Tag Archives: genuine

Authenticity, integrity, true timeless principles


This is a great observation, the amount of phony, posers, pretenders in the world is staggering. They’re the ones who are usually so obsessed about pointing out how messed up everyone else is. They are the ones that a mile wide and an inch thick. They think principles are about who you sleep with, or what the new movie is about, or what they  saw on FaceBook or CNN. Then there are the ones who live their lives in integrity, focus on the eternal things, the things that create, sustain, perpetuate, strengthen and not the phoniness of the current age. So please, be authentic, be a genuine man and woman, and frankly, that can only be done in Jesus. I’m not sure if this is what Ms Gilbert intended, but I appreciate at least the theme of her blog.

I thought this was a wonderful way to approach whatever endeavors we are involved in. It’s being yourself which grounds and guides us. The start of the year, significant birthday or any milestone event, arrives and fills us with new possibilities for the future. But along with our enthusiasm can come an unwitting loss of…

via Don’t Worry About Being Original. Just Be Authentic – Elizabeth Gilbert — The Seeds 4 Life

The saints of Jesus, those who live with authenticity First Saint Johns, November 2, 2014

Traducción española sigue el texto Inglés

Click on the above link or copy and paste into your browser to hear the audio version of this sermon.

We make our beginning in the name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and inthe Name of God the Holy Spirit. I’m going to say good morning saints of York and you’re going to say good morning Saint Jim, Good morning saints of York…

And all God’s people said AMEN! We celebrate All Saints Day today, which is also the same day as Reformation Day which we will observe in this afternoon’s worship, the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses.
Halloween, which was observed on Friday, has its roots in a Gaelic pagan holiday called Samhain [pronounced sawin] which is when it was thought that spirits and fairies could more easily move into the physical world. The souls of the dead would visit the places where they lived. Halloween is the second most observed celebration after Christmas. For those in the secular world who love to think of how pragmatic and reality driven they are, one writer observed that “Halloween is he ultimate holiday of pretending… we dress up and ‘pretend’ to be someone or something other than ourselves…” In other words it simply emphasizes the phoniness of the world that we live in. A world that denies the reality of a loving, Creator God and tries to make itself into something much better that it’s not. The world loves to concern its self with the phoney aspect of “spirituality” which many people today readily buy into and deny the true spirituality that is Jesus Christ. I keep searching, but I can find no where that explains what people really think that kind of spirituality will do, except that it gives them the feeling of being in control, but never really how that control is realized. How it works in terms of eternity? No one seems to be the least bit interested. The world talks a good game about being “genuine”, of authenticity, but you rarely see it, it’s only in terms of their deluded perception of a world without God and then they wonder why they always feel lost, frightened and alone. There is only one source of authenticity and that is in Jesus. When we are a saint in Jesus are we truly authentic, part of which is being humble, that is when we trust the Lord to live the life that He has saved us for. To be sure being a Christian is much more than the Beatitudes, our reading today, but we certainly model authenticity when we do our best to live that life through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Beatitudes are not our works, they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit who is working through us. We still sin, the world thinks that we should live in perfection. No, the saints will always be fallible people, the old man lives in each of the saints, but the Holy Spirit moves us again and again to live up to the Beatitudes. The world tries to live its own virtues, but it is very clear that those virtues are only to enhance their own life and the fruit of their own spirit, the spirit of the world and not of the Holy Spirit. Roy