Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Read, Reflect, and don't Neglect!


Well after the previous post regarding reflecting on our lives as the year ends. I couldn't help but follow it up with this last post for the year.  One of the greatest decisions that often comes as we reflect is the desire to spend more time reading the bible or for some perhaps begin to read the bible. Regardless where one may find themselves, reading the bible is obviously a great new year's resolution. 
Though it may be a bit intimidating for some to take on the task of reading the entire bible I want to introduce you to a website that has made things a bit easier. This website created by one of the most tech savvy churches in the planet has provided this venue absolutely free! I have signed up and I'm in the process of picking which reading plan I want to use. You can choose from several different plans, and even have others hold you accountable. 

So why not join me in this venture, pick a plan and lets hold each other accountable for each days reading and read the entire Bible this year. It can transform our lives and of course lead us to a bathos/deeper relationship with Jesus. 

Ok so what are you waiting for click here and it will lead you directly to the reading plans, look them over carefully, sign up for an account on youversion, choose a plan and you're ready to go come January 1. You will see that you can even do it through various mobile phones! May your journey be one that causes you to go deeper with Jesus!

Happy New Year to all!!!

[photo by Sharing Grace]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who do you reflect?

I hope that all of you had a great Christmas with your family and friends last week and enjoyed a great weekend! To some extent it's hard to believe that we have made it to the last week of the year, nearly ready to bring in not just a new year but the start of a new decade.

So much has happened to me over the last year and for that matter over the last decade! Things have also changed so much in these ten years in the world. Just think ten years ago there was no YouTube, Facebook, 911 had not happened, along those lines most people alive had not seen or heard of a Tsunami killing over 200,000 people in a few hours! itunes nor the iphone had yet to make headlines. High speed DSL was yet to dominate and now if you still have dial up well...

I truly like to take this time of year not simply to make new years resolutions that most likely will fade by the end of January (if not sooner) but to reflect on my life. Especially I ask how is my relationship with Jesus different than it was a year ago. Have I truly sought Him with all my mind, heart, and soul?

Along the lines of my relationship with Jesus, I also ask Jesus through His Spirit to reveal areas in my life that I need to improve (not that I don't do this through out the year). If we truly allow Him to do this, honestly it could be painful, but the end result will be Jesus being glorified. Hey Proverbs 27:19 says, "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man" (NIV) I want to have the heart of Jesus.

So what about you in the midst of the year coming to an end do you spend time reflecting? Do you sense that your relationship with Jesus is stronger than it was a year ago? If not well it's time to go deeper (bathos) with Jesus! It's time that our hearts reflect the heart of Jesus! Blessings to all and Happy New Year!


Monday, December 21, 2009


First, glad that several have signed up! Thank you for your encouragement in this journey. I plan on at least having one more post after this one before the year is over.

For whatever reason recently (last several months or so) I have had some interesting conversations about what it means to keep the 'Sabbath.' Now as many know I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian therefore my 'Sabbath' is on Saturday. Obviously the majority of Evangelicals observe their 'Sabbath' on Sunday. This post though is not about me proving which is the correct biblical time to observe the 'Sabbath' but how we should keep the 'Sabbath' regardless what day you observe (we'll talk about the day issue in another post!).

The Bible obviously has much to say about the Sabbath (just a few places to consider: Ex. 20:8-11/Isa. 56/Eze. 20) and I would venture to say most Christians (who actually read the Bible) will at least agree that God does call us to take a 'Sabbath.' Yet even within Adventism (my denomination:-) I have found great differences on how people keep the 'Sabbath.' Of course we don't want to make a list of does and don'ts and be a Pharisee. But allow me to give a quick illustration.

One point that many agree on is that on Sabbath we shouldn't work, of course in this sinful world that we live in, there are certain people that we all want them to work  to some degree such as health professionals, other hospital workers, police officers (unless you get a ticket:-) fire fighters, and perhaps you could name others. Overall though we (Adventist) call people not too work (again except for those I just mentioned). Yet at times I find some inconsistencies in some areas of Sabbath keeping. For example my conference recently had a special Celebration Sabbath at a convention center in which several hundred attended. Food was provided for all at the convention center for several reasons, one perhpas would be so that folks wouldn't have to go and buy their food (on the Sabbath). Yet we were paying the workers at the convention center to help feed Adventist who call others not to work on the Sabbath. Now understand truly I'm not condemning  anyone, but simply stating what happened and perhaps we can dialog on the issue.

Growing up I remember the way my family kept the 'Sabbath' at times by taking very long naps, we took the literal meaning of the word 'Sabbath' (rest) to task:-) Now of course I'm not saying that taking a long nap on Sabbath is wrong, but I don't think sleeping the Sabbath away is truly fulfilling it's purpose, unless your sick or something...

Some have said well if you have to work then give the money away to a worthy cause or something. I find this dangerous because then basically anyone (not just the ones previously mentioned) can work on the Sabbath and just donate their money to some worthy cause. Yet the Bible simply says not to work on the Sabbath regardless if you give the money to a worthy cause (again of course for the ones I named above, if my church is on fire I don't want to wait until the Sabbath is over for the firefighters to come:-)

I could give you many more examples and perhaps so can you. During this holiday season when many folks take time to rest (or try to if their house isn't full of people:-) the issue of the 'Sabbath' rest comes to mind.  I understand that we may raise more questions than answers but nonetheless I bring it up here with the hopes that together we can help each other go Bathos in Jesus' name, because ultimately the 'Sabbath' is about following Jesus who is Lord of the Sabbath! (Mark 2:27-28)

So what do you think? What are some practical steps we can take to keep the Sabbath the way Jesus would if He were walking the streets today? Are there certain things you totally avoid on the Sabbath? Or, are we simply making to much of this Sabbath issue? Boy I need some rest now...


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Greetings! Well here goes, my feeble attempts to start a blog. Let me first begin with the purpose for this blog and then finish with some short concluding remarks.

The purpose of this blog is simple, through the posts that I will be writing regarding all sorts of issues that deal with our journey with Jesus along with the dialog that may take place with those of you who leave comments I hope that they will challenge us to go deeper with Jesus.

I have been in full time ministry as a pastor for more than seven years and what I have come to know is that the more I study the Bible, preach, give bible studies, counsel with people, and simply have deep conversations about Jesus the more I realize I need to go deeper with Jesus. Therefore from the start I begin telling you I don't have all the answers but I hope that together we will go well....BATHOS and learn.

Lastly be aware that I may at times be facetious and attempt to be humerous. I like to laugh, and honestly perhaps we won't always well go deep but again we will try :-)

So stay tuned for my next post when the journey really friends, family spread the news, sign up for the blog if you desire and lets go deeper (and hopefully have fun doing it:-).


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