Friday, June 25, 2010

One Reason People Stay Away From Church and Christianity

I recently read a BLOG by Chris Rosebrough, "Where Does it Say That We Can "Practice the Presence of God"?, posted on The Letter of Marque that deeply disturbed me for many reasons. His attack on the Catholic Church and on 21st century believers (some of whom call themselves "Emergent") was brutal and bigoted rubbish. I ported a response in an attempt to tell him he was loved and that it takes different tools to get different people into relationship with God through Christ. That only produced more vitriolic yammering from this troubled soul.

What really bothers me is that it is Chris's brand of Christian self-hate that turns people away from the Church. Who would want to become a follower of Christ when people claiming Christ condemn fellow believers.
In becoming irrelevant so many Christians(?) like Chris have also become irreverent. Where's the love Chris?
I'll be praying for you brother.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The World's Oldest Profession

The world's oldest profession is a Gardener

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

The theme for the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference held at Collierville UMC was “Tending God’s Garden”. Anyone who is a gardener knows how much work goes into growing fruitful and beautiful plants. As a matter of fact, those of us who are not gardeners avoid that hobby for that very reason.

Tending God’s Garden, of course, is a metaphor for the many ways we must take responsibility for bearing fruit in our own lives and in the life of our Church. To grow a fruitful garden the soil must be prepared. We need a fertile foundation, a deep desire for God, where seeds of faith are planted.

A bountiful garden requires daily attention. We can think of watering and fertilizing our Spiritual Gardens as reading the scriptures, daily prayer and quiet time to listen for God. Gardens must be weeded regularly; take a look at our lives through God’s eyes and see what habits or actions need to be pulled out by the roots and thrown on the compost heap.

Our community is a garden God has planted our Church in. As Disciples of Christ we are called to go out from the Church into the world spreading seeds of faith through our witness and service. To nurture our neighbors and prepare their hearts by praying for them and tending to their needs. Tilling and enriching their spiritual soil so God, through the mystery of the Holy Spirit, can bring new life into a hurting and broken world.

Take some time this summer and tend to your Spiritual Garden. Tend to your soul and thin out the weeds so God can bear fruit in your life. That fruit of life will produce the seeds of faith we then plant in the Community Garden God has given our Church to tend and care for.