Lloyd tells the following: “…a man who arrived in 1953 at the Chicago railroad station to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. As he stepped off the train… as the cameras flashed and city officials approached … he thanked them politely. Then he asked to be excused for a moment. He walked through the crowd to the side of an elderly black woman struggling with two large suitcases. He picked them up, smiled and escorted her to the bus, helped her get on and wished her a safe journey. Then Albert Schweitzer turned to the crowd and apologized for keeping them waiting. It is reported that one member of the reception committee told a reporter, ‘That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking.’” Schweitzer was a German theologian, a Lutheran, an organist who studied Bach, a physician, a medical missionary to Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, evidenced in his founding of a hospital in Gabon around the turn of the twentieth century. It is interesting how a saint of Christ who produced so much fruit as a Christian disciple, so accomplished and yet in a huge crowd, was the only one who noticed an elderly lady who needed help, then and there, to make her next connection for her trip. A simple act from a man who served our Lord in such magnificent ways, a great saint of Christ.
David Kinneman was the speaker at the conference in North Carolina I attended. One thing he returned to over and over in his presentation was that today’s younger generations and, I submit most people in the world, are looking for, is authenticty, genuinness. They know and we who are in Christ know that the world is not genuine. All the institutions of the world fail repeatedly and yet try to convince of their authority and authenticity even while they impose on our society and repeatedly fail. All of us can relate to how we can see through the thin veil of hypocrisy around us. The church is often accused of hypocrisy and often for good reason. We try to convince the world that we are perfect saints in Jesus and yet our attempt is shattered when we look at the true saints. Paul called himself the chief of all sinners. He didn’t say that in an attempt to appear to be pious, he knew of the sins he had committed against Jesus and His church and he acknowledged them and continued to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not as some kind of way to atone for His sins. Why? His sins had been paid for at the Cross, Paul knew there was nothing he could add to Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Jesus paid for our sins through His suffering and sacrifice. We, as His saints, are saved in His sacrifice, but as His saints we faithfully follow the leading, encouragement, promise and hope of the Holy Spirit which is the only way we can live out the Beatitudes. We acknowledge our failings, our sin. When we try to convince the world that we are perfect and above all the evil of the world, the world can see right through us. But when we acknowledge that the only way that we are perfect is through Jesus and only through His grace and forgiveness, that we still struggle and still fail in sin, then the world may know salvation through Jesus.
We are valuable, we are His creation and are saved by Him through Christ. We have to remember how valuable we are to God. John writes: “See what kind of love [that is the agape love} the Father has given to us: that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him… but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,..” We shall be His saints and we will be perfect, not in ourselves, but in Him who died for us, and because of that we are valuable to the Father and He loves His children with the highest expression of love.
Dr Luther wrote: ‘Tomorrow I have to lecture on the drunkenness of Noah [Gen 9: 20-27]; so I should drink enough this evening to be able to talk about that wickedness as one who knows by experience.” Luther was authentic, I’m not telling you to imitate authenticity to that degree, but it is to acknowledge that we are tempted and occasionally fail.
Since the elders, the saints in Christ will be gathered around the throne of God in heaven as we read in Revelation 7:12, the saints praising God and worshiping Him, let’s pull out the lyrics inserted in your bulletin and let’s praise Him here and now: I love you Lord, lyrics by Petra…
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

