It means "writings." I write things.

11:30 AM

Shalom and why we don't have it

Posted by Brad Polley |

I'm preaching this Sunday at church. I've been preparing this message in my mind for awhile and the more I delve into the subject, the more I realize it is endless. I'll be talking about brokenness and the flip side, wholeness. I was chewing on this subject a little bit today and I came to realize that everything we do is motivated by a sense of brokenness and a search to be whole. Every addiction (addiction to anything, not just the biggies like drugs and stuff) is based on being broken. We may not spell it out this way, but I think we all long for something bigger, something of substance. Some may call it happiness, joy, or whatever. If you're like me it is spoken of this way: Please tell me that there is more to life than this. In other words, we all long to be whole, so we run after all sorts of crap in order to make us whole. The problem is that it is all temporary smoke and mirrors that covers up all of our junk for a short time, there's never any long-term resolution. The band Waterdeep puts it this way in their song "If You Want to Get Free":

I'm so often deterred from my actual intent
By distractions in a cellophane wrap
And the cruel voice that taunts me when I open them up
To find just one more box full of crap

All marketing is based on this brokenness. Think about it, ads are designed to convince us that we need a certain product and we can't live without it. In other words, your life will complete when you purchase ___________. Don't believe me? Look at the cell phone industry. I can't tell you how many people I have heard say, "I don't know what I did before I had my cell phone" or "I just couldn't live without my cell phone." It's all bullcrap. You can live without one, you've just bought the lie that you can't.

Jesus had a lot to say about this kind of thing. As I was studying, I came across this passage where he says, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." The word "peace" in Hebrew is "shalom" and doesn't mean just the absence of conflict. The word "shalom" is loaded with meaning and it speaks of a wholeness that comes from God. When you say "shalom" to someone (I doubt many of us do, know...just in case you ever do) you are saying to them, "May the wholeness of God rest upon you." Given this meaning, Jesus' words here take on a whole lot of meaning. True shalom (wholeness, completeness) is only found in following the teachings of Jesus. Everything else is an illusion that will lead to more brokenness. This world is broken and fractured, this means that as we live in this world, we will find brokenness as well. Jesus can put the pieces back together, in fact that what he really wants to do. He's overcome the world, he won. By clinging to him, we win also, and can find wholeness in the midst of a broken and shattered world.

11:45 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

I'm tired of trying to be super-pastor to everyone. I'm tired of being told that good Christians are Republicans. I'm tired of ignoring the poor, but I don't even know where to start helping. I'm tired of my nice house. I'm tired of all my crap that I own. I'm tired of the Church acting as if the Kingdom of God is something futuristic for when we die, and not something ever-present. I'm tired of talking a good game and walking a crappy one.

I'm tired of church. Church isn't supposed to be this difficult. Why do we need meetings to discuss outreach opportunities, why can't we just go out and be with people? Why do we need committees lined up to direct the Church, why can't we just follow Jesus in our community? Why do we strive for more and more people in church, when Jesus makes it clear that very few will find the narrow way? I'm tired of talking about budgets, as if God lives by a budget. I'm tired of talking about buildings as if that is what makes a church a church. I'm tired of future planning. I'm tired of worrying about upsetting people, when I know that the man I follow ticked a lot of people off. I'm tired of what we pass as "worship." I'm tired of Christians, including myself, who talk about devotion to God and yet exhibit something completely different in their lives.

I'm tired, not mad, just tired.

11:45 AM

Just one more thing...

Posted by Brad Polley |

...that makes me wish I wasn't a Christian. Actually, I take that back, there's nothing Christian about this. There's so much wrong with this news report, I'm not sure where to start.

I think I missed Jesus' teaching about his followers making sure that they are a major market force in the nation's economy. Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us.

11:16 AM

Attaining the resurrection

Posted by Brad Polley |

"...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."

Those are Paul's words in Philippians. I've been thinking about it this morning. Apparently Paul is saying is that the resurrection is something that we have to attain. My questions are then, what does this mean? and how do we do it?

Any thoughts?