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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Imagining the Possibilities!

Do you remember your youth? Who did you want to be, and where did you want to go? What did you want to make of your life? I remember wanting to be everything from Spider man, the President and a Zookeeper. I wanted to live in a palace and stay up as late as I could eating all of my favorite foods daily. Back then I had a vivid imagination. As an adult I have at times found myself suffering from what many adults suffer from; the reality of too many broken expectations. This reality has led to the demise of  our ability to imagine the possibilities of this life. Instead we become content and comfortable in our current situations, leaving the imagining to the children.

Regardless of our age God calls us to always keep imagining the possibilities for our lives  and our ministries. Websters dictionary  defines possibilities as: abilities or qualities that could make someone or something better in the future. This just means that there are some things in store for our future that are yet to be developed and revealed. Our job is to cultivate the soil within us by imagining what's to come and seeking God's will during the process. While on Safari in South Africa, our group informed our tour guide of all the Lions and wildlife that we expected to see. Then we asked if we would encounter all of them on our trip and our tour guide responded saying "I can not promise you that you will see every animal or wildlife species, but the possibilities are great!" Family God has great things in store for us all we must do is keep on imagining the possibilities.

By now some of you are probably wondering where is the word of God in this devotion, and rightly so. let's look to 1st Chronicles 4:9-10. (NIV)

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Here in Chronicles among the midst of  family list and genealogical lines in chapter four we pause for two short verses to see about this person named Jabez who stood out. He stood out because he was honorable despite having a painful birth, living a painful life and having to live with all of this pain every time someone called his name. He endured all of this because his name Jabez meant sorrow, trouble and pain. Even dealing with all of that Jabez still was able to imagine the possibilities that God had for him, and he cried out to God. Just like Jabez when we are honorable and imagine the possibilities that God has for us, when we call on God to bless us and increase us God responds.

I pray that today each of us takes time out to read chapter 4 of 1st Chronicles and then spend some reflection time in holy imagination with God exploring all of the heavenly possibilities that God has in store for us on earth. 

Be Well, love love pastor Sirchester. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Closer I get to you

Psalm 15  New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of David.
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.

When I read David's words from Psalm 15, immediately I began hearing the chorus from Roberta Flacks hit song the Closer I get to you:

"The Closer I Get To You"
(feat. Donny Hathaway)

The closer I get to you
The more you make me see
By giving me all you've got
Your love has captured me.

Psalm 15 reminds me of how close I've grown to God over the last few years, and even more so of how much closer I want/ need to get to my savior and creator. While Roberta Flack's song was a love song to people, Psalm 15 for me is a love poem to God. One that I can sing, read and pray all day long. Just like David I want to dwell in God's presence, live righteously and in truth.  The fact of the matter is the closer that I get to God my life becomes better and as a direct result I become a better person. Do you long to get closer to God, to guard your tongue and to be able to discern better? If so, I invite you to read and pray Psalm 15 throughout the day and be encouraged knowing that it pleases God when we make an effort to grow in relationship to our King of Glory.

Dear God today, enable us to stretch our own limits and go on a growth spurt, growing abundantly closer to you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Be Well, Love P.J.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Never Disconnected!

Psalm 139: 13-18 (A Psalm of David for the instructor of music) NIV

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Today, sitting at home I read these words in the midst of another amazingly cold Chicago winter and record breaking temperatures outside of my front door. The warmth of this Psalm filled my soul, because it reminds me of how each one of God's creations is never disconnected from our maker. Even as I write now there are some who are disconnected from heat, electricity, loved ones, society and more. Even with all of those disconnections there is one thing sure and true, we will never be disconnected from God. The God who knows our inmost being, the God who wonderfully made us, the God who is always with us is the one true God we serve.

I pray that you know in your heart, despite all of the loose ends and severed connections in your life that God want's to remain connected to you. Therefore God is inviting you to stay connected. Prayerfully this warmed your soul and day as it has mine.

Be Well. Love Pastor Sirchester.