Hacemos nuestro comienzo en el nombre de Dios Padre y en el nombre de Dios el Hijo y en el Nombre de Dios el Espíritu Santo. Yo voy a decir buenas santos de la mañana de York y vas a dar los buenos días en Saint Jim, buenos santos de la mañana de York …
Y todo el pueblo de Dios dijo AMEN! Celebramos hoy el Día de Todos los Santos, que es también el mismo día como Día de la Reforma que observaremos en el culto de esta tarde, el día en que Martín Lutero clavó sus 95 tesis.
Halloween, que se observó el viernes, tiene sus raíces en un día de fiesta pagano gaélico llamado Samhain [Sawin pronunciado], que es cuando se pensaba que los espíritus y hadas podían moverse con mayor facilidad en el mundo físico. Las almas de los muertos visitaban los lugares donde vivían. Halloween es la segunda fiesta más observado después de la Navidad. Para aquellos en el mundo secular que les gusta pensar en cómo pragmático y la realidad que son impulsados, un escritor señaló que “Halloween es él último día de fiesta de fingir … nos vestimos y ‘pretender’ ser alguien o algo distinto de nosotros mismos. .. “En otras palabras, simplemente pone de relieve la falsedad del mundo en que vivimos. un mundo que niega la realidad de un cariño, Dios Creador y trata de hacer en algo mucho mejor que no lo es. El mundo ama a preocuparse de su auto con el aspecto falso de “espiritualidad” que muchas personas hoy en día comprar fácilmente en y negar la verdadera espiritualidad que es Jesucristo. Sigo buscando, pero no encuentro donde explica que lo que la gente realmente piensa que tipo de espiritualidad va a hacer, excepto que les da la sensación de estar en control, pero nunca realmente cómo se realiza ese control. ¿Cómo funciona en términos de la eternidad? Nadie parece ser el más mínimo interés. El mundo habla un buen juego de ser “auténtico”, de autenticidad, pero que rara vez se ve, es sólo en términos de su percepción ilusoria de un mundo sin Dios y luego se preguntan por qué siempre se siente perdida, asustada y sola. Sólo hay una fuente de autenticidad y que está en Jesús. Cuando estamos a un santo en Jesús son verdaderamente auténtico, parte de la cual está siendo humilde, que es cuando confiamos en el Señor para vivir la vida que Él nos ha salvado para. Para estar seguro de ser cristiano es mucho más que las Bienaventuranzas, nuestra lectura de hoy, pero sin duda modelar autenticidad cuando hacemos nuestro mejor esfuerzo para vivir esa vida a través del poder del Espíritu Santo. Las Bienaventuranzas no son nuestras obras, que son el fruto del Espíritu Santo que está trabajando a través de nosotros. Todavía el pecado, el mundo piensa que debemos vivir en la perfección. No, los santos siempre serán personas falibles, el anciano vive en cada uno de los santos, pero el Espíritu Santo nos mueve una y otra vez a la altura de las Bienaventuranzas. El mundo trata de vivir sus propias virtudes, pero es muy claro que esas virtudes son sólo para mejorar su propia vida y el fruto de su propio espíritu, el espíritu del mundo y no del Espíritu Santo. Roy Lloyd dice lo siguiente: “… un hombre que llegó en 1953 en la estación de ferrocarril de Chicago para recibir el Premio Nobel de la Paz. Como él bajó del tren … como las cámaras destellaron y funcionarios de la ciudad se acercaron … él les dio las gracias cortésmente. Entonces él pidió ser excusado por un momento. Caminó a través de la multitud hacia el lado de una mujer de negro anciano que lucha con dos grandes maletas. Él los recogió, sonrió y la escoltó hasta el autobús, la ayudó a subir y le deseó un buen viaje. Luego Albert Schweitzer se volvió hacia la multitud y se disculpó por mantenerlos esperando. Se ha informado de que un miembro del comité de recepción le dijo a un reportero, “Esa es la primera vez que vi un pie sermón. ‘” Schweitzer fue un teólogo alemán, luterano, un organista que estudió Bach, un médico, un médico misionero a África. Fue galardonado con el Premio Nobel de la Paz por su filosofía de “Reverencia por la Vida”, se evidencia en su fundación de un hospital en Gabón alrededor de la vuelta del siglo XX. Es interesante cómo un santo de Cristo, que produce tanta fruta como un discípulo cristiano, por lo realizado y aún en una gran multitud, era el único que se dio cuenta de una anciana que necesitaba ayuda, entonces y allí, para hacer su próxima conexión para su viaje. Un simple acto de un hombre que sirvió a nuestro Señor de una manera tan magníficas, un gran santo de Cristo.
