Saturday, August 30, 2008

Healthy Urgency

Now as we explore the issues with leading change in our lives and in our organizations, the greatest challenge, as identified in the last entry, is complacency. Before change or transformation can take place, complacency must be overcome. To do this there needs to be a sense of urgency.

So how do you create a sense of urgency in your life or organization? The first step is to identify the areas and issues which are feeding complacency. Usually in the life of the individual a good starting place is comfort. Not comfort in a sitting in the Lazyboy sense of comfort. Rather, more of a familiarity or becoming accustom to what is happening. That is to say, we all have a tendency to see our life activities as normal, even if they are dysfunctional.

Once the source of complacency is uncovered, the next step is to put a thumbtack in the seat of the Lazyboy. There needs to be a sense that the life we are leading is not normal. That there could be something not quite right about the way in which we are conducting ourselves. in our individual lives this could be from a close friend or ourselves. In the life of an organization this is the role of the leader.

Once the urgency starts to set in, it is time to have open discussion regarding the sense of urgency, otherwise urgency becomes distress, and shutdown is not far behind. Giving the urgency positive and healthy outlets will put you on the road to transformation.

Is there enough healthy urgency in your life?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Change Challenge

The single greatest enemy of progress is not what may seem to be the most obvious answer. There are those who would say that finances slow or stop progress. Others point to a lack of human capital. As John Kotter points out in his book Leading Change, the great force stopping transformation is complacency. People are too satisfied with where things are at, or they are not willing to risk the dysfunction they have for the sake of what could be.

Now this is a corporate and individual challenge. For the individual there is a failure to realize their situation and the situation around them has changed. When complacency sets in for the individual there is a lack of desire to learn and grow. There is no desire to develop more of the gifts and abilities God has given them. The complacent individual simply exists in the same mode they did years before. For the group of individuals, corporation or church, complacency manifests in different ways. It is not uncommon for that ugly phase to show up, "This is how we always do it". Organizations refuse to make changes necessary for the long-term health of the organization. The mindset becomes one of preservation, and making sure to hold on just long enough to get me though.

A simple truth, If we do not change now, we will not exist to change later. Change is inevitable, the question is will the change bring life or death? Over the next few days I will be exploring what it takes to change as an individual as well as an organization. The base for my journey will be John Kotter's book Leading Change.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Trip To The Fair

Yesterday my family and I traveled to the Great New York State Fair. I have confessed many times that I am not a real fan of the fair, but went more for time with my family than anything else. While there I decided to make the best of the situation and started paying more attention to the people at the fair. What I found was an enclosed space where all of humanity was on display. There were people trying to take it all in, others has specific places they needed to go. Some where there to use the fair as an audience for their cause, others to try and turn a buck. Many people, many different reasons to attend.

In the midst of this I observed something that seemed to be universal. I noticed that most of the people, most not all, seemed oblivious to the people around them. That is to say they saw them but did not see them. People were darting in and out of lines, all bent on their direction and destination. Individuals or small groups would suddenly stop in the middle of the walkways not realizing the chain reaction they had set off hundreds of yards back. It was as is people did not understand the ramifications of their actions on other people.

Because of who I am and my dysfunction, I immediately thought about the church. How often in the church are we so locked into our own agenda that we miss what is happening around us. Do we understand the impact we have on the world based on our actions or in actions. Do we get so focused that we miss the point? The church exists for other people, not those who are in the club. The church is the primary tool God has designated to reach a hurting, and seeking world. Many times I think we see the world but we don't. What would happen if we began to see the world as Christ does?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Grind it Out

There have been times when the journey of faith has seemed to come easy. Times when my daily disciplines are easy and require little battle for the time and attention. There are times when walking with God seems to be as simple as getting out of bed. Then there is the majority of time. Most of the time the battle begins when my eyes open and I am confronted with getting out of bed.

There are also days when it is more than a battle. Days of great battle are not many, yet they do come into my life. These are the times when almost everything sounds better than getting into the scriptures. Days when I would rather do literally nothing, rather than spend time in prayer. There are those days when the last thing I want to do is seek God much less listen for the work of God.

