Culture

Living with Breath

Many of us are waking up numb after a weekend of watching the festering wound in our nation pour out its infection. We need change. We need a move of God. We need Pentecost again.

I have long appreciated the preaching of Chicago pastor Charlie Dates. Yesterday’s sermon “I Can’t Breathe” is an important one. It helps us see our theological errors when it comes to image bearing. Give it a watch and ask for the wind of the Spirit to give all of us breath.

Book Review, Word & Spirit

Word & Spirit by R.T. Kendall

Word and Spirit: Truth, Power, and the Next Great Move of God by R.T. Kendall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Kendall, the former pastor of Westminster Chapel, brings to the page the necessity of a marriage of both Word (Bible-believing and centered) and Spirit (believing in the continued gifting of the Holy Spirit.) It is setting the environment for an awakening in the global church according to Kendall and would be something greater than the “Charismatic” movement of the last thirty years.

I agreed with much of what is in this little book, however unfortunate it is to have the forward by Mark Driscoll. Yet with Kendall’s presentation, I am still left hungry for something more. While I long for the day he describes, perhaps a clearer picture of what healthy Word & Spirit churches look like would be helpful.

Kendall is clear in his writing but an annoying feature of this book is that barely a page goes by without the author referencing another book he has written. The refrain, “as I wrote in such and such a book” is so prevalent it is annoying. I get that he has written many books, some on my list to read, but there must be a better way to cite his previous thinking if at all.



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Discipleship

Exhausted on Purpose

I don’t think I have interacted recently with anyone that expresses that they are rested up. Everyone, friends, family, neighbors, all talk of how tired they are, how exhausting life is.

Right? This is our experience, everyone we know and we ourselves are beat down. Now it might be a huge indication that something is off. We are taking in too much or stress has our system wrecked. Children are demanding too much energy, there is never enough juice to match the hours we have to be “on.”

We think diet might help, exercise will do something, or maybe a binge of Netflix and a bottle of wine. But usually we end up in the same place. Exhausted. It certainly might be an indicator of needed change in our lifestyle or circumstance and I think we should pursue that.

But what if you are a Christian? What is exhaustion doing in us, those that claim faith in Christ?

I submit that exhaustion is positioning us to be desperate for something beyond physical energy or a new routine. Exhaustion is leading us to recognize our need for the very presence and power of God himself.

In Christ there is the promise and provision of power that is meant to deal a deathblow to our exhaustion – seriously. Think of Jesus’ words before ascending to heaven after the resurrection. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). Energy for the mission of life, all of life. Witnessing of Jesus.

Then Paul gives us a picture of our lives, and not just the churchy mission type life but all of it in Christ, Paul said he toiled preaching Christ, “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:29) That is not just for an apostle long ago, that’s for you.

Believer, your exhaustion is bringing you to the need for the Spirit to work in you, to free you, to empower you, to enliven you. Run to him, ask, cry out for strength. For the presence of God in your life. That you would work with all of his energy powerfully working in you.

May it be so.