Can We Talk About That?

July 30, 2010

Timeless Promise

Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.[1]

This promise decree’s to all – no matter who they may be, Israelites, Gentiles, Pharisees, Scoffers, Harlots, or even the very Castaways of the devil – a promise of unparalleled proportion.

red letters, Christ,Community,Faith,Family,Father,Letters from Father God,Life with God,Love,Promise and Blessing

Timeless Promise

There are no limits to its duration – it is a timeless promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner only upon the first time he comes to me,”  but “I will in no wise cast out.” The original Greek reads οὐ μή (oo may).  This is a double negative strengthening His denial of ever responding with rejection; “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.”  It means, that Christ will not at first reject a new believer; and that as He will not do it at the first, so He will not in the latter.

But suppose the believer sins after coming to Christ?  “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding,   I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow”; “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.” Not from some sins, not from a few iniquities but all of them!

“Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”

I give unto my sheep,” saith He, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What have you to say to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this the most precious mercy, that coming to Christ, you do not come to One who will treat you well for a little while, and then send you about your business, but He will receive you and make you His bride, and you will be His forever?

Then receive no longer the spirit of bondage to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby you shall cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”

[1] John 6:37 (KJV)
Daily Devotions by Charles Spurgeon

May 2, 2010

Message from Pastor Dan Scott

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Community,Community Service,Faith,Family,Life with God,Love,Nashville — canwetalkaboutthat @ 6:27 PM

Most of you have heard that Christ Church canceled all services today. Since I  am sitting in my office until the normal time of our second morning service, I thought I would write to the folks on my sermon distribution list.  Feel free to pass this along to anyone connected to our church since I do not have the ability today to do an all-church email blast.

I greeted about fifteen people who showed up for our first morning service today. Now I am waiting for any who may show up for our second service.

(Our music band was here ready for service, along with the illustrious Regi Stone – with a tie, today of all weeks! You should have seen that. Daniel Bell was here too but asking fifteen people for an offering seemed over the top. Several ushers and the camera people – that’s why I was able to stream a message and post it on the internet.)

The entire Middle Tennessee area is suffering massive floods and storms today. Yesterday, several people lost their lives when they were caught in floods. So, our mayor and police have asked us to stay home. We have responded as citizens should.

This situation illustrates in a way the sermon I prepared for today and which I will send out tomorrow. We like to say things like “the church is not a building or an organization; it’s the people: the Body of Christ.” And it’s true, of course. However, we forget that in the day practicality of things. The attention of a church leader is often more directed toward practical issues in the institution than toward shepherding a flock.

This week was terribly difficult for our entire staff because of an institutional decision that had to be made about money. The government has imposed a tax on a portion of our buildings that has reached $375,000. We still owe a mortgage of $12,000,000.00. Our giving has remained strong, even during this severe economic down turn – we are only receiving 5% less in tithes than last year. Nonetheless, with the building and the tax, we have no place more to go to cut than salaries. So we had to inform some of our colleagues that their employment with the church as an institution was coming to an end.

That is hard news to give and hard news to receive. The amazing thing is the love and trust that they have extended toward me as a pastor. It has deeply moved me.

With the spiritual renewal we have been experiencing, it makes me think that God may want us to discover another way of organizing and experiencing church.

Small churches just roll with the tide. If there is no money to pay the preacher, he gets another job. He doesn’t quit serving. That forces the people to serve as well. Its messy and imperfect from a standpoint of presentation. However, the spiritual family of God keeps doing its work: serving the flock, loving the people, learning the word. In larger churches, we set up a system where a professional church staff runs everything. Volunteers become grunt workers. They may be needed for small and menial tasks, but hardly for pastoring, teaching and so forth.

That is what grows the intuition to a place where it begins require the most attention and the most money. We all dislike it; but what do we do about it?

A storm hitting like this makes us think: what would we do if there were no building?  How can we help those churches whose buildings may be unfit for service next week? Is everyone safe?

Those are kingdom questions. Answering them – even ineffectively – is kingdom work.

Well, why can’t we think like that all the time?

