Monday, January 28, 2013

James 4:1-10 / Kurt Holmgren, The Root Cellar

Watch Kurt Holmgren, Executive Director of the Root Cellar in Portland, ME in his message from James 4:1-10

James 4:1-10 is challenging enough in a strait forward translation, but when Eugene Peterson paraphrases it for us, you can really feel the heat:

"Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way. You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble." So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet."
Don't worry, there's an encouraging phrase in the heart of this admonishing passage (verse 6, to be specific), and we'll zoom in it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rethinking History

If the question nagged at you before, it may be haunting you now. Is there any hope for those I love who have rejected Christ?
Admittedly, a lot of what we have been learning in Romans 9-10 can be discouraging. The truth that God softens some hearts and hardens others (chapter 9), and that many moral people will not make it into heaven because they don't see their need for a Savior (chapter 10) can make us wonder if our loved ones are destined to be casualties in God's cosmic plan.
But this Sunday at White Pine, we are not only going to learn more about what God has in mind; we are also going to going to get a glimpse into His heart--and I think it will give you stubborn hope for those who salvation you pray for most passionately.