Its been a while.

And Life has been a lot.

First thing, I love my family.  Not only because I’m supposed to, but instead because I want to.  My son is now 16 months old and has become a terror.  But I’ve never loved a terror like this.   It used to be that when he was in trouble we would run over and slap his hand.  In the last 4 months or so, this has, to Samuel, become a fun game.  If he grabs an electrical outlet, or gets into the dishwasher or stuff hes not supposed too, I run over and slap his hand. His reaction is a smile, shaking his head as if saying no, and then pointing at me and laughing… what a kid

My wife  is the strongest person I know.  She has gone through more pain in the last few months then I could imagine going through myself, and still supports people and makes others the priority.  She has also decided to go headfirst into homemaking.  She has an amazing blog that I encourage any woman to read.

http://Murphyfamilyadventure.blogspot.com

And for me I finally am working at a church again.  Its east hill in downtown gresham.  The relationship with this church is a lot healthier.  The best way I have come up with why is because before i was offered my position, the Senior Pastor sat with me to make sure I understood that the only way my relationship with the church would work is if I was willing to hold him accountable.  That when I saw something I disagreed with, part of my job as a staff member is to hold him accountable.

I have an office and I work full time and have a schedule that is the same week to week.  My wife and I are home in the evenings together, and we only need childcare 1 day a week (by the way if anyone knows someone when it comes to childcare, please email me Ryanm@easthill.org)

Now life sounds good but its not perfect.  taking over for someone whom was only beloved but also honored isnt easy.  And I think I’m starting (even though its only been 2 weeks) to feel a little bit of strain from some of the volunteers.  But it has been a very rough week in my personal life so maybe I’m just being sensitive.

Also this transition stuff has shown me that my friends are few.  Not because there was a blow up but because we arent around what they are around.  its become work to have friends.  And I never remember it being work before.

I know this is short and random but I just wanted to say hello and give an update to my life. 

I love you

murph

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Sorry Everyone who has been checking out my blog, I havent been able to post anything in a while.

I’m not sure how other pastors (or former ones for the at matter) deal with their free time, but for me when I get supper stressed I write a sermon and this was birthed out of some financial troubles,  so please enjoy and disagree if you will :p

2 Corinthians 1:3~“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

            It’s interesting to me, at the reasoning for Paul to separate God and Father.  Its seems as if Paul is trying to infer this sense that this supreme being has multiple roles in Jesus Christ’s life.  Both humbling, one a figure that at the time, was looked at, as either a triumphant leader of the people or a dictator. Which either way there brings a sense of forced reverence or a quite humbleness.  And when speaking of the father, and I understand that a lot of people have father wounds, but to be honest I do not.  I love my dad, I revere my father, and I assume that our Christ looks at this Father, the father God that is, the same way.  Someone he cherishes and looks up to.  It goes on and says.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~ “The father of compassion and the God of all comforts, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God”

            And now Paul explains His view on these two roles, The Father of Compassion and the God of all comforts.  Why do you think he lays it out by saying the God of all comfort?  Because he is simply saying that this God understands all pain.  Why?  And this might cause a little bit of disagreement but because God created pain.  The reason I can say that, is because, God has created a system that evokes pain naturally.  And this system is called Free will.

     Now I know you know what I am talking about but let me lay it out.  We as humans are stupid.  We get ourselves in trouble all the time, even thought we know what we do, will eventually catch up to us.  Like any parent knows,  Once a child understands what you don’t want said child to do,  said child immediately does the opposite of what is expected. 

    Like my son who is 10 months.  We have a Gas stove in our living room and he knows when he touches the gas stove, Dad runs over slaps his hand and barks “Samuel, No!” Do you know how I know Samuel knows this?  Because whenever he wants to touch the fireplace, he looks around to make sure daddy isn’t looking, and when he feels the coast is clear, he touches the fireplace until he sees daddy.  And then what does he do?  He turns and tries to get away. Because the big bad daddy is going to cause what?  Pain.

And most everyone here does the same thing every day, we see the sin, see if anyone is looking and we reach out and touch the sin, until we see the authority and we try to back track.  And what happens when the pain comes?  We cry out, “Oh God. why have you forsaken me?” and what does God do?  He comforts.

And the biggest argument against that philosophy is the scriptures say God created all things that are good, and pain is bad.  But I believe that Pain is Good.  It gets us to where we need to be, humble and crying out.  You see the pain leads us to the comfort of a loving father that cares for us.

2 Corinthians 1:5~“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

This is where Paul begins to use a parallel in his wording.  He says that Christ suffered and that suffering flows into our lives.  Most of the time, when you hear people talk about Christ you hear them speak of the resurrection, but there are consequences for our mistakes.  It’s just like we are dealing with the consequence of Adam and Eve falling, with the entrapment of sin, we also have received a consequence of the death of Christ.  The scripture says the veil was torn, religion ended.  The ruling thumb that squashed the meager bug, no longer existed.

And you think to yourself, that sounds great, but humans are naturally structured.  No matter how hard you work at forcing yourself to be out of the box, all you are doing is creating a box in which you live in.  Yes I am saying to you out of the box thinkers that you are living in an out of the box box…  The only way to truly live out of the box is by removing the box completely from your well-being.