David Kinneman fue el orador en la conferencia en Carolina del Norte que asistí. Una cosa que él regresó a una y otra vez en su presentación fue que las generaciones más jóvenes de hoy en día y, a mi juicio la mayoría de la gente en el mundo, están buscando, es authenticty, genuinness. Ellos saben y nosotros, los que están en Cristo saben que el mundo no es genuino. Todas las instituciones del mundo fallan en repetidas ocasiones y, sin embargo tratar de convencer de su autoridad y autenticidad, incluso mientras ellos imponen en nuestra sociedad y en repetidas ocasiones fallan. Todos nosotros podemos relacionar con la forma en que podemos ver a través del fino velo de la hipocresía que nos rodea. La iglesia es a menudo acusado de hipocresía y, a menudo por una buena razón. Tratamos de convencer al mundo de que somos santos perfectos en Jesús y sin embargo nuestro intento se hizo añicos cuando nos fijamos en los santos verdaderos. Pablo llamó a sí mismo el jefe de todos los pecadores. Él no dijo que en un intento de que parecen ser piadoso, él sabía de los pecados que había cometido en contra de Jesús y su iglesia y él los reconoció y continuó a producir el fruto del Espíritu Santo. No es como una especie de forma de expiar sus pecados. ¿Por qué? Sus pecados han sido pagados a la Cruz, Pablo sabía que no había nada que pudiera añadir a sacrificio de Jesús por nosotros. Jesús pagó por nuestros pecados a través de Su sufrimiento y sacrificio. Nosotros, como sus santos, somos salvos en Su sacrificio, sino como sus santos que fielmente seguimos el liderazgo, ánimo, esperanza y promesa del Espíritu Santo, que es la única manera en que podemos vivir las Bienaventuranzas. Reconocemos nuestras faltas, nuestros pecados. Cuando tratamos de convencer al mundo de que somos perfectos, y sobre todo el mal del mundo, el mundo puede ver a través de nosotros. Pero cuando reconocemos que la única manera de que somos perfectos es a través de Jesús y sólo a través de su gracia y el perdón, que todavía luchamos y todavía fallamos en el pecado, entonces el mundo conozca la salvación a través de Jesús.
Estamos valioso, nosotros somos su creación y somos salvos por Él a través de Cristo. Tenemos que recordar lo valioso que somos para Dios. Juan escribe: “ver qué tipo de amor [que es el amor ágape} el Padre nos ha dado: que seamos llamados hijos de Dios; y así estamos. La razón por la cual el mundo no sabe de nosotros es que no lo conocía … pero sabemos que cuando él se manifieste, seremos semejantes a él, .. “Vamos a ser sus santos y vamos a ser perfecto, no en nosotros mismos, sino en Aquel que murió por nosotros, y debido a que somos valiosos para el Padre y Él ama a sus hijos con la expresión más alta del amor.
Dr. Lutero escribió: “Mañana tengo que dar una conferencia sobre la embriaguez de Noé [Génesis 9: 20-27]; así que deben beber suficiente esta noche para poder hablar de que la maldad como alguien que sabe por experiencia. “Lutero era auténtica, no te estoy diciendo que imitar autenticidad a ese grado, pero es reconocer que somos tentados y ocasionalmente fallar.
Dado que los ancianos, los santos en Cristo se reunieron alrededor del trono de Dios en el cielo, como leemos en Apocalipsis 07:12, los santos alabando a Dios y lo adoran, vamos a tirar hacia fuera las letras insertadas en su boletín y Alabemosle aquí y ahora: Te amo Señor, letra de Petra …
La paz de Dios que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. Shalom y Amin.

