Archive for December, 2013

The Good News and the Bad News

Post a Comment » Written on December 22nd, 2013     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Submitted by:
Mark Novak, Executive Minister of the Ordered Ministry

I can’t believe that I am on a plane going to Seattle for Christmas. It seems that I was enjoying the summer sun such a short time ago. But here it is and with it the Good News of the birth of Jesus. An event that set in motion the great plan of salvation for all mankind. It is my wife’s favorite holiday:  full of joy, bright lights, lots of candles, great music, and most profoundly, the hope for a better world because The Messiah was born.

The Bad News is that so many miss the meaning of Christmas! It comes and it goes – full of gifts, grinches, and holiday specials. The fact that we are free to imagine a new world and a new future as we embrace the Christ Child goes unappreciated and even ignored, missing the fullness of life God intended for us. Continue Reading »

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“Bearing God”

Post a Comment » Written on December 17th, 2013     
Filed under: sermons - messages

Submitted by:
Debra Auger, Dean of Students
North Park Theological Seminary

A new church year commenced three weeks ago when we lit the first advent candle. Now we are just days away from celebrating the incarnation of God in Christ…the coming of God to humanity, enfleshed as an infant. Here is where power is perfected in ultimate weakness: that of a child completely and totally dependent on mother for care, protection, food and safety. It really is an astounding thing. Perhaps most astounding is that God limited God’s self to a human body in a particular time and culture to demonstrate what true love looks like. Equally astounding is the limitation of God to the womb of a young girl to be formed and nurtured and parented. In this Advent season perhaps we can imagine Mary as an archetype for all those who are called by God to nurture embryonic faith in others. God calls young and old, women and men alike, to “bear God” in a world desperate for love. In this advent season let us remember to celebrate the burgeoning ministry of young women who are faithful to bear the love of God and who have responded, as Mary did, to God’s call to serve.

“O thou who bears the pain of the whole earth, I bore thee.
O thou whose tears give human tears their worth, I laughed with thee.
Thou who, when thy hem is touched, give power, I nourished thee.
Who turns the day to night in this dark hour, Dayspring for me.
O thou who held the world in thy embrace, I dandled thee.
Whose arms encircle all with thy grace, I once held thee.
O thou who laughed and ate and walked the shore, I played with thee.
And I who with all others, thou died for, I now hold thee.”
(Madeleine L’Engle, The Irrational Season, 9).

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Under Construction – a book review

Post a Comment » Written on December 15th, 2013     
Filed under: Book & Commentary

Submitted by:
Jeff Ondrey, CBGE member

under const 2Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality written by Gareth Brandt is a book about the soul of a man.  It takes a very different view than much of what we have read about what it means to be a man. Different than books like Wild at Heart or Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, Brandt looks into the scriptures for an example a true spiritual man. Joseph, son of Jacob is his selected model. He uses his own occasional poetry and relevant scriptural passages to illustrate what he has labeled the various metaphors for constructing a men’s spirituality, including: beloved, dreamer, wounded, journey, sexuality, gifts, builder, reflection, reconciliation and legacy. So what does this have to do with Biblical Gender Equality. Plenty. It provides a different model of spirituality and character for men than our culture, even our western Christian culture would dictate.  Continue Reading »

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Reconciliation with: “Gender” ….a link.

Post a Comment » Written on December 5th, 2013     
Filed under: sermons - messages, video links

This woman can preach! To see and hear Brenda Salter McNeil preaching an important message for all of us click here.  It is nearly a one hour video so make sure you are settled in and able to listen well. You won’t be sorry.  Brenda is a Covenant ordained pastor who is delivering this message at Quest Church in Seattle.  The link is posted with permission of Quest Church.  Enjoy!

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