Our church has been experiencing a spiritual awakening. The Lord obviously intends to do something with us and to us. If the institution is experiencing a bit of stress right now, why would we allow that to hinder our fellowship, love for one another or service to God?

More on this tomorrow in my sermon. I hope you get to read it because I need to hear from our people. The congregation has within it the Spirit of God. He promises to lead us “Here a little; there a little; line upon line; precept upon precept.” In other words, God’s voice is discerned as we pay attention to the words, warnings, visions, dreams, and research of the people of God. I believe God will move mighty through this church if the people will share their insights and time with one another. Community is the only way forward.

Speak Lord: we are listening.

Pastor Dan Scott
Christ Church Nashville

February 12, 2010

Radicalis Declaration

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Faith,Life with God,Love,Nashville — canwetalkaboutthat @ 5:30 AM

Today I am stepping across the line. I’m tired of waffling and I’m finished with wavering. I’ve made my choice; the verdict is in and my decision is irrevocable. I’m going God’s way. There is no turning back. I will live the rest of my life serving God’s purposes, with God’s people, on God’s planet, for God’s glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.

Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home waiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, “we” over “me”, character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasure. I know what matters most and I will give it all I’ve got. I will do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won’t be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I’ll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal; not on the sidelines or on those running by me. When times get tough and I get tired, I won’t back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I’ll just keep moving forward by God’s grace. I’m spirit-led, purpose-driven, and mission-focused so I can’t be bought. I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I’m a trophy of God’s amazing grace so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for every day, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me. I am a radical in the original sense of the word: rooted in Christ, rooted in love, and rooted in his Word.

I hereby declare my supreme allegiance to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I say this: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer is yes! I’m ready. Anytime. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes! I want to be used by you in such a way that on that final day I’ll hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful one. Come on in and let the eternal party begin!!”

Marilyn A. McNeece Magallanes

October 30, 2009

He Calls You By Your Name Not Your Shame

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Faith,Life with God,Love — canwetalkaboutthat @ 3:58 PM

His Name is JESUS and He calls you, by your name, not your shame.

He knows every secret… every deed, the good, the bad…
The great and small… He knows all things… and still…

He calls you, by your name, not your shame.

He can illuminate the smothering darkness of your longest midnight hour..
He can enable you to find freedom even through the storms great rage…
He can heal the deepest soul wound which cloaks your life with shame…
He liberates once lost souls from spending eternity in crimson flames…
All because His love desires to cascade its brilliant light…
Casting all your sins and sorrows far removed from your life and…

He calls you, by your name, not your shame.

If you just start walking, slowly even if you must… you might stumble… you might shrink back…
You might tremble in awe struck fear, you may begin to look about for a place to hide your fright,
You may not be able to believe this wondrous mystery of His love,
Or you may wonder could He really love you too…

Yet, once His Spirit has begun wooing your acceptance of Salvation’s eternal embrace;
There is no place in which you can hide from His love …and…

He calls you, by your name, not your shame.

He longs for you, to call you Beloved…
He’s calling you to walk in the light of His grace, to live your life fully loved…

Come now, He is calling for you, calling you, by your name, not your shame.
He calls you… By your name… Not by your shame…

He has already paid the price to buy you back from eternal flames of sin and shame…

To redeem you andcall you… by your name…Beloved… Not by your shame… Come.

No one knows how far you must travel or what giants you fear to face…
Only He knows what the walk of your transforming journey will hold.

Nevertheless, He longs for you to know Salvation’s eternal embrace…

He is calling you… by your name… Not your shame.

Start walking, He is more than able and willing take care of all the rest…

He longs for you to walk in grace, in light, in love… instead of sin an shame…

He is calling out… for you…

His Name is JESUS and He calls “you” …Beloved… He calls you, by your name, Not your shame.

2009 Marilyn A. Magallanes. All Rights Reserved.

September 14, 2009

What do we do with those ‘In want of discernment’?

