It’s easy for us to talk about the weather in small talk. “Nice weather we’ve been having,” or “It’s been a dry summer,” we say. But when disaster strikes and weather causes misfortune for many we can talk or we can do.
Do something. Small or large take action. The Red Cross, Mercy Corps, Lutheran Disaster Relief – pick a good reliable agency and donate a few dollars to help. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Don’t just small talk the weather make a difference helping people who suffer. Even if it’s like the “widow’s mite” rob your piggy bank or change jar and give a few bucks. And if you have been blessed with lots of resources – be generous; don’t be a Scrooge.
As we approach the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation I am curious where the re-formation will go next. The one holy catholic Apostolic Church has never been quite “one” with it’s many divisions but we have been single minded and untied when it comes to Jesus. We love Jesus but it’s also Jesus that we can’t agree on. Was he a social activist or the sacrificial lamb who takes away the sin of the world and calls us to a deep spirituality that awaits his coming again and in the meantime evangelizes the world. One thing you can’t be when it comes to Jesus is neutral. He was either the Savior of humankind or a crazy prophet – a religious lunatic. He is a social activist but not just for the sake of being swayed by the ever changing cultural norms.
Martin Luther really wanted the Church to hear the Gospel clearly and each individual to have a relationship with the Christ. The Reformation was both deeply individualistic and a corporate shake-up empowering everyone to take their “call” seriously. Yet, in 500 years we still have vast church hierarchies and bureaucracies that span the globe but have at the same time lost the balance of the Law and Gospel. We have heard the “good news” without the personal responsibility and accountability to the law. Discipleship does not seem to cost anything. Christianity-lite goes with our beer and schedules. And if the Law is preached we may be accused of not being sensitive to people’s needs and emotions.
What is the cost of discipleship? Consider this: “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)
It will cost us more in the next 500 years and I wonder whether people will be willing to pay the price. What are your thoughts?
Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, denny meyer, life coach, Mission
Tagged coach denny meyer, denny meyer, Martin Luther, pastor dennis meyer, Reformation
Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” Think about that and the times we live in. It is hard to have unity when the forces of government don’t show restraint in their speech. An uncivil society is created when government (and I would also say the church) fail to do their job.
The Bible says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col 4:6) The brilliance of our country is often found in the fact that we can disagree without being hateful and disagreeable. Our leaders need to call us back to a level of civility and righteousness that has made this Grand Experiment work. If not the consequences will be grave. Do your part and…
Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, denny meyer, life coach, Pastor Dennis Meyer, spiritual coaching, spiritual director, spiritual director, Spiritual Life Coach Denny Meyer
Tagged Alexander Hamilton, Civility, grand experiment
Robin Wright wrote in the New Yorker Magazine (a leaning progressive publication), “America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.”
America may be coming unhinged and we need leaders who will speak up and lead from our Constitution and Bill of Rights but more importantly from the principals of the Golden Rule. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and almost every other faith community on the face of the earth has some form of this belief in their system of faith. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It seems as though the fringe is more and more driving the dialog of our nation. Included in this may be many in our own government. Shutting down speech and using pejorative messages toward dissenting opinions results in the attack of personalities and the shutting down of debate. It’s easy to do with the seeming anonymity of the internet and social media but it is driving a deeper and deeper wedge between the people of our nation.
The Civil War became a shooting war because diplomacy with words did not help. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” A failure of leadership by President James Buchanan Jr. put the nation in jeopardy of having no clear voice of reason in the public square. We are seeing that again today.
(Thanks for the lively discussion of the blog yesterday discussion is good when it advances understanding rather than shutting it down.)
Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, Faith, family, Mission, Pastor Dennis Meyer
Tagged civil war, coach denny meyer, pastor dennis meyer, politics, Robert E Lee
Tearing down monuments will not change history. I saw a mob pulling down a monument to a civil war soldier; it was a soldier of the Confederacy. I’ve seen the “stars and bars” removed from the public square as well. n some instances it is warranted. Yet, my reaction is that you can’t hide our ugly history. Will we learn from it or will we try to forget it? This is what confuses me with the people who want to purge the relics of a bygone era. Robert E. Lee, once considered the greatest general of either the North or South, after the fall of the Confederacy was at worship and a person of color approached the communion rail. The Southerners were aghast at this brazen display of a “negro” attending this church and so openly approaching the altar. No one joined him at the communion rail until Robert E. Lee went up and kneeled beside him.
Perhaps there are things we can learn from Lee, Grant, Lincoln and others about our history that will help us today. Abolishing evidence of that history will not promote an understanding of where we have been or where we need to go.
Posted in Christian Life Coach, denny meyer, Faith, purpose, spiritual director, Spiritual Life Coach Denny Meyer
Tagged coach denny meyer, denny meyer christian life coach, Monuments, pastor denny meyer, Robert E Lee, Stars and Bars
We race to get somewhere. We race to get away at times. We race our best time when we run or walk. Yet, in another rendition of the word we find race, class, religion, sexuality and a host of other identifiers separating us from one another. Some claim the right of free speech even when it is filled with hateful words. Others turn their hate and anger toward the people who are filled with rage and speak words that most of us find deeply offensive. Our country was founded on the ability of it’s people to speak freely. Still, one thing is sure – we as the human race are all one people.
How do we bridge our man made division? Hate and violence cannot shut down hate and violence. I’m not sure the human race can ever learn this truth. Once when Jesus looked over the city of Jerusalem he said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37) It seemed like a moment of exasperation and yet he still willingly went to the cross out of love for humanity. In order to save the human race that does not have the ability to save itself, Jesus offers himself for the sake of the world.
“When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?” Pete Seeger sang in his song Where Have All the Flowers Gone. We won’t learn until the human heart is changed. While churches are emptying across America we will soon forever loose our moorings. We will have no sense of shared ethics and we will be more deeply divided. Our enemies relish our self destructive ways while we go on living seeming oblivious to what is happening.
Negative? Yes, a bit, but only a spiritual revival can restore order in America.
Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, denny meyer, Faith, family, life coach
Tagged American divided, conservative, hate, liberal, peace, violence
Is there a special place you go that refreshes your soul? It’s as though you unlock something deep inside of you that has been kept from your consciousness because of the responsibilities you have to perform. I’m a people person. I love to be around people, I receive energy from being around people, and I feel connected with who I am around people. However, there are times I have to be away from them too; even people I love. The intensity of the feelings and energy it takes needs to be replenished by nature, quiet, and a place of memory – a place of pilgrimage. There are a few places that do this for me. Some are too far for me to travel to on any regular basis but a couple are close and it feels as though a battery inside of me is recharging as soon as I step foot on that sacred ground.
Jesus was smart. He found a way to do this every day. Early in the morning before sunrise, the Word tells us, Jesus got up and went to the hills or a quiet spot apart and would commune with the Father before any of the days duties would press in on him. I see Jesus as the true human – what we are intended to become. A beautiful person – a person who is true. Jesus was a man as comfortable in nature, working with wood, or teaching a huge crowd. It all came from that daily source of power that resides in the Father. He was trying to teach us but we have often failed to comprehend it.
Where is your place of pilgrimage? Where do you go? Where does the energy return to you and you relate to all that is around you and in you?
Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, denny meyer, Faith, Nature, Pilgrimage, Potential, purpose, sabbath, Spiritual Coach - Denny Meyer, spiritual director, spiritual director
Tagged coach denny meyer, den, dennymeyer.me, Pilgrimage