So what am I to do on such days. My first thought is to give up. While that is an option open to me, it is not an option I like to entertain for too long. In these times of struggle and battle I find it is time to simply grind it out. I realize this is not the picture of our journey with God we like, but there are times that is the best we can do. Perhaps it is my failing that I do not have a relationship with God which is always close and deep with God. Nonetheless, the relationship I have is one where there are days of closeness and days of distance. I know that it is not God who moves, but days I need to return to God.

As you might guess, today is one of those days when I am grinding it out. My hope is by putting on the table, it will only last a for the day. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new opportunity to engage God.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time and Willingness

After spending a week with some amazing teens I found myself asking one of the questions that is asked of teens, What do I want to do? Now it may seem obvious that I have figured that out, I am a pastor. While I have figured out that I am suppose to be a pastor right now is that what I am called to be the rest of this celestial journey?

There are many tools and assessments out there to help discern this very question. I have used some and I have created some. There is a proper starting point to the question and a false one, I have started at both. At this time in my life I know how God has designed and created me. I believe I understand the gifts I have been given. Now I "simply" have to figure out where all that points.

In actuality I am not sure I have much to figure out. I am pretty sure God is guiding me to be a teacher of teachers and pastors. The questions which remain are, when and am I willing to do what it takes. The when part is out of my control. The willingness, I am working on that. It means that I will need to go back to school, probably for PhD level studies. I am not sure that I want to do that, and I am not sure I am enough of a scholar to do that.

Anyway, I have until God says its time to work all that out. My hope is that when God says it is time, I will be willing to do what is required.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Influencing a System

As I look around the world I see all kinds of systems at work. Some of them are healthy and functioning very well. Other systems while working well are leading to the destruction of people and the environment. Poverty, is not merely a problem of money and resources, it is a system problem. Politics, well that is an all together different broken system. Then there is of course the church and the institutional church. How is it then, that one person can make a difference in a system?

The first step, long before there are any letters written, before any protest signs are painted and boycotts planned, we must look at ourselves. Are we contributing to the system? When it comes to poverty, most of us are not greedy, yet consumerism, especially in America, has a grip on us that we often do not realize. Our desire to acquire supports a system which in turn furthers poverty all around the world. It is time to take a good look at the ways we use the resources we are given. It is time to ask the painful question, do I really need what I am about to buy? It is time to look at the materials we use and purchase. Do they have a negative impact of God's creation?

Only once individuals begin to live transformed lives can the system be addressed. Remember to live a transforming life we need to be in community with others who are on the journey of a transforming life. However, communities of individuals who are living transforming lives have the ability to impact the world. It would be easy to think the problem is too big and we are so small. Every part makes an impact.

The amazing thing about a transforming life, is that it is contagious. When people experience truly transforming lives, they begin to live a transforming lives. What if if caught? Think of the systems which could be influenced.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Place To Wrestle

I find the more I journey with God there is only a few things which are certain. One, God is God and I am not. Two, Jesus Christ is the center of my being and my only connection to God. Three, There is so much I do not know or understand.

Keeping this in mind I am amazed what we in the church have done to this glorious mystery of a relationship with God. An attempt has been made to turn churches into answer factories. The problem, there are many, I see today is the answers often come up short. Deep with in us, the religious answers do not fully address the struggles of our lives. A dangerous assumption can be made when this dissatisfaction grows, that we are not suppose to wrestle. We can come to believe our faith to be weak if we question the pat answers. What if a weak faith is exposed in the lack of questions?

What is needed is not more answers. The need is a place to wrestle. There should be places where people of all ages can come together and wrestle with the journey. A place where there are better questions than answers. A place where people not only admit they do not know everything, but that we do not try to remove that mystery.

To me this place is the church. Not the building, it is only building, but the collective people of God through Jesus Christ. The people of God are to be the safe place to wrestle.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something Different

This week I have the privilege to spend the week with 40 some youth leaders from around the state. Our purpose this week is to help the young people know they are not alone in the ways they view and interact with the world. Also we are hoping to share with them some concrete understandings of being a leading where ever God places them.

It is always amazing to watch these young people interact. Some jump right in like they have been together for weeks, while others are more reserved and measured about their interactions. This is not all too different than how we approach God. There are people who seem to be old friends with God. They are always talking with God, and excited about what is happening. Others are not as expressive with the connection with God. Given this difference there is still one thing which remains the same, we are all created by God to be who we are. It is crucial that people interact with God in different ways. Crucial because if we all connect with God the same way I think something is lost. That something, the growing edge that something different allows for us.

In our journey we should all be intentionally doing things, reading books, attending events etc... that are different than our usual. If we are always doing only the things that are familiar and we like, our growth is significantly limited.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Not Jumping

I want to go back to the topic of fear. I am amazed how much I allow fear to influence or even make my decisions for me. Some of the fear is external, or should I say fear of what my decisions will mean for those I love. The biggest fear, and the hardest to deal with is the internal fear. More directly, do I have what it takes to accomplish what God has put in front of me. As I have mentioned I feel like God is calling me to be a speaker, preacher and writer. The fear question is, do I really have anything to say? Are there people who would actually pay to hear what I have to say? Who am I that I would have anything to teach to other people? Lots and lots of questions.

This is normally where I start to share some of the breakthrough on the rant of the opening paragraph. Not today. I have no real answers or insight. I do not have a fancy words of trivial ideas on how to get by this fear. All I have is the resounding question, "Do I trust God with my whole life?" Meaning, am I allowing temporal, or earthly things, to control the decisions before me? In my office I have a quote on the wall from the book Entrepreneurial Faith by Walt Kallestad and Kirbyjon Caldwell that says, "If you can't jump brave, jump scared." I am having trouble jumping.

I could rationalize my trouble jumping, but that is all it would be. It is a matter of when will I do what I need to take the chance I need to take.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This morning I am anticipating a time I have been looking forward to, longing for and have needed. In a few hours I will leave to spend the next two days with my covenant group. Boy have we had to fight for this. It is not that I even have anything major in my life that I am sorting out, I simply need time with these guys. We will be looking at life and ministry. We will be reviewing four books we read prior to our arrival. We will just spend time together.

It was not that long ago when I underestimated the power and need for such community. I have always understood a need for community, but this is the next level. Outside of my wife there is not another person who I feel more dependent upon than the guys in my group. I grew up thinking the goal was to be totally independent, wow was I wrong. God never created humanity to be independent, rather we are created to need each other.

So this morning in the quiet hours before everybody wakes I prepare. I take time to get my heart ready. I take time to get my ears ready. Every time I get together with these guys God speaks something to me, I want to be ready. I am sure that over the next few days I will have much to write about, as God develops more withing me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

God is Speaking

It seems somewhat appropriate to be reading John 15 for me today. I have been drawn to that chapter for more than a month now, and have only recently asked God why and what am I suppose to do with it. Aside from the great and challenging message I felt like there was something God would have me do with it. In fact, lately I have been bombarded with topics and ideas which I feel the Lord telling me to develop into writings or teachings or both. I am not talking about one or two. It seems every time I sit at my computer, or stop the insane pace and listen for God, there is another series of teachings given to me. John 15 is forming in to something called Abide, and will unpack the passage in pretty great detail, while also reflecting what it means to follow John 15 in out day and lives. There is the teaching on community, the leadership series, the leading change series, the priorities management teaching etc...

So is this just and advertisement? No. I may never teach or release any of this to the public. The bombardment is what happens when we get ourselves tuned into God. Not the usual God I need kind of tuned in. The kind of tuned in that simply walks with God, and begins to consult with God on everything. The act of listening for God, and connecting with God will always be a battle for me. Still it seems when I do it, God is always ready and waiting.

There are many questions which swirl in my head. Most of them about the future. Yet I have a clarity which I have only know in small doses. I do not really know what I am suppose to do tomorrow or next week, and I am truly alright with that. I do know however what it is this moment is holding, and that is all that really matters.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Through a series of interactions over the past few days I am left this morning to do a lot of wondering. I am wondering most about this idea of revival. For many a revival is usually an event of epic proportion. Usually there is an event which instigates an outpouring of God unlike what was being experienced. I have no doubt that God works that way, and continues to work that way in our world. In fact I am more than open if God would want to use me, or the places I serve for such a purpose. I long more than anything to see a great outpouring of God in this land.

I also think revival happens in some other ways as well. If we take a look at the word revival, it does not refer to an event, it refers to a reclaiming or return to what once was. Now I am not convinced that the United States was ever really a Christian nation. I am convinced however that all humanity is connected with God, and throughout history there have been times when that connection has been more evident than others. There is a time when humanity seemed to live more fully in the life of God. Revival could be as simple as a group of people returning to the heart of God through Jesus Christ.

What might that look like in 2008 and beyond. Some believe they have found that in the revival taking place in Florida, that may be true. I think it can also happen right where we are at. Today I am wondering what would happen if people began to turn their hearts once again to God. what would happen if people once again began to live the promises of Christ everyday. John 14 promises us that we will do the same things Jesus did. That would mean healing miraculously, that would mean bringing justice to the poor, that would mean challenging the false gods of this world. A return to the heart of God would mean that once again the full work of the Holy Spirit would be found in our gatherings at church.

How do we do this. First and foremost, we confess and repent. Second, we allow God to transform our hearts. Then we start to band together to create communities of transformed people who are committed to living in the fullness of God, and committed to seeing the world transformed for and by the glory of God.

Can revival happen in our land? YES! God is searching for men and women who would make themselves available for such a work. When will it happen? That is in God's hands, but I do know we are all called to be ready.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Something is Broken

"Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie and worship Baal and those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and shout, "We are safe!" -- only to go right back to all those evils again." -- Jeremiah 7:9-10

"They offer superficial treatments for my people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when all is war. Are they ashamed when they do these disgusting things? No, not at all -- they don't even blush." -- Jeremiah 8:11-12a

This morning these two parts of my reading in Jeremiah almost jumper off the page. It seems to me that almost all the churches in the area I live are struggling in various ways. There is strife, discord, and out and out conflict present in so many of the churches. There are many reasons this is a tragedy, the biggest is the fact that it kills our witness to an unbelieving world. Now I am not responsible for diagnosing what is happening in other churches, but I am responsible for Cortland UMC. I can only speculate about what is happening in other places, but I will share what I think are two of the leading causes of problems in the churches, all around the country.

First, is from the Jeremiah 7 passage above. I guess in one word this could be addressing integrity. We live lives that show little to no evidence of following after God, yet on Sunday morning we drag ourselves to church and tell ourselves that we are alright. There is an attempt to comfort ourselves by spending that hour to hour and half with God. Then when the preacher says amen and we walk out the door it is back to life as usual.

Second, the passage from Jeremiah 8. This passage is speaking to and about the priests and prophets of Jeremiah's day. It could be seen as speaking to the pastors of this day. I have encountered many pastors, and I may be one too, who offer trite and superficial words to a people who are hurting. We, pastors, might be once again guilty of allowing people to let their lives run off course by not teaching the hard aspects of walking with God. The worst is than many of my colleagues do not even feel bad. In fact I have heard many a boast about how little effort some put in. I have heard celebration over doing just enough to get by.

O lord break us. May we, your people, respond once again to your calling. May we once again return to our first love. Lord, may I and my colleagues always remember the responsibility we have to lead the people of God. May we recapture the words of John Wesley, "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." In Jesus name.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Where's The Smell?

I love the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in John 11. As you might guess it is not for all the usual reasons. Jesus comes to Bethany and Martha and Mary give him the same greeting, "Lord if you had been here Lazarus would still be alive." Perhaps because of who I am, I always hear Martha and Mary say this with a good amount of blame. It is almost as it were Jesus fault for the death of Lazarus. When Jesus is greeted this way and he sees the crowd weeping and mourning with Mary he responds. Most of the time this is one of those spots where our scriptures usually say, and Jesus was moved with compassion, not here. Here the emotion the NLT assigns to the moment is indignation.

It seems ironic to me that indignation would be Jesus response to the sisters and the crowd. I am sure this is exactly how some of them felt toward Jesus. It had been made clear by Jesus earlier that everything was under control, and God was using this situation to bring glory to Jesus, and therefore Himself. I do not expect Jesus to act in the midst of indignation, his own or others, yet that is what happens. Even once Jesus says everything will be fine, what Martha and Mary were originally looking for, they still do not listen to what Jesus asks them to do. "Roll away the stone" is Jesus request. "But is will smell" is Martha's response. I can sense Jesus getting more and more irritated. The stone is moves and Lazarus walks out at Jesus command, no mention of a smell. Everything was well under control.

