Wise Up! study in Proverbs

Today we are reading Proverbs 7. This is a tough one to read for many reasons. That is to say, it contains a warning for all of us who are in committed relationships to honor our commitments and promises.

Will wisdom keep you from bad influences?

Next, Why is wisdom referred to as a relationship like a sibling?

Finally, What two things will you take away from this that will guard you against breaking your vows and promises to your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend?

Wise Up! study in Proverbs

All Saints Church are studying the book of Proverbs the next 3 months. The best way to read the Proverbs is to read in community, let’s take a proverb a day and look at it together.

Our goal is to read Proverbs once a month by taking a chapter a day. To begin, we are in Proverbs 6. Here are some discussion questions. Maybe a few a different ones in the comment section below.

1.Define “sluggard” and “slothful.” Where does Solomon say a lazy person should go to learn important lessons – 6:6-8?

2. Look at the seven things God hates (6:16-19) explain the meaning of each in your own words. Why would Solomon use ‘hate’ to reference these things? Where do you see these offenses in our society? Are they in your own life?

3. Define lust. Many people see no harm in enjoying thoughts of illicit intimacy (such as in entertainment, pornography, etc.) so long as one does not actually do anything wrong. What can we learn about this from the instructions here and elsewhere?

4. Finally, How do people view stealing according to verses 30,31? Yet what consequences may it have? How does this relate to the discussion of adultery?

I look forward to reading this with all of you this summer. Send the link to some friends. Wisdom desires others opinion, thought, and counsel.

Prayer Guide

Please join us tonight at 7pm, either at All Saints, or with us virtually. Prayer Guide submitted by Marjorie Nelch.

All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. Tonight, we will be praying for health, hope, joy, mission, and vision in our lives as we seek to influence all who believe, doubt, and seek.

Matthew 6: 9-13 (Jesus speaking to his disciples)

9This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

   •    Read the passage two or three times.

   •    Let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.

   •    Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact?

   •    Read the prayer one line at a time: spend a few minutes on each line and use it as a guide to pray for:  Our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbors.

   •    Allow the Holy Spirit bring to mind a person, or cause and pray using these words.

Prayer Guide (Week 2)

Wednesday Night Prayer Guide 

Theme: Influence

All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. Our focus will be praying to influence the city, nation, and the world. We are aware of the issues and challenges many are facing in Seattle and around the world. (Trafficking, slavery, poverty, disease, homelessness, financial instability, lack of leadership).

So, how do we have influence? We believe we must ask God for wisdom, mercy, kindness, and love. 

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.(1 Tim 2:1-2)

  • Read the passages two or three times
  • This time, let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.
  • Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact? 
  • Use this work or sentence to fuel your prayer.
  • Incorporate this into your prayer for our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbours.
  • Let the Holy Spirit bring to mind a person, or cause and pray using these words.

Here is a guide in praying for those who have influence in our city and country:

First, Pray for elected and appointed officials(1 Tim 2:2). We talk and complain a lot about politicians, but do we pray as often as we should, as often as we are compelled to pray by scripture? We should pray, not only that our leaders would use their power well on behalf of the people (Rom 13), but also for the well-being of their families. My suggestion is that we pray for all leaders, not just the ones with whom you agree.

Pray for public servants and first responders. Around the country, at this very moment, millions of men and women wear a uniform and have pledged to protect us from harm. Police officers, fire-fighters, paramedics, search and rescue teams and others put their lives on the line every day. Pray for wisdom and discernment, pray they would use their power well, pray for their families.

Pray for racial justice. It is clear that there is still much work to be done in our country to heal from our racial wounds and to see more racial progress. We should pray for more unity in our communities and in our country and for leaders who unite, rather than divide. Pray for just laws to address racial disparities. Pray that the church will lead the way, showing by its steps toward racial reconciliation, a glimpse of the kingdom, where God will gather every nation, tribe, and tongue

Pray for the recognition of human dignity. Everywhere we look, we see violations of human dignity, from the horrific rhetoric some leaders are using to talk about immigrants and refugees, to the violence erupting in the neighborhoods in our cities. Pray for laws that see value and worth in every human life.

Finally, Pray for the church. The most powerful institution on earth is the church of Jesus Christ, made up of people from every nation, tribe and tongue. Pray for God’s people to unite together around the good news of the gospel and to commit to living on mission for him in each community. Pray the church would embody the kind of other-worldly values of the Kingdom and point people to the hope found only in Christ. Pray that the influence of love and justice would prevail. 

Prayer Guide

All Saints Church is gathering for prayer every Wednesday night during the month of January. We realize with all the traffic issues, it may be difficult for everyone to join us. So, I am posting the prayer guide for you to join us virtually. We invite you to take a moment and pray with us.

Our theme for 2019 is Influence.

Week 1 | Ephesians 3:14-21

All Saints Church vision is to earn the right to influence all who believe, doubt and seek in Queen Anne and Seattle. That is to say, this week we will be praying for our church, neighbourhood, friends, and co-workers.

