Archive for the ‘Tom Vander Well’ Tag

Lessons Learned in Time   Leave a comment

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Lessons Learned in Time

Posted January 2, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Letting Go of My Personal Timetable   Leave a comment

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Letting Go of My Personal Timetable

Posted December 12, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Of Evil and Good   7 comments

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By Tom Vander Well

But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)

I am reminded this morning of this simple truth that is so easily forgotten. We think of evil as those things that are obviously dark and deathly. Along the journey I have come to realize that one of the most insidious things about evil is that it often masquerades in such a way so as to appear good and upstanding.

In his book, People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck take a clinical look at the nature of evil in people. He writes:

It is necessary to draw the distinction between evil and ordinary sin. It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people, rather it is the subtlety and persistence and consistency of their sins. This is because the central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.

…The evil appear to be most ordinary. They live down the street…on any street. They may be rich or poor, educated or uneducated. There is little that is dramatic about them. They are not designated criminals. More often than not they will be “solid citizens”-Sunday school teachers, policemen, or bankers, and active in the PTA.

In todays chapter, Paul is trying to get the believers in Corinth to understand that some men who had come to their town claiming to have authority as men sent by Jesus were actually deceivers. Evil masquerading as servants of the Light. So it is with evil. The real question is how are we to respond to it? Too often in history we have responded with witch hunts and inquisitions to try and root it out evil by human means which quickly turn to evil in and of themselves.

I’ve learned along the way that my responsibility as a follower of Jesus is to be observant, shrewd and on guard so as to recognize evil when I encounter it. I am then called to overcome evil by living out greater measures of grace, love and goodness. I find it interesting that Paul was not obsessed with hunting down these false teachers and punishing them for their deception. His energy was given to writing, loving and investing himself in the believers at Corinth so that the effect of the “people of the lie” might be minimized.

Today, I’m reminded that evil is overcome by greater good. I’m going to do some good today.

Wayfarer

Posted September 16, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Not Bricks and Mortar, but Flesh and Blood   6 comments

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By Tom Vander Well

Exalt the Lord our God,

    and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,

    for the Lord our God is holy! Psalm 99:9 (NLT)

I have a bit of a rebellious streak in me. I quickly get irritated by senseless rules and misplaced religious orthodoxy. We as humans tend to want to wrap rules around principles and attach sacred  meaning to silly things. I remember a crotchety old fart who got mad at me for letting children run and play in the church sanctuary instead of getting mad and giving them a stern rebuke. In his mind the kids were desecrating the holiness of the room. I told him that the sanctuary was nothing more than a gathering place (adding that I’d be happy to prove the point scripturally) and the sound of children laughing, running and playing where we met to worship was music to my ears. If there are a lot of kids having fun in the place the church just might have a future.

He didn’t like me very much.

In the ancient days when the psalms were written, there was central place where God was to be worshipped in Jerusalem at the temple. One of the things I love most about Jesus  is that he blew away old rules and established radical new paradigms. When a woman asked Jesus about worshipping in Jerusalem, Jesus said, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem….But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

In the new paradigm that Jesus ushered in, those who believe are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit and we ourselves become God’s temple. We don’t go to some church building that is somehow special, holy and sacred – we ourselves – our bodies – are the temple. We are made special, holy and sacred by God.  We don’t go to church. We are the church. It’s not bricks and mortar. It’s flesh and blood. Every time I hear a pastor telling me to invite my friends to church I shake my head and groan. Jesus’ intention was never for believers to bring friends to a central location to worship Him. His intention was that believers would worship Him by spreading out into every neighborhood and loving people.

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Wayfarer

Posted August 9, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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