If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Monday, June 18, 2007

my first lighthouse

This past week I went with my family to Hilton Head Island, SC. I have been going there once each year since I was about 5 years old. During the week I took my girls (several times) to Harbor Town, to ride bikes, to eat ice cream, to ride the trolley, and to climb the lighthouse, which is perhaps the most famous landmark on Hilton Head. When I talk about lighthouses and picture what they are and do, I picture the lighthouse in Harbor Town on Hilton Head. This past year, particularly, it has become a significant emblem for me (and hopefully the congregation) of our calling as followers of Jesus Christ. I was reminded again of the many important functions of a lighthouse, and some of the particular ones of THAT lighthouse in Harbor Town.

A lighthouse does the following...
  1. Is not the light, but houses the light.
  2. Guides those at sea with the light it houses - at night, in storms, and even in daylight.
  3. Warns ships away from land where they might ground and be damaged.
  4. Welcomes ships into safe harbor, where they might rest, refuel, restock, and go out again.
  5. Functions as a landmark, not only literally, but in the common sense of the word - something people come to see, experience, and participate in (we got stickers for climbing the 114 stairs after all).
  6. In an extension of being a landmark, it becomes something to talk about and tell others ("We climbed the HH lighthouse!")
Would that I were as effective as a follower of Jesus!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

trinitarian missional theology... how'd we miss that?


The Mission of the Trinity – Singaporean theologian Simon Chan says 'missional theology' has not gone far enough.
Interview by Andy Crouch / Christianity Today

Simon Chan may be the world's most liturgically minded Pentecostal. The Earnest Lau professor of systematic theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore is both a scholar of Pentecostalism and a leader in the Assemblies of God, but his recent books, Spiritual Theology and Liturgical Theology, engage with wider and older Christian traditions as well. Worship, Chan believes, is not just a function of the church, but the church's very reason for being. "I think that missional theology is a very positive development. But some missional theology has not gone far enough. It hasn't asked, What is the mission of the Trinity? And the answer to that question is communion. Ultimately, all things are to be brought back into communion with the triune God. Communion is the ultimate end, not mission."

See the whole article here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/june/11.48.html

Monday, June 04, 2007

that for which I was laid hold of...

On Philippians 4:1-9...

Last Sunday we talked about the ultimate significance of knowing Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:12-29). It’s of crucial importance because only Jesus is truly right with God (or ‘righteous’), and our rightness with God only comes through being with Jesus. We talked about how Jesus says of those who know him, “He’s with me… she’s with me,” and he draws us into the life of God – Father, Son, and Spirit.

That truth is the source of our hope for resurrection and life forever with God. And in this week’s text, Paul is building on that teaching to encourage us about how that truth impacts our daily life in this world. Paul uses several illustrations to talk about the whole thing. He compares our life in this world to a race, a walk, and to citizenship – and the key verse is the second part of verse 12:

…I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Jesus laying hold of us is that “He’s with me; she’s with me.” The purpose of Jesus laying hold of us is to draw us into life forever with God. Our experience of that life with God, in the here-and-now and into eternity, is what Paul means by us “laying hold” – it’s our experiencing God’s purpose for us in Jesus.

Said another way, God’s desire is for us to be right with Him, to experience Him personally, to enjoy Him and relate to Him, and reflect His love for us back to Him and to each other. In today’s text, Paul is describing how we can live into and experience this desire and purpose of God in our lives. It involves focus, persistence, and a vision of our future – much like a race. And that’s how Paul begins describing this Christian life to us.

...for the whole thing -

Paul concludes this text with a third analogy, and my illustration from last week doesn’t go far enough. We are not just strangers who temporarily get to come over and play in God’s house; because we are with Jesus, God adopts us into His family and welcomes us into His Heaven. Set in Kingdom-language, we are naturalized as Heavenly citizens. Again, this is all because Jesus is the one who is right with God the Father and he has claimed those who trust in him, saying, “He’s with me; she’s with me.”

In the citizenship analogy, there is no sneaking across the border of Heaven or scaling the fence. There is only one way in, and it is with Jesus Christ vouching for us.

Paul goes even further, to explain that Jesus not only vouches for us (makes us qualify), but makes us ready for Heaven. It is he who “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory.” It is “by the exertion of [his] power”. This is what Jesus does in our life as we walk in lock-step with him, as we press on to lay hold of that for which he laid hold of us.

To step out of the realm of analogy, here’s what Paul is saying in all this today. Jesus died on the cross, in obedience to and sharing in the Father's love for the world, so that he could present you to God with his own ‘rightness’ and secure a home and a relationship with God for you both now and forever. And he is preparing you and me for that future as we live each day in submission to him.

In the end, there are only two people – enemies of the cross of Christ and friends of the cross of Christ. Come, believe, and follow Jesus, for he died on that cross that you might be a friend of God and an adopted child of God.

Don’t look back; press on ahead. God would draw you close into His presence because of Jesus’ love for you. Don’t substitute self or settle for the stuff of this world. God has better and more for you than that.

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