Monday, February 16, 2009


Ephesians 1:6 says "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Everybody wants to be accepted. Often people will join groups, form bonds and build relationships just to be accepted. Unfortunately, people also form toxic relationships for the same reason. They choose people who don't treat them well, just because they 'accept' them. Bad friendships and marriages develop this way. I have known the Lord Jesus Christ for over 20 years and had struggled with acceptace for many, many years prior to submitting to the Lordship of Christ.

I grew up with an alcoholic father who was extremely verbally abusive and demeaning. I grew up with friends who I didn't realize weren't really friends, and missed discovering those who could have been friends indeed. When I was 16 I repented of sin and submitted to Jesus' Lorship of my life. I found someone who knew everything about me and accepted me (mess that I was). But, we all still live with people and want acceptance.

One of the reasons I love my wife (Jane) is because she accepts me. She knows everything that there is to know about me, has known me for 22 years and has accepted me at all stages of life. Many people struggle with deep and intimate friendships their entire lives, claiming that they don't have even one person they consider a close friend. Others frequently bemoan the fact that everyone judges them and no one accepts them. In order to have a friendship, there has to be trust and in order for there to be trust, we have to be accepted.

Ultimately though, our acceptance comes from Jesus. Though no one understands, listens, cares for us or even acknowledges us, God accepts us. One Strong's Concordance definition of acceptance is "to make lovely or deserving of love" None of us deserve love. We are sinful from birth. But, God has made us accepted in the beloved. Go forward and live like somebody accepts you, because they do!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Charismatic Hermeneutics - An Oxymoron

The title of this post alone would confuse most charismatic church members. The word Hermeneutics, as used in a Biblical context, can best be defined as bible inerterpretation, or 'how to study the Bible'. I wonder why people have to use big words and simply don't say it. But, anyway, after the last post inspired comments from both ANDVisionary and Mwitowich (hmmm, I don't remember writing that one), I wanted to see if DOC actually reads my posts for this one.

The charismatic community of which I've been a part for over 23 years seems to pride itself on shying away from indepth bible study (ie - verse by verse from people who actually know Greek and Hebrew). The defense of this behavior is 'the Holy Spirit teaches me everything'. Expanding on what one Bible teacher commented "when did the Holy Spirit teach you the alphabet, science, math or how to drive". We all have to learn from somwhere.

2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to "study to show thyself approved unto God". One of the things I've done in the last few years is begin verse by verse expositional studies of scripture and it has opened a new world to me. I encourage you to learn scripture and LIVE it. There is nothing more important to your spiritual life. Be a charismatic scholar...that'll mean you stick out like Paris Hilton on the streets of Harlem. Say 'Amen' DOC.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What Is Community?

Community is the new buzzword that is particularly popular among young, emerging churches. The concept to most people, from what I've ascertained, is something like 'we all in live close proximity, eat chicken wings at alternating houses, wear matching robes and watch each other's screaming kids while pretending to enjoy it' (perhaps I'm exagerating). But I don't think the Apostle Paul liked chicken wings or watching other people's screaming children (he liked to scream himself). Facebook and other online social networks, for instance, have helped to redefine community for many people. I, for one, am a HUGE fan of facebook. It allows me to reconnect with people I haven't seen or might not otherwise see at a time that is conveient for me (like 3am. Now who would I chat with then...hi to the only follower of the blog so far). So, what is community? Biblically, it is Acts 2:41-47. In society at large, it is anywhere you can connect with people and interact, whatever form that takes. Jesus called us to make disciples of all men, but you can't do that if you don't connect. Spoken from an isolationist like myself, that's strong language. So, get connecting...and pass the chicken wings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hey, We Finally Got A Blog Again

For those of you reading this, it is assumed that you know who we are, or that you have too much time on your hands and enjoy searching for random blog sites. But by way of introduction, Jane and I have previously Pastored in both Illinois and Pennsylvania, served in church leadership, taught in a Bible school, ran a church bookstore and did a host of other things. At our last Pastorate, The Refuge, we had a blog on our web page and are glad to be back in business blogging. This blog will serve as the portal for teachings, Jane-isms (aka - pithy Jane thoughts), rantings about religion and anything we deem relevant enough to post (cause that's what a blog is for...right?). So, until I post again, thank you for reading. We hope to contribute to your life in some way that can bring you perspective, peace and purpose (that was so 3-point preacher-ish of me. GAG!) which will help you to grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.