Do we take the chance to bless anyone. First St Johns Aug 31, 2014

(click on the above link or copy and paste into your browser to hear the recorded version of this sermon)

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who pray for those who torment them said … AMEN!
Paul is usually a tough read. While I sit hear and listen as people do the readings and please don’t get me wrong, the people who step up here and contribute to this church when they serve as readers do a tremendous service and they do a great job and I want to thank them for stepping up. But there are times when I feel bad, because Paul can get awfully tortuous and it’s difficult to follow a thought and put in the right punctuation in their head. Well today, Paul is about as straight forward and to the point as you can get. First sentence “Let love be genuine.” Very straight forward to read, to explain … well a lot more ambiguous.
This whole pericope is about being “genuine”, being a real Christian disciple. When Paul talks about your love being genuine, it’s that you should want what is absolutely best for the other person. At the end of worship, I try to make sure that I ask for “Faith Sharing” moments. These are not intended for you to put pressure on people to go to the right church and get their life all together instantly. These are intended to keep us all aware that we are disciples, that our life is about sharing Christ, or at least it should be. When we have a “Faith Sharing” moment we are showing genuine love. “I care enough about you to stop and talk to you and to share with you what is really important, that is life in Christ.” Regardless of what the world tells us, of all the things that should be “important”, there is only one truly important thing and I’m sharing this with you right now, that Christ is my Lord and is always with me and that He has promised eternal life in the resurrection to me and does to you as He leads you to true knowledge in Him.” That is true love, that is selflessly putting yourself out so that you can show that person Christ, so that you can witness to that person what is truly important in this world, and eternity. Remember how we really only have one word for love, the Greeks had four words for the same word that we use rather glibly. Be assured that when they used the word agape, they knew exactly what they were saying. They weren’t saying that God was nice, or pleasing, or my buddy, they were saying that God’s love for us is self-sacrificing, that He would do for us whatever would be for our benefit, for our growth, for us to come closer to Him and His will for us in our lives. That self-sacrifice was up to and including giving His life for us so that our sin would be paid for and that we would have that promise of eternal life. Can we bless someone any better than that?
The word “genuine” in Greek is avnupo,kritoj meaning without hypocrisy, it is sincere, unfeigned, the absolute truth. You’ve heard that we should make relationships with people and not deal with the Christian thing. Isn’t that really hypocrisy? If you’re going to know me, I hope you will know that I am a Christian, and that I’m going to live my life as a Christian witness in all parts of my life. Anything else would be insincere, hypocritical.
There is so much in this passage, this could go on for hours, but let’s remember who Paul is writing to, I might be repeating myself, but these people are right on the nub of Christian persecution. Paul is writing from Corinth. I’m sure the contrast wasn’t lost on Paul, “I’m writing from a city that treats Christ like a buddy, the church like a plaything, a place where those in the church have a long way to go to Christian maturity.” I’ll bet Paul was thinking; “how do I show these people what the Roman church is dealing with, people who are being oppressed and persecuted for the faith. I don’t have any problem here, because these people treat church like a party. The Romans are sacrificing everything, up to their lives, and they treat the church like a life-preserver, Christ’s church is the only thing they can rely on in a world that is a very real danger, spiritually and physically.”
Paul probably wrote this epistle in 56 AD, at this point the Roman Republic is beginning to crumble, the Roman army, essentially took over the government and placed their man Claudius as emperor, who was poisoned and followed by Nero. You may know that Nero probably started a fire that burned most of Rome that he subsequently blamed on Christians. I’m sure you can imagine how that made life very difficult for Christians. Nero would have Christians killed in the Roman games and use Christians as human torches to light his garden parties. No doubt Paul was aware of at least some of the things that they endured and was trying to encourage them, but he also wanted to remind them that regardless of how much danger his Christian brothers and sisters faced, they were still expected to be faithful and live a Christ-like life, and remarkably, they did.
Paul’s epistle to people who are being so beaten down is a continuous reminder to us that we, who live a pretty comfortable life in the church, are expected to live up to Christian principles in an even more exemplary manner. Our prayer group has put a lot of focus on Christian brothers and sisters who being systematically murdered in Iraq right now. There is a picture of Christians being crucified, I thought of using that picture, but it is very graphic, but just the very idea of brothers and sisters being crucified and beheaded as we enjoy our comfortable lives here in the United States should be a compelling reminder that we should faithfully live up to Paul’s exhortations in this letter in an even more intentional manner. That we should be more active and intentional in blessing those around us.
In the face of this persecution that the Romans are facing, Paul goes on to remind them: “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulations, be constant in prayer.” If someone is trying to hurt us and even murder us, this has to be a tough reminder. Let’s face it, our immediate reaction is to be like the world, someone’s trying to hurt me, I’m going to hurt them back. We are told to “do undo others as we would have them do unto us” (Luke 6:31), the world tells us “to do unto others before they do unto us”. Paul is telling us to rejoice in hope, be patient, PRAY!! It is hard, but as Christians, those who are mature in the faith, we are called to do the “hard” thing. Jesus certainly did! If we are being beaten, tortured, mocked, scorned, hung on a cross, are we going to rejoice, be patient? Aren’t we going to curse them? Jesus didn’t. That’s why we are called to a higher life. While He hung on that cross He said; “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” He who endured so much for us, expects us to reach for the higher standard that He set. We shouldn’t repay evil but are called to do what is honorable. It is interesting that Paul tells us that we are expected to leave vengeance to God. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Paul tells us that we should give our enemy food and drink, why? “…by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head.” It’s a tough lesson, but that is where our faith comes in, that faith that the Holy Spirit gives us to endure. If you really want payback on your enemy, who would do it much better than you ever could? God can and He promises that He will. In the meantime, we should, in faith, pray for that person. We should follow Jesus’ lead and ask the Father to forgive the person who persecutes us and then trust in how the Father is going to deal with that person. In our Christian hearts what we want for the person is not eternal condemnation, we want them to be a brother or sister in Jesus and come to us for forgiveness.
Spend some time with that journal and think about how we can “overcome evil with good” and trust in our Father’s sovereign judgment. Who is it in our life that needs our prayer, that may be tormenting us but still needs forgiveness as much as we do.
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.