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Archive for January, 2009

We are about three weeks away from starting a new series of messages at GCF.  Called, The Anchor, this series will be based on Hebrews 6.16-18 and will take us through 6 weeks of talking about hope.

As I was sitting in Panera this morning with my Bible open, a blank legal pad and some notes I had taken earlier in the week from some resources in the seminary library in front of me, I was caught by a statement from theologian/scholar Colin Brown:  “Hope is not theological knowledge.  Hope is a lived attitude.”

I had written the quote down earlier in the week because it sounded kind of “pithy” (as my grandparents would say), but this morning the idea stopped me cold in my tracks.  What about hope?  Hope is not theological knowledge.  As a follower of Christ, hope is the basic attitude of life.

Surely, hope is not always smiles, presents and handshakes.  The New Testament uses many other words to describe a hope-filled attitude.  Words like perseverance and endurance.  These are “raw” words.  They describe something undying inside of us that does not allow us to give up precisely when it seems like everything around us, including ourselves, as well, are doing exactly that:  dying.

I’ll have a lot to say about hope through the six weeks of The Anchor series.  I think some of it is going to be formed and shaped by my own wrestling with just how much hope is a lived attitude for me.

Having made a joint decision for Kyra, my wife,to step down from one of her two jobs due to the constraints of her rheumatoid athritis, we are now on the countdown to finding out how that income will be made up.  Some of the options are exciting to think about.  Some of the options bring to mind words like perseverance and endurance.  What does it look like for me to live hope as an attitude right now?

Surely, it goes beyond the trappings of a nice, little, middle class life.  If hope is as fading and fainting as the money and possessions that so often define our identity, then there is no such thing as real hope.  If hope, on the other hand, is the certainty that a new creation is coming – one that I, as of yet, have not been able to lay my eyes upon AND, if hope is the certainty that the presence of Jesus Christ (The Holy Spirit) – someone I cannot physically grasp – is with me, transforming and healing my wayward and hurting heart, then certainly hope is a real anchor for me when the life-sea is casting me about.

Sometimes, you preach sermons.  Other times, you desperately want to live them!  Come on, Hope!

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If you’re from somewhere further north than Lexington, Kentucky feel free to ridicule and laugh as you read on . . .

Seldom do we have a serious snow fall here in central Kentucky.  I’ve lived here for 10 years and have seen nothing like the snowfalls I can remember growing up in West Virginia.  We got at least a good 6 to 10 inches a couple of times during the winter.

But here in central Kentucky, we get something I don’t remember having quite so much of while growing up in West Virginia:  ICE, ICE and more ICE.

So I think there are about 2 to 3 inches of ice on the ground.  Nothing like the huge lake-effect snow storms that folks near Eerie, PA or western New York get, but its enough to bring down the power lines, start snapping the trees and otherwise bringing this region to a near standstill.

And of course, school has been closed for three days.  And it will go to four days tomorrow.

My kids (and their parents) had cabin fever today.  After clearing off the sidewalk and a path down the driveway, (NOTE TO SELF:  consider NOT buying a house on a hillside the next time), I got the family in the car and we went out for lunch and to explore what damage the ice had done in other neighborhoods.

Following lunch, we came home and I tried to teach the kids how to use a snow shovel to sled down the front yard.  Too bad – no matter how hard I tried to show them, they couldn’t get the hang of it.  With numb fingers, red noses and wet clothes, they came inside and, well, it was back to cabin fever again.  Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow.

As I write the snow is falling again.  I have a lot to do this week and a lot of it has not gotten done yesterday or today.  I’ve created some projects that can be done from home; some of which were long overdue in getting to, but nonetheless, I don’t like cabin fever. 

I think we get cabin fever in our relationship with God.  Two days of being locked up in my house and I can’t wait to get my hands on something and get it done.  I face the same thing in my relationship with God.  It’s hard to set still and just let him pour over me and start digging around inside of my heart.  I think I’ll take some time to be locked up in the cabin with God tomorrow!

I

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