To change can mean to make the form or nature of something different than it was previously. I can change my mind, change clothes, change direction and change my behavior. An animal called a chameleon can change its color to match its background, making itself invisible to predators. People change jobs, partners, cars, their minds, cell phone carriers and a myriad of other things in their lives. Interestingly enough, the word transformation is used to define the word change (when the word “into” is added). I believe the word transformation suggests a deeper meaning.
If one simply looks at the dictionary definition, the words change and transform are almost interchangeable. The word change is used to define the word transform. In either definition, a difference occurs because something that was one way has become something else. So what, you ask? Thank you for asking that question!
Paul says in Romans 12:1-2 that a transformation can occur if we choose to renew our minds.
This week we bring you a message by Ken Hunn. He serves as Executive Director of the Brethren Church. The message was recorded on Wednesday January 21, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
Rev. Hunn provides visionary leadership, guiding and coordinating staff in fulfilling the priorities and ministries of the Brethren Church. In his role, Rev. Hunn draws upon twenty-three years as a lead pastor in two congregations, as well as his experiences in working with the Church’s Global Partners. He is a graduate of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana and Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland Ohio. Ken and Nancy are the proud parents of Son Andrew and wife Ashley, daughter Carol and son Jonathan and wife Stefanie. The Hunn’s enjoy antiquing, traveling, fishing and spending time at the lake.
Scripture Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Rev. Ken Hunn has served as Executive Director of the Brethren Church since July 2003.
How did you communicate 10 years ago? How about when you were 4, 8 or 12 years old? For many of us, that would be a formidable journey down what may be a rocky memory lane.
Today we communicate by using our words, logic, and rationale (hopefully); however, for children, this type of conversation may resemble a foreign language or sound like the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher. Then, to make the communication gap even wider, the brain does not function properly in the midst of stress or when trying to recall a situation that evokes strong emotions, resulting in a “tuning out” to logical conversations. Here at Directions Counseling Group, we apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with and treat children.
I wonder how 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 might work as a New Year’s resolution:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
These words of Paul only make sense (and will only be “resolutions kept”) if we have faith to believe that God is able to handle the challenges that will inevitably come our way in 2015. I’d like to provide you with a bit of perspective that might strengthen your faith in God’s ability. These are primarily known as cosmological arguments (the view that there is a divine cause of the universe). While these arguments will not show that Christianity is true or Jesus was God Incarnate who came to rescue us from sin, they do have a lot to say about God’s capability, power and creativity. They are important enough to be highlighted in numerous scriptures including Psalm 19, Job 38-42 and Romans 1.
Recently, I helped a friend from church complete a challenging jigsaw puzzle. In doing so, I was reminded of a phone call I received a few years ago from an area pastor. He had been working on a puzzle and had effectively reached an impasse. With roughly 70 pieces to go, he was having difficulty completing the bigger picture.
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.”
One of my favorite Jimmy Stewart movies is the 1965 film Shenandoah. Stewart plays a hardworking Virginia farmer trying to take care of his family in the midst of the American civil war. At one point Stewart’s character offers a prayer of thanks at the dinner table. He is not sure why he should be thankful to God since it is not clear to him how God was involved.
Perpetua: Called to Costly Discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the term “costly discipleship” in the 20th century, but women lived this calling as early as the first century, like Perpetua, martyred for their faith in Christ. A document entitled The Passion of Perpetua, Felicity, and their Companions is one of earliest and most noteworthy Christian texts outside the Bible. It purports to include Perpetua’s diary, written in prison while she and her companions awaited execution in Carthage, a document similar in many ways to the prison letters of Bonhoeffer. She contemplates the sacrifice she would undoubtedly be called to make because of her unswerving allegiance to Christ.