I’m back!

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Source: I’m back!

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I’m back!

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12112309_10206241139320914_43954770299038601_n[1] It has been a long time since I have written much in this blog. In fact, it’s coming up on three years. I’ve shared the thoughts of others and written a few passing thoughts but nothing consistent. When I began the blog, I was caring for my father-in-law in our home as he was going through the last couple years of his life as an Alzheimer’s patient. That season had its weight of stress but it also allowed me plenty of “free time” to read, contemplate and write the things I believed the Lord was showing me about the connection between marriage and being a follower of Christ. Seasons changed and I went back to work as a Therapist and Treatment Coordinator at Son Village in Welches, OR. That shift created for me the best work experience of my life as I joined with some dear brothers and sisters who would become some of dearest friends. Unfortunately, Son Village went the way of so many non-profit agencies – it closed due to poor funding. Since that time, I have been working as a Mental Health Professional at MacLaren Youth Facility that jails adolescent males and young men who have committed various crimes in the State of Oregon. All this to say, I had found it difficult to get into a rhythm of intentional writing since having a “real job”. Well, now I am feeling re-energized and desirous of sharing my heart again and renewing the intentions of “This Profound Mystery – Contemplating the interweaving of marriage and following Jesus”. So, keep your eyes open for upcoming posts. I would love your input and feedback as I seek the Lord to kick start this renewed effort. Love you guys and hope that we can share together what Jesus is teaching us all, both in marriage and as His disciples.

 

7 Misconceptions About Christianity

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Stephen Mattson

There’s been much discussion—both in the Church and outside of it—about the label of “Christianity” and calling oneself a “Christian.” But what does the term really mean?

The word “Christian” is associated with many things, but here are some common misconceptions about Christianity that many non-Christians and even many Christians believe:

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PATIENT BELIEF – May 7

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A DEVOTED LIFE

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” Psalm 37:7-9

Everyone has to wait. I don’t know of anyone who seeks to wait. We are forced to wait. We wait for the doctor; we wait in traffic; we wait in the grocery line; we wait for results; we wait for opportunities; everyone is confronted with the necessity to wait. Therefore, we get a lot of practice in how to wait well.

Alone on the train

The advent of Smartphone game apps makes waiting a little more bearable for me. I play solitaire on my Smartphone to pass the waiting moment. I…

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THE WORD OF JESUS IN DESPERATE TIMES, PART 2, LUKE 7.1-17

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Humility and desperate compassion are the birthplace of abundant faith in the Living Voice of God.

Following the stunning, now famous declaration of faith of the Capernaum Centurion, look at the response of Jesus to this kind of humility-driven trust.

He is amazed!

Think for a moment what it would be like to see the Son of God amazed. Just let your imagination go there for a second…

Consider some of the synonyms used in the definition of the Greek term (thaumazo) used here: to wonder at, to marvel at, to be astonished out of one’s senses; awestruck.

Imagine now, we are talking about the same person who created the entire universe. Paul says in Colossians that, “… in him (Jesus) all things were created…. all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1.16-17).

This Creator of ALL THINGS is “astonished out of His senses” when He witnesses the humble faith of one man. The One for whom we are to be “awestruck” is stunned by a man who dared to believe all the things he’d been seeing and hearing and applied it to his time of desperation.

Jesus is ultimately saying, “Remember those things I was telling you a few days ago? I asked you the question, ‘Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?’  I compared the one who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice to a person who dug deep and made a foundation that withstood the storms beating against it. Well, now let Me do you one better… There it is right there! I’ve been waiting to show you My words put into action and what this Gentile just said is what it is all about.

I’ve never seen anything like it!”

And as ironic as this is, the Son of God is just as awestruck every time we practice this same kind humbled faith.

When in the heart of a painful relationship we say to God, “Say the word…,” He is happily stunned. When our children seem to be off track and we turn in faith for Him to parent them better than we could – He smiles. When the temptation of an old habit comes snooping around one more time, He is astonished out of His senses when we bow to Him and cry out saying, “Father, I can’t but You can.”

Father, we live in a world where we fear to be broken. Our flesh demands that we elevate ourselves so that that brokenness is masked. We tell ourselves that You are displeased with our scars. We fear others thinking us damaged and of no value. Lord of all compassion, reverse in us this perception. Let us see that You are never more proud of us than when we come to You in broken humility. For, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom…. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51.6,17). Amen.