Monday, December 27, 2010

Technology and Child Safety

This page has moved!! 

Click HERE to check out the updated version!!!

It has several thoughts on internet security, a review on "Pandora's Hope" router, as well as being a great blog for parents who want God to transform their lives!!

If you like what you read, check out the book too!!!

Thanks for reading!

WICK <><

Monday, December 20, 2010

God with us.

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

Here we have the first appearance of the word we're familiar with at Christmas. "Immanuel - which means 'God with us'". We hear it as part of the X-mas story, and smile inside. Warm fuzzies remind us that God is comforter, and brings peace, and desires good things for us. We align ourselves with our 4 year olds and remember "God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man". Only our boogie men no longer have teeth and claws. They now they have bills, pink slips, pipe bombs, criminal records, more success than us, and take our taxes.

But looking at the first instances of the word "Immanuel", (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8) we find something other than encouragement to be comforted. King Ahaz is not a very good king at all. (2 Kings 16) Disregarding the God of Israel, and even making sacrifices of his own children at the altar of pagan gods...Ahaz was pimping out Israel to whatever he thought might help.

Then in Isaiah, the Lord speaks to Ahaz. He basically offers to help make things right again, and wants to reveal himself as God to Ahaz. He even tells Ahaz to ask for a sign...anything at all. Ahaz knows his entire existence has been built up against the God of Israel, and pretends he doesn't want to "put God to the test", refusing to ask for a sign. Then God responds that He will give a sign anyway, and the center of it will be "Immanuel" which means "God with us." This sounds like a good thing, as God says Ahaz no longer needs to worry about the two kings from the north. But then comes 7:17 - "he will bring the king of Assyria". Judah is conquered by the Assyrians and eventually from that, the Babylonians. They experience many years of pain, suffering, oppression, and want. God uses those many years to remind His people of what it means to be a child of God.

Fast forward to the next time we see "Immanuel" in scripture..Matthew 1:23. The hearers of this word would not have immediately responded with joy alone. Imagine the intense fear and reverence, deferring whatever may come into the hands of God. Celebrating God's coming, but knowing that it may mean letting go of life as we know it...ESPECIALLY the comfortable bits.

May we be challenged this week, just as Mary was, to bear Jesus into our worlds. May we respond "I am the Lords' servant", and be willing to carry His presence into our daily lives, knowing full well that it may change things entirely. May His Love, His forgiveness and grace, His Holiness & Spirit give source to new life within us...life that swallows up what once was. May Immanuel come, and may He begin here and now...

Monday, December 13, 2010

joy.

Isaiah 35:5-8 "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray."

There is this discussion on holiness, and holy living. A response to God, a transformation God works in our hearts, a way of living that proclaims Jesus as Lord and no other. A Spirit-sourced life bringing thing, from which we draw our identities and toward which we lean our lives.

There is sometimes the unspoken assumption that things will be completely different when God completes what has begun. Indeed things will be entirely different. But what will remain is the way of Holiness we catch mere glimpses of today. And not just "present", but celebrated and traveled by God's people. It won't be stumbled on accidentally, as seen in the scripture above. It will be "for him who walks that way" literally.

We have joy that this "way of walking" that we are learning, is not temporary. It is not a way of existing we train ourselves toward, in order to "earn" eternity with God, or to "prove" we can make the cut, or that we're sincere enough, etc. We learn this way of walking, because it is the way we will walk when Heaven and Earth are joined as one, and God is poured out - transforming the very nature of everything. We are given the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk today in the way we will walk forever.

May that give us joy, as the decisions we make and our life is transformed...sometimes in ways that seem uncomfortable in the moment. We know it's not about this moment, or even tomorrow. It is about the way we will be existing forever in the presence. May we live in a way that invites others to join in walking a life responding to God. A life that joins Peter on the water. That joins John and Paul in their cells. That joins the disciples in welcoming the resurrected Christ, and receiving His Spirit that transforms us and begins something that will never end...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Advent Haiku (repost from 2009)

christmas comes, seemingly
with shouts at shopping mall sales
buying for children

becoming children
while children sleep and wonder
"Santa doesn't stress"

because why would he
all of the elves to help him
while we cover it

quietly happens
spreading like deadly virus
where death brings new life

Community: New
brought to life by a baby
who cried, lived, and died

now we exist: Free
from prices, credit, pressure
gifting has been done

our gift comes daily
hello, or conversation
relating from love

So wrap your presents
But remember this also:
"Jesus is coming"

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Anderson VLOG #3

Happy Christmas, from the Andersons :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

political aspirations

The Book of Revelation.  The words of God and His desire to make all things new, a marriage of Heaven and Earth that we will enjoy forever.  This will do more than simply "obliterate" the need for government and leadership.  Jesus will be recognized as Lord by all and in all.  God will continue to call on His people to be those who will live and make decisions based on Kingdom living.

John chapter 18.  The words of Jesus before Pilate, standing as King of a Kingdom of Truth, not based in this world.  Standing as one who has been brought before the Roman government for the proclaimed reason that Jews cannot execute anyone, yet not begging for his life or retreating from the foundational Truth He lives to proclaim.  The "powers" of this world have no power in the Kingdom, except where they can join in what He is already accomplishing.

Isaiah chapter 11.  The words of prophecy about Jesus as a man whom the Spirit of God rests on.  This Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, counsel and "gravity", knowledge and fear (reverence) of the Lord.  If ever there was a passage for a politician to be in prayer over, here is one.  The Spirit brings the ability to make judgments that are right.  Leads to decisions that bring justice for the poor.  Shuts down the wicked.

I've talked about wanting to become Mayor.  Our city has a "weak mayoral system", and it's not unrealistic to think a youth pastor who loves his community could serve in that capacity.  It's kinda like saying "I'd like to serve on the city council."  I'll admit, when I first began talking about it, it was very similar to a Junior in high school who says "When I'm a senior, I'm totally gonna run for student council."  More about being able to do it, say I've done it, etc.

But there is something else within me.  Something that says perhaps there's more to it than that.  Something that desires to be a living testimony to the passages mentioned above.  

It's still not something I want to pursue in the next few years, beyond learning and praying.  I'm already strapped for time between ministry and raising our young girls.  I will settle for serving on the Traffic and Parking Commission for now.

But I don't have to wait until I run for some sort of local office, or need to ever run, to begin striving for these things.  We each exist as a miniature "Kingdom" within the Kingdom of God.  Who do we proclaim is Lord in our life?  Do our decisions proclaim his ultimate reign and rule in our home?  Do we have a wisdom and understanding, counsel and "gravity", knowledge and "fear" of the Lord that enables us to live and make choices according to Kingdom standards and principles?  Not only that, but do we actively "kill" and shut down the wicked?

We are men and women, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.  We have homes and families that we are involved in leading forward.  If we value things of this world, and wrap ourselves around them...our homes will be as limited and broken as the world they are based in.  But if we will decide to proclaim Jesus as Lord, and His Kingdom as our residency, then we are moving as a family toward something eternal.  Not simply "living forever", but something full, whole, true, and already begun. 

Not simply "eyes on the skies" living...or figuring everything can be fixed by bowing our heads and closing our eyes.  The Spirit of God, alive and moving.  Making decisions that bring Justice.  Communicating Love and offering healing.  Proclaiming freedom & releasing those who are bound.  Bringing redemption to places that are broken.  Giving voice and ear to those who have none.  Not separated from this world, but rather living more genuinely connected to this cosmos and where it is moving.  Lord....may my family move this way together...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Anderson VLOG #2

Last night the girls decided they wanted to make a video. It began with the desire to talk about "Tinkerbell" the movie...and, well...