Monday, October 23, 2006

Christian Concert - ministry, money, or combo?

I'm taking some students (and my son) to the upcoming Chris Tomlin Concert. It should be a blast. I really think he has some great worship stuff and I'm looking forward to it. I just purchased the tickets and a part of me is sick. I'm sure there are many expenses and such, but $25 a ticket (plus ticketmaster's huge cut) is a bit much. It's hard to fathom how much he must make per concert. Is this very impressive show truly a ministry, or is it just a show? Even if I worship during it (shouldn't I always be worshiping), does that justify it? How much can you make per concert as a Christian doing Christian music and still call it ministry (or what criteria determines if it is ministry)?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Caption Needed

If you can come up with a caption for this picture, then hook me up.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Context - verses out of context

I can be pretty hard-nosed when it comes to God's Word being used in context. What passages have you heard used out of context? I often have occasion to talk about this issue and am always looking for more verses on it.

Here are some verses I often hear out of context. Feel free to disagree with me. I've put the wrong interpretation next to the verse (my view of "wrong").
1 John 1:9 - for salvation
Revelation 3:20 - for salvation
John 10:10 - about the devil
2 Chronicles 7:14 - America and Repentance
Isaiah 14:12-15 - about the devil

What verses have you heard out of context?

Help Me Understand - Luke 8:16-18

Those who know me well know that though I love to study God's Word, I so often struggle in the Gospels - more than almost any other books.

Luke 8:4-15 starts off this passage. It is pretty clear that this parable is not about the sower or even the seed, but the ground. It's about how receptive our hearts are to God's Word (be it about salvation or anything). It teaches that at times our hearts can be any of the different soils (yes - after salvation). Then Luke seems to bookend it with 8:16-18 - "so take care how you listen."

I'm having a hard time truly understanding how 16 and 17 relate to all this. And we can't just jump to parallel passages, because they are used differently. What do 16-17 have to do with listening to God's Word?

Day of Birth vs. Day of Death

Which is better - the day of your birth or the day of your death?

I was reading in devotions yesterday morning from Ecclesiastes (one of 4 books I read) and came across the following verses.

1A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.
2It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.

The second part of verse one caught my eye and I began to think on it. Then I found out that my wife's great uncle had died that morning. God is always so random - that a Bible verse would relate to an uncle's death (what a lucky God we serve). Ok - so God isn't so lucky - I believe in providence, not coincidence.

Teach us to number our days. Let us think about death and take it to heart.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Thoughts Drift While Praying

Have you ever started praying - and then noticed a bit later that you aren't praying at all but are thinking about some upcoming or past event (daydreaming); then you feel like you are a horrible person for not praying well??? I've done it - very often. But I'm learning something.

I've been saying for some time now that I think it is really important for us to share what's on our mind with God. Usually there are a few thoughts streaming through our minds each day (a big game; a special occasion; a cute girl; a big test; a fight with a friend; a new shirt you just bought...). Of course, we don't tell God about what's on our mind a lot. The assumption is that He doesn't really care about these kinds of things - at least not a lot.

I've been "preaching" to anyone that would listen that we really need to tell God our "little" wants and desires and concerns and exciting events. I'm becoming more and more convinced of this.

An application of this is that next time you catch your mind far away during prayer - tell God all about it - tell him the details of this "insignificant" event. Rejoice in a wandering mind as an opportunity to blab to God everything - and continue praying.

I hope to become a better prayer warrior. Maybe this will help.