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

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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)