Six Kingdom Questions: Part 1

throne-of-godWhat is the kingdom of God?

 

It is the most important question about the kingdom of God.

Some people believe the Kingdom is just a synonym for heaven. Others believe the Kingdom is the Church. Both are only partly right.

One of Jesus’s teachings about the Kingdom was a parable about wheat and tares. Matt. 13:24-30.

Jesus said the wheat represented the sons of the Kingdom, the tares represented those who were not submitted to God but His enemy, and that both would grow together until the end when God would remove the tares “out of His kingdom.” Matt. 13:36-43.

Now, I’m no theologian, just a simple lawyer, but if God had to take non-Christians out of His kingdom, then the Kingdom cannot be heaven, because non-Christians don’t go to heaven, and the Kingdom can’t be the Church, for the same reason. The true Church consists only of believers. That must mean the kingdom of God is something different than heaven or the Church. Continue reading…

Six Kingdom Questions: Introduction

throne-of-godJesus said Christians were to seek first the kingdom and His righteousness. Matt. 6:33.

However, if you don’t know what the kingdom of God is, it will be hard to seek it.

The neighborhood I lived in when I was growing up in southern Indiana was in a rural area. As unredeemed adolescents, the kids in my neighborhood had a trick we would play on younger kids.

We would ask them if they wanted to go snipe hunting.

Invariably they would say yes, and being insecure, as kids are, they would not ask what a snipe was. We would then take them back into the woods and send them down a path, telling them if they saw a snipe to yell out. Then we would wait for them to yell.

Of course there is no such thing as a snipe. The whole thing was a cruel adolescent gag.

The kingdom of God is not a snipe; it is very real. But if you don’t know what it is, you might as well be hunting snipes. Continue reading…

Don’t Read This

June 18, 2016 SunsetI was hoping you wouldn’t read this.

That is why I picked that title.

I’ve got nothing to say, but I feel I am supposed to write

I must have writer’s block. Still, I feel I am supposed to write.

I thought about writing about Donald Trump. I have some ideas about him; but I thought better of it. I thought about writing about the torrential downpour I’m watching through the window and talking about how rain in movies and books is a symbol for redemption, but I didn’t see it really going anywhere.

Then I thought maybe I’m not reading enough since I don’t have any good ideas to write about here. I considered reading to get inspired but realized I would be too tired after reading to write tonight and then I would feel even worse. Finally I decided to just sit down and start writing. I’ve done that before and churned out some interesting blog posts. I don’t think it is working this time. Continue reading…

What I’m Reading (June 2, 2016)

LibraryAs I’ve mentioned here before, one of the secrets to reading faster is to read multiple books at the same time.

When you are not in the mood to continue reading one you pick up where you left off on another.

Reading multiple books at one time also challenges me to read on more subjects simultaneously.

It is the difference between eating a steak or eating a dinner that includes all the major food groups.

As you can see from the list below, my major food groups currently include leadership,  legal (my job), theology, writing, history, and self-improvement. That’s a pretty well-rounded meal.

  1. Cross-Examination: Science and TechniqueLarry Posner & Roger Dodd. If you are a trial attorney, this is a must read. This the best book on cross-examination I’ve ever read. This is my second time to read it. If you are not a lawyer, never mind.
  2. The Elements of EloquenceMark Forsyth. This is a very well-written book about writing well, and if you read the book you will understand why what I just wrote is very funny.
  3. The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal SuccessAndy Andrews. I’ve heard about this book for years and thought it was time to check it out. It’s a book about leadership presented in the form of historical fiction.
  4. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and SchoolJohn Medina. Fascinating book about how to get more out of your brain. Who doesn’t want to be smarter?
  5. A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common GoodMiroslav Volf. I love Volf. I met him last year. Deep thinker with a positive eschatology.
  6. Bonhoeffer: Prophet, Martyr, Pastor, Spy, Eric Metaxes. I’ve been a big Metaxes fan since he expertly confronted power with Truth at the National Prayer Breakfast, which The Wife and I had the honor of attending. Metaxes is an excellent writer and holds the reader’s interest through a long, detailed book with his insight and sharp humor.

 

 

Ensuring God’s Presence in Your Work

workplace frustrationLast year I wrote a series of blog posts on what God expects from you at work.

It was a brief overview based on the premise that work that is done 1) ethically; 2) excellently; and 3) empowered by the Holy Spirit advances the kingdom of God on earth.

As I’ve grappled with living out these three imperatives, working empowered by the Holy Spirit has been by far the most difficult. If you read the series, you know I argued that working empowered by the Holy Spirit ensures God’s presence in your work. So, this was not one I wanted to give up on just because it was difficult.

Fortunately, in struggle to incorporate these imperatives in my work, I’ve learned a few things that have helped me make this ideal more of a reality in my work life. Hopefully they will help you too. Here they are in no particular order: Continue reading…