From the monthly archives:

February 2010

How might you be able to end global poverty?

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Beauty & Brokenness

by Lon on February 22, 2010

The cross is where beauty and brokenness intersect.

Btw, if there was a particular image that really struck you, feel free to share in the comments, I’d love to hear what connected!


John 4:1-26

by Lon on February 22, 2010

Continuing our journey through the book of John

1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria.5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.

6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,

14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.

18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

- Why didn’t Jesus do the baptizing himself?

- Jesus was ‘tired’ – it happens to the best of us – you don’t necessarily need to feel guilty

- Jesus strikes a conversation – not by offering something, but asking to receive something.  How might this impact the way we interact with people?

- ‘a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ – have you encountered a source this deep within you?

- v19 ‘ i can see that you are a prophet’ – how else do you respond to a person who knows  the very depths of your soul?  What do you do when others begin to unearth who you really are?  The woman at the well decides to change topics.

- ‘spirit and truth’ – of all the possible descriptions in the world – why would god be seeking people who worship in ‘spirit and truth’ specifically?

- This section of the passage ends with a thud.  Jesus reveals himself and everything spoken of before suddenly takes on a new light.

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Mission Trip Recruitment

by pomankwan on February 15, 2010

Short Term Mission Trip 2010

An opportunity to give and to serve
children ministries, teens ministries, renovation, praise & worship team, kitchen
Mission Team Preparation Meeting
Feb 22, 2010 (Mon)    7:30 pm
Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church
139 Silver Star Blvd. Scarborough
Contact person: Henry Chow

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John 3:22-36

by Lon on February 15, 2010

Continuing our journey though the Gospel of John

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.24 (This was before John was put in prison.)25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.

26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan–the one you testified about–well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

30 He must become greater; I must become less.
31 “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

The crowds are beginning to leave John and heading to Jesus as he begins baptizing as well.  When confronted about it John is joyous.  His ministry is not in competition.  What if we could see everything we did as paving the way for others, and be glad when they both join us and lead us?

v34 – God gives the Spirit without limit.  Reflect on this statement next time you’re feeling inadequate.

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Big Ideas: Consumerism

by Lon on February 10, 2010

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John 3:11-21

by Lon on February 9, 2010

Continuing our reflections through the Gospel of John

11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Jesus continues his conversation with Nicodemus here.  Jesus speaks of using earthly language – and while even this is challenging to understand, it’s interesting how often we go straight to speaking to people of heavenly things assuming they’ll understand.

Jesus also refers to the bronze snake Moses made in the desert so that people could look towards to have life.  An incredible amount can be said about this, but maybe i’ll leave it to you or unpack it later.

The famous John 3:16 is also found in this conversation.  There’s much more going on but a few things to note here.

1. God loves the world.  When we don’t, and say we worship God, there’s something inconsistent there.

2. Jesus was given so that we might have life.

3.  Jesus did not come to condemn the world – and neither should we.

Some of my questions on the last two verses of the passage.

Why is it that people, all people, have a tendency to love darkness?

What does it say when someone, anyone, does good?

If all goodness comes from God, where do you see God?

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Shane Claiborne – Bringing the Kingdom

by Lon on February 3, 2010

Shane Claiborne on Bringing the Kingdom down to earth – From Urbana 2009