Which is what Christ did. He didn’t just go from the holy of holy’s to the inner court. He shot out of the tabernacle and forced the spirit of God to erupt and become something that not only the priests could encounter, but also something that even the tax collector could enjoy. And that has made Christianity so difficult for so many.  It’s personal. And when this became personal, it brought so much pain, so much suffering, because for the first time, in many of our lives we have someone who listens, so that we can be heard.

This is the parallel, Christs suffering that flowed into our lives brings and overflow from Christ of comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:6-7~“If we are distressed, it is for you comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comforts.”

            When I first read this section, I thought it was cute because the editor of this bible messed up.  He wasn’t capitalizing the “you’s.”  And then I realized what was happening, Paul is making this personal, he is connected this writing to another famous Paul writing to the Corinth church.  1 Corinthians chapter 12 where he references the fact that we as believers are one body with many parts.  That Christ is the head, he is in charge and the we are the rest and we make up the body of Christ.

            Just recently I had been borrowing my dads wheelbarrow and my dad needed it back. He text me at like 10am on a Sunday so I had to prop it up to where my dad could come and pick it up.  In the process of turning it over, I got one of the nastiest slivers I had ever had in my thumb.  When that sliver happened I yelped and complained and went back into the house and by the time I got to my wife to plead for help, we had to get into the car and go to church.  So my body naturally adjusted its normal manorythems so that I could get through in the time being.

            This is what this section of scripture is talking about. When a brother in Christ is going through pain, we all have to adjust to help that brother. So that we can begin to take on others burdens, so that we can lighten the load on each other and in effect bring comfort. We all share in pain, and so we can all share in comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:8~“We do not want you to be uninformed brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond, our ability to endure, so that we despaired of even life.

            The big thing to grasp is that the wording here shows evidence that Paul was pushed so hard that he thought that his calling was ending and that the thought of life made him despair.  I’m not sure what despair means to you but according to the world-wide web the definition despair is a state in which all hope is lost or absent.  And the loss of hope makes you think there is no reason for tomorrow.  That what is desired, isnt achievable.  And to them, life wasn’t achievable..

2 Corinthians 1:9-11~“Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.  Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”

I love how Paul doesn’t leave the power of the resurrection in the past.  He not only states that he has been saved but he ties that back into the suffering of the Corinthian church and says “you will be saved.’ 

It’s as if Paul is communicating that God wants you to know.  That the pain you are going through has a purpose, and to hold hope as your mantle, that the God who created you, knows how to resurrect you.

God Bless You

Church Politics

2010/04/01

I have been dealing with whether or not to look at this subject since I started the blog, because I believe I sound rather jaded on the subject matter.  But the truth is that every church deals with politics, and I’m not talking about Republican vs democrats, I’m talking about politics, social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power.

The reason why every church deals with it is because there are americans involved, and americans are taught that to be american, you have to be number one, and to a lighter level they are goal oriented.  No matter what, every church at some point deals with someone trying to gain their agenda over God’s agenda, and its nearly impossible to see it when you are within it. Unless you have proper accountability.  But sometimes, accountability fails, because sometimes, humans fail.

Now the following is a story that just recently happened at my former church, and I in no way am bringing down my former church, or asking for social reform.  But it is a personal example.

I am no longer a pastor according to the foursquare denomination.  Every october you get the opportunity to re-apply to be licenced with foursquare, and i turned my paper work into my church so the pastor can verify that I am appointed to that church, and then, said paperwork is sent in, and hey look, I get to be licenced for another year.

Well fast forward to march, I am transitioning out of my roll, to begin to prepare to become a senior pastor at another church, and am informed by my church that it was decided that since they hadn’t sent in the paperwork yet, that they would not be affirming me as a pastor appointed to their church.

This I was informed of on my last service, and I left with unhappiness.

Now I know that the church wasnt trying to hurt me or my family, but the truth is, that it did.  Again this is not a slam on my former church, because I know as i look back on my ministry time, that I personally gained over people, but the question I have for all of you is, since I want to be a pastor that isn’t involved in this personally, is there a way to stop this political mess inside of the church? I would love to hear your opinions here or on my Facebook message if you would like to keep this private.

Bless you guys and gals (insert april fools joke here)

I was day dreaming a couple days ago as I walked to work and got emotional.  I thought about Brian, Ellen, Mike, Adam, and the lady with the hat.  And felt pain like I hadn’t felt in a long time.  I’ve read a lot of books by a lot of famous guys.  Most of them about church growth.  Because if you didn’t know this, I want to be a senior pastor at a church… hopefully this comes sooner than later.

But I was developing my future churches belief system, and I realized I’ve never thought about how my church will ‘handle’ homosexuals, and immediately God humbled me.  I came to the point of quoting, with tears, Jon Foreman;

“would you create in me a clean heart oh God,

Restore in me the joy of your salvation.”

I realized that through all these books that talked about how to reach, men, women, children, youth, black, white, latino.  It was never talked about how to reach those who need to feel love from a religion which has failed them.

