Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wrestling II

All the self-examination and wrestling has brought to the surface a few things that I'd like to change about myself and be more aware of in coming days and months . I feel ultra-aware of the way some of my beliefs about God are bent towards poorly thought out, yet deeply rooted legalism (which I hate) and some tendencies towards believing whatever is easiest to believe. If that makes any sense at all... and it probably doesn't.

I think I know what I mean. But I can see why maybe that does not really translate to *you* knowing what I mean. Ignore me. I don't even know why I am trying to write this in the first place.

Living here I don't often get to church with Troy (sooo many kids - too far away - too early in the morning with his worship team schedule) and my lack of Creole skills combined with the Haitian style of service does not exactly feed me spiritually ... So I listen to podcast sermons from two Minnesota churches. (If our home church had a podcast, I'd add it as a third.)

I've pointed you towards some sermons from Church of the Open Door before. I totally dig the two teaching pastors at Open Door. Lately I am following a series at Woodland Hills Church about "believism" and moving beyond belief. The timing of the series fits with this wrestling phase I am in.

I know it is hard to make time for this stuff ... if you are like me you barely succeed at reading a Bible so how the heck are you gonna add another sermon? -- but maybe a handful of you would be interested in these messages. They are NOT boring.

The Links (MP3) are right on the sermon titles -

I am specifically recommending the sermons by Greg Boyd called "Facing Reality" & "Inside Out"

Jesus didn’t water down his message for the crowds or give them just what they wanted to hear. Jesus called them (and us) to repent – to face reality and turn from living in lies that hinder our ability to participate in what God is doing in the world. God’s Kingdom happens in our lives and in our communities when we repent and line our lives up with God’s way of looking at the world and God’s ways of living. [Focus Scripture: Luke 11:29-32]

How does true spiritual change occur? Sometimes we focus on the outside and try to change ourselves through what we do. But we don’t become clean by paying attention to external “religious” behaviors. In this sermon we’re challenged with the example of generosity to the poor and learn that becoming clean is an “inside-out” process, where we allow the Spirit of God to transform us on the inside so that our outside behavior lines up with his Kingdom. [Focus Scripture: Luke 11:37-41]