Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ministry Musings: Fired Up

This past week the adult education class on Sunday morning started to study the book of Acts. It is the story of what happened after Jesus ascended into Heaven and the Holy Spirit showed up in His place. It’s filled with some crazy stories. It is the story of the beginning of what we know as the church. It is filled with wild stories.

This past Sunday they started with Acts 2. If you haven’t read it lately I encourage you stop right here and read it, then come back. Am I wrong or is that wild, chaotic scene? There was a great wind, tongues of fire, preaching in all the languages of the world (by people who didn’t know those languages), and some 3,000 people were baptized. Think about for that many to be baptized there must have been friends baptizing each other, parents baptizing their kids… and that many people all in one place? This was not orderly. However, as I read it I sense and feel a great energy and enthusiasm present in that place.

Last year at this time we were wrapping up what many are calling an historic election. One of the things that carried the election was an enthusiasm that followed along with President Obama. Do you remember his mantra? (He recently brought it back in regards to health care.) He would get the crowds at his rallies chanting after him, “Fired Up! Ready to Go!” Can you imagine being in one of those stadiums with 17,000 people enthusiastically chanting that? You couldn’t help but leave there energized. It’s the kind of energy and enthusiasm that I could imagine being present on that Pentecost day in Acts 2.

What keeps us from that kind of enthusiasm when it comes to our faith? What would it take to get you/us “Fired Up! Ready to go!”? How might the world around us be different if we were so moved by the Holy Spirit that we could no longer contain ourselves?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


How might you see this playing out in your setting? In the church?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Ministry Musings: Stewardship

My son turns one year old today. It’s amazing how quickly a year can pass by. We are so excited by what a blessing he has been in our life. While he has learned a ton of stuff over this first year of life, one of the things we hope he will learn in this second year is sharing.

Isn’t sharing the essence of what we in the church call stewardship? It starts with the concept that in the beginning God created, therefore all belongs to God. We have been entrusted, then, as caretakers of all of God’s creation from the plants and animals to the gifts and talents we have been given to work and serve others. So in a very simple sense stewardship is about how we share these wonderful gifts given to us by God.

One of the neat biblical concepts that you will hear us talk about from time to time around the church is first fruits giving. It’s the concept that you give your best to God. Farmers will often tell you that the first cut of hay is the best cut of the season. Hunters will tell you that the young animals provide you the best meat. That is first fruits giving, giving that first cut of hay that first born (the young one) to God. First fruit giving is the notion that if you are willing to share with God your very best then you are willing to share everything… and why not if it all comes from God in the first place?

How do you plan to share what God has given you? What are you doing to care the earth? How are you being wise about sharing your finances? How might you share your gifts for listening, building, etc. for the betterment of God’s children?