Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

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Easter: A Celebration of Self-Giving Love

Last week, I began exploring several pervasive assumptions regarding how we perceive or experience God.  Each one prevents us from experiencing Him the way the Bible consistently portrays Him to the world.

These assumptions are:

  1. God is Distant from us. We don’t often think of God as one who reveals Himself.
  2. God is Disgusted with us. When we do reflect on His presence in our midst, we rarely think of Him as one who reveals Himself as Divine, self-giving love. Many, in fact, perceive Him as a God who is disgusted with us.
  3. God is Determined to get us to behave. We don’t think of Him as someone who wants us to enjoy His presence as much as one who wants us to get fixed before we can enter His presence.

I’ll grant you, these assumptions are never stated so crassly, yet they remain the unspoken way we perceive God in our hearts, as well as portray Him to the world.

It’s such a shame since each one is fundamentally wrong!

In fact, I would say that God is – fundamentally speaking at least – NOT a God who is Distant, Disgusted, or Determined, but rather a God of Divine self-giving love and beauty.

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Posted in Delight in God, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Love, Spiritual Formation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

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Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

Are there ever moments in your life when your desire feels ravenous?

Moments when you are just never satisfied, always longing for, wanting, or craving bigger, better, more?

I use the term ravenous to mean intensely eager for satisfaction or gratification.  I have written extensively on this blog regarding the prevalence of desire within the human soul.

We can all probably agree, at least on some level, that many of our decisions related to how we spend our time and where we spend our money are birthed from implicit desires regarding what we think is best for us at that moment!

Further, it could be said that many of our daydreams are lost somewhere within the realm of desire; particularly desires that are left unfulfilled.

Asking Myself “Why” Rather Than “What”

It’s rare that I find myself pausing to discover or explore the unspoken hopes, dreams, and wishes which lurk just beneath my desires.

To put it another way, it’s seldom that I ask myself,

“Why do I desire the things that I desire?”

Or, yet another way,

“What’s the end of my desires? 

“Where are they (my desires) taking me?”

What if my desire – unending and ever-present – has an aim, target, or end?

What if the target of my desire(s) was something more than pleasure, happiness, momentary satisfaction, etc.?

Or, what if, somewhere beneath the surface of all my desire-driven-decisions to have more, go bigger, and be better, there lurks deeper, one might say otherworldly, longings?

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Posted in Consumption, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Easter, Formation, Freedom, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

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A Cross-Generational and Cross-Cultural Ministry Seeking to Discern God’s Will, Together!

When I reflect on the mistakes the modern church has and is making (and let’s face it, every church era contains numerous crippling but unintended consequences of decisions made in goodwill), two that remain prevalent are:

  1. Age and cultural/racial segmentation and segregation, and
  2. Discernment as personal and private decision making.

At Pillar, we’ve sought to reframe both of these and believe the reframe is essential to the core of any church whose desire is to become a congregation of Christ-centered spiritual formation.

Institutional church structures that allow for and encourage segmentation and segregation are deeply rooted in mainstream American life.

There are multiple (and vastly complex) reasons for the sin of segmentation and segregation, but one reason is connected to the homogenous unit principle.  A principle to which I made specific reference in earlier posts.

Pillar is attempting to reverse the trend of this cultural reality by reframing the ministry of Hospitality!

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Posted in Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Discipleship, Formation, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Transformation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment