Today's Word for Pastors...

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 
1 Peter 5:8

Today's Preaching Insight...

The Nature of Redemption

Evelyn Underhill... one of the most influential writers on Christian spirituality in the first half of this century[, said,]

"Redemption does not mean you and me made safe and popped into heaven. It means that each soul, redeemed from self-interest by the revelation of Divine Love, is taken and used again for the spread of that redeeming work" (Christian Century, October 31, 1990, p. 997).

"Redeemed from self-interest by the revelation of Divine Love." Those words caught my attention because that is exactly what happens in the story of Jacob.

The first thing the Bible tells us about Jacob is that he was a two-timing, deceitful, manipulative crook. He was born grasping his twin brother's heel, and that's exactly how he lived his life: grasping for all he could get by his own ingenuity and power. He tricked his brother, deceived his father, and finally had to run for his life to escape his brother's anger. Then, as a man on the lam, he had a dream of a ladder connecting heaven and earth. For the first time in his manipulative, self-centered life, he began to realize that God might be actively involved in his human experience. How he lived his life on earth might actually have some connection with God's purpose in heaven. It was a revelation of God's presence with him.

But God's transforming power is never just a deal between God and myself. It's not just "me and Jesus." Redemption, the fulfillment of God's saving purpose, always involves other people.

(To read the entire article "Finding The 'New' You: The Things We Do for Love" by James A. Harnish at Preaching.com, click here)

Today's Extra...

This Week's Laugh

Toy Disclaimers

Here are some disclaimers to be found at a toy department near you:

* No beanies or babies harmed in the manufacture of this product.

* Warning: This fad will disappear in 6 weeks.

* Caution: Care Bears do not actually care very much.

* Warning: This toy produces substantially less childish glee in real life than it does in the TV commercial.

* Some dismemberment may occur.

* In case of breakage, scream until dad buys a replacement.

* Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously.

* Use as an actual terrorist device not recommended.

*Do not attempt to combine your Ultra Mega Warrior with your cat to make Ultra Mega Cat Warrior.

* NOTE: The makers of "Queen Amidala's Naboo Dream Palace" assume no responsibility for the quality of the movie which spawned it.

* Some assimilation required. Resistance is futile.

(from Pastor Tim's PearlyGates List — http://www.cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh)

Preaching magazine is the premier resource for those who proclaim the Word. To begin your own subscription and get a free year of issues, go to http://magazine.preaching.com/subscribe/.