Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not My People

Luke 4:41 is a great reminder to me that demons, as perverse and twisted as they are, see eternal things as they really are.  Oh, they are twisted, burning souls.  But they understand who Jesus is, and they shudder.  Paul says the same in Philippians 2:10 and Romans 14:11.  Demons believe.  Do we?

There has been a lot of hype in the church over the past thirty years about coming revival; about the next wave of God's Spirit among us; about prophecies predicting this and that end to the age.  Wars and rumors of war to be sure.  Earthquakes and natural disasters abound.  And, from Frank Peretti and Hal Lindsay to Tim LaHaye, evangelicals have offered us pictorially visions of things the Bible predicts.

But faith of the kind that made it possible for Paul to restore life to the young man Eutychus?  The kind of rock-solid trust in the love of God that caused Psalm 136 to be written?  A sense of belonging that rises out of a sure knowledge that we were once whores and children of whores that knows its name: Children of the Living God?  These things seem absent from our church culture and have been replaced with much talk about God rather than much speaking to God.

A few days ago Psalm 73:28 told us, "for me it is good to be near God."  Yesterday I got to the end of a frustrating day feeling very discouraged by the things that had happened.  It wasn't until I was about to go to bed that I realized I had skipped the rhythm of Daily Office that morning.  What was I thinking?  On any given day that I don't make the Lord God my refuge I can expect that I won't see spiritual realities correctly... or at all.  The reason the demons bow down and shudder is because they, having once rejected the love of God, see him in all his terrible splendor just as anyone would who approached The Throne.   That's because their eyes have been opened, just as Adam's eyes were opened at the Fall.  The element they have lost the ability -- forever -- to see is the love and kindness of God.

We live in a cynical culture that is quickly losing the ability to see love and kindness in ourselves, because we have begun to disbelieve in a God who is terrible in his splendor and in his judgements, and yet whose love endures forever.


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