Tag Archive | Religion

The WayBack Machine: July

Some things just get better with age. “The Wayback Machine” posts occur at the end of every month and reference the best posts of that month in years past. My hope is to provide a good jumping on point for readers whTho have never been to Pursuing Glory.

2010

Jesus

This is my first attempt at poetry here at the blog.  I wrote this both as an introduction to who Jesus is for people who don’t know Him.  I was also trying to find ways to explore the artistic side of my writing.  I hope you enjoy it. ***If you’ve never encountered Jesus or don’t have a relationship with Him, this should be the post you read.***

My Daughter: The Newest Fiery Believer I Know

Earlier in the year Ariel accepted Christ and was baptized.  There was an immediate turn in her heart and attitudes.  It was fun to watch and these are my thoughts from shortly after the event.

False Prophets, Acts Chapter 2, and Our House Church

I wrote this post in December of 2009, but only got around to posting it July of last year.  In my mind this post captures the best of where we were as an organic spiritual family in 2009 and 2010.  If you’re wondering what sometimes happens when our house church gathers, this is the post for you.

The Supernatural Church

Much of the church in the Western world is devoid of supernatural power.  I wrote this post as I was reading through Visions Beyond the Veil by R.A. Baker.  The book has some important insights into our anti-supernatural leanings as a Western Church and I shared some quotes as well as my own thoughts.

2009

I’m Back

This was my first post after coming back from my trip to Ethiopia.  If you want a good picture into the heart of a guy who just returned from Africa, this is the post to read. It will be interesting to see what the Lord continues to do with us in Ethiopia in the next year.

2008

Tune Up

I wrote this post about an encounter I had with one of my 50,000 coaches, Dick Speight.  Dick helped me see that I was off in my walk with the Lord because I was lacking time in the secret place.  I wrote this post as I wrestled with the fact that I should know better than to let communion with the Lord slide.

Just A Thought…

This post was born out of a trip I took to meet with others who practice meeting as organic churches in Iowa.  It centers around the idea that we are quick to believe others have imposed religion on us, but frequently something far more subtle is at work.  If you’ve ever struggled with a “religious spirit” you’ll want to read this post.

2007

Using This Blog as a Resource

This blog is me wrestling with whether this blog will be a personal blog (which it started out as) or whether it will be a resource blog about house churches, apostolic Christianity, and revival.  I think I’ve settled on it being both, mostly because I’m both and I think about these things a lot.  But this gives you a good snapshot into some of my early thoughts on the subject.

“Tell a Little Story…Do a Little Miracle…”

This post represents some of our early thoughts about evangelism that we had as a house church.  I still believe these are things we’re called both to see and do, and that stories and miracles have a much bigger part in the spread of the Gospel than most of the Western Church understands.

2006

On Being Me and Where I See Me in Movies

This was my very first post on my blog.  I started this blog as a journey into self expression and finding God in the midst of the things I love.  I write about some bloggers that were stunningly honest about their lives in their blogs and some movies where I saw myself in some of the characters.  Social media has given me a few more outlets to do the every day life sort of posts, but I hope to never loose the honesty and simplicity this post captures.

50,000 Coaches

One of the movies that I saw back then was Akeelah and the Bee.  I’ll spare you the synopsis, but a turning point in the movie talked about how Akeelah has 50,000 coaches.  I was struck by the fact that many of us neglect the 50,000 coaches God has given us in our lives.  This is a phrase I keep coming back to over and over again.

How To Get the Most Out of Pursuing Glory

There are lots of ways to get more out of Pursuing Glory than just stopping back to check for new content every few days.  Here are some of the main ways you can join the conversation, learn, and contribute to the conversation we’re having:

Subscribe by Email or RSS

If you’re not particularly technologically inclined, hit the “Email Subscription” button on the sidebar of the blog.  If you’re more into computers or you’re daring, you could subscribe to this blog using a feed reader.  This link is a great explanation of RSS and Feed Readers. Let’s face it. Life is busy and it’s easy to fall out of the loop.  Either of these tricks will help you stay involved in what’s going on.

Comment

We learn more by talking and teaching than we do by listening and reading.  So help us learn by sharing your life, your pursuit of Jesus, and what you’ve learned through your experience in the comment section. Click on “Leave a Comment” or “with 1 Comment” or “with [X number of] Comments” at the top of every post to see and leave comments.

Follow Me On Twitter

Twitter is where I post thoughts and quotes that will either become a full post here or is relevant to the topics we discuss here.  I’m also planning at least one Twitter/Blog series where one set of unique material will show up in my twitter stream that will correspond with a blog series I’m running here.  You can find me on Twitter @traviskolder.

Notes From The Margins

On a somewhat irregular basis I post a blog in my “Notes from the Margin” series.  The point of the series is not just what I’m finding in Scripture and what I write, but also what you’re finding in Scripture and what you’re writing about it.  If you have a blog, I’d love to see you take this series and do your own.  You can check out the guidelines for Notes from the Margins and read examples of the series here and here.

Email Me

I love interacting with readers of the blog.  Shoot me an email, say hi, show me the blog you’re writing or tell me about the work you’re doing, tell me what you’d like to see or what you’ve enjoyed so far.

Photo Credit: Dr Who by Aussiegal

Basic Introductions: The Bridal Paradigm

[In an ongoing effort to provide a jumping-on point for new readers, over the next few weeks on Fridays I’m going to write a series of posts entitled “Basic Introductions.”  Each post will focus on a seldom explored realm of Christianity that we will focus on regularly here at Pursuing Glory.]

