Posts Tagged ‘jesus christ’

image

In nature, there’s a flowering shrub called the bigleaf hydrangea. If you take the seed of that shrub and plant it in the soil of Indiana, it will yield pink flowers when it blooms. But if you take that same seed and plant it in the soil of Brazil or Poland, it will produce blue flowers. Even more interesting , if you take the same seed and plant it in another type of soil, it will yield purple flowers. The bigleaf hydrangea, however, will never produce thorns or thistles. It will never bear oranges or apples. And it will never grow tall like a pine tree. Why? Because these features are not within the DNA of the seed. In the same way, the church of Jesus Christ— when planted properly and left on its own without human control and institutional interference— will produce certain features by virtue of its DNA. Like the bigleaf hydrangea, the church may look different from culture to culture, but it will have the same basic expression wherever it’s allowed to flourish.

Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, Kindle edition.

dangerous-calling-paul-david-trippThe most important aspect when I read a book about ministry is to understand if the author is actually involved in ministry (of course…), to understand his heart and taste his honesty.

Dangerous Calling is soaked with confessions. Paul Tripp’s confessions, and so many tragedies from the ministry field. Inspired title, Dangerous. Paul knows the problem. If you are preparing for ministry or you are involved in ministry, you can certainly understand that he was and he still is in your shoes. He’s sharing humbling and embarrassing things that most of us tend to hide.

I know I am not alone. There are many pastors who have inserted themselves into a spiritual category that doesn’t exist. Like me, they think they are someone they’re not. So they respond in ways that they shouldn’t, and they develop habits that are spiritually dangerous. They are content with a devotional life that either doesn’t exist or is constantly kidnapped by preparation

He examines his heart and motivations in ministry and invites you to walk in his steps, constantly asking himself, how is the Gospel of Jesus Christ forming the heart of the pastor and his ministry local culture. Undoubtedly, if you do not understand the ministry as it was designed by God, you are in a dangerous place. If the work of God and not God Himself is the main motivation, you are in a dangerous place.

The pastor must be enthralled by, in awe of—can I say it: in love with—his Redeemer so that everything he thinks, desires, chooses, decides, says, and does is propelled by love for Christ and the security of rest in the love of Christ. He must be regularly exposed, humbled, assured, and given rest by the grace of his Redeemer. His heart needs to be tenderized day after day by his communion with Christ so that he becomes a tender, loving, patient, forgiving, encouraging, and giving servant leader. His meditation on Christ—his presence, his promises, and his provisions—must not be overwhelmed by his meditation on how to make his ministry work.

You can feel the love for those who are involved in God’s work and also his pain for the unhealthy pastoral culture that anyone can identify today. The only remedy is Christ.

You see, it is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry. It is only worship of Christ that has the power to protect him from all the seductive idols of ministry that will whisper in his ear. It is only the (mai mult…)

jean valjeanMy first attempt to read a novel was, I guess, at eleven. I haven’t read much in childhood unfortunately. I seriously started to read only after I’ve met God. God filled me spiritually and only then I realized how empty I was intellectually.

So, the first attempt was Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I don’t think I finished it. I did tried to read it several times and nearly always my mum woke me up. I didn’t understood much because of that. No wonder…

The names were interesting though. Jean Valjean, Cosette, Javert etc. French. And Romania likes French stuff. Travel to Bucharest and you’ll see Little Paris. We copy paste Paris without a licence. They tought it will be a good ideea to copy paste the language and culture. I was taught French from my 2nd grade till I finished high school. Maybe that’s why I started to hate it. Nothing personal or national. I assume it was just my old teacher. Her style was slightly communist. But enough about my petite histoire francais

Talking about Les Miserables, I realized that it’s a sad and beautiful story, but also a story about God’s grace. Max Lucado brilliantly points this out in his book, Grace.

JeanValjeanValjean enters the pages as a vagabond. A just-released prisoner in midlife, wearing threadbare trousers and a tattered jacket. Nineteen years in a French prison have left him rough and fearless. He’s walked for four days in the Alpine chill of nineteenth-century southeastern France, just to find out that no inn will take him, no tavern will feed him. Finally he knocks on the door of a bishop’s house.

Monseigneur Myrel is seventy-five years old. Like Valjean he has lost much. The revolution took all the valuables from his family except some silverware, a soup ladle, and two candlesticks. Valjean tells his story and expects the religious man to turn him away. Butthe (mai mult…)

max lucado, GraceA few years ago I contacted Max Lucado to ask his permission to translate his daily devotionals from MaxLucado.com. He was quite happy about it and he wrote back:

It is a wonderful honor to be a part of this valuable website. God loves all the people of Romania . It is my prayer that every single person of this great nation discovers the love of God and the gift of Jesus Christ. Thank you for allowing me to share a word and, Lord willing, lift a heart.” Max Lucado.

I was overwhelmed by the fact that Max Lucado wrote to a kid like me. Wonderful. Speechless.

I’ve created a blog, Max Lucado Romania, where we translated some of his devotionals. We stopped for a while but we started again a few weeks ago. He’s playing with the words and illustrates deep Biblical truths in a way that fascinates me. He used an interesting illustration in his book, Grace – More than we deserve, Greater than we imagine, that I would like to share here.

When grace happens, we receive not a nice compliment from God but a new heart. Give your heart to Christ, and he returns the favor. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you (Ezek. 36:26).

You might call it a spiritual heart transplant.

Tara Storch understands this miracle as much as anyone can. In the spring of 2010 a skiing accident took the life of her thirteen-year-old daughter, Taylor. What followed for Tara and her husband, Todd, was every parent’s worst nightmare: (mai mult…)