July 18, 2010

Responding to God’s Word – 2 Kings 23:1-3, 21-25 – David Hanke

July 11, 2010

Listening to God’s Word – 2 Kings 22:8-13 – David Hanke

July 4, 2010

Walking Into A Mess – 2 Kings 22:1-7 – David Hanke

Reading looking back, reading looking forward

3 Recommendations to keep you reading and thinking about the Holy Spirit (in order of preference!!)

1.  Keep In Step With the Spirit, by J.I. Packer  Dr. Packer does a magnificent job of walking through the various evangelical traditions with regard to the Spirit.  He also deeply addresses the role of the Spirit in sanctification and setting us free.

2.  The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, by J. Oswald Sanders  This one is out of print, but if you are looking for a rich, readable study of all the passages of Scripture that talk about about the Spirit–  this is it.

3.  Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God by Gordon Fee  Dr. Fee’s highly readable treatment of the Holy Spirit is probably my favorite.  But I list it third because I used a lot of his insights during the series, so I wanted to encourage you to go after some others first.  If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it for your bucket list.

Reading Forward

We are set to launch in to 4 weeks with King Josiah.  Want to get ahead and be ready to go?  Planning on being out of town for the 4th?  If you look at these short passages, you can capture the whole of Josiah’s life.  I’ll be digging in to a different aspect of it each week during July.

  • 2 Kings 22-23
  • 2 Chronicles 34-35
  • Zephaniah (one of the prophets of God to King Josiah)

I recommend reading as much of it in one sitting as possible– helps you get the full picture.

Remember, during the summer, we only have children’s church for pre-schoolers and we only have it at the 8:30.  So come early!

 

See ya soon.

Don’t Quench the Spirit

Speaking about what we have seen and heard

On Sunday, we considered how the Holy Spirit inspires us for mission. God will give us moments where we have opportunities to talk about what we have seen and heard. In those moments, we may be afraid, we may feel awkward, we may feel anxious, but God promises that the Holy Spirit will teach us in those very moments what we ought to say. (Luke 12:12)

I very deliberately never used the word evangelism on Sunday. ‘Evangelism’ brings the baggage of programs, tracts, and canned responses. Instead, I really do want us to be a church that speaks about what we have seen and heard. The things we see God doing in outreach, in our small groups, in our friendships, among our children. The prayers we see God answer or the patience we get when He seems to be slow in responding. The healing we have experienced or deliverance from evil. The things we NEED to say are the things we have lived and experienced. God is calling us to notice His activity in us and around us and to talk about it. That is my prayer for us.

Things that make me not speak…

Just wanted to remind you of the 4 things that keep me from telling what I have seen and heard:
1. I don’t know enough and don’t have answers that are good enough for the real, hard questions that are out there.
2. I don’t want to offend anyone or risk the relationship.
3. My personal doubts.
4. My lack of love for the person to whom I’m talking…

These are the things I pray about almost everyday. What are some fears you’d like to turn away from?

Vestry Results

Many thanks to all you ‘green-bookers’ who selected Sarah Blaine as our new vestry member. I am grateful to everyone who offered themselves to serve in this position. We have so many great leaders. Our next full vestry election (choosing 3 new members) will be in November.

I loved spending 13 weeks with y’all wrestling with the Holy Spirit. Thanks for working hard, worshiping with abandon, praying with boldness, and rejoicing in all things. What a privilege it is to be your pastor.

June 27, 2010

The Spirit Empowers Us for Mission – Acts 4:1-22 – David Hanke

Creating Space to Listen

Boredom is Extinct

I think this expresses well the challenge we face to create space to listen to the Holy Spirit.  I was struck by that question at the end:  Remember daydreams? I don’t want to so crowd out the air-space in my head that my mind never gets to wander or my soul never gets to hear the Holy Spirit.

There is not an easy answer to the demands and expectations to stay connected.  But I am convinced that every time I say yes to ‘boredom’ there is potential space to hear God.

June 20, 2010

Depending on the Spirit in Prayer – Romans 8:18-27 – David Hanke

Gifted for the Kingdom

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  1Corinthians 12:7

What’s your spiritual gift?

Everybody gets one. When they use it, God is revealed.  They are showing off the power of God living inside them.  We use our gifts not for our aggrandizement, but for the common good.  God gives us gifts to build His Kingdom.  He reveals Himself through us so that folks will be drawn to Him–  His goodness, His power, His love.

Ignorance is not an excuse. If you don’t know your gift, you need to deliberately spend some time in discernment.  The best way to figure out your gift is to get with some people who know you well (your Restoration small group is a great place to start) and ask them.  What do you notice about me?  When do I ‘come alive’?  What do I seem passionate about?  When do you notice Christ in me or at work through me? These answers are great catalysts for prayer.  Pray by yourself.  Pray with others.  Ask your Father in heaven:  how have you gifted me?  How do you manifest yourself through me?

Once you know, you can direct more of your energy towards opportunities to use that gift–  for the common good and the building of God’s Kingdom.

I’m not sure of my gift.  Can you help me get the conversation started?

Sure.

Read over the various ‘gift lists’ in the New Testament. Remember they aren’t intended to be exhaustive, just illustrative of the myriad ways God can manifest Himself.

  1. 1 Corinthians 12  (especially verses 8-11, 27-31)
  2. Romans 12 (specifically verses 3-8)

For some of you, taking a ‘spiritual gifts inventory’ might help prime the pump. These tests are useful to get you thinking, to give you categories to think about, and to give you data to bring to prayer and conversations with friends. They are only a tool and they are best used in conjunction with community discernment.  Here are a few that are on-line:

MinTools.com (Focusing primarily on Romans 12 gifts)

a little bit longer one from the ELCA

I hope the message and the tests inspire lots of prayer and great conversations.  That’s where the gift becomes clear.

June 13, 2010

Life in the Spirit: Gifted for the Kingdom – Mark 3:13-19 – David Hanke

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