Probably one of the hardest truths to understand about life is that God really loves us.  To borrow a phrase from my kids’ picture Bible, He loves us with “a never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love.”  The fact that it’s hard for us to get our minds around God loving us this much doesn’t take away from its reality.  In fact, God’s love is more real than we can possibly imagine.

God’s love has driven Him to do some pretty astounding things.  For one He became a man.  This love not only caused Him to taste humanity but to taste the most difficult humanity, to be perfect yet hated, to bless and be cursed in return, to be from the very richest of places and yet to live in utter humility, to serve and never to be honored.  And to top it all off, He died for us.  He tasted His own curse so that we might never taste it again. This is not the kind of grandfatherly love that we have come to think of when think of God’s heart.  This is a love full of passion, deep emotion, and a commitment that goes all the way to death.

When we talk about a love this deep and profound we’ve finally begun to touch what has come to be known as the Bridal Paradigm.  Don’t let those two words scare you.  They’re big words that describe the deep emotions God feels toward us.  Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘paradigm’ as “a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.” Paradigms are the lenses which we see the world and reality through. The Bridal Paradigm, then, is the way we view our relationship with God where we see the love He has for us as the same kind of intense, jealous, life-giving love that a husband has for a wife.

Where is this found in the Bible?  All over! In fact, the thing about paradigms is that you don’t realize them until something changes the way you think and you begin to see everything a little differently.  Let’s start with the great apostle Paul.  Paul was the missionary of missionaries that God used to turn Christianity into a movement that spanned nations and people groups.  But Paul was the instrument God used to fully declare the Bridal Paradigm.  Listen to his words from Ephesians 5:

“In the same way, a husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself. A husband who loves his wife shows that he loves himself. None of us hate our own bodies. We provide for them and take good care of them, just as Christ does for the church, because we are each part of his body. As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother to get married, and he becomes like one person with his wife.’ This is a great mystery, but I understand it to mean Christ and his church,” (Ephesians 5:28-32).

This should blow our minds! What this passage says is that the whole way through the Bible, when God spoke about Adam and Eve, about a man and woman being joined together, about the bond of marriage, He was actually the whole time describing the kind of love that Christ has for His Church.  Now here’s the real mind-bending part: God didn’t send Christ and then scramble to find an appropriate metaphor for Christ’s love, only to settle on marriage. No!  He looked at His Son and saw the relationship that He would share with His Church and He created marriage as a physical picture that would help explain to people Christ and His love.  Christ and His Church are the original and marriage is patterned after that!

Paul was actually so convinced that God related to the Church this way that when the Corinthians began to loose their way, he would rebuke them using the terms of engagement: “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).  Paul saw his evangelistic work as an introduction to Jesus unto engagement, which culminates in marriage!

This picture of Christ loving the Church is more than just a good picture. In Ephesians 5 Paul calls it “a great mystery.” When Paul calls something a great mystery, he means there is more truth to be gained by contemplating that idea. We are edified by understanding Jesus’ Bridal love for us. He actually feels more deeply and passionately about us than any husband has ever felt for His wife.  Even now where you are, no matter what sin you are in, Christ loves you with a jealous love beyond anything you have ever experienced.  He alone wants to be your only love and He will fight to win you heart. The only thing to compare this to is the jealous love of the most righteous Husband.

Now there are going to be some guys who read this who will have a hard time relating to Jesus as a husband.  Let me give you a few pointers.  Don’t get so caught up in the marriage metaphor that you cannot relate to Jesus.  This about Jesus touching your heart and causing you to love God, not anything weird. Don’t picture yourself in a wedding gown or Jesus giving you flowers. You can still be a man and love Jesus. In fact, beloved, you were designed to do just that.  John, the son of thunder, laid on Jesus’ breast and was called the one who the Lord loved.  You don’t have to give up your manliness to pursue intimacy with God.

So Christ relates to the Church the way a husband relates to his wife.  He loves her.  He cherishes her. He gives Himself up for her.  And we have to begin to see Christ as more than just a thoughtfully kind person who out of responsibility died for us, but a jealous husband who loves us. This has to become personal for each of us.  He doesn’t just love the universal Church. He loves you!

And His love will purify us from our sin.  If we actually touch it, it will cause us to live differently from the inside out.  We will be able to “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] mind and with all [our] strength, (Mark 12:30)” because we’ve experienced the love that He has for us. And as John found out, “we love because He first loved us,” (John 4:19). When we come to understand this love that He has for us and truly “get it” in our hearts, we will be forever changed.

Help Other Readers Out: In The Comment Section Below do the following-

  • Describe a time when you encountered the love of God and it changed you.
  • Describe one way seeing Christ as a Husband to the Church has changed your perception of God
  • Describe a way that you’ve been able to better understand Christ’s love for you personally.

Photo Credit: Anéis | Rings by Jeff Belmonte

Jesus

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

He radiates with life and energy

No one in history can compare with Him

He stands out among the masses.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

He leads a Kingdom with virtue and wisdom

Inspired justice flows from his reign

He is an unending source of strength and purity.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

His eyes are fixed with burning zeal

Nothing escapes the eyes of this man

His gaze is full of tender love.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

His emotions are hearty and full

No other man feels as deeply as He

His words are both gentle and transforming.

Have you ever met a God who is also a man?

Who does whatever He pleases?

Unrestrained strength meets unrestrained mercy

Who loves with His unending zeal?

Have you ever met a God who is also a man?

Who’s the perfection of strength and strategy?

Honor and nobility mark what He does,

Who can transform us like Him?

Come meet this God who is also a man:

He is altogether wonderful, unto the end.

Knowing His heart is an unending treasure

This is my love, my one true friend.

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Jesus by Travis Kolder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.