Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
Happy Mother’s Day! If you are anything like the dear mothers in my life, you need regular doses of encouragement. What better place to start than by looking at the most famous mother of all, Mary, the mother of Jesus! Our text is the first chapter of Luke.
Of the many experiences on our overseas trips I want to tell you two stories.
For a year Rodrigo had been praying, planning and working to organize a night of ministry in San Jose, Costa Rica. Although only 26 years of age, and facing what seemed like endless difficulties, he did not give up but kept trusting that God would make a way. We asked that Rodrigo (more…)
The world seems smaller than ever, connected by the Internet and crisscrossed daily by thousands of non-stop flights. Breaking news in distant lands can be watched live on our smart phones and major events become globally shared experiences. It would seem that such increased communication would lead to greater understanding and mutual respect; that the world would be more kind and gentle. But that is not the case. (more…)
The other day I was reveling in the fact that “He who began a good work in you (and me) will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6 But just how long will it take for God to accomplish his work in us?
This afternoon as I passed by a church parking lot I saw something that grabbed my attention. The disabled parking spaces had the usual blue signs, but with an additional caption underneath them: soon to be healed.
In his book, “Desiring the Kingdom”, James K. A. Smith suggests that we are not primarily ‘brains on a stick’ or thinking beings, but rather we are ‘desiring’ and loving beings. Regardless of what we claim to believe, we do what we love. Our identity is shaped by what we love as ultimate, “what at the end of the day gives us a sense of meaning, purpose, understanding, and orientation.”
A couple of days before the end of the year I asked a friend, “So, how was 2011 for you?” He replied with a sigh, “I just want 2012 to get here. I’m ready for a smooth, normal year with no bumps.” I laughed. “What is normal?”
“All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.” Even though I’ve sung it countless times, I’m still amazed at just how faithfully and graciously God provides for every aspect of life. Have you rehearsed His kindness to you lately?
Is the discussion about faith and works, imputed righteousness and personal holiness merely theological acrobatics or is it really important? I think it is vitally important.
I had never tied self-denial to loving others the way Calvin explains it. Who wants to hear that each of us “bears a kind of kingdom in his own breast?” And, “there is no one who does not cherish within himself some opinion of his own preeminence.”
A while back I commissioned Paul De Luna to create a painting based on the song, “Refiner’s Fire”. (See a picture of the presentation in the photo section) The beautiful piece is now on a wall in my home. The good news is that Paul is making the painting available to everyone! The artwork comes in a variety of sizes, with very affordable pricing. And, each painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. To order or find out more about Paul’s work, go to:Reflectionsoftheson.com
The sunset was breathtaking. In fact, I stopped the car on a back road to catch a fleeting view and count the exquisite shades of color. Just for a moment the sight awakened something within, a longing to not only gaze upon beauty but to enter into it. Then the glow dissipated and we drove off. I heard myself sigh.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:7-10
For some people music is just background filler. They never really listen. There is music that is created for that purpose. It’s called elevator music, and it tends to be sappy, mindless and bland.
Chris Fabry interviewed Steve about his life, the new release and the stories behind the songs. Listen to the interview at: Moody Radio
Francis Schaeffer used the phrase ‘the abnormalities of the Fall”, to describe all that is wrong with the world as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden.
Since the first year I put up Purple Martin houses, they have returned every year to nest. It really is miraculous. The largest of the swallow family spend our winter months in Brazil, some 3000 miles away.
As Marijean and I sat in our Jerusalem hotel room this morning having coffee and spending some time rehearsing the gospel, we were struck with an odd realization.
Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is He also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.” “Salvation is of the Lord.” (more…)
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-27 (more…)
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:19-24
Today I find particular comfort in knowing that God’s ways are so other than ours. We are all about new beginnings and fresh starts. He is about bringing to completion what He began.