I wonder how many times I do not listen and trust, that God has everything under control.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I have been reading the book Walking with God by John Eldredge and it has been of great help in my journey. One of the areas which has been particularly helpful has been in the area of prayer. By asking God what to pray for and what is going on around me. In particular what spirits are working against me and the church I lead.

Earlier this week I asked God what spirit was at work in the church I serve, the answer, Fear. I have to admit I was not sure what that meant at first. So, I asked God to tell me more. Our God is faithful and He told me. The people of the church, myself included were being told by the Enemy, that giving ourselves totally to God would never really work. That in the end it would reach tragic results. I feel like we have begun to fear what might happen if we "let ourselves go" during our times of community worship.

Fear is an amazing thing. I am not sure if there is another spirit or emotion which can steal away our joy more quickly or more effectively. Fear is what reduces that voice saying it will never work. Fear is the voice that says go ahead and try you are just going to fail. Fear is what causes us to follow the rules, and not step into the unknown. Fear is what keeps us right where we are at. I wonder if it is God who wants us to stay right where we are at, or if it might be God's great adversary?

Lord God, I pray in the name of Jesus that you would come against the spirit of fear in my life in the church I serve, and the lives of the individuals who read this blog. May we know the joy of you God, may we not believe the lie. Through the power of Christ remove fear from the equation. In Jesus Name, Amen

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Intentional Troublemaker

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus did things the way he did them just to upset the religious people and leaders of the day. It is not like Jesus was surprised by their reaction to him healing on the Sabbath. In fact multiple times Jesus heals on the Sabbath. Jesus spends time with people who are not considered worthy by the religious people. Again it is not like Jesus didn't know how the people would react. If I didn't know better I would think Jesus was an instigator of trouble.

One thing I have experienced is when you are an instigator or change, or trouble as some would call it, you spend a lot of your time with people not liking you, or not happy with you. The love that I have for Jesus, causes me to forget from time to time about the opposition he faced on a daily basis. Jesus was constantly being challenged by the religious people for breaking the rules. Irony, Jesus was the creator of the boundaries, and is not being condemned by those the boundaries were created for.

Let us not lose sight however. This is not about rules and boundaries. It was not rules and boundaries that Jesus had a problem with. It was the way people we living out a relationship with God. Humanity had taken what God had given out of grace and love, and perverted it into a religion. Living by the rules was never the intention. Connecting with God through Jesus while recognizing the boundaries is the intention.

Anytime we participate in the ministry of Jesus in the midst of religious people, we can expect challenge and trouble. My challenge is to be alright with trouble. Better yet, I have to recognize that from time to time my role is like that of Christ, to intentionally do things I know will cause problems for the religious. Knowing that there will be ramifications, and I will not be liked or loved bu the religious people. Yet, i will be in good company in that matter.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Abiding and Obedience

Recently I have been having another battle with things religious. It seems as though about every six or seven weeks I am bombarded by the challenge of religion. These are the voices, real or perceived which say or scream, God must be accessed this way and only this way. I want to be clear I am not talking about the role of Christ in coming to God. The Bible, not religion is the clarifying agent when it comes to Christ. Jesus Christ is the only way for us to have access to God. They ways in which we interact with Jesus, now there is a place of great variety. Yet, religion tells us that we must pray this way, we must say this or that. Religion says we must worship this way or that way in this place or that place. Religion is getting between God and humanity.

There are all the religious cliches available to us. Religion is about what we do and Jesus is about what God has done. Still I spent too much of my time trying to do this thing called religion. It is time to simplify. It is time to remember the essence of what a journey with God looks like, not the specific mile markers, or landmarks. On the most basic level our journey with God is being in constant connection with God, and doing what we are being lead to do. For those who need religions words, abiding and obedience.

Religion is the enemy of abiding and obedience. living a life full of abiding and obedience is hard, and religion says we can make it easier, just do these few rituals, and say these words and you are good to go. The process of the journey with God is quite simple to articulate, in practice it is difficult to do because it represents a massive shift in our focus and time. Religion is very difficult to articulate, but easy to practice, hence its draw.

