaning was very interesting and I began to ponder its use. The author was clearly intending the word to mean much more than strongly infatuated and more like love beyond self control.

The idea of being drunk with love was appealing to me for I am besotted in that manner with my darling wife. I become more besotted with each passing year and it is a kind of intoxication for me. When she get home from work each day the whole house become alive with the light of her love and presence and I fall deeper in love with her. Yes I am totally besotted.