Posts from the ‘Podcast’ Category
June 26th, 2017
Shane Blackshear shares from Matthew 7:21-29 and discusses faith, doubt, and how the body of the church can and should help us establish the rock that we build our house on.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
June 22nd, 2017
This past Sunday, Ashley Blackwell led us through Matthew 6:24-34.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount
- “Trust involves the juxtaposition of people’s loftiest hopes and aspirations with their deepest worries and fears.” Jeffry A. Simpson
- “The way we relate to people, situations, and even God is determined, to a significant degree, by the nature of our relationship with our parents when we were very young. This doesn’t mean that what happened when we were little children is totally determinative and we are locked into roles and perceptions for the rest of our lives, nor does it mean that sinful behavior is excusable and should be blamed on your parents. What it does mean is that we do need a clear understanding of the hills some of us have yet to climb along the highway of both emotional and spiritual maturity.” Tim Clinton and Joshua Straub, The God Attachment
- “In the face of many of the things I interpreted as a kid as being a negative commentary on my self-worth, the Lord showed me that I am loveable and infinitely precious in His eyes. And he caused me to experience this. In the face of the abandonment I experienced, the Lord said to me, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’…My question still remains, but Christ has won my trust in Him by showing me His beauty – the beauty of a love, a grace, a tenderness, a gentle strength which no mere human could ever match. He won my love and trust through the healing compassion of His eyes and the warm understanding of His embrace. He provided an understanding in the heart which the mind could never grasp.” Greg and Edward Boyd, Letters from a Skeptic
June 12th, 2017
May 29th, 2017
Mason Parva brings us a message about Jesus’ ascension to heaven and how we may have gotten it wrong concerning heavens relationship with earth.
- “Part of the difficulty that we have is not in what we are saying about Jesus, but in the mental furniture that we have about heaven and earth. Because we assume — our culture being so steeped still in Greek thought, rather than Jewish thought — we assume that heaven and earth are and are completely ontologically disparate — that they are just different kinds of thing, place, space, whatever. So that that which is normal on earth, e.g. physicality, would be totally abnormal — indeed unthinkable — in heaven. It’s a failure of imagination; our imagination has been stuck in this Western world view that says heaven into earth won’t go and earth into heaven shouldn’t, can’t, and never will go. And the entire Biblical world view, from Genesis to Revelation, is predicated on the assumption that heaven and earth are the overlapping and interlocking spheres of God’s good creation.
…Heaven and earth were made for one another. Heaven is present to us — when we pray, when we read Scripture, when we share in the sacraments, when we minister to the poor in Jesus’ name. We are right on the edge of heaven, looking into it acting into it, receiving from it.”
– N.T. Wright, Lecture on Acts
- “We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God. There is no evil in anything created by God, nor can anything of His become an obstacle to our union with Him. The obstacle is in our “self,” that is to say in the tenacious need to maintain our separate, external, egotistical will.
It is when we refer all things to this outward and false “self” that we alienate ourselves from reality and from God. It is then the false self that is our god, and we love everything for the sake of this self. We use all things, so to speak, for the worship of this idol which is our imaginary self.
In doing so we pervert and corrupt things, or rather we turn our relationship to them into a corrupt and sinful relationship. We do not thereby make them evil, but we use them to increase our attachment to our illusory self.
…The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls. In His love we possess all things and enjoy fruition of them, finding Him in them all. And thus as we go about the world, everything we meet and everything we see and hear and touch, far from defiling, purifies us and plants in us something more of contemplation and of heaven.”
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
May 22nd, 2017
May 15th, 2017
John Chandler shares his hopes and desires for himself and the body of Austin Mustard Seed during his sabbatical.
May 8th, 2017
Our friend Gideon Tsang, from Vox Veniae, joins us with a challenge to change our minds.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- When Jesus said, ‘(Change your minds),’ to his first disciples, he was calling them to change the direction in which they were looking for happiness. ‘(Changing our mind)’ is an invitation to grow up and become a fully mature human being. — Thomas Keating
- Powerlessness is our greatest treasure. Don’t try to get rid of it. Everything in us wants to get rid of it. Grace is sufficient for you, but not something you can understand. To be in too big a hurry to get over our difficulties is a mistake because you don’t know how valuable they are from God’s perspective, for without them you might never be transformed as deeply and as thoroughly. — Thomas Keating
- Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path. — Brene Brown
- Maturity is not the hallmark of our culture. Our culture is conspicuous for its obsession with ‘getting and spending’. Instead of becoming more, we either get more or do more. So it is not surprising that many people are offering to sell us maps for living better than we are without having to grow up: maps to financial security, sexual gratification, music appreciation, athletic prowess, a better car, a better job, a better education, a better vacation. As it turns out, the maps never get us to where we wanted to go: the more we get and do, the less we are. — Eugene Peterson
April 30th, 2017
April Karli invites us to the table found in Emmaus.
Quotes and resources mentioned:
- Never suppose that God is more “there” than “here,” or more “then” than
“now.” For the Father is always working—in all places, at all times, in all people. The steadfast love of God fills the entire earth (Psalm 33:15). — Greg Boyd in Present Perfect
- The Eucharist is a profoundly communal meal that reorients us from people who are merely individualistic consumers into people who are, together, capable of imaging Christ in the world. Of course, eating itself reminds us that none of us can stay alive on our own. If you are breathing, it’s because someone fed you. We are born hungry and completely dependent on others to meet our needs. In this way the act of eating reorients us from an atomistic, independent existence toward one that is interdependent. But the Eucharist goes even further. In it, we feast on Christ, and are thereby mysteriously formed together into one body, the body of Christ. — Tish Harrison Warren in Liturgy of the Ordinary
April 26th, 2017
Chris Morton shares about how Jesus meets people.
“The means of our communication needs to be gentle, because gentleness also characterizes the subject of our communication. What we are seeking to defend or explain is Jesus himself, who is a gentle, loving shepherd. If we are not gentle in how we present the good news, how will people encounter the gentle and loving Messiah we want to point to? And finally, in an age shaped by feuding intellectual commitments and cultural battles over religion, science, truth, and morality, how will we get a hearing by merely insisting that we have truth and reason on our side? Many have made these claims before us. Some in a spirit of aggression, some in fear, and some in arrogance. Our apologetic happens in a context, and that context is strewn with enmity, hostility, abuse, and other opposition, which ultimately contradict the very things our message lifts up. That is why our apologetic has to embody the message and person we want to communicate. Only with ‘gentleness and reverence’ will people be able to see, verify, and be persuaded to respond to what we have to say.”
Dallas Willard, The Allure of Gentleness
April 17th, 2017
John Chandler reminded us that, wherever we come from, it’s good for us to hear the Easter story again..
Quotes and links mentioned:
- The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too.
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
— Philip Larkin
- The resurrection life is a practice. It’s not something we practice like practicing musical scales or practicing our golf swing. It is practice in the more inclusive sense in which we say a physician has a practice—work that deﬁnes both his or her character and workday. — Eugene Peterson
- Prototype, by Jonathan Martin