Blatant sin is not the most dangerous thing in our walk with God. Though we must deal forthrightly with sin, it is not the thing which holds the most destructive power. That position is held by our quest for the easy and quick fix. That we would only want God as long as it is convenient and easy. The end result is we often settle for less than the full and abundant life God desires for us. Many have said it in many forms, the greatest fear is not that we will lose our faith, it is that we will settle of a mediocre form of it.

What are you settling for?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Late Summer Cleaning?

Reading the account of King Josiah is a refreshing change of pace from many of the Old Testament kings. Josiah does some house cleaning. Others had done some tiddying up of the house of Israel but Josiah saw the job through. There was a complete destruction of idols and places of worship of false gods.

It made me wonder what false gods run rampant among the people of God today. I am pretty sure we do not have people worshiping Baal, or Molech. We have given our gods different names, yet they have the same power to draw us away from the One True God. Perhaps you are worshiping at the alter of tradition, or maybe comfort, possibly yours is consumerism, another common one is individualism.

What would it look like if the people of God returned to God? What would it look like if Josiah returned and cleansed the land? The biggest challenge to Christ in our world is not Islam or any other religion. The biggest challenge to Christ in our world is not an ideology. The biggest challenge to Christ is not certain lifestyles. No, the biggest challenge to Christ in our world, is the same as it always has been, we worship the wrong thing. I, we fail to maintain God as the center and source of our lives.

Let's get the brooms out. Put on those funky yellow gloves. Get the disinfectant off the shelf, and clean up our relationship with God. Remember there are some things that will simply need to be thrown away. Those idols in our lives cannot be simply managed, they must go.

Monday, August 4, 2008

You Can Never Go Faster Than The One Leading You

Have you ever noticed that God works on a different pace and timetable than you and I. For me this is highlighted when I think God is not doing what I thing God should be doing, and I decide to act as I see fit. This kind of action puts me in the company of many Biblical characters, King Saul had this problem, the disciples often had this problem. In John 6 there are two verses which might be missed, and depending on the translation might catch it differently, which speak to this. "That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn't come back, they got in the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum." John 6:16-17

Jesus was their leader. Jesus had just provided food for 5000 men plus their families. Jesus was high in the hills resting and recharging. The crowds were gone and the disciples were left waiting by the lake for Jesus. We are not told why, but the disciples decide they cannot wait any longer for Jesus, so they get into the boat without their leader. The result, they face a storm.

Jesus then comes to them walking on water. In Johns Gospel there is not invitation of walking on water, the result of Jesus arrival is they immediately reach their destination. It is amazing what happens when you let the one who leads you lead. I am called by God to be the leader of this Congregation in Cortland, but I can only lead as fast as the one who is leading me. I cannot get into the boat and start out. Well I can but the results could be troublesome.

Once again I am faced with the simple and difficult reality that Christ, not Aaron, is the head of the church. I cannot expect things to move faster than Christ would dictate. Simply my role is to follow Christ as I invite others to join me in the journey.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Do You Know God?

Chapter 5 of John's Gospel begins with the healing of the man next to the pool. From this healing account we get the phrase, do you want to be made well. However, that exchange is not my focus. The focus this morning is on the resulting conversation with the religious leaders. Essentially Jesus points out the fact that the religious people were missing the whole point. They were caught up in the actions of human beings, instead of remembering the origin of those actions and of humanity.

One of the issues Jesus addresses is the searching of the scriptures. Jesus reminds the religious leaders that they search the scriptures to find eternal life. But when the door to eternal life stands right in front of them they miss him. I wonder how many times Jesus has been right there in front of me and I have missed it? How many times have I chosen my own wisdom and understanding while ignoring the one who holds all the wisdom and understanding is right there? The religious people had a fairly terminal problem, they knew too much. They knew how to run their lives, they knew how to keep the law. They knew all the rules and regulations which draw you close to God. The tragedy is through all this they did not know God.

I am a huge advocate of education. I also think we should be always reading, hearing and learning all we can about God. This should never be at the expense of knowing God. The giver of live, Jesus, is right here with us, and that which we are searching for is found in him. When will I, we, the church stop leaning on our understanding and start running to Jesus?