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Showing posts from July, 2014

How to Treat Others as you Want to be Treated

In his (tough, but brilliant) book The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard describes a "Community of Prayerful Love: How to treat others as you want to be treated."
It's a great vision not only for us as individuals, but for us as a church.  
It's also impossible for us, or for a church to actually live this way. 
Absent the Holy Spirit's help, that is. So as a way of continuing our series on the Holy Spirit, I want to offer Willard's observations.
A "Community of Prayerful Love" behaves in at least three ways: Not condemning or blaming those around us;Not forcing wonderful things upon them; andAsking what we want from them...and from God.The first part -- not condemning or blaming others - is of course based on Jesus' command in Matthew 7:1-3 not to judge.
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the s…

Why Long Firework Displays on Independence Day?

Here's a whole new way to think about the reason we have long fireworks displays on Independence Day: 
As anyone who has raised a teenager, tried to break off a bad relationship, or free themselves from an addictive behavior can tell you, separation -- even healthy separation -- does not come quickly or easily.  
In other words, independence is a long and explosive process. We mark July 4, 1776 as the day we celebrate our Independence, because it's the date the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. We need to remember, though, is that the Declaration of Independence didn't start the American Revolutionary War. As important as the Declaration of Independence was, it was only a document.
That sheet of paper, by itself, didn't bring independence to anyone.
That's why a couple of other dates are important. One is April 19, 1775. That's the day (fifteen months earlier) that the Revolutionary War started, as the first shots were fired in…