blog: archive

Category: Pastoral Musings

September 25, 2013

General Theology, Pastoral Musings

Keepin’ It Real

by Tim Lien
Keepin’ It Real

Who said this? Who is the writer referencing?  What great man uttered these gems? What desert monk proclaimed these truths?

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Posted by Tim Lien at 9:55 a.m.
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September 24, 2013

General Theology, Pastoral Musings, Books

Rhymes with Wordy: God Done To Us

by Tim Lien

What if the first thing Christ does is put you to death, in his death?

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Posted by Tim Lien at 2:42 p.m.
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September 20, 2013

General Theology, Pastoral Musings

I Am Not A Motivator

by Tim Lien
I Am Not A Motivator

The Atlantic recently published a small excerpt from Tyler Cowen’s book,  Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.  His thesis: college professors should be more like preachers, because,” like, preachers motivate, and stuff…like, therapists and coaches.” (silly paraphrase mine)

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Posted by Tim Lien at 10:47 a.m.
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January 5, 2012

Pastoral Musings, Church and Worship

Partying Towards Holiness

by Tim Lien

Parties matter.  How people party can tell you quite a bit about them.  One of the most surprising aspects of our series in Leviticus was how God goes about changing an entire people group towards himself.  Or put another way: How does God enact a massive melting of hearts across communities of family and nation? 

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:39 a.m.
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October 5, 2011

Pastoral Musings

Fat and Happy

by Tim Lien

The source of true contentment:

A carnal heart reads the promises, and reads them merely as stories, not that he has any great interest in them. But every time a godly man reads the Scriptures (remember this when you are reading the Scripture) and there meets with a promise, he …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 3:57 p.m.
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October 5, 2011

Pastoral Musings

Ambition and Place

by Tim Lien

Ask our Elders: one of my re-occuring struggles has been understanding ambition. What is it? Am I doing it? what is sin and what is doing something to the best of my ability? I think it has to do with “placement.”

Erik Raymond of Ordinary Pastor has a great little …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 3:47 p.m.
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August 26, 2011

Pastoral Musings

Not Your Homeboy

by Tim Lien

Matthew%20Series%20Logo425.jpg

Popular conceptions of Jesus are everywhere. Every sitcom or show must lampoon (at least once) him into silliness.

Ask anybody. “Why was/is Jesus important?”

And their words invariably start out this way: “I think that…”

That’s the problem. Most people begin with their opinions. Our new series in …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 3:01 p.m.
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August 17, 2011

Pastoral Musings

All Atwitter

by Tim Lien

1517%20-%20Twitter%20Logo425.jpg

Twitter people: you can follow me @1517Brew.

But I don’t understand what it means.”

1517: Year Martin Luther nailed it.

But it looks like a BEER label!”

Kate Luther brewed some of the best.

But your tag line seems possibly grumpy…and arrogant”

Common sense brewed to be slightly …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 11:16 a.m.
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August 17, 2010

Pastoral Musings

Thrice Separated

by Tim Lien

Leviticus%20-%2001%20Intro425pix.jpg

Leviticus: Where people stop when they read thru the bible.

This Sunday, we will begin Leviticus. No, no, please don’t stop reading. Hey, seriously, don’t click away. This will be good. Most people make the case for Leviticus this way: “Oh, you have to know that Jesus is …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 5:14 p.m.
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July 21, 2010

Pastoral Musings

If Galatians Were Published in Christianity Today, Today

by Tim Lien

Oh, this is fantastic. Just fantastic.

My favorite part has to be the “letter-to-the-editor” that exposes this: Christians freedoms are always called “secondary,” or relegated to the nit-picking Christian ethicist. The importance of these issues cannot be overstated. As soon as they are linked to what a Christian must do …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 10:44 a.m.
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March 18, 2010

Pastoral Musings

Even A Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut

by Tim Lien

My wife sent me a “>great video this morning. IrishCalvinist calls it Benny Hinn’s finest 10 minutes of his life.

Was I not paying attention, or did Benny suddenly get converted?

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:59 a.m.
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March 12, 2009

Pastoral Musings

No Needy Among Us

by Tim Lien

If a month happens to have five Sundays, Riverwood has traditionally used that 5th Sunday to collect an offering we have dubbed “The Deacon’s Fund.” These monies are used outside of our general budget to address the needs of those within our church family, and specific acts of mercy …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 12:28 p.m.
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September 18, 2008

Pastoral Musings

The Strength to Be There (All Rights Reserved)

by Tim Lien

The Company: AIG

The Motto: “the Strength to be There”

The Headline: “AIG Booted out of DOW

The Critical Response: “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing”

Enjoy some of AIG’s commercials below:

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:57 p.m.
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May 25, 2008

Pastoral Musings

Long-Jumping the Grand Canyon

by Tim Lien

Just recently, the Calumet Village Police (Calumet, Michigan) heard from a lawbreaker who had evaded justice for 32 years. The criminal enclosed a $20 bill, a parking ticket from 1976, and a small note. Investigator/patrolman/spokesman/Police Chief David Outinen noted that the envelope did not have a return …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 9:14 a.m.
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October 14, 2007

Pastoral Musings

Just the Beginning

by Tim Lien

The tendency to exclusively understand the Gospel in light of my own sin exposes my weakness and my own immaturity in the Gospel. But Saint Paul has something else in mind: (Ephesians 3:1-13ff)

You do not even understand the Gospel fully for yourself, until you understand it for someone …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 8:50 a.m.
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June 12, 2007

Pastoral Musings

Does Membership Have Any Privileges?

by Tim Lien

Another great group of people joined Riverwood recently. However, according to the Association of Religious Data Archive, less and less people view actual membership as vital, necessary, or spiritually significant.

And although, this is substantially less-than-scientific, I have compiled a â??Top 10 Listâ? of popular objections to official membership …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 10:23 p.m.
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May 1, 2007

Pastoral Musings

Profundity

by Tim Lien

Two weeks ago, baby Addie Elizabeth Crawford was baptized on Sunday morning. Although I am not much of a sensationalist or an experientialist, upon reflection, I was struck with the grand significance of the occasion. There was only one part of that holy sacrament that was interchangeable. You could not …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 4:54 p.m.
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November 21, 2006

Pastoral Musings

Diminishing Marginal Gratitude

by Tim Lien

Intro

Every year around Thanksgiving, we hear pretty much the same thing, â??We should be grateful for everything we have.â? And, that statement is correct: We should be grateful for the abundance of blessings that we possessâ??if itâ??s wealth, health, or relationships. However, another question has …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 9:36 p.m.
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September 3, 2006

Pastoral Musings

Sunday Morning Confession

by Tim Lien

An early Sunday morning confession: Father, I want to appeal to as many people as possible. I want to seem relevant, hip, cool, sophisticated, and modern. Father, forgive me. An early Sunday morning fear: Those who are young, will be bored from the worship service, and will dismiss me quickly …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 6:27 a.m.
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August 18, 2006

Pastoral Musings

Feigned Deference

by Tim Lien

Recently, one of our elders took me to his place of business for the grand tour of the facilities and to meet some of his employees. After checking out the premises, he introduced me to a coworker, â??Hey, Iâ??d like you to meet a friend of mine. So-and-so …

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Posted by Tim Lien at 7:31 a.m.
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