What a difference a word can make. In. Take these two statements as an example.
"I believe in God."
"I believe God."
How about you. Do you simply believe in God, or do you believe him? There's a world of a difference. Don't you think? I should point out that I am thinking of the phrase "believe in" in the typical American English sort of connotation that people use when they say, "Oh yeah, I believe in God." Not the true essence of the phrase "believe in", which would probably be better stated as, "Oh yeah, I am staking my life on God." So what does it mean for you and for me to actually believe God? God has made a lot of statements. His Word is filled with his promises and his truth. In fact, his Word (logos) became flesh and blood and lived here on the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and he made a heckuva statement about God's views on life, statements that literally turned the Jews world upside dow…
Damian Williams had a vision for what it means to be the church in an urban setting and today that vision has spawned the Steel City Church in Pittsburgh, PA. See http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06256/721297-51.stm for more about how this unique urban church is trying to live as followers of Jesus Christ in a very real way, right where they should be: where hurts, pain, emptiness and needs are, right on the main Strip of downtown Pittsburgh.
Here are a few thoughts that I grabbed out of the article that really spoke to me about how he envisions what it means to be the church--to live out the gospel.
"If the sermon's about loving one's neighbor as oneself, we might ask 'What does that look like?' 'How am I living that I can make that happen?' "
"The real church is what we do through the week."
"We want to build a community in which none of us can do it on our own."
Either to my detriment or to my benefit (depending on whether you think it would be good or bad for me to watch TV and movies desensitized to the messages being given), I've noticed that over the past several months I've been watching the tube a bit more closely. Not more frequently. Definitely not that. Just more closely. To see what messages are really being given.
This morning, while doing some stretching after a short bike ride, I turned on Today, clearly the best morning show even w/o Katie. A minute in, the commercials started, this one for Botox Cosmetics:
"I did it just for me."
"It's time. I've waited long enough."
After the commercials, the first segment investigated a woman's midlife crisis and its difference from the traditional man's midlife crisis (does this happen all over the world or just in the West?). They called it an awakening for women as opposed to a midlife crisis for men, because they do more introspection throug…