Too much…

6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. – Exodus 36:6-7;&version=31;

Could you imagine having such commitment in your church that you have to tell people that you had enough so they don’t need to bring their offering anymore? It’s amazing that Moses had to tell the people of Israel to hold off from bringing more. They had already given more than enough to do all the work.

Life is a Vapor

Life is a Vapor

I’ve been stunned lately by the deaths of some family and friends. My grandmother died late last year. My Uncle died last week. One of my best friends from high school was found dead this morning.

Thinking about death makes me think about what I do on a daily basis. It makes me think about the way I treat people and respond to situations. It makes me think about the plans I make and how I spend my time. It makes me want to dedicate myself to live better.

When I think about life and death, I am drawn to James 4:14.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

We have a short time here on earth. We have little time to influence people. I want my short vapor of a life to count for something. I want, when the mist is gone, for Christ to have been magnified by my life.

Nothing else matters. I will miss the people who we have lost in the last few days. They influenced me. They are in my memories. Their lives counted. I want my life to count for something.

What would happen if we lived life in light of James 4:14? What would happen if we realized how short life really is? I’m sure my daily decisions would be different. I’m sure I would live to make a greater impact both in my family and in the lives of those around me.

Small but Powerful

Chile piquinThe chile piquin is a small but powerful type of chile pepper. I tried one the other day because my students had told me that they would make an excellent illustration for my sermon on the tongue. They were right. I had to spit it out because I didn’t want it to burn my esophagus.

Today I preached on James 3 at Bethel Church in Xochimilco. My introduction was the chile piquin. We talked about three observations about the tongue: It has power (for good or evil); it is difficult to tame; and controlling it is essential to living out our faith.

It’s a lot easier to preach about taming the tongue than it is to live it. I think part of it has to do with the fact that there are so many ways to slip up with the tongue. It takes only a little moment in time to lose your temper and say something that you will regret for a long time.

I had a good time with a new group of Christians today, and I pray that the sermon will take root in their lives and the life of their church.

Who Do You Hate?

I thought this video was thought provoking, especially his question asking how much do you have to hate a person to not tell them what you believe.

What do you think?

The Bible Illuminated

The Bible Illuminated

There’s a new product coming to North America in the Fall of 2008 called Bible Illuminated. It is an oversized (8 ¼ x 11 ½), full-color, 264-page glossy magazine that has striking, provocative, contemporary photographs. It uses the Good News Translation (GNT) and it is aimed to be less intimidating than traditional Bibles.

You can see what it’s all about online at Illuminated World.

One of the cool things is that it is the actual text of the Bible put into a format that is easy to read and feels more like something you would pick up and look at today, either on the subway, the doctor’s office, or anywhere else.

Here’s a video of the creator of the project talking about the motive behind it and what he hopes happens as a result.

(via: Boing boing)