I was reminded of this folk song while on our trip to Argentina, a song that I had sung when living there. “Un Altar” was recorded on a 16-track recording app using only the iPhone mic (the one you talk into on the phone). I placed the phone on my knee when playing the guitar part and held it up a few inches away from my mouth when singing. (more…)
I’ve heard it said that just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so there are two thieves of the gospel: legalism and licentiousness. Is one a greater evil than the other? I must admit that in my mind, the obvious wrong of licentiousness (a carefree plunging into sinful behavior) always seemed to outweigh the more subtle danger of legalism.
Steve joined the world of Twitter some time ago to give more current updates that are a bit more informal and newsy. You can follow his updates at: stevegreenTN.
In his study guide on Romans, Tim Keller writes: ”If you are a moral person who is satisfied with your spiritual state, you are denying the doctrine of righteousness through faith only. If you do not feel like a hopeless sinner, if you do not feel that God would have a perfect right to cast you off this minute because of the condition of our life and heart, then you are denying the gospel, and when it is open to you it won’t change you or lift you up. You don’t get it.”
To see a few pics from the recording date go to the photos page on our website. The project is wrapping up quickly and there will be a few surprise guest appearances to reveal at the end.
For some, school starts back up in just a week. Where did the summer go? The economic crunch trumped the plans of many to get away this year and staying close to home was the only option. These have been interesting times, and while the economic prognosticators try to determine if the worst if over, no one really knows.
Here are a couple of encouraging reminders that you and I are not forgotten. Rather, we are thought of with an undeserved love and tenderness we can hardly imagine.
Since Jesus has shed His most precious blood, it is now glorious on the part of God to dart a ray of hope of pardoned sin into the darkest heart that ever wept and confessed at His feet.
For any cycling enthusiasts here is a link to the log of my bike rides. I’m a member of the Harpeth Bike Club and have met some great folks.
A special faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’s person, work and office is the life, heart and mainspring of the Christian soldier’s character.
“Faith involves both a renunciation and a reliance. First, we must renounce any trust in our own performance as the basis of our acceptance before God.
Does Christ come merely to improve our existence in Adam or to end it, sweeping us into his new creation?
One of the features on my iPhone is that text messages are displayed as an ongoing conversation. For instance, I can select my son’s name and see the exchanges we’ve had since we began texting. (Is that really a verb?) Even though there may be spaces between our communications, the screen shows it as one long talk.
According to the Christian Almanac, Valentine was a third-century pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. He wrote small pastoral notes to members of his congregation on leaves he was able to pluck from a maple tree just outside his cell.
According to Welsh psychologist Cliff Arnall, January 22 is the most depressing day of the year. He attributes this to several factors.
“I hope what you find in yourself by daily experience, will humble you, but not discourage you.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear people talk about you after you’re gone? I mean, wouldn’t it be interesting to get a little preview of the kind of impression you have made on the world? Well, I had that rare opportunity today!
The eyes of our nation are on the candidates. Television ratings are up dramatically and interest in the upcoming election is at an all time high. With a dash of Hollywood and a good dose of theatrics, each party put on a convention show that was impressive, desiring to persuade voters to lend their support and cast a vote in their favor come November.
In an earlier journal post, I wrote about Miguel, our sponsor in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He has continued to grow in his ministry and on his last visit to the US, stopped by our office in Franklin, TN. Today he wrote to tell an amazing story. I emailed back and asked permission to share it on my website. Here it is: (more…)
Francis Schaeffer is known for developing a thoughtful yet passionate apologetic, calling the church to discern the times and recognize the shift in ideas threatening to fracture the foundation of evangelicalism.
At first glance it may not seem like much of a chasm, but rather something easily traversed by just a small step. Yet like many glacial crevices, the depth of separation is indeed significant. I’m referring to the difference between a Christ-centered spirituality and one that puts confidence in human effort.
I figure the best way to do a century ride is to not know you are going to do it, and have to make a crucial choice at a fork in the road. I was riding in front, and following close behind were Jason Green, my nephew, and Andrew Monger, his college roommate.
