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Blog Archives: February 2012

29
February
2012

Consider that I am Tempted Only by Me

Daily Reading James 1:12-16     Reflection   James says that my heart, not my circumstances or anything outside of me, is wholly responsible for whether I do the right thing or the wrong thing. We want life to be easy...or at least easier than it is when trying times, difficult decisions, and unmanageable relationships present themselves. When these situations arise and we fail to do the right thing, we blame the situation or someone else: "He made me so angry...that's why I cussed him out." "She's always blaming me...that's ...
28
February
2012

God Provides a Way Out

Daily Reading I Corinthians 10:13     Reflection   St. Paul uses a vivid word to describe the experience of being tested or tried: overtaken. It calls to mind images of being captured, tackled unexpectedly, or run off the road by a crazy driver. That's what the dreadful experience is always like—it takes over. But God's promise to help is just as vivid: a way out. With the presence of God's light there is always a new way of thinking. We do not have to sin, even when obedience is difficult. With the presence of God's love, we ...
27
February
2012

Prepared for the Inevitable

Daily Reading Luke 4:1-13     Reflection   From the cradle to the grave, we encounter temptation. It's a fact of life. Although we are redeemed through Christ's sacrifice, we struggle to align our desires with the values of His kingdom. In Luke 4, Jesus demonstrates how to do this, through spiritual preparation. By being alone and fasting, He directs all reliance away from Himself and toward God. Filled with the Spirit, Jesus is ready for battle. Then Satan presents Him with a choice: He can satisfy his earthly desires (turning ...
26
February
2012

and we wait, your feet to walk

  sunbaked earth barefoot, break the twigs the leaves the crack and peal solid ground shifting   now rubble, now ash concrete slab : pebble rock, and a woman sobs tears with no end, ragdoll child in hand.   pickup truck of parcels slung like slop to the sow and the people run, they snatch with panther eye and leopard claw   plastic bottled water, black beans, brown rice soy protein, canned corn and my neighbor looks more like my enemy   my God how i did not see You rag and bone, Your glory caught up inhumanity (Annelies ...
25
February
2012

From Privilege to Poverty

Daily Reading Philippians 2:5-8     Reflection   How can God possibly identify with my brokenness? How could He ever know my pain? These are our questions, and they reflect a real sense of conflict within. The God of the universe often seems so remote, invisible, and arbitrary. Hurricanes and earthquakes ravage whole people groups, and our own personal crises ravage our souls. Is it possible that such a remote God could understand? In Jesus, God says, "You're right...and I'm coming to your neighborhood to embrace your pain, and ...
24
February
2012

Are We Supposed to be Meek?

Daily Reading Matthew 5:1, 2, 5     Reflection   The Bible tells the story over and over again how God uses the poor and the marginalized to humble the powers of this world. The all powerful God uses the weak to be his agents of change (1 Cor. 1:27). He invites us to live into his story and continue the work he has started. Meek is not a word that most of us would choose to label ourselves. We imagine the powerless, the submissive, those without choice or entitlement to anything. What do we do with this? The meek rarely ...
23
February
2012

How Should Christians Engage the Cultural life of San Francisco?

Scot Sherman
Open Forum with Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary   We San Franciscans have the privilege of living in one of the most beautiful and diverse cities in the world. And the food's not bad either. I regularly say to myself, "can you believe you live in San Francisco? This place is amazing!"   You don't have to be here very long before you see that this city is as broken as it is beautiful. Which is why at City Church we regularly talk about our commitment to the renewal of the city. But what does that mean? How do ...
23
February
2012

God will Provide

Daily Reading I Kings 17:8-24     Reflection   During Lent, a valuable practice is to envision yourself as a participant in God's story.  In today's text, it might be helpful to see yourself as the widow, needy and dependent.  Like the Israelites in their wilderness journey, she is asked to trust that God will provide.  And He does.  As He did for the widow, He provides for you and me when we come to Him needy, dependent, and poor in spirit...with open hands. The season of Lent invites us to see ourselves as a wilderness ...
22
February
2012

Remember That You are But Dust...

Daily Reading Genesis 3:14-19     Reflection   For nearly a thousand years, the church has begun the season of Lent with a paraphrase of the words of v. 19: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return." In the primeval biblical story of the first humans, these are God's words of judgment. The disruption caused by sin means that we all will die. But do we really need reminding? Some psychologists say that all human religious and ethical aspirations are nothing but exercises in terror management in the face of the ...
21
February
2012

Resources for Lent

Chuck DeGroat
Lent invites us to join Christ on the way of the Cross.  It's an intentional season of reflection and meditation.  Even more, we're challenged to arrange our lives in such a way as to be daily frustrated.  Let me explain. As people addicted to comfort and convenience, we're often unaware of how we live to feel good about ourselves, to gain a bit of affirmation, to exert influence, to maximize our own pleasure, to satisfy our immediate needs.  Lent invites us to intentionally frustrate ourselves, to engage in a season of deprivation, which ...
16
February
2012

A Season, A Discipline, A Sign

Fred Harrell
On Wednesday of next week City Church will join millions of Christians all over the world for a particular kind of worship service called "Ash Wednesday" which marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Why? What's the purpose of this season and why do we need to hear "You are but dust, and to dust you shall return?" A Season to Embrace The Truth About Ourselves Lent is an old English word that means springtime. It was a way of speaking about a season before Easter, and over the centuries Christians have used this time of year before Easter ...