Thursday, May 31, 2007


So this is my 39th birthday. I can remember days (long ago) when I thought that really sounded old. Now I am here and I think it's peanuts! Strange how perspective changes.

Which brings me to some interesting thoughts today. As I was praying and journaling earlier this morning I was confronted by God with a different perspective on birthdays. To us, the day of our physical birth is a big deal. But if you think about it from God's perspective, He knew us from the moment of our conceptions (Pslam 139). Perhaps God celebrates our birthdays as the day we first began to be a part of His universe? And since God isn't really limited by time and space anyway, maybe He just celebrates our lives everyday as the gift He believes we are to His world? He is thankful everyday, all the time, for the fact that we are here and are a part of what He is doing in the universe. We are a gift and everyday is a day to celebrate that reality.

So, happy brithday everyone! We are so blessed you are all here!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Plugging In

Well friends, just like Arnold, I'm back!

We had a fantastic trip but have returned to an immense load and many changes happening around here, as most of you probably know.

In light of all that, I have sensed from God a leading to preach on the person of the Holy Spirit. I began last week with a sermon on Pentectost Sunday titled - Pentecost What? We basically looked at what Pentecost was and is, and why it should make a difference for any of us.

As I am preparing to move forward now in this series I am in need of some feedback. So far here are the topics I am planning to hit:

1 - The Fruits of the Spirit. If Pentecost matters for us, then are we seeing the evidence of it being real in our lives. And what kind of a measuring stick do we use to try and gauge that? We will be looking mostly at the comparison lists from Galatians 5 as a way of helping us to see that we must be people who are exhibiting the evidence of the Spirit at work within us.

2 - The Roles of the Spirit. As we progress through this journey of growth and transformation, what other ways does the Spirit assist us in the process? I hope to examine several of the specific roles the Scripture talks about in relationship to the Spirit (counselor, guide, teacher, intercessor), and how those roles are at work within us.

3 - The Gifts of the Spirit. This is an attempt to recognize that the Spirit gifts all of us for service to God and His world. I hope to examine how we are all unique and designed to fit together in community in order to better bless the world around us.

Here's how I need your help. First, I would like your feedback and thoughts on the overall flow and topic in general. Do you think this fits well into just three weeks, or should it be expanded beyond that? (Specifically, do you think #2 above should be divided into a sub-series?) Next, I would like your thoughts on each of the individual subjects, including any Scriptures that come to your mind as they relate to each one. Finally, please comment on what you think is still missing from this series. What else should we be covering as we examine just who is this third mysterious figure of the Trinity?

As always, thanks so much for your thoughts and help. It's so much fun to process this with you!