Introduction to the 2019 Blog
Welcome to 2019! It is going to be a great year! What makes life great, abundant, and hope-filled for me is my developing relationship with Christ. Immersing myself in learning about who God is brings a warm sense of peace and joy. There are many ways that I immerse myself in this study, and reading the Bible or commentaries is only a part of the process. It is putting my understanding of Christ into practice that brings the greatest rewards. This coming year, I am going to start a new practice. I will be offering a weekly blog based upon the weekly worship Scripture.
Every Wednesday the church will publish the blog on our web site. The blog will offer perspectives or lenses to use in order to help God speak to you through the Scripture. I may also offer study techniques specific to the book from which the text comes, and I will offer ways for you to question the text. As I ask questions of the text, often times, I end up hearing God asking me questions that I had never considered. Through this process, I learn new ways to see. It is in offering this way of teaching that I hope you will perhaps begin a new practice and learn news ways to see God as well.
One new practice would be to use the blog/study for your own personal devotional time. But there is another practice that you might find very rewarding. What about gathering a group of friends together every week to discuss the Scripture? In this practice you will be deepening your relationship with God while you deepen your relationship with friends. This might also be a wonderful way to invite neighbors or friends into a conversation about God, even though they might never consider going to a church or worship service.
I’m reading a fantastic new book by former pastor and now religion writer for the New York times and the Atlantic magazine, Johnathan Merritt. Learning to Speak God from Scratch is a conversation about how we think and talk about God in America today. He states that most Americans have fallen away from speaking about God or spirituality because they feel like they are not confident in expressing their opinions or understanding of God.
“Here’s the shocker: Despite widespread religiosity, a paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters on about a once-per-week basis (more than fifty times in the past year). That means that for most of us, our conversations almost never address the spirituality we claim as important.”
I talk about God constantly because God has transformed my life. I talk about God because I experience God holding me up even in the most challenging moments. I talk about God because I am in a relationship with Christ that gets deeper the more time I invest with Christ. I am praying that this new blog practice will help you deepen your relationship with Christ as well, so that you may confidently carry on the conversation.
 Merritt, Jonathan. Learning to Speak God from Scratch. The Crown Publishing Group. (p. 7).