November 26, 2022

Hope Calls Us to Wake Up and Be Ready (Advent 1A)

We live in a time like Isaiah when most people have become distracted and lost their faith in God. They have no fear of God’s judgement, no hope for eternal spiritual life in Jesus. We are a faithful remnant waiting for Jesus to return in Glory to judge humanity and restore His Kingdom on Earth. The Good News is that we are a people who have faith and a real hope that this will come soon and include us. The Readings remind us to put off deeds of darkness and cloth ourselves with Jesus and His armour of light.

1.    Isaiah Gave Israel the Hope of Restoration

November 16, 2022

How To Enter the Kingdom of God (Reign of Christ)

 On the Cross Jesus shows us how God reigns over His Kingdom with love. The Reign of Christ that we celebrate today is a spiritual time that began 2000 years ago on the Cross and will continue to the end of time. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us of why Jesus had to come. The Apostle Paul explains who Jesus is. The thief on the cross models how to come into this spiritual kingdom that is both visible and invisible. 

1. Jeremiah explains why God had to intervene

November 15, 2022

Obstacles To a Life of Grace (Clergy Cursillo weekend talk)

 You have now been invited to commit yourselves to the Ideal of a “Life of Grace”, and been taught how to grow spiritually in that life as part of a church community through worship and sacraments. This new “life of grace is easy to live out here in a retreat environment surrounded by friends who encourage and support you. The problem is we can’t all stay here forever. We all have to go back to our lives in what we are tempted to call the “real world”. The bad news is that:

·      Most of the people around us do not know about Jesus / have a life of grace

·      World has been corrupted by human weakness and sin

·      People have been deceived by false teachers and demons

 

This is your spiritual “boot camp”. Unlike soldiers taught to defend themselves against an obvious physical attack; you need to learn how to protect yourself from both your own desiresand a hidden enemy who tries to deceive youthrough your mind. You will need to work hard at piety, study and action to overcome the obstacles to living a spiritual life of grace. 

 

1. Sin is an obstacle to living a life of grace - spiritual life

October 22, 2022

Deliver Us from Evil (Proper 30c)

     Deliver us from evil is the culmination and a summary of the Lord’s Prayer. Some chilling news – evil is “live” spelled backwards. The ending in Greek indicates it is a male identity. Ie. He, the evil one or Satan. As I share in Going Spiritual, I did not really understand evil until I was hitchhiking through the battlefields of France. I realized evil is intentional destruction of human lives for no purpose or benefit– very different from “bad things” that happen by accident. In the Readings:

·     Joel gives us an End Times warning and hope – destruction is coming - and God will send Jesus / Holy Spirit to deliver us  

·     Timothy Reading omits the very important warning about false teachers v.1-4 and then assures us that God will rescue the righteous from every evil attack–particularly by false teachers

·     Jesus is teaching us that humility and repentance deliver us from the evil and the destruction of Spiritual pride 

 

1.   Deliver Us from Spiritual Death

October 17, 2022

Called and Anointed to Proclaim Healing and Deliverance (St. Luke's Day)

 


This is Jesus mission statement. It should be the Churches’ mission Statement and it should be the mission of all Christians. Sadly, it is not. It is not because it can be dangerous and requires real commitment and community prayer support. You would think people who wear crosses would get it that crosses are for killing dangerous people. We avoid the hard, supernatural things in ministry – and Jesus weeps.

 

1.     We Are Called and Anointed – Its Spiritual!

September 10, 2022

Repentance is the Gateway to Reconciliation (Proper 24c)


    Jesus is teaching us the great lesson of repentance as the gateway we must all walk through from the spiritual prisons of pride and un-forgiveness to the joy of reconciliation. We have all at some time been lost sheep who got into trouble and needed to repent our foolishness and come home to Jesus. Jesus and His Church – all of us are in the reconciliation business. This is who we are and what we do – or at least are supposed to be doing.

 

1.    We Are All Lost Sheep

August 20, 2022

Love Is the First Spiritual Gift (Proper 21c)

 Love is the first spiritual gift we receive. This assures us that we have really established a right-relationship of love with God. Since love is a mystical or spiritual gift, men often have more trouble “getting it” than women who are usually more intuitive. Love is probably the most used and least understood word in English. Best understanding is Nicky Gumbel’s sharing of how he fell in love with Pippa – hint – they just knew. The Readings teach us:

·      Jeremiah’s Love of God enabled him to overcome his fear

·      Paul explains how overcoming our fear leads to joy

·      Jesus taught us that love frees us from the Law

 

1.    Jeremiah’s Love Overcame His Fear