I believe in God…

It’s been a real problem for me.

This week we are reading Exodus 20-24. You’ll notice there are a lot of rules. What do you think about God’s Laws– helpful? hopeful? capricious? mean? rigid? liberating?
I’m asking this question as I write: What do God’s laws tell us about God? What does He value? What’s important to His heart? What matters?

And then, what does it tell us about His people? If He gives this Law Gift to His people, how is that an expression of love, delight, and great care?

Shalom Auslander’s memoir is a well-written reflection on God as arbitrary, petty, and egocentric.

It breaks my heart.

July 12, 2009

“God’s Sacrifice” by Erin Coleman

July 5, 2009

“God’s Power” by David Hanke

10 Plagues

In case you don’t have time to read Exodus 7-11 for this weekend at Restoration…

June 28, 2009

“God Perseveres” by David Hanke

God gets a lot more CBM in a recession

Church attendance in recessions: No rush for pews | The Economist.

CBM= ‘Character Building Mileage’

On Sunday I talked about the hard things to which God calls us.  Moses was called to face the most powerful ruler of his day and ask him to release the Hebrews.  Moses had a list of good excuses for why this was a bad idea.

What is God calling you to do that feels really hard?  Are you paying attention to Him?

For all of us who follow Jesus, at some point, God will confront us about our money.  He will call us to something hard financially–  to not buy something, to give more away, to help someone in need, to give sacrificially.  As I talked about God’s call on our finances, I made 2 points:  God will mess with our money…

  1. Especially in such a wealthy area as Arlington (’cause we love it so much)
  2. Especially in such challenging economic circumstances (’cause we are so worried about it)

God gets a lot more Character Building Mileage in a recession.  The Economist article has some interesting poll data about church attendance in recessions–  goes down.  So maybe I’m right.  People don’t want God to mess with their finances, things are hard enough without Him getting involved…

It’s all His.

June 21, 2009

“God Calls” by David Hanke

June 14, 2009

“God Knows” by David Hanke

June 7, 2009

“Christianity’s Best Kept Secret” by Bobby Manning

Summer Sundays at Restoration

The God of all gods and His Rescued People

plaguesOne of the most pleasantly honest features of the Ancient Near East was the attitude of the inhabitants towards ‘gods.’  ‘Gods’ were entirely utilitarian.  You worshiped a ‘god’ because of what that ‘god’ could do for you.  You gave the ‘god’ your food, your sexuality, your allegiance, your children, your time, and your devotion because that ‘god’ got the job done.  ‘Gods’ were supposed to be powerful. Thus there was no place for cultural or nominal religiosity.  Either you feared the god wholesale or you worshiped something else.

The book of Exodus contains the early years of our family history.  Yahweh, the LORD, the One True God (OTG) was forming a nation for Himself.  The book can easily be divided in two:

  • Part 1 (chapters 1-19) tells the story of God’s powerful deliverance.  God shows up and shows off to all the gods of Egypt.  He confronts the other ‘so-called gods’, showing them to be bankrupt and revealing Himself, alone, as true and powerful.  In a milieu of divine attention-grabbing and one-upmanship, Yahweh shows who truly is God.
  • In part 2, (chapters 20-40), God makes a covenant with the people He delivers.  He establishes them as His people, defined by His rules and guidelines.

You might imagine the book as two stories of servitude:  In Egypt, Israel was the servant of Pharaoh; at Mt. Sinai, they became servants of Yahweh.  In the book of Exodus, God rescues a people and forms them into a nation for the purpose of rescuing the world.

At Restoration this summer, we will be journeying through the book of Exodus.  I am captivated by our similar situation–  a people being formed into a community for God’s purposes. God has rescued us, called us to be a church in Arlington, and given us a mission to build His kingdom.

Specifically, we will ask 2 questions each week:  How does God reveal His character in the way He interacts with Israel and their leader, Moses?  How do His law and instruction prepare a young community to be His means of redemption and revelation in a god-congested world?

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