Sunday, December 31, 2006

Getting ready to preach

I'm preaching this Sunday and next Sunday at HCBC Pflugerville on life-changing relationships. I'm talking this week about how we are created in the image of a relational God (Triune), and we most reflect our Maker when we live in self-giving, forgiving community. I hope to communicate the why behind living in authentic community today. Next Sunday, I'll be preaching on how life-change actually happens as we invite biblical feedback into our lives from others around us. I hope to communicate using biblical examples how honest, godly feedback can transform our paradigms for life.

Both of these messages are close to my heart since I am constantly ministering to people who are living disconnected lives, or as Randy Frazee describes it, lives of crowded loneliness. We have lots of acquaintances, but very few (if any) close friends who know us deeply and authentically. I would add to Frazee's diagnosis the fact that we live in a world of wired isolation. I think we feel good about our connectedness because we have lots of names in our palm pilots, lots of numbers in our cell phone, lots of friends on MySpace, but again can feel very lonely in the midst of all that. Gallup has said that 2/3 of Americans have intense feelings of loneliness from time to time. We are wired to crowds of people, but again, know very few of them at a deep, personal level.

My prayer is that we can move beyond the religion of individualism that impacts so many of us and actually connect at a personal level with others in the church and the community.

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