Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

All Of God’s Human Deliverers Need Deliverance Too

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Part 1a, 24min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1a1.mp3”

Part 1b, 27min:“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1b1.mp3”

Full Message: 51min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah.mp3”

Main Passages: Judges 14:1-9 – Judges 16:4-5,15-30

Theological Theme:

God – Father, Son, and Spirit, works even through the defeats of sinful leaders to bring about His plan. [“God Loves human beings. God Loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the grounds of unfathomable love.”] – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Christ Connection:

Samson’s downfall was the result of his own disobedience, and yet God – The Father used his death to begin the deliverance of His people. Jesus’ death was the result of His perfect obedience and our disobedience. God used His death to bring deliverance “once for all” for His people. [“The bible teaches that what matters isn’t what we think is right, but what GOD says is right and what GOD does in the person of JESUS”] – TJBrassell

Missional Application:

God – The Holy Spirit, calls people who feel defeated by sin and evil to put away their sins by turning back to God for deliverance. [“There is no sin that God cannot forgive and has not forgiven in Christ! There is no end to his mercy! But today YOU can choose to TRUST GOD in CHRIST and trust him to receive and forgive ALL of your sins and you can live the kind of life that we all need to, and that is, THE LIFE OF GRACE and THE LIFE OF WORSHIP!”] – TJBrassell

Photo Courtesy: http://www.greenvillegrace.org: http://www.crossmap.com

 

BEing.

I like to play golf. I’m not very good at it. I’m fairly good at it, just not very good. My best friend is very good at it. I, however, just enjoy being outside, fellowshipping with others, and the occasional score under 90.

Last summer I began to believe that I possessed the physical, mental, and emotional abilities necessary to improve my game. One of the things I have done is take golf lessons. I have a coach named Adam who is very knowledgeable and helpful.

A few Saturdays ago, in lieu of a lesson, we went out and played a few holes together. The idea was for Adam to be able to take a look at my whole game. Instead of just working on short irons, driver, chipping, or putting he was going to evaluate a variety of my shots on every hole.

When I arrived that day on the course Adam said, “Hey do you want a lesson today or do you want to go play a few?” “No contest.”, I thought. So we headed over to the first tee. When we stepped onto the tee box Adam informed me that he was going to hit all of my shots for me. I would just stand by and watch.

Ha ha! No, that last bit isn’t true at all. Adam did not hit all my shots for me. What kind of instructor would he be if he just did it all for me? I had to participate in my learning to be

Par 3 11th

Brookwoods G.C.  Hole 11, Par 3, 173 yards. (yep… I made the birdie putt)

a golfer. While it is very exciting to see a good golfer hit the ball a foot from the cup from 180 yards away, it is even more exciting when, through hours of practice and thousands of range balls, you do it yourself. (See pic)

The Father, Son, and Spirit have included the human race in their life of love, fellowship, goodness, mercy, justice, laughter, dancing, and mutual other-centeredness and love us so much that we are called to believe and respond to that inclusion. Peter said, that because our sins have been forgiven we are called to respond.

The whole of humanity are the children of God and we are called to believe that we are the children of God and so grow into the fullness of what it means to be His children. We are called to participate, not in any way that creates our reconciliation or redemption, but we are called to participate as children of God so that (as Dr. C. Baxter Kruger says), “the way of our being aligns with the truth of our being.”

Every analogy concocted fails the greatness and profound mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but in my limited capacity let me say this. Jesus is the great I AM who believes perfectly on our behalf so that in him we might have our own true personhood and distinction. This is why he sends the Spirit. We are not him and he is not us, but by the Spirit we get to participate in His humanity! We are really us! We matter and God will have us truly be his children in love, in laughter, in relationships, in giving, in sharing, in altruistic action, in faithfulness, and in every aspect of our lives!

In the very Person and Being of Jesus, your humanity is saved, adopted, included, and you are God’s beloved child. Therefor; in his grace, and by the Spirit, will you be His saved, adopted and included child, responding in relationship to Him; responding to other human beings the way he does?

~Bill Winn

The God Who Goes Before

Joshua 3-4 The God Who Goes Before

Full Message:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/16-10-30-the-god-who-goes-before-joshua-3-4-tah-guest-stonesifer.mp3”

Theological Theme: God – Father, Son and Spirit’s presence and power does not negate our responsibility to obey in faith; rather, it makes possible our faith response.

Christ Connection: God told Joshua and the Israelites to set up memorial stones to remember what God had done to bring them into the promised land. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told His disciples to remember the sacrifice He was going to make to save us from our sins. When Christians eat the Lord’s Supper, we remember God’s plan to ultimately destroy sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Missional Application: God calls us to recount His mighty works in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, and in our lives so that others will know He is powerful.