Some time ago I saw an add for the Harpeth River Ride, an annual biking event in our area. While one of my goals for the year is to complete a century bicycle ride, I thought the 100k (62 miles) option would be a good first test of endurance. I signed up and have been getting. I’m feeling pretty good about the upcoming challenge.
In the midst of recounting David’s role as king of Israel in 2 Samuel, there is a remarkable story; a beautiful picture of the gospel. Here is the passage beginning in chapter 9.
How our hearts break for the great loss and difficulty the Chapman’s are going through. Pray for God’s help, healing and strength. They are a dear family and need wisdom and grace to walk through this tragedy in a very public way.
We are in the middle of our South Korea tour and having a wonderful and blessed visit! Here are a few pictures and a link to the Korean Times… (more…)
Have you every have one of those uneasy playground experiences where members of two teams were being chosen for a game? Self-appointed captains stood opposite the group of anxious participants, sizing up each one, selecting the best candidates who would ensure victory.
We’ve approved the final version of our first ever live concert DVD. All is set to send the master to manufacturing. Keep checking our website for a release date… (more…)
I can’t remember a more glorious Easter celebration than this past one. On that Sunday morning, the music and the message together were like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds and lighting up the earth. (more…)
Before the candles were blown out, the cheerful onlookers insisted that a wish be made. After hesitating for a moment, the one at the center of attention voiced a desire for “health, wealth, peace and success.” Of course we all clapped as the candles were extinguished, but for a moment I was lost in thought. (more…)
I’ve decided to open up the comments on my journal page and allow readers to respond if they so wish. The good feedback thus far has been helpful. Thank you. (more…)
According to TripAdvisor,
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2
We are an ‘over the top’ society with an insatiable appetite for the new, improved and best next thing. Our satisfaction with the ordinary has forever been spoiled now that our hunger for the extraordinary has been awakened. (more…)
A few months ago I was invited to sing with the Nashville Symphony for a special evening of hymns. It turned out to be a wonderful time of worship and encouragement. (more…)
The third annual festival that the Jews celebrated was the Feast of Tabernacles, a week-long feast to commemorate God’s protection when He brought them out of Egypt. (more…)
The ceremony was short, and the flower bed burial was somber. Ginger, the hamster had died and now a small cross made of Popsicle sticks marked the shallow mulch grave. (more…)
What goes on in Maracaibo, Venezuela? Well, on June 28, the U.S. soccer team took on Argentina in the Copa America games at a huge stadium. Earlier in June, the city hosted the Junior Panamerican championship for Freestyle, Greco Roman, and Women’s wrestling. How do I know? (more…)
Every heart is engaged in an elusive search for true joy and delight. After all, it’s what we were made for. (more…)
I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way I developed a fond affection for our fine feathered friends. Growing up in Argentina, birds were little more than target practice. Thankfully, I only had a slingshot made from a tree limb, inner tube rubber, and shoe leather. And, I wasn’t a very good shot! (more…)
Those of us who are reading through the Bible this year and have managed to stay on track (this is not meant to produce guilt if you are behind, or pride if you are up to date!), just completed the book of Deuteronomy. (more…)
Charles Spurgeon called this passage one of the most terrible in all of Scripture. I must admit that reading these verses again was unsettling. Have you ever assumed you knew someone and felt safe with them, only to be surprised by their words or actions, suddenly feeling like a total stranger? (more…)
At the close of the year, I always become introspective, looking back, assessing the journey through the past twelve months. If you are like me, it is a time for reflection, repentance and a renewed yearning for growth in grace. (more…)
Babies are safe… approachable. How kind of God to come to us in such visible weakness, putting on the rags of humanity, clothing himself in the flesh of an infant so we would not be afraid. (more…)
If I had been asked a few weeks ago to tell my story I would have given the familiar points that I’ve rehearsed and shared many times. I thought I knew my story well. (more…)
I can’t remember the last time I read a book and wept. In part, my tears were from deep conviction. I long to be free from narcissism, fear, dogmatism and the tendency to hide. And partly the tears flowed from a sense of relief. My sin and failure make my story a gospel story rather than merely a successful story or a helpful story. My story of foolishness, redemption, reconciliation and restoration is the canvas that God uses to paint the portrait of His grace. (more…)
