Book Study - We Make the Road....
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February 6, 2017, 7:20 AM

Jesus, Violence, and Power

I love the way McLaren presents this chapter. I can't tell you how many times I have felt like Peter. One moment I feel like I have received the most amazing revelation from God, and at the same time feel so far off point. There have been so many times where the words come out of my mouth and at the same time they don't even come close to conveying the meaning I meant. 

This chapter gives me reason to pause and consider what I think I know. I think it is because I have truly experienced this revelation misunderstanding on several occasions that I have been willing to allow revelations to change and transform me over time instead of me remolding a revelation to what I want.

This also helps keep me humble in not claiming  my way or the highway in believing something. Jesus always has more to teach me.

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February 6, 2017, 6:59 AM

Jesus and Hell

Do we utilize hell as a warning or as a way to incite fear? Do we use hell as a comparison of God's Kingdom or as manipulation?

Jesus was not trying to scare people but to contrast God's goodness, which is far more persuasive.

Thinking back to the context in which Jesus taught the lesson of Lazarus and the rich man, it teaches me that we cannot presume to know who is headed to heaven and who is headed to hell. In Jesus' day, the rich man was presumed to be a man after God's own heart and Lazarus was being punished by God. In the end however, God's care and love was for the one who was broken and had nothing. God does not place the same expectations on everyone. With more resources comes more responsibility. More resources does not mean  you can judge those who have less than you as incompetent, but you must take greater care of them even if they never are able to change/transform their own lives. The more you have the more God calls you to care.

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January 30, 2017, 7:22 AM

Jesus and the Multitudes

Today's reading hits me deeply. It speaks of how the elite are a very small number of people doing everything possible to maintain their power and wealth. They look upon the masses as a tool to gain more wealth and power. Whereas we have Jesus who looks upon the multitudes and has compassion for them. He spends his ministry getting to know individuals, learning their stories, listening to their complaints, healing their ills. 

I am left feeling overwhelmed knowing our current political climate. I struggle with how to stand with the multitudes in a way that does not bring more strife but brings relief? How? What? When? Lord in Your Mercy.

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January 26, 2017, 7:22 AM

Welcome to St. Paul's Online Study

September 5, 2016

There is a great need for Bible Study and spiritual aliveness while we live very hectic lives.

Join me in this experiment!

You are free to come and go from this Bible Study as the ups and downs of life take hold. My prayer is that this forum allows you to participate at your own convenience; and therefore, gives you the opportunity to be part of a Bible Study in the midst of busy schedules.

How It Will Work

Get a copy of Brian D. McLaren's book We Make the Road by Walking.

Each week read the corresponding chapter and bible texts. In the comments section, write an observation that you found interesting, answer one or all of the engaging questions, ask a question yourself and I will do my best to respond or add onto someone else's thoughts.

For this experiment to work, it will be important for people to make helpful comments along the way.

I look forward to walking the path of aliveness with you, Pastor Amanda


January 26, 2017, 7:17 AM

Jesus the Teacher

Jesus was a teacher! Referencing McLaren, "First, he instructed through signs and wonders....Second, he gave what we might call public lectures....Thirdm he taught at surprising, unplanned, impromptu moments....Fourth, he saved much of his most important teaching for private retreats and field trips with his disciples...Fifth, Jesus taught through what we might call public demonstrations....Sixth, Jesus loved to teach through finely crafted works of short fiction called parables....In all these overlapping ways, Jesus truly was a master-rabbi, capable of transforming people's lives with a message of un fathomed depth and unexpected imagination."

This reference, as a life-long learner, excites me that every moment of life can be a teaching moment to help each and everyone of us to know God better. As I have gotten older however, I have learned that not everyone takes each moment as an opportunity to learn and so people like myself take on the role of teaching where others don't see the opportunity.

I also appreciate that McLaren points out that Jesus' kingdom teaching is very different from our fairytale kingdoms. We as modern, contemporary people only understand kingdoms as imaginative, far off, long ago places. Jesus understood kingdoms as the hear and now the kingdom he was living in now had the potenetial to be God's Kingdom NOW.....Heaven's Kingdom NOW. I like how McLaren says we might understand Jesus' teaching better if with consider it as God's Global Commonwealth, God's Regenerative Economy, God's Beloved Community, God's Sustinable Society NOW.

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