Filed under: Blogroll,Christ,Community,Faith,Family,Father,Life with God,Love — canwetalkaboutthat @ 3:53 PM

Today [and many others] I’ve found myself wondering and praying about this subject… Not only because I am the one standing in need thereof on occasion, but also because it concerns me when I see those I love standing in need… And as such felt strongly impressed to write on this topic:

“”When we see a brother or sister doing/saying something that’s just Not quite rite: Mercy/Love? Mentor? ‘Sincerely’ pray for them? 1 Cor. 9:22″”

I’d been praying about this also because it pains me to see the way we can be so quick to judge and spit out a little quaint/crude statement… not seeming, at that moment, to care about the ensuing ripple effect it creates. We are, both in the heat of the moment and sometimes still afterward, often just hard heartened and self righteous about it because after all [s]he are wrong! They shouldn’t have done or said that! After all we are right and they are Not…etcetera, etcetera. And that’s just that! Therefore, our behavior is justified.

I often wonder WHY pray tell, for the love of peace and our precious Christ Jesus whose name we are suppose to embody, whose name we have claimed because He has claimed us, we do not try to go to these folks and ease into mentoring or helping them to see a better way… to walk along side of them… IF ONLY for a brief while… In His love…………

And frankly as it pertains to my own self, my family, and my community of faith I’m more than woefully disappointed when I act or hear or see anything short thereof… My heart literally aches over our momentary lack of compassion for others; which sometimes can cause more than a momentary stumbling block and emotional pain to another.

People are both seeking and hurting in large numbers these days and that includes both us sinners and saints, as well as those inside and outside the church. Many of them did not grow up with the guidance, favor, or blessings that others were privileged to… And we really cannot judge a book by it’s cover to know who these very wounded souls are. Thus, in their efforts to fit in, or to do good, or in other cases in their effort to find freedom from deep, ‘seemingly’ unspeakable, [soul] wounds, they sometimes get confused and might respond or react without Godly counsel or much thought… and maybe more than once or twice when we refuse to reach out to them.

If each of us set about the notion, with justification that our plates are full, that someone else will step-up, it’s most likely no one will and their process of trial and error will continue for some time.

If we are Christians, we cannot and must not hold these happenings over their heads for life or even for a day… We are Not entitled to hold a magnifying glass [especially one that we could not and would not be able to stand-up to, let alone live under our own selves] over their lives, their every statement or their actions friends; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said Not. I recall something to the effect of “Let He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Today God lead me to this Scripture, and although I’d read Corinthians before, this is the first time I actually “saw” it! Ah, Who doesn’t love the Scriptures given St. Paul of God? He gives us several important principles for ministry:

“”To the weak (wanting in discernment) I have become weak (wanting in discernment) that I might win the weak and over scrupulous. I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means (at all costs and in any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ]. 1 Corinthians 9:22 (Amplified Bible)””

“”(1) Find common ground with those you are in contact with. (2) Avoid a know-it-all attitude. (3) Make others feel accepted.” (4) be sensitive to their needs and concerns. (5) Look for opportunities to tell them about Christ.”” — And I paraphrase by adding: Look for opportunities to help your sisters and brothers, including the less mature, and/or those who err [intentionally or not] to aide them in understanding how to be more Christ like. — “”These principles are just as practical and important for us as they were for St. Paul.”” [NLT Life Application]

And this prayer was by chance one for the day:

“”Father God, the creator and preserver of all, we humbly beseech you for all sorts and conditions of people; that you would be pleased to make your ways known unto them, your saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for your holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by your good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; that it may please you to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.””

With Gods help I pray we will not only forgive and grow in Christ, but to also learn to sincerely apologize to one another and repent when called for as well as resist getting entangled in such behaviors/sentiments, which is nothing short of a ploy by the adversary to conquer us individually and then the majority by dividing up the Body one by one.

Father God, Please give us — give me — ears to hear and hearts of obedience. And once again I say Amen.

In closing this states my intentions herein much better than I:

“A servant of Jesus Christ,” [writes this] “to those who are called (chosen), ‘dearly loved’ by God the Father and separated (set apart) and kept for Jesus Christ:”

“”Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you . (Jude 1:1-2)””

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