*picture courtesy of pinterest.com

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Last year a couple of close friends of ours told us about an anarchist’s house in Richmond called the Wingnut House. As one might imagine, I was curious. I had to see it. The more we learned about the house the more I wanted to see it.news30_wingnut

The Wingnut house was a large home in the Barton Heights area of Richmond. It was an anarchist collective. The folks there believed in a variety of things… such as mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and direct action. The house was generally open to the public, it was a drug-free/ alcohol-free place where food, live music, community,  and, I’m sure, spirited debate were in ample supply.

At the core of anarchism is the belief that the governments of mankind are illegitimate and bring mostly oppression, poverty, and violence. There are actually a few tenets of anarchism that, I think, have a ring of truth about them. But anyway on with the story… you’re gonna love this.

So our friends got in the church van with us and began showing us the way to the Wingnut House. I was excited! So as we pulled alongside the house what struck us was that large portions of the house were covered in expertly painted murals containing various themes and messages relating to the care of humanity and anti-authoritarianism. On the front of the house there was said to be a mural dedicated to people killed by the State and I wanted to see it but there was a one-way street in front of the house and I didn’t want to drive all the way around the block so… yep you guessed it.

I thought, “What the heck, it’s an anarchy house so we’ll “stick it to the man” and drive the wrong way down the one-way street. (Since there was nothing coming in this quiet neighborhood) So picture it, we’re in the Richmond Grace church van, going the wrong way down a one-way street just to see a mural painted on an Anarchist Collective house called- The Wingnut. It is one of my favorite memories.

What happened next shocked me. (No we didn’t get pulled over by the police, that would not have shocked me) There were about a dozen or so people sitting on the front porch and steps of the house and as we passed by some began to shout at us that we were going the wrong way!

Can you believe it? The anarchists were upset that we were going against the signs put up by man-made governments. I began to laugh and then it hit me and I thought, “Be what you are.”

I must confess as we passed by the house going against the designated flow of traffic I was eager to receive accolades from the anarchists. I awaited my fist pumps and upward turned thumbs but… it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why my “anarchy” wasn’t celebrated but it got me thinking.

Do we, as believers, sometimes find ourselves unwilling to celebrate the achievements and freedoms of those who might not think and believe as we do? I catch myself sometimes grumbling to the Father, Son, and Spirit about the blessings and successes of those around me who don’t give nearly as much time, energy, and resources to the life of the Church, who perhaps don’t give God a second thought, and maybe don’t even believe there is a God.

As a Gospel preacher I know that “Jesus gives life and breath and all things to all mortals” (Acts 17:25) Notice that Paul distinguishes life from breath. The Greek word for life is zoe, meaning spiritual life. Yes Trinity and Humanity reader… Jesus gives you life with His Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and he gives it to your Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Muslim neighbor. The difference is, that when we begin to see and believe, our minds are transformed and we begin to recognize that Jesus is truly at the center of everything we do. It’s a Gospel fact, but much of the prevailing thought in our day would have us believe otherwise. Believing the Gospel in the world might just be a little like going the wrong way on a one-way street.

So our mission, as those who believe and especially at Trinity and Humanity, is to inform and educate every person in the world that they have been included in the Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Whether that message is popular or widely accepted is only an indication of how much work there is for us to do as “Gospel educators.” Sometimes, to get the message out, it’s okay to go against the flow of traffic or be called a nut… I’ve been called worse.

 

~Bill Winn

Jesus is the Ultimate Atonement and Sacrifice, Part 1

leviticus-1-atonement

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1a-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1b-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: The burnt offering was for the removal of the people’s guilt before God; the grain offering restored Israel to serve God and neighbor, and the fellowship offering was for the reconciliation between God the Father and His people.

Christ Connection: Because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, we celebrate the removal of our guilt before God, the freedom to serve God on His mission, and the restoration of our relationship with God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Missional Application: Because we who share in Christ’s life have been freed from our guilt, God the Holy Spirit calls us to serve Him by serving others.

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

The Triune God of Our Relationships

exodus-20-a-god-who-is-a-relationship

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-pt-1-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-pt-2-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: God the Father’s law reflects God’s intention for human flourishing in society.

Christ Connection: As the sinless Savior, Jesus is the only One who has kept the law perfectly. He demonstrated His love for others by laying down His life in their place.

Missional Application: Because we have experienced God’s great love toward us, we are called to love and seek the good of our neighbors in the Grace and Power of the Spirit.

*photo courtesy of tourguidepastor.wordpress.com

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.6

john-13_34-35

Part 6a: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6a-john-13-tah.mp3”

Part 6b: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6b-john-13-tah.mp3”

Full Message: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6-john-13-tah.mp3”

This message asks along with author Tim Chester, “When will we introduce [the world] to the network of believing relationships of which are privileged to be a part? When will they see us participating in the trinitarian life. When will they see that we not only submit to God’s will, but actually know God as a Father through the Son and by the Spirit? When will they see our relationships with one another: not perfect relationships, but relationships that reflect our experience of triune grace? When will they see a supernatural community that reflects the sending by the Father of the Son in the power of the Spirit, and the glorification by the Spirit through the Son of the Father.

