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Showing posts from February 4, 2007

Trees

" He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers" (Psalm 1:3).

I was meditating on this passage yesterday and started using my imagination. As I thought about how trees are planted and grow, I realized they don't do anything to make it happen. They don't plant themselves, someone else does. They don't concentrate really hard to grow better, to be more fruitful. They just have to be trees. We cannot of our own strength be better, more spiritual Christians. We cannot cause our lives to be fruitful.

For the Christian, this analogy brings us to John chapter 15 of Jesus being the vine and our need to abide in him. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (verse 3).

Let us trust in God's grace to enable us to grow in him as we abide, then we too can be fru…

Spiritual Gifts

http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2007/001/10.62.html
"How Do I Uncover My Spiritual Gifts?"
3 ways to discern how God wired you.
by Nancy Ortberg
I love this question! Discovering and utilizing your spiritual gifts is one of the most exciting
adventures a person can have with God. The Bible says spiritual gifts are abilities God
bestows on every believer for the common good of the body of Christ. They're a large part
of the answer to the question, "What should I do with the life God gave me?"
Passages like 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and 1 Peter 4 go into specific detail about what
these gifts are and how they should be used. It's clear every spiritual gift is a reflection of
God's nature that you carry within you. And because your spiritual gift reflects God's design
and direction for your life, you'll find great passion, joy, and satisfaction in expressing it.
Your spiritual gift also will be a place of deep spiritual formation in your life, as God u…

Have you found yourself?

Please take a minute to read this perceptive piece by Bonhoeffer. Note the circumstances of his life.

BONHOEFFER for WEDNESDAY
February 7, 2007
Finding Ourselves in Christ
It is not that God's help and presence must still be proved in our life; rather God's presence and help
have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know
what God did to Israel, in God's son Jesus Christ, than to discover what God intends for us today. The
fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I will die. And the fact the Jesus Christ
was raised from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, will be raised on the day of
judgment. Our salvation is "from outside ourselves." I find salvation not in my life story, but only in
the story of Jesus Christ. Only those who allow themselves to be found in Jesus Christ - in the
incarnation, cross, and resurrection - are with God and God with them.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Lif…

Evil in Disguise by Bonhoeffer

Evil in Disguise
The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear
disguised as light, charity, historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought
up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for Christians who base their lives on the Bible it merely
confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil....Who stands fast? Only those whose final standards are
not their reason, their principle, their conscience, their freedom, or their virtue, but who are ready to
sacrifice all this when they are called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive
allegiance to God - the responsible ones, who try to make their whole life an answer to the question and
call to God.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Letters and Papers from Prison 2,4
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Carla Barnhill, Ed., HarperSan Francisco, 2005

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler is made chancellor of Germany

Urgent prayer need in Holy Land

The following article is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/40686
Home > 2007 > February (Web-only)Christianity Today, February (Web-only), 2007Fatah Police Seize Gaza Baptist Church As cease-fire agreements between Fatah and Hamas come and go, a church is literally caught in the middle. Deann Alford | posted 2/07/2007 08:20AM
Five Fatah police officers remain stationed on Gaza Baptist Church's sixth floor as a tense truce has brought at least momentary peace to the tiny strip of coast teetering on the brink of civil war.Related articles and links

Tuesday afternoon, fights between the secular Fatah party and its rival, the militant Islamic party Hamas, flared on Gaza's side of the Egyptian border as Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh passed through Rafah Crossing en route to reconciliation talks.The 10-minute gun battle not only threatened to shatter the latest cease-fire but also trapped Hani Fazah, a Christian Gazan doctor and fiancé of promi…