March 10, 2014

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Why I'm Becoming an Anglican Priest...at New Life Church. I grew up in an Anglican home. My mother comes from several generations of Anglicans, in Singapore and Sri Lanka. As a baby, I was christened at St. Hilda's Anglican church in Singapore. When my parents were introduced to the move of the Holy Spirit in the mid-1980's in Malaysia, however, their parish wasn't quite sure what to do with all of it. So eventually, we began attending a non-denominational Pentecostal church. I was 8 years old. What followed has been almost three decades of a rich and meaningful spiritual life in churches within the non-denominational, Pentecostal or Charismatic streams. I have experienced and continue to experience profound “encounters” through the Spirit in times of prayer, praise and worship, and Bible reading. I have been a witness to and a participant in the good and proper use of the gifts of the Spirit. I love the spiritual vitality that comes from believing that God is at work within His world today! So when I tell you that I am on a journey to become an Anglican priest (I was ordained as a deacon on February 17, 2014, and, God-willing, will be ordained as a priest in August), it can seem like I have either taken a sharp turn off course or have come home at last. I think there is a sense in which both are true. Let's say this is a sharp turn off course...Imagine that you are about to embark on an adventure and you suddenly realize that you do not have what you will need when you get there. You will surely turn around to go and get it. Over the past few years, I have become more aware of how our practices—what we do and say and sing—shape our faith. While our expression in worship has...
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What Makes Us Lucky? What makes us lucky? We think of luck as simply a positive reversal of fortune or chance occurrence that worked out in our favor. Like winning the lottery. Jesus sees it as far more. He knows it takes more than changing your conditions and surroundings to make you lucky. It takes more than money or comfort or success. It takes the arrival of the kingdom of God. And that is no chance occurrence. The crowd that gathered to hear Jesus’ pronouncements of blessing—the Beatitudes—were not the important big-city types. Those would come later, when Paul joined the team and traveled to various cities. These first followers were country folks. Simple, well-meaning, kind-hearted peasants. Luke, the gospel writer, doesn’t mention a name we might know or even a grouping—like Pharisee or Sadducee or scribe or lawyer—we might recognize other than “the disciples.” This is simply a crowd. A crowd of ordinary, unspectacular people. Sure, the twelve He had chosen were there, but they may not have looked like the most promising bunch either. So when Jesus began to speak, it’s important to remember that He wasn’t sermonizing, delivering a prepared oratory masterpiece to a mass generic audience. It wasn’t a canned speech He had taken on the circuit. Jesus, full of compassion, sat on the plain and spoke. To them. To the unlucky, to the outcast and the insignificant, to the overlooked and undervalued. And He began with this word: “Blessed.” ____________________ Except it wasn’t quite that word. Both Luke and Matthew chose the Greek word makarios to capture our Lord’s opening word in the Beatitudes. Makarios simply means “fortunate, happy.” In secular Greek literature, it is used to describe the blissful state of the gods. It is not an inherently religious word. The Greek word more like our words “blessed”...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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