Monday, January 23, 2006

Thank God for Robert Schuller

I took a seminary class last week as continuing education. It was a fairly cranky group, which is usually the case when pastors get together. The conversation was critical, which is good. Occasionally, it was more so, which probably wasn’t good. We would complain about a number of well-known pastors and authors. Once someone mentioned Robert Schuller’s name, and the barbs flew.

A pastor pulled me aside and said, “You know. I once attended a preaching workshop by Schuller. He told us that he never criticized anyone in preaching that was not there to defend himself.”

How Christian. That certainly knocks my self-righteousness down a few notches.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Newsletter: Living on the Frontier

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away,
behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Driving along the highways and byways of the state of Texas, I have always been intrigued by those historical markers. Each one tells a story about the history of our great state. Some are poignant. Some are fascinating. Others are baffling. That someone took the time to mark each these sites reveals a deep sense of history and heritage by Texans. What I find ironic about our sense of history is actually how young our state is. Speaking with members of our congregation, I realize that our community of Vernon is only one or two generations removed from being the frontier. As settlers moved to this area, they lived on the edge of two worlds. They lived in the civilization that they brought with them, and they lived on the edge of a vast wilderness.

As Christians, we also live on a frontier. We are called to live as Christ’s new creation. At the same time, we continue to live in a world which “groans” for redemption (Romans 8:22). We live between the old and new order. We live our lives on the edge. As the pioneer establishes an outpost of civilization, we establish an outpost for God’s new creation. We desire that our congregation will be a people of forgiveness, of love, of grace. We desire to a people after God’s own heart. As we live on the frontier, we will be witnesses of Jesus Christ.

From the beginning, God had a dream for his creation. That creation was corrupted by sin and is redeemed by Jesus Christ. Throughout it all, God’s dream remains. As we enter 2006, our Sunday school classes will explore God’s dream for all of creation. Join us as we live life on the frontier.