On this day in 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, thus igniting a firestorm within the Catholic church and causing a huge upheaval of distrust in Papal authority. (more…)
I must confess that often, while listening to a sermon, or reading a book, or singing in worship, one phrase or line seems to grab my heart and open up a whole new stream of thought. (more…)
I have good friends who deal on a daily basis with the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Things like distractibility, short attention span, impulsivity or restlessness. The only proper response is compassion and understanding. This morning, it dawned on me that most all of us suffer from another variety of attention deficit. Our souls are concave, self-absorbed, longing for attention. The cry of our hearts is, “please notice me and love me.” That cry is legitimate. We are made for intimacy and desperate for it. In the beginning, God expressed his glorious generosity saying, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”, creating Adam and Eve to be image-bearers to image forth God’s glory in relationship, first with himself, and then with his creatures and creation. (more…)
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Twelve years had passed since the angels burst upon a Bethlehem hillside with the announcement that Immensity imprisoned in a virgin’s womb had been born, that the Most High had come to be Immanuel, God with us. For such an earth shattering beginning, the Biblical silence about Jesus’ childhood leaves us wanting some glimpse into his early years. The first one we get is at age 12. (more…)
Every community should have a trash convenience center. Ours is a one-stop wonder with huge recycling bins, a cardboard compactor, a container for metal, one for construction waste, another for untreated lumber and two large compactors for household trash. At the back of the property is an attended Goodwill drop-off trailer. What more does one need? The added bonus is that the dump is also a connecting point of sorts; a place to philosophize, share small talk, catch up with neighbors and even track the passing chapters of life. (more…)
Isaiah 6: 1-9
What does real worship look like? O, I know the physical characteristics that are usually associated with worship; intimate expressions of the heart, faces turned upwards, hands held high, and eyes closed in undistracted attention. I too, have been transported to the heavenlies and deeply affected while worshiping. Yet, when the songs have ended and the service is over, what then? Does worship have a higher purpose and a longer lasting design than we’ve realized? (more…)
Is anyone else troubled by the church’s frenzy to post good statistics? And why is it that when someone uses the phrase, “evangelistically speaking” we all know what they mean? Regardless of whether its baptisms, professions of faith, crusade attendance or people reached, we are dreadfully afraid of unimpressive numbers. The system has to keep going. Donors want to feel that their gifts are making a difference. I heard of one man who was looking to support the ministry that could offer him the most souls per dollar. So, leaders prepare convincing brochures and send out exciting updates because after all, who wants to give to a loser or a ministry that seems to be unproductive? (more…)
As the New Year rolled in, people around the world offered one another a traditional greeting, each in their own language. Though the usual celebrations were overshadowed by the tragic devastation of the tsunami, there remained a universal desire that the New Year would bring fulfillment, contentment and joy. Regardless of the differences in culture, the customary greetings have something to do with a wish for personal happiness and prosperity. We say, “Happy New Year.” In Latin America the hope is for ” un prospero A ño Nuevo.” (more…)
On the morning of October 25th David and I met with 400 pastors and leaders for breakfast at The Tequendama Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Bogotá, Columbia . Rafael Afanador, our host, had asked that we schedule a day of meetings and interviews in preparation for the upcoming week of concerts being called The Reconciliation of Columbia. (more…)
It was not until laugher became the focal point of many religious services and the subject of much debate that I began to consider it from God’s perspective. Certainly, laughter is a gift. Each person’s laugh is unique. God has made us to bubble over in a strange combination of squeals, snorts and cackles when our pleasure cannot be contained. We enjoy a good joke, the unexpected twist in a story line, or the characterization of our human idiosyncrasies. It feels good to laugh. Yet, as with all pleasures and gifts, there is the potential for misuse. Think of those whose sinister laughter flows from darkened hearts. Comedy clubs and shows are full of (more…)