Monthly Archives: August 2009

Swimming Upstream: “What Do You See For The Church 5 Years From Now?”

church2“I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life,” said George Burns (1896 – 1996).

Who can forget George Burns’  Oh, God! movie; it  was hilarious. But his witty quote about the future captures what we Christians should be planning and praying for:

as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17)

It does not take spiritual eyes to look at our present church scene and see problems galore. Division. Doctrinal disagreements. Political schisms. Gay rights. Abortion. Helping the poor. Racism. Etc. Etc. Etc.

What happens in the future depends on what we Christians do now, not on how we react when the future arrives. Our faith. Our prayers. Our actions. All of this determines what the church will be in the future.

So, what do you see for the church five years from now?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

Swimming Upstream: “Do You Appreciate Your Enemies?”

enemiesOral Roberts once said, “Many of my friends tire me out and wear me down, but my enemies make me stronger. I need more enemies!”

Maybe, Roberts’ take on enemies is accurate. Maybe, we need to embrace our foes.

So, what do you think, should we appreciate our enemies? Our political ones? The enemies of our faith? Or whatever?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

No Shortcuts…Maybe or Maybe Not?

midnight_dreams

Dreams can be really weird, right? Well, a few days ago, I had a bizarre one.

In it, I was driving a sporty car, possibly a SAAB. It had a five speed manual transmission and plenty of horsepower.

I was driving the auto on a paved highway through what looked like a large parking lot. It seemed to be at a large airport, but not like any we have here in California (or probably anywhere else for that matter.) There were no ramps or fences or tollgates. Just lots of parked cars right off the highway, and rows of them as far as I could see on both sides of the highway.

Plus, there was lots of snow and ice everywhere. On the road. On the parked cars. On the parking lot.

As I drove down the highway, I stepped on the gas which caused me to spin out of control on some ice. I was going sideways, backward, forward and spinning around. I downshifted and did my best to dodge oncoming traffic and avoid the parked cars on the sides of the road.

Because everything was happening so fast, I had no time to panic or worry. I just reacted and was caught up in the action, weaving through possible mishaps.

Then, the auto straightened itself out and I resumed driving on the highway. Up ahead, I saw a stop sign and knew that I was going to take a right turn on a road which angled through some more parked cars off to the right.

As I approached the stop sign, I saw a snow-covered opening between some parked cars. It looked like a perfect shortcut which would save me a few seconds of time getting onto the next road.

I turned into the opening. Then, plop! The car fell into a snow pit. The top of my car’s roof was level with the pavement. I wasn’t hurt, but I realized this was going to take lots of time before I was back on the road again. In fact, I felt like I needed a heavy-duty crane to lift me out of the pit.

End of dream. I woke up.

Sadly, I did not pay a lot of attention to this dream. I just wrote a note to myself: don’t take shortcuts. But now, I have doubts about my conclusion on the dream and its interpretation.

So, help me out. What do you think the dream means and what’s the interpretation of it?

P.S. Don’t be bashful. Jump in and write something. This is a good way to exercise your gifts…and help me at the same time.

12 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

Swimming Upstream: “What About The Fig Tree Parable Theory?”

israel

End times theorists have been talking about the parable of the fig tree since Israel became a nation once again in 1948:

Now learn the parable from the fig tree; when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. (Matthew 24:32-34)

The theory is that Israel is the fig tree in the parable and that when Israel became a nation, the end times clock was set for that generation to see the return of Jesus. A generation was figured at forty years just like in the Bible.

When Jesus did not return by 1988, the theorists then said the clock did not actually start until all Jerusalem was united with Israel. This happened in 1967. Yet, Jesus did not return by 2007.

The fig tree theory is not one of those loosey-goosey, far-out prophetic schemes advanced by a few wackos and weirdos. This theory has been taught and written about by countless reputable  teachers and preachers.

And yet, no one has stepped forward to date and said, “Oops! We were wrong. Forgive me.”

So, what’s your thoughts on the fig tree parable theory?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

32 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

Swimming Upstream: “Has Christianity’s Involvement In Elections Been A Waste Of Time?”

so_many_right_wing_christians_so_few_lions_tshirt-p235165823330500205q3v3_400The Moral Majority was founded in 1979 by Jerry Falwell. It’s purpose was to mobilize Americans on campaign issues which were against traditional Christian values, such as abortion, homosexual rights, Equal Rights amendments, anti-family proposals and so forth.

Another group, Christian Coalition, founded in 1988 by Pat Robertson has taken up much of the slack from the disbanding of the Moral Majority. It is active on the same issues.

Add in Concerned Women for America (Beverly LaHaye), Focus on the Family (Dr. James Dobson), Eagle Forum (Phyllis Schlafly) and countless other groups,  and you have millions of dollars spent and millions of Christians involved.

So, has this heavy involvement by Christians in the election process been a waste of time and money?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys

5 Comments

Filed under Abortion, Christian Conservative, Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Politics, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

Swimming Upstream: “What’s On Your Bucket List?”

bucketlistx

In the movie, The Bucket List, two terminally ill men write out on a sheet of paper a list of dreams and fantasies each would like to do before he kicks the bucket (or dies). Because one of the two men is wealthy, the two are able to live out their bucket lists’ dreams.

The two men leap from planes, drive race cars, eat caviar, motorcycle on the Great Wall of China, get tattoos, eat at a world famous restaurant and do other wild things before they kick the bucket.

Now, I have learned a long time ago that the Lord does not mind me enjoying myself while I walk on the earth. Yes, my citizenship is in heaven, yes I have a love for the church, yes I have a burden for the poor, but it’s okay to enjoy a fine meal or a movie or whatever. It’s just a matter of my wants and dreams being within His plans for my life.

So, what’s on your bucket list?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

Swimming Upstream: “Do You Pray For President Obama?”

obama8The Apostle Paul wrote his letter, 1 Timothy,  in 63 AD. At the time, Nero had been the Roman Emperor for nine years; and yet, as blood thirsty and horrible as Nero was to the Christians, Paul penned the following:

I urge you first of all to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy on them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.  This is good and pleases God our Savior, for He wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2: 1-4 NLT)

So, are you praying for mercy and giving thanks for President Barack Obama? Or is President Obama the exception to this scripture’s directives because of his stance on abortion, gay rights, Obamacare and so forth?

Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

11 Comments

Filed under Christian Conservative, Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare