The church called “Community Dinners”

5 11 2016

The church formerly called Westminster Community Church has changed its name to “Community Dinners.”

I celebrate their motive — to live out their community life in a way Jesus would.

I admire their innovation — leaving their building and the time, energy, and expense it consumed, and becoming a group that congregated in various locations around northern Seattle.

I love their practicality — serving dinners to any who will come, planning to build affordable housing, offering skills training all in Jesus’ name.

For those who are worn out on the term “missional” read their story here and be encouraged as they seek to be just that.





6 Reasons Your Nation Cannot Be Glad

5 09 2016

God’s desire is that every nation be glad. The Bible is clear about this. In one Psalm (#67) God reveals six signs of a glad nation. But your nation cannot experience these because they only happen when God is given opportunity to bring in His character. There are no glad nations today, and I do not think we can even imagine one.

I am an American, so let me focus on why America cannot be glad. You can adjust this to your own nation.

1. WE DO NOT LOOK TO GOD FOR MERCY AND BLESSING. “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us” (Ps. 67:1). When someone’s face shines on another, it means he has joy and pleasure on his face. He is pleased and happy with what he sees. A glad nation is one on which God looks with an intent to shower his favor. Most Americans have no interest in this.

2. WE DO NOT KNOW THE WAY OF SALVATION. “That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations” (v.2). A glad nation is one in which common families know that we are in dire straits without God, and that He is our only hope. Most Americans think they know all they need to know. They don’t think God can save.

3. WE DO NOT SING TO GOD WITH JOY. “Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (v.3,4a). This scripture actually tells of God’s wish that everyone would be happy with praise! Americans are too busy for this, and too focused on many things other than God. We are so intent on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” that we created a sad nation.

4. WE DON’T WANT RIGHTEOUS GOVERNANCE. “For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth.” (v.4b). God would like to gladden nations by helping governments to reward good acts, punish evil, and protect the weak. We are too interested in our own rights to let God’s way enter in.

5. WE DO NOT VALUE A PRODUCTIVE EARTH. “Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You, then the earth shall yield her increase; God, our own God, shall bless us” (Ps.67:5-6). We don’t see the earth as God’s creation, so we make no connection between honoring God and having prosperity. We think the earth just happened, and we are trashing it. We don’t recognize our prosperity because we always want more.

6. WE HAVE NO REVERENCE FOR GOD. “God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him” (v.7). “Fear” means to honor and respect. Because my nation does not respect God, we have reason to be afraid of Him. God is angry because we have declined His goodness. This has seriously ticked Him off, and we are living with the results.

God is good and wants nations to be glad. You and I live in sad nations because God is willfully ignored. These are the sad facts.





Reality in Rio. A life changed, a call to pray

4 08 2016

As the Olympics unfold in Rio, consider this story of hope from the underworld of that city.





The day God ran out of patience

2 08 2016

thunder lightningOne day, God’s patience snapped. It began as a clap of thunder in the distance. His discontent rumbled over the hills of villainy, sending forth the first warning shots that His silence would soon cease.

The ocean began to swell, turning the deep green water into white foam, reflecting the Almighty’s building fury. The winds picked up the tempo as they began to howl, building into gale force, breaking into the bellowing roar of divine indignation. God was fed up with the captivity of souls, sick and tired of the despicable prince’s pompous rule.

The roofs and shutters of the Land of Wrath lost their grip and sailed uncontrollably into the wind, exposing dismal hovels of fear. Then the earth began to shake, and the foundations of the mountains trembled, shaking with God’s burning rage.

Smoke rose from His nostrils and consuming fire burst forth from His mouth. He split the heavens because the perishing cried out; He came to rescue those entangled in the snares of death. From His Sanctuary, He heard their wail of distress.

So He mounted the cherubim and soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his hiding place, the sky’s dark rain clouds His canopy. Out of the brightness of His presence, the clouds advanced over the dreary land, hail-stones and bolts of lightning emissaries of the infuriated King. The Lord thundered from heaven, the voice of the Most High roared. He shot His arrows into the lewd oppression and scattered the devilish minions in a thousand directions. He threw great bolts of lightning and routed the hierarchy of hate. The valleys of the sea were exposed, and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the Lord’s rebuke, at the blast of breath from His nostrils.

Yes, the God of love could bear the sight no longer. He could no longer endure the pain. He had to rescue the people brought forth from His yearning arms, the family He created for holiness.

And so He rose that day in vindication so righteous as to be virtuous. He rose against the devastation and waste. He rose in disgust at the culture of filth, His blood running hot with rage over the crippling depravity. He rose to crush the skull of the vile rebel who had deceived His creation, and with flaming eyes and fuming anger, with clenched fists raised toward heaven, with holy sandals planted squarely on the sludge of deception’s kingdom, God lifted His thunderous voice and shook the rafters of rottenness. His glaring eyes pierced right through the lion, and with words sharpened like a saber, God challenged His enemy to the duel of the ages: “Meet me at Golgotha!”


Excerpt from Safe In His Sanctuary (pp.83-84), by Robert E Rasmussen

photo credit: agatelady.blogspot.com





Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear.

27 07 2016

I love the incident in which Jesus returns to his home town synagogue and is invited to read a scripture. He opens to Isaiah and reads a messianic passage — to the effect that the messiah would give good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty for the oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor.

In other words, the messiah was full of good news.

Then Jesus said he was that messiah.

Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear. Many today will say that Jesus is the only one who could deliver them from addiction, or the only one who healed their marriage.  Jesus was the only one who got the kids back, or the only one who healed from tragedy. Jesus was the only one who kept him sane after loss of a child, who got her through a chronic illness.

Hopefully people will hang with Jesus long enough for him to say, “You know, the good news you truly need is forgiveness of all your sins, that you may stay with me forever.”  And that’s gospel.

(Leave a comment would you? How has Jesus been good news to you?)

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