A religion the preaches 

Even though the christ preached love your neighbor as yourself, I wonder what the sign they hold up against themselves look like.

Anyway, let me say to you who deal with lustful thoughts, saying God’s name in vein, or you idol worshipers, God has the same judgement for you. Sin is Sin, and no matter how you spin it, you are hell bound with it in your life.

But every week in most churches the way out of bondage is preached, even the fact that you will sin again is preached and brought up, but that same love isn’t shown to someone who is homosexual?

Why is it, that as a body of believers, we have decided that the Father isn’t good enough at judgement and that he needs us to help him?

Good verses today

2010/03/16

Here are some of the verses that impacted me, I have no time to give commentary today…

Deuteronomy 30

4“If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, (H)from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.

6“Moreover (K)the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, (L)to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

14“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

Deuteronomy 31

6(G)Be strong and courageous, (H)do not be afraid or tremble at them, for (I)the LORD your God is the one who goes with you (J)He will not fail you or forsake you.”

18“But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.

Psalm 40

2He brought me up out of the (C)pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And (D)He set my feet upon a rock (E)making my footsteps firm.

8(O)I delight to do Your will, O my God;
(P)Your Law is within my heart.”

11You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your (V)lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

17Since (AI)I am afflicted and needy,
(AJ)Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

1 Corinthians 1

13Has Christ been divided?

17(AG)For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, (AH)not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

Some good scriptures from the life journal today,

Deuteronomy 28

6“Blessed shall you be (E)when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

(I just saw sesame street and they explained the difference between in and out… very good stuff, thanks Maarley)

10“So all the peoples of the earth will see that (H)you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.

(I guess I like the idea of people fearing me because I have set myself so in line with the one who created me,  they have the fear of God and I reflect that, Most people when they encounter me find fearing me a joke, and there might be something to that.)

21(U)The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it.

(A pestilence is any virulent and highly infectious disease that can cause an epidemic or even a pandemic,  So if I read this definition correctly, your sin, or failure to follow what God is commanding you to do, can cause not only you to become ill (physically and spiritually), but also, may start an illness that reaches far beyond you and your grasp.  I guess its kind of humbling to think that not only can I make a great impact on the world with my decisions, but also I can cause such sickness and disease, because of my ignoring of the spirits call upon my life.)

53(BF)Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you.

(this imagery is pretty rough but I feel like its important to understand that he is speaking of the lowest of low moments.  The time when you have nothing left, this pandemic is so eroding your soul that the only way to live is if you eat your children.  hopefully no one is in this place but we all (that have children) have been to the place where our decisions impact our children in the worst way.)

65(BS)Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there (BT)the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. 66“So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life.

(and he wraps up 28 with the fear of loneliness)

Deuteronomy 29

2And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; 3(C)the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. 4“Yet to this day (D)the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

(this is really what affected me from 29, the idea that these people saw water raise and split, then fall upon the Egyptian army, then they have walked so long and hard and show no effect, even food falls from the sky, and they don’t get what God’s got for them.  But Moses says it’s not their fault, God hasn’t given them a heart to know, eyes to see, and no ears to hear. so my mind is so free will based that when I read this it erupts anger within me, it makes me ask, “well then whats the point of sharing the gospel if God pre-selects who hears it.  why don’t I just live for Him and let God make the people he has pre-selected.”)

Galatians 6

4But each one must (H)examine his own work, and then he will have reason for (I)boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5For (J)each one will bear his own load.

(you’re responsible for you. it’s the same idea as don’t remove the sliver from someone elses eye, when you got a 2/4 in your own)

10So then, (U)while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the (V)household of (W)the faith.

(ending on this, I have always had my focus on the non believers, because I feel like that was what Jesus’ focus was on, but the more I thought about the more I realized that Jesus hung out with the ones who believed in the father, but were a little screwed up, like most Pentecostals look at the catholics.  Jesus didn’t try to swerve the atheist, he tried the show the religious God’s love instead of God’s law.  A lot of times, I show Gods law inside of my little box, maybe its time for some in-house love…)

last night I was working at fred meyers and a thought went through my mind, i know what a shocker.  this thought was a strong opinion, and was somewhat offensive. so immediately i swallowed my pride and just let said thought fester.

sadly it was an incredibly slow night so i had two option, think about this opinion or sing “one way, or another”

and no matter how badly i wanted to sing in a hallo low female voice, and scare any remaining customers away, the truth is that all i could think about was my offensive opinion.

being trained as a pastor, offensive opinions are what i am taught to shy away from and in my ministry i have tried very hard to avoid in resemblance of my schooling.

but this isn’t ministry, this is work, and offending someone could mean having less money than i already have. so it boiled in me,  then all of a sudden i started thinking about why this thought is controlling me so much, why is it all i can think about.  and the conclusion i came to is because i have no output anymore.

i have no authority, i have no one coming to me, asking me for advice, for the next step, or how to beat their demons.  all i have is an 8 month old that would rather spit up on me, then listen to me.

so i guess that is what this is.  my platform, my shoebox.

i fully understand my misspelling’s, and grammatical heresies, so feel free not to point them out.  if you can get past that, i would love to share my heart with you.