Monday, May 27, 2013

Knowing God, Knowing Others, Knowing Thyself: The Three Faces of First John

Beginning the first Sunday of June and going until it is finished, I will be teaching a series in the Seekers Community at Warm Beach Free Methodist Church, on the New Testament letter of 1 John.  I have titled this series - Knowing God, Knowing Others and Knowing Thyself: The Three Faces of 1 John.  The title is born out of my research and reading of this foundational New Testament book.  John addresses these three relationship arenas that each of us encounters in our lives.  As Christians our relationship with God is the most important relationship, the primary one and this relationship ought to guide and direct our other relationships.  Christians often discuss how we are to relate to others (friends, coworkers, brothers and sisters in Christ, enemies, etc.) but often the relationship to the self is neglected.  This is where the long tradition of spiritual formation and spiritual direction over the centuries of Church History enlightens our reading of 1 John and other texts.  The three faces of 1 John are the three areas of relationship that interact and interrelate to form a kind of three-ness of relational experience.  1 John moves around these three faces sometimes emphasizing one, at other times two and even in some cases all three at once.  Love is the defining substance of John's discussion of these three faces, and his exposition of the substance of love in this letter is unparalleled in the New Testament, to put it bluntly, John is in love with love.  He uses the word more often in this letter than any other New Testament writer.  As the Seekers begin the journey of exploring this wonderful and insightful letter, I pray that we would grow to know God more, know each other more, and know ourselves more - and that the fruit of that knowledge would be a greater depth of love.  Amen!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Far Too Long...

I am one of those people who when you realize you have something in your life (like a blog) that you are not really maintaining with any semblance of consistency or regular investment I tend to simply discard said activity or involvement, because it isn't really of benefit to myself or others; however, I have found that I recently developed a renewed vigor for the practice of blogging and I hope to do so with more regularity in the future.
Having said that, I will now make it a point to invite some key friends and acquaintances to join in reading my regular postings in order to invest more intentionally in a practice which I believe will be of benefit to me and those who read.  My goal is to begin every Monday morning with a regular post, and I have applied my recently renewed vigor by re-titling my blog: The Student.  When I took the Strengths Finder test (a tool developed by people who study organizational systems for a living and who created an exam which would help the participant discover gifts, talents and personality distinctives) I found that my number one Strength was something called, Learner.  What this essentially means is that I love the process of learning.  Learning is a life stance for me, and I believe it has served me well in a wide variety of contexts from school to jobs to relationships to full time pastoral ministry in a church.  Hence, I have decided that rather than have my name boldly written atop my blog, I ought to come up with a snappier and cooler title, thus - The Student.  My blog is my observations, thoughts and prayers, my life lessons, experiences and encounters with ideas, people and God.  I welcome comments and thoughtful engagement of the material that I present on this blog and I look forward to sharing the content both with those who have been reading along, and those will begin to read along in the near future.  

I wish I had time to...

In the previous post I mentioned the hope I had of blogging along with my Colorful Encounters Series, a 7 week long teaching series done in the Seekers Community at Warm Beach Free Methodist Church; however, reality has set in and I will be unable to blog along with or even after the fact of the teaching series. But, I have included a link below for all those interested in hearing the audio of my teaching from this series.  Blessings!

http://www.wbfmc.org/welcome/seekers-community-teaching/

Click on this link and you will be able to hear or download an MP3 copy of the all of my talks given in this series, as well as past Seeker's Community teaching.