Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Blog: June 21, 2011


You would think that we would totally understand what “church” is by now.  I mean, it’s been 2,000 years since Jesus gave His life on the cross to pay for our sin and be resurrected from the dead giving us victory over death.  So what’s the problem in figuring out what “church” is supposed to be?

First of all, the reason why we are continuing to struggle with this question is that the “church” became something it was never intended to be for so long that the very basics of being the “church” were overshadowed by the mechanism or function of the “church.”  More emphasis was put on creating positions in the church, raising money for the church and empowering the “church” (not spiritual power but worldly power) that the essence or the heart of the church was lost.  The very nature of the “church” was distorted by man for so long that its culture became the “norm” from generation to generation. 

Second, because the “church” became so engrained in its cultural mindset it has become more difficult to change the culture back to the churches original intent.   There is a saying in the nautical community that goes like this, “The bigger the ship the bigger area you need to turn it around.”  Turning a carrier around takes a much larger space than turning a destroyer around both in distance and time.  Because the church seems to have gotten off course for such a long time it will also take a long time to get it back to where it needs to be.

Third, because the “church” has become so comfortable in its cultural context it has lost its impact and influence in the community. This is obvious by simply looking at how society is moving further and further away from Biblical truth, values and morals.  I’m not sure if that will ever be reclaimed by the church but, in reality, that was never its intent.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “… I will build My church.”  I seems to me that we need to turn the “building” of the church back over to Jesus and get out of His way.  That means a return to the Biblical expression of “church” as Jesus defined it.  The church is the body of Christ, His people, a Royal Priesthood, the saints of all time where there is “… neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.” Galatians 3:28

Before I close this blog let me emphasize that the church has always been visible throughout its history. Though it has been clouded by greed, power, pride and self-sufficiency at times it has been victorious because it is sustained by the purpose and will of God through Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who have confessed their sin and committed themselves to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Generations past have “fought the good fight” so that we can enjoy the blessings of Christ today.  Our mandate is to continue the battle for truth, live the life of Christ and share the good news of His death, burial and resurrection with everyone we can.

Something to ponder: “What is “church?”  “What does it look like?”  “What does it do?”

Serving Christ together for His honor and glory alone!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Drought of 2011

    The drought of 2011 has been long, hard and cold.  This year in most of New Mexico we have experienced the lack of moisture to the extent that many historical weather records have been broken.  We have been under many fire watches which have closed more and more recreation sites in the mountains until adequate rain brings relief to the barren land.  Along with the drought we have experience strong and unending winds. This is what some call the annual transfer of dust and sand from Arizona to Texas via New Mexico.  Ranchers will tell you that the wind isn’t really blowing unless there are “rocks” in the air. Now that’s a strong wind!
    We have a tendency to recognize those times of physical drought much quicker than we do spiritual drought.  Spiritual droughts are those times when the refreshing presence and power of our Lord seem to be especially absent.  It isn’t that our Lord has abandoned us because He said He would never do that.  It does mean that there is an absent of the sense of His presence with us.  Yes, we all face those times to one extent or another but there are those special seasons when the sense of the lack His presence in our lives seems to linger and linger until we become desperate and even anxious. 
    I was talking with someone about the affect of the “Dust Bowl Days” of American history which began in 1930 and lingered until 1936 and, for some areas, even until 1940.  The result was that thousands of people left the prairie’s and headed toward California and other areas of the country.  Many who tried to endure the blast of wind struggled and even died.  Con men took advantage of the situation and went from place to place trying to sell “rain seeds” and other ridiculous inventions that would bring a change in the weather.  Men, women, families and towns fell prey to the deception that man could control the weather.
    Spiritual drought brings the same type of reactions.  As the drought lengthens we can become more desperate and either try to escape to somewhere else, or are enticed by spiritual con artists into believing that they have power or spiritual mechanisms that will bring the refreshing relief of Christ’s presence and power.
    It is important therefore to understand that “drought happens!”  Nothing is done or allowed without the will and purpose of our Lord driving it.  Drought should have the following affects on those who are Christ-followers:

1.       It humbles us. It reminds us that we have no control over the circumstances in which we live though we can control how we respond to them.

2.       It grows our faith.  We trust that our loving Lord controls all the elements on earth and we trust Him to provide for our needs.

3.       It strengthens our obedience. Christ never told us to “get going when the going gets tough.” He called on us to endure and persevere in the midst of even the greatest storm.

4.       It helps us hold to His Word.  Jesus said “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” and we are to live in that promise.

5.       It gives us a testimony that will help others see Jesus in us and through us no matter how bad the drought is or the wind blows.

6.       It draws us to Him for comfort, assurance and strength. 

“I will be with you, even until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20