Monday, May 31, 2010

Fellowship of Flops - The woman who washed Jesus' Feet

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
 - Luke 7:47.
The woman of questionable repute had received much forgiveness. She knew she needed much forgiveness. And thus was given it. She was desperate to have forgiveness. It showed in how far she was willing to go. Walking into the "lion's den" of a Pharisee's home with the possibility of be thrown out and public humiliation, washing the feet of Jesus with perfume that like cost her much.

You cannot give what you don't already have. Some things you don't just have, you have to be given. More so you have to receive these. LOVE MERCY GRACE FORGIVENESS are such things. 

These gifts are such that you can't give them unless you have already received them. These gifts cannot just be owned but also  experienced.

The pharisee did not think he needed forgiveness and therefore did not receive and experience the same.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fellowship of Flops- Levi/Matthew the public tax collector

Levi/Matthew the public tax collector was one of the original twelve. What's interesting is among the twelve he was likely the least liked. I wonder what went through the others' minds when Jesus said to Matthew: "Follow me!"  The Word of God (The Bible) is silent about it, perhaps it's because God wants us to focus what was said and recorded.

Tax collectors in those times were hated and probably the only thing worse than that was a Samaritan (a half-breed). I wonder how the other disciple felt initially about the inclusion of Matthew into their midst. I figure that they were plenty uncomfortable about it. On the top of having a publican added to them now they had to go to his place for dinner. They likely very uncomfortable at the dinner... cause there was all this low life sinners around them. I'm guessing that when Jesus responded to the Pharisees, He was not just addressing them but also the disciples who were silent.

It is also interesting to note that, in both Matthew and Luke's accounts, this event takes place BEFORE Jesus selected the twelve.  This would mean then that the disciples referred to in Luke 5 and Matthew 9 were not just the twelve but a whole bunch of people. Perhaps the incident at Matthew's banquet had something to do with how and who Jesus eventually choose as the twelve.

Was Jesus also watching how the disciples treated Matthew and the others? Did the other disciples shun him or avoid talking to him. How did they respond to the other "rift-raft" of society at that banquet?

Whatever the case, Matthew a  flop and outcast of society, was called and chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve. Matthew who was likely shun by his family and peers was asked to be part of what would be the world-changing movement.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thinking about Joseph...

Not Joseph Prince pastor of New Creation Church. Not Joseph the Dreamer. But Joseph the Carpenter, Husband of Mary mother of Jesus.

Max Lucado in his book Cast of Characters he writes of Joseph and what he(Joseph) might have been going through the night Jesus was born, wondering if he ever prayed a particular prayer.

My thoughts about Joseph are more of what went through him. When he decided not to quietly divorce Mary and go through with the marriage. There must have been a lot of whispers going around. Questions about who the real father was, comments about her being a "loose" women. Or worst, whispers that Joseph was not great guy himself and his lack of self control had led to this set of circumstances. I mean the amount of shame and dishonor he had bear, the questioning looks and stares. Maybe it was a good thing that he had to go out of town with Mary - to Bethlehem- foe the census, it would have taken a lot of heat off him, heat that wasn't even his to bear.

For the unfamiliar, perhaps it be good for you to read this for background.

There isn't much said about Joseph the carpenter. There are only two mentions in the bible I know of the first be at the birth of Jesus which includes the escape to and return from Egypt. The other when the family when to Jerusalem for the Passover when Jesus was twelve. There Jesus is "lost" for three days. I wonder what he felt. I mean did he think: "Oh NO! I lost God's Son?"

In all this Joseph doesn't "speak," he is not quoted in saying anything nor are his thoughts and emotions recorded except that he was afraid to return to Judah after Herod died. Perhaps it's because he was no longer around to bear witness to the writers of the accounts unlike Mary.

I wonder what went through his head more so whether like Mary he hid all these things in his heart. I suspect he did.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A book I could not put down...

A Book I could not put down ……

Friendship for grown-ups is Lisa Whelchel’s story of healing. In it she chronicles her journey of discovering and defining what friendship is for a grown-up. The journey is not without it’s bumps on the road. There are twist and turns, crossroads and heartbreaks along the way. Yet it has been a journey worth taking because it has led her into the heart of God the Father and into knowing God in a deeper more intimate manner. Ultimately, you cannot touch the heart of God and come out a changed person which is what happened to Lisa. It is a journey that is still ongoing even as she writes the book.
I started reading the book on Saturday morning and third way through it by mid-morning. I would have finished it by the end of the day if not for other responsibilities to attend to. I was done reading by Monday Lunchtime. Is the book easy reading? No not really, it is compelling. The writer drew me into the story of her current life not some distant past.
What got my attention was the title of the book. Friendship for Grown-ups. Something in me clicked. I had to have the book. You see unlike two significant people in my life (my brother and my wife) who have friendship that have lasted since their childhood and schooldays, I have none that have lasted. Even the bonds I’ve built as an adult done last beyond the change of job or relocation.
So I just had to have the book. I desperately needed to connect with people. This book would help me. I was to be disappointed and not.
For one, Friendship for Grown-ups was a book written for women. (I am a guy) Two, it is not your quick-fix book or some 12 steps to success in your personal life.   There are no formulas and solutions that you could magically pull out and use. There wasn’t even a section the guys to use to help their wives who may be going what Lisa went through. There’s not even a mention of her husband (and Lisa makes it clear there will not be from the start) of what he did or how he helped her through it all)
But men can take a few pages out this book too. If anything men and shame don’t mix well. The worst thing that can happen to a guy is to be put to shame.
Guys tend not to have deep friendship or be vulnerable and open about they weakness. There are things in this book that men can learn too. Open, authentic relationship with other men and with God.
Lisa present to
If there are any key words that I find in this book they are:
Vulnerable, safe friends(place), The grace of God, authentic

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255