Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Friday, July 22, 2011

I know I've been changed- that's all I know!!!

New International Version (NIV)

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Today's text always reminds me of God's AMAZING GRACE but even more today it reminds me that sometimes we won't be able to explain our blessings, or miracles, God will just show up and show out. Then we will be left with the same words the ex-blind man has "All I know is that I was blind and now I SEE"!- There will be times when we must give God the glory and say All I know is that I have been changed.

Can you remember a time in your life when God changed you, a situation, a mindset, a time when a miracle was worked in your life? Can you? Did you know change was coming before it did? - Could your next miracle be around the corner? Thanks be to God for working on our behalf! Amen!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Believe in your dreams!

Let's look at today's text from Genesis 28:10-19

28:10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.

28:11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.

28:12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

28:13 And the LORD stood beside him and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring;

28:14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring.

28:15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

28:16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place--and I did not know it!"

28:17 And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

28:18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

28:19a He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

WOW- I know right, all you can say is wow. Here is Jacob who has a dream and believes that his dream is sent from God so much he takes the brick he used for a pillow makes God an altar, worships it and then changes the name of the city to BETHEL all on faith. The name of the place until that time was LUZ. Wow I know right! How many of us have faith in our dreams like that of Jacob. He had the faith to act even when to others it would appear that he was crazy. Message- Believing in your dreams means having crazy faith!. Remember Jacobs ladder was just a dream.
How insane are you?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Joy of SERVING!

Jesus said, "Who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves."

-Luke 22:27 (NRSV)

In our text today from Luke's Good News we see Jesus asking the simple question does God call us to be served or to SERVE? Indeed the role of the Church and the Christian community is to SERVE. The Rev. Dr. Margret Ann Williams of theological fame in Chicago is know for her enthusiasm when it comes to serving. So much so that Chicago Black Methodist for Church Renewal named an award after he called the Rev. M.A.W. Joy of Serving Award, which is now given annually to both lay and clergy who exemplify the highest levels of christian servant-hood. Rev. Williams lives a life molded after John Wesley's words Do All the Good You Can All the While You Can.

While many people talk about serving more times than not they are self-serving, not living up to our Christian call. This is why when people and places step up in mission and service I take time out to acknowledge them. Therefore today I would like to illustrate the servants hearts of A Just Harvest, they talk the talk and walk the walk.

The Community Kitchen
A Just Harvest’s Community Kitchen began as a ministry of the Good News Community Church (United Church of Christ) in 1983. In the beginning, we served meals a few days per week. Today, with the help of more than 40 partnering organizations and nearly 10,000 volunteer hours, our Community Kitchen is the largest and only self-standing community soup kitchen in the Chicago metro area. We serve hot, nutritious meals 365 days per year to anyone in need. Last year, the Community Kitchen served more than 54,000 meals.

Family we should all take the call to service so seriously that we commit ourselves to helping persons going through the storms of life. For more information about these programs or opportunities go to: www

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No One Was Excluded, all had there fill.

Matthew 15:29-39

Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?" Jesus asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children.

Wow! It's always amazing what Good Does! In today's text from Matthew Jesus proves yet again that salvation, healing, love and favor are offered to all. Jesus in back to back examples helps all who come to him, then he feeds all who have gathered around!- This includes you, you are invited to gather around, you who are seeking will be received! Won't you come the invitation has your name on it, no one has to be excluded, not one person, we are all invited and we all can have our fill.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Following the Holy Spirits lead!

Mark 1:9-15 (NRSV)

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Friends today's text is a difficult one to wrestle with because as soon as Jesus is done pleasing God and receives the Spirit, he is then taken by the Holy Spirit into a place of temptation and trial. The point of this is to prepare Christ for his ministry. The reality of it also effects us as those who come to the church looking to please God, getting baptized and joining new ministries is the easy part. Remember it's always harder to be a Christian than to become one!

How about you are you ready to follow the Spirit's lead?