Friday, April 04, 2008

new beginnings

There's a restaurant chain in our area called "New Beginnings". They have a large breakfast menu and I guess, emphasize breakfasts in helping people get a good start on their day.

Anyhow, I was thinking of this, this morning, just the idea of new beginnings. Each day in Jesus is a renewing. And the seasons in our lives change as well, for some who are single in getting married, for some married in losing their spouse, in other lives job changes, for others sickness. And then there are those beginnings important for us in making some breaks from what has kept us from following as closely to the Lord as we should.

In my own life I can point to some things that I think are less than good, or even sins. Sometimes we can excuse that or rationalize that which in God's eyes may not be pleasing to him. There are those times when we need to be hard on ourselves only as God helps us see what is wrong or less than helpful. We give it over to God through Christ, and let him take it, while we leave it behind and go forward in God's will for us.

This is related to my post yesterday about walking in/by the Spirit. I know I can only live this life in Jesus, and follow on, through the Spirit. I hardly know where I'm going or what's up next, or even what I'm leaving behind or the change I need. But that's not that important. What is important, I believe, is that I'm set to go, by the Spirit, in the direction God has for me. Of course toward the goal of conformity to Christ with others of Christ's Body in mission on earth, and related to that, fulfilling the work God has for me, in the love and blessing of our Lord Jesus.

I go that way, knowing it's only possible through God, in fellowship with Christ's Body to do his work in the world.

New beginnings. What might that mean for you, now?


L.L. Barkat said...

I've been thinking about what it means to live by the Spirit, to cling even to this glorious One. And you know what? Sometimes it hurts, like when we touch the sharp rocks that sit by the edge of the sea.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Wonderful analogy, and oh so true.

I'm so excited about your book, and you can be assured, that once I get it and we read it here, I'll be blogging on it, and will encourage others to take it and read. I can't wait.

Yes, we're conditioned, I'm afraid, away from pain and suffering and we think that success should be a good ride, even a feel good ride, I'm afraid.

But the change we need often cuts right to the heart!


Anonymous said...

hi ted,
i am very interested in knowing what the Jesus community looks like to you. what and who makes up this community? i would like to know from your point of view what this is.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Good question.

You'll notice on my blog links that I have nonChristians along with Christians, linked.

I do that I suppose, for a number of reasons, and one of them is that Jesus made himself at home, I take it, with the hated tax collectors and sinners.

Of course we are in Jesus by faith in Jesus, a faith that is wholistic in committing our entire selves and our lives to him.

Good question. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

there are so many definitions of community that it is confusing. and then every one that uses the word has their own ideas of what they mean. so i am also wondering if this means people in your church and town that you are in contact with, does it mean people that you are not in contact with in some way, does it mean the blog community. are you speaking of just the blog community here or are you also speaking of the community that you have face to face? what makes up your community...and is there more than one?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good questions and all good question.

Community means those who have a common unity in something, I take it. So that there are indeed all kinds of communities in the world, starting with the community of humanity, which of course doesn't live like a community.

The community of people I can enjoy and be a part of can include nonChristians as well as Christians. Of course we have Jesus as setting a precedent there as he ate and drank with the outsiders who did not know God.

The Jesus community I take in a strict sense to include everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, all who are in Jesus, no matter what tradition they're a part of.

In a loose sense I accept all who I can befriend as part of the Jesus community in that Jesus befriended all, and did so to bring them into a relationship with him. So in that sense I would include all the bloggers I reach out to as those I would want to introduce to Jesus, and befriend. And for many, this takes time to come around and see their need of Jesus.

But this is a challenge for us in Jesus, that others would see Jesus in us. By our love and unity together, I believe (as we read from John's gospel).

Anonymous said...

if i am understanding you is sounding like "Jesus" is the community and God's love and Spirit is what unites and extends/ out from within that community.

Anonymous said...

extends out to you and others.

Ted M. Gossard said...

We in Jesus are that community. It is in Jesus and begins in him, for sure. And in Jesus means in the Triune God: Father, Son and Spirit. Out through us to the world, in mission.

Anonymous said...

some people might have other words of describing this community as community.

do you have any idea of what some those words might be?

i am not trying to pull out your teeth..i am just trying to see how others might connect to this idea in their minds or viewpoint.

since we all use different words for the same thing sometimes.

Anonymous said...

that did not make sense...

some others might have this idea and call it something other than community.

that might make more sense.
i have a time of putting things into words in a way that is what i am thinking sometimes. you have any ideas for what some other discriptive words could be for this same idea.?

Anonymous said...

and i was just at sacred vapor...and here it is...Jesus community.

do you think it is the same thing that you are thinking?

maybe the word community is still not computing in my brain. i am not sure i belong to a community in the sense of one that is i the world but of something of the Spirit that can not be contained in a word or definition of a word.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Community in what God has for us in Jesus is unique. Since humans are made in God's image, though distorted by sin- that image, humans long for relationships, but sin breaks relationships. Much more to say on that.

So there are many "communities" in the world, such as clubs, societies, etc., but apart from God in Jesus there is no community that takes us into the fellowship of God and out from that into the fellowship with each other.

Something like that. Thanks for thinking on this, and challenging us to go further.