November 14, 2008

Are We Too In Love With A Nation? Like most of America, I was in front of my TV on Tuesday night. As it became clear that Senator Obama was going to make history as the first minority president, I felt a mix of emotions. I was excited to witness this landmark moment yet slightly disappointed in the outcome because of the potential of certain policy implications. But I was not surprised by his victory. His campaign was near flawless, his strategy shrewd, and his speeches downright inspiring. What was surprising was the reaction of so many Christians on Wednesday morning. I heard words like “anti-Christ” and “persecution” and “end times” thrown around so much you’d think we were living in a Tim LaHaye-Jerry Jenkins book. The kind of fear, panic, despair—even anger—I saw in some Christians post-elections is a tell-tale sign that they have put too much stock in a government, or even in a nation. Is it possible to love a nation too much? Is it possible to love a nation so much that we’re confused about our identity? Don't get me wrong. I love America. I would rather be here than in any other nation in the world. It is a truly beautiful, remarkable nation. So, let me explain. God’s master plan is, has been, and always will be to rescue and redeem all of humanity. His first vehicle was the nation of Israel. Through all of Israel’s difficulty and oppression, they often lost sight of that. In N. T. Wright’s words, Israel asked, “How is God going to rescue Israel?” But Jesus revealed that the question should be “How is God going to rescue the whole world through Israel and thereby rescue Israel itself as part of the process…?” God’s plan was always to rescue and redeem the whole world. That plan began with...
Live From Malaysia! (Pt. 2) Well, last night was the conclusion of an amazing three days with the wonderful folks at DUMC. The conference began Friday night. As I walked in, I was greeted with the sounds of our new "Counting on God" CD blaring through the sound system. Next on the playlist was a little Kari Jobe and the fine folks at Gateway Church...Just can't get away! :) The worship team from the church (DUMC) got things kicked off in the right way with a fabulous time of worship. I preached for about 45 minutes and then went out with the team for more yummy Malaysian food. Saturday morning involved two back-to-back teaching sessions with me and a traditional Malaysian breakfast in between-- nasi lemak, for all my Malaysian blog readers. That afternoon, I met with the band and singers to rehearse the songs for that evening's Celebration Service. I was blown away by how well they had prepared-- every riff was meticulously noted and wonderfully executed. I felt right at home. For the Saturday evening church service, I led three songs and then preached for about 45 minutes. Then Holly and I joined the DUMC Worship team for the most fantastic Malaysian late night supper-- roti canai and nasi kandar. (If it sounds like we're eating all the time, it's because we are! And I love it!) The Sunday morning service was a repeat of the same worship set, but a new sermon. At this point, I was tired of hearing myself talk-- and hoping no one else was feeling the same way! Then, we wrapped up the weekend with an awesome 2-hour worship set that night. It was a very meaningful time...and very special for me. We even changed a lyric of "Your Name" for the hometown crowd: "Your name...let Malaysians sing...

Glenn Packiam

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

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