The Road to Character

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In the book The Road to Character, David Brooks writes about, “a serene inner character, a quiet but solid sense of right and wrong—not only to do good, but to be good.”

David Brooks is a New York Time columnist, and a commentator on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  From a secular perspective, he promotes a return to character development as a necessary human value. Pastor Dan Scott has referred to this writing as “perhaps the book of the decade.”

Written from a secular perspective, we need Brook’s clarion call to work on our character instead just accepting our weaknesses.  Towards the end of the book, Brooks who is Jewish, briefly shares about his faith in Jesus Christ in a disarming, but authentic manner. An important book for our current challenges in cultural leadership.

Resurrection People

I shared this writing from NT Wright in my sermon yesterday. A great focus point to start Holy Week.

“The ultimate future hope remains a surprise, partly because we don’t know when it will arrive and partly because at present we have only images and metaphors for it, leaving us to guess that the reality will be far greater … Our task in the present is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.” – Wright, N. T.. Surprised by Hope (p. 29-30). HarperCollins.

Painting: Easter Morning by Claude Lorraine (1600-1682)

Taking my Sabbath

I’m so grateful for a congregation that allows me to have a Sabbath each Friday, so I can reflect, recharge and recreate. Everyone in our church is so respectful of my time. Still, I want to serve people as much as I can. This quote is helpful when reflecting on the rhythm of ministry and rest.

“A public man, though he is necessarily available at many times, must learn to hide. If he is always available, he is not worth enough when he is available.” – Elton Trueblood

A Pastoral Visit

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This painting called A Pastoral Visit (1881) by Richard Norris Brook.

This work reminds me that spiritual formation doesn’t just occur in weekly worship, but also in homes, around tables, and in casual settings.  The practice of conversation is a pastoral tradition, and an important custom of society.  Plus, our hearts yearn for meaningful conversation.

If you like this painting, take a couple of minutes to read its description from the National Art Gallery, and it will add depth to this picture.

https://www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.166432.html

I enjoy the resources from Biola Univesity’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts.  In their Lent devotionals, they highlighted this painting, which led to further investigation on my part.

 

Aubrey McGowan set as CIL elder on March 11

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If you have been around CIL very long, you have probably been blessed by the worship leading, preaching, or prayers of Aubrey McGowan.  Aubrey, his wife Jen and their four children have been such a gift to CIL for several years.

Aubrey has been in vocational ministry since 2006, serving on staff for many years at one of our mother churches, Hope Fellowship in Frisco, Texas.

23795879_361065947637991_606063428957257186_nOn Sunday, March 11, 2018, the CIL elders will recognize publicly the call of God on Aubrey’s life, and set him in place as an elder at CIL.  Aubrey will transfer his ordination to our local body.  We are honored to have this man of God, with a pastor’s heart, continue his service to the body of Christ under the authority of our church.

 

We also will be blessed to hear Pastor Aubrey preach in both services on Sunday!

Don’t forget to set you clocks ahead one hour for the start of Daylight Savings on March 11!

How’s Your Marriage? Work on it!

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Strong marriages are not a result of fate, luck, or destiny.  Strong marriages occur when two people work on it for a long time.  There is no such thing an automatic “happily ever after.”  Happiness comes when two people build a life long friendship though healthy habits and shared experiences.  You will not have a strong marriage if you do not personally invest in your marriage.

On Saturday, March 10th from 9am to 12pm CIL will host a marriage seminar called Two Becoming One.  Brent and Janis Sharpe are coming from Tulsa to share their expertise.  Brent and Janice will teach couples in how to understand their unproductive interaction patterns when conflict arises and how to resolve issues in a way that builds emotional intimacy in marriage.

The cost is $20 per person.  If you do not have the funds right now, please register and come anyway.  We would love to scholarship you!

Register at cil.churchcenter.com

Childcare will be provided to families who register for childcare.  We will not be able to accommodate drop-ins.

Whatever place your marriage is in, work on it!