So I bow in prayer before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.20 With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

  • First, Read the passage two or three times.
  • Now, let your mind and heart go to a place where you can feel the impact and meaning of the text.
  • Which word or sentence did you feel the most impact? 
  • Use this word or sentence to fuel your prayer.
  • Incorporate this word or sentence into your prayer for our Church, friends, co-workers, neighbours.
  • Finally, let the Holy Spirit influence your mind and heart and think of a person, or cause and pray using these words.

Write out thoughts, pictures, or reminders of what your next steps are as you take action on your prayer.

Refugees and Immigrants

Since 2012, All Saints Church has participated with Advent Conspiracy to radically counter our consumer mentality by ‘spending less and giving more.’ As a result, we have given $96,000 to organizations that are making Seattle better.  This year, All Saints Church is partnering with World Relief Seattle to resettle an immigrant family here in Seattle.

I’d like to encourage you to click on the link above and see the work World Relief  is doing. Because of all the fear and misinformation surrounding the immigration crisis in the U.S., we are hopeful that those who are within the reach of All Saints Church will join us in reaching our goal of $9,000. Incredibly, this money goes a long way!

  • Airport reception
  • Securing permanent housing, furniture and household items
  • Obtaining basic necessities, including food and clothing
  • Helping them apply for Social Security
  • Registering children for school
  • Scheduling and providing transportation to initial health screenings and ongoing health services
  • Providing orientation on various topics related to life in the United States
  • Helping to link and refer to available resources and services in Western Washington

Join us on Sunday morning at 10am, or listen to our podcast that is available directly after our gathering on Sunday afternoon. A couple next steps: First, please consider a donation to help us reach our goal. Second, when there, click the drop down menu on our donation page, select ‘Advent Conspiracy – 2018.’ And finally, All gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

The Blessing of Doubt

All Saints Church will continue our Holy Week contemplation with an interactive prayer time this Good Friday, March 30th, from 6-8pm. You are invited to come and meditate on the last hours of Jesus’ life. There are stations around the auditorium that focus on an aspect of the suffering and death of Jesus, the prayer walk ends with the Holy Supper. You are welcome to stay for the entire time or enough time to walk through the stations.

On Easter Sunday, April 1st,  we will celebrate the Resurrection of Christ at our 10 am gathering. We will look at John 20:24-31, and learn from Doubting Thomas. This text is about as April Fool’s as you can get. Thomas is a disciple, and he is known as doubting Thomas. Historically, Thomas has been vilified by Christians because of his doubts expressed in these verses. Many scholars differ with this assumption and instead present Thomas ‘a realist, a person who evaluated the situation on the basis of what he could perceive. Thomas is not merely a pathetic doubter. He is a paradigm of many believing people who are capable of great possibilities as well as hesitations in faith.’

Check out All Saints website for more information.

Sunday March 11, 2018

This Sunday we are looking at a controversial text in Colossians (3:18-4:1), the traditional view of this would be ‘rules for Christian households.’ I would like to look at this through the lens of unity. In every relationship and role we have, we need to seek unity. This applies equally to husbands, wives, children, employers, employees, and so on.  I believe this text can perhaps help us be advocates for the various movements that are happening across America. As a Christ follower, I want my voice to be in the mix, not as an outlier or a marginalized kind of thinker.

Let’s see where this goes and spark conversations with friends and family. See you Sunday at 10am.

Ready, set, HOME!

It really feels like the last week of this initial phase in my studies. It was a very rigorous week as I had to present my topic to the faculty and then answer their questions and critiques. This is part of the process, the further along I go, the tougher the scholars will be as they probe and pick at my work to make sure it will contribute to knowledge.

I look forward to being home. I miss my Sue and the family so much. I miss my All Saints family also. I look forward to preaching on November 5th. I am so grateful for the guest speakers that did such a wonderful job while I was in Oxford. Thank you Andi, Joe, Ray, Bob, and Brendan. A great gift you all are to the community of All Saints.

I have been journaling my experience here; it has also helped me expound on ideas and narrow my focus. Here is a snippet of my journal from last week:

I am fractured in many different places emotionally, psychologically, and physically. I naturally go to self doubt when faced with a big challenge. I also look around for ways to balance it by looking for others words and ideas rather than contemplating the word, my soul, and the Spirit of God. I want to believe that I have the ability, intelligence, and power of the Spirit to navigate this…So, God I ask…help me with my unbelief. I need discipline, grit, and the belief that God is directing me everyday. I believe this project will have repercussions that impact the Kingdom of God in ways that are far beyond my imagination, and it will create conversation and new forms that can impact the urban church in cities all over the world.

I am ready to continue this work. See you next Sunday!

A study break in the Cotswolds

It has been a long week, so much to take in but good progress on my research question. So today, I was invited out to the Cotswolds with some friends. The Cotswolds are what inspired Tolkein to call the Hobbits home, The Shire. It is lovely. Here are a few pictures:

The above is St. Mary’s Church

So many views like this, a passageway off the main street into a little neighborhood. 

So, now it’s back to the books tomorrow. The process of landing on a research question is becoming more clear everyday. It is a such a daunting process, but the reward will be worth it….in 5 or 6 years. I am grateful and humbled that I get to do this.

I look forward to getting home. I get to preach at All Saints on November 5…’remember, remember the fifth of November’…wait, wrong context. I’ll be back later this week.