Only as they experience the reality of the work of the Trinity in the lives of believers, and our vibrant relationship with the triune God, will the doctrine of the Trinity cease to be an academic game and become their living Hope.”

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

Primary Function: What the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

Recently our church family began serving a newly-opened retirement community and we  are just getting to know some of the residents there. So far we are conducting a worship service that the residents are free to attend (or not attend), collecting large print books for their library, and I am visiting to eat lunch once a week.

So yesterday I was eating lunch with Rick (not his real name). He’s a retired father of 4 with fascinating stories to tell about the dozen or so states he’s lived in while he was a career man.

I noticed Rick sitting alone and decided to introduce myself. “I’m Billscrabble-included.”, I said. “May I join you for lunch?” He looked at me quizzically and replied, “Suit yourself. I’m not much of a conversationalist.” I sat down. I ordered a salad and the broccoli soup. The soup never came but the salad was amazing and huge so I didn’t miss the soup anyway.

During our conversation Rick asked me a question that vexed me so powerfully that I sidelined my prepared blog for today and am writing this now. Rick, I think, was having trouble believing that I was there without an agenda -other than to just love on and serve the fine folks in that community. Then he asked me the question. I might, in fact, describe his query as the throwing of a dart. His question caught me off guard and penetrated my heart.

He asked, “What would you say your primary function as a Pastor is?”

I was stunned. I gave him an adequate answer I hope, but last night lying awake at 2 AM I thought of a better answer. Isn’t that just the way it often happens?

My ministry as a Christian and as a Christ-centered Pastor is simply to participate in what the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

The Blessed Trinity has, as I see it, one primary goal and that is to see to it that the entire human race comes to know the Father with the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In the finished work of Jesus Christ humanity has been brought into eternal objective Union with God. The primary function of the Church is now to educate the human race, to declare their identity in Christ, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit to break the chains of brokenness and bondage.

So when Rick (again, not his real name) asked, “What would you say your primary responsibility as a Pastor is?”- a better answer would have been, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…” Isaiah 61

~Bill Winn

I Already Got 5 Dollars

In the Wendell Berry book, Jayber Crow, the main character (Jayber) tells a lie as a young man in order to disguise his aimlessness. He is hitchhiking and a man he knows from his childhood gives him a lift. Jayber is now about 19-20 and he knows the man does not recognize him. Jayber never intended to rob the man but he made up an elaborate lie about a sick mother and hungry brothers and sisters and that he had to go to the city to find work to support them. The truth was, he was lost emotionally and did not know what to do with his life.

When the man dropped him off at his destination he shoved a 5-dollar bill into Jayber’s jacket pocket. Jayber took the money, he needed it, but it was a liar’s wage and he knew it. The 5 dollars became a shameful burden for Jayber.

Well, by and by Jayber made his way back to his home town and became the town’s only barber. The memory of his lie and his “liar’s wage” would not leave him, nor would its shame. One day the man who’d given him the 5 dollars, so many years ago, came and sat in Jayber’s barber chair. Seeing that he was the only customer in the shop Jayber took the opportunity to confess his crime and offered to repay the 5 dollar5vers. The man refused the money by saying, “I already got 5 dollars.”

Do you see it?

Forgiveness, true forgiveness does not require repayment. Since the man had forgiven Jayber he was no longer in a place where he had to have the money back in order for their relationship to be whole. It was not easy for Jayber to accept such free and honest forgiveness but he did and he and the man never spoke of the 5 dollars again.

In the Atonement the Father, Son, and Spirit forgave humanity’s Sin and sins, we were no longer under any obligation to repay a debt. Most amazingly the Father, Son, and Spirit do not even want our attempted repayments. There is no need for penance, no need to try and balance the scales, no need to try and make up for our sins. It may be necessary and beneficial to try to make restitution to a person we have wronged. It may be helpful for us and for them but it will never improve the unconditional forgiveness we have all received in Jesus.

The statement from Jesus on the Cross: “Father forgive them…” is a done deal for us. Trust me there is nothing you can ever give back to triune God that you perceive you have taken. I can almost hear Jesus now, when I let guilt creep into my life over wrongs I’ve done, “Hey Bill, I already got 5 dollars!”

~Bill Winn

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.5

jonah-1-psalm-139

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/16-07-17-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-5-jonah-1-psalm-139-tah.mp3”

As Hank Coates has written: “Jonah, the Prophet who ran away, is the Lord’s. And the Lord won’t let Jonah go. And the Lord gets what the Lord wants. And what the Lord wants is that all people come to know his saving love that stands on the side of the oppressed, makes the crooked straight, and releases the captives from their chains.”

That’s what this message is all about as a local Church heads “outside the walls”, witnessing in Word and Deed to God, Father, Son and Spirit – The Lord! Check it out!

*photo courtesy of shainadomatilia.wordpress.com

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