All posts by johnpinkstonii

Was that Spicy Pizza or God?

There is question that I get asked on a regular basis…..and, admittedly, its mostly me asking myself this, but it is, “How do I know its God talking?”  I should say, that the way I normally ask this question is just like the title of this post.  The basic intent is, how do I distinguish between God and something else, or between God and myself? Continue reading Was that Spicy Pizza or God?

It’s a Snow Day!!! Worship from Home

I know most of us won’t be going anywhere today, so take some time to meditate and worship on your own or as a family. What I’ve got here is a guide for your worship time today. Continue reading It’s a Snow Day!!! Worship from Home

The End Revealed

This is the first Sunday of my Lent 2015 sermon series called Revealed: What Once was Lost can Now be Found. The main goal of this series is to take a look at the book of Revelation, and not read it like we’ve been told to, but to read it for what is actually there.  It should be a book of hope and promise, not one of judgment and despair.   Continue reading The End Revealed

Don’t be a Superhero

Last Sunday I was still gone on vacation, but there was the dreaded “weather” that was coming in.  I call it dreaded for a good reason.  Whenever it gets to be close to the weekend, and a strong winter storm is moving into the area, every pastor I know starts going on snow watch. (and pastors, I apologize now because I’m going to pick on us for a minute). Continue reading Don’t be a Superhero

Jesus was a Foodie

Greeting from the Southwest!!!

I’m off on vacation this week, and I stayed in Amarillo Sunday night before making it out to New Mexico on Monday.  Originally I wanted to say that to make you jealous, but the weather back in Bowling Green is going to be very nice through the next week.  If you’re reading this from one of those places that is a lot colder…then you can be jealous.

Continue reading Jesus was a Foodie

Prayer Who

Today we’re going to hit on a topic that has confounded, confused, and conundreded (it’s a word because I say so) for many, many, many years.  This topic, of course, is prayer.  To often what I hear, when I hear people talking about prayer, is a refrain from one of my favorite TV shows. Continue reading Prayer Who

He wore what?

In case you live under a rock, or if your like me and don’t really care that much, last Sunday night was the Golden Globes.  My thoughts are that Benedict Cumberbatch always has the most fun.  But let’s be honest.  He is one of my favorite actors, but that might be because I have a small addiction to Sherlock.  With these award shows come the inevitable comparisons of what people are wearing.  I’ll let you get into that if you want, but I want to talk about a real fashion faux pas. Continue reading He wore what?

An Epiphany Journey

Just in case you aren’t liturgically inclined (because I know you use that word every day), yesterday was Epiphany Sunday.  And again, I know that’s another word that you use on a regular basis.

So what is an epiphany?

noun, plural epiphanies.
1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6,commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically,such a moment of revelation and insight.
Definition from dictionary.com

While its the religious definition that popped up first, most of us are more familiar with something like this picture.

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I grew up as a child of Saturday morning cartoons, and it took me a long time before I realized that you don’t get a light bulb when you have a new idea.

But seriously. An epiphany is a new way of understanding something, or as one of my church members put it, it’s an “aha!” moment.  It’s when you suddenly come to understand something that you didn’t before.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that epiphanies are very rarely spontaneous, but are the product of a longer journey.  They seem like they come all of a sudden, but they’ve actually been building over time, and the last piece has finally gotten itself into place.  That’s the “aha” moment because the whole thing finally makes sense.

That journey happens to the Wise Men.  There’s a reason why we tell their story on Epiphany Sunday.  Its because they’re on that journey and they get a new understanding of things.

Reread the story of the Wise Men in Matthew 2.  Remember that we’re never told how many wise men there are, and we’re never told their names.  Those things come from later traditions.  But that’s okay because those traditions help fill in the story and don’t take away from the central question about what they were hoping to gain from coming to see this little child…..or said better, what epiphany did they have when they came to him?

The Wise Men were the first non-Jewish people to begin to understand who this baby was.  In a world full of lots of Gods, they were the first that began to see what Israel’s One God was about.  From their journey they gained knowledge of who God really should be, and what he could do.

This is one of the same lessons that we can hope to gain.  What we need to to be reminded, or learn again, who our God is.  Ours is a God that goes with us on the journey, but also says that we can come back if we veer off.  This is a God that gets that we don’t always know what to do (or which direction to go), but says I’ll send you my Son so that you can see it for yourselves.

Ours is a God that says, “I know that you’ll always be on a journey. Let me help you make it a good one.”  For us, this is what we need to hear, because this is the kind of help and guidance that we need in our lives.

As you go through this week, look for a new understanding that you can have about God, and look to see where he is leading you on this journey.

Coming Back!!

I know its been a while, but (hopefully) this will be the first post in me getting back to writing on a regular basis.  I have to admit that it is something that I’ve missed over the last several months.  Have you ever wondered why this is the best time of year to start something new, or in my case, re-start something?

I think there is a good reason for that, that is only partially because it is the start of a new year.  This is also the time of year when the days are starting to get longer……I know, it’ll still be a couple of more months before we really see that change.  However, it’s still important to know that the change has already started.

Yesterday, I was preaching on John 1:18, and there was one part that I was really paying attention too.

4through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
–John 1:4-5

We celebrated the light of the tiny Christ child coming into the world.  This is good news for us, because the light will always find a way to shine, and that’s just what we need.  That being said, it takes some work for us to really understand what the light means, and how we live in response to it.

What we need is time to figure it out.  That’s what makes this time of year so good!  It gives us time.  The light is growing longer as time goes on, and that helps us set a good pace for doing something new.

What I want you to do, is to take a chance.  The light is shining, but we have time to get used to it.  What is it that you’re being called to do?  Each of us has something.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be something “churchy” either.  God doesn’t just use the churchy parts of ourselves to do his will.

What is that thing that you’ve been waiting for the right time to do?  It may be the typical things we see at this time of year: lose weight, manage our finances better, read that stack of books, be a better parent, be a better kid, reconnect with others, etc.  It could also be more churchy or faith related things: pray more, read scripture more, find other ways of serving, increase giving, etc.  All of these things, and more–God uses for his purposes.

Keep in mind that some of God’s purposes are for us.  When the light shines, it doesn’t just shine in certain places, or on certain people. The light also shines on us.  God doesn’t just want more from us, but he also wants more for us as well.  Take some time over the next  few days to see what God wants.

Then find ways of starting small.  You don’t have to start at the end.  We have the time, as the darkness is getting shorter to figure it out.  Take the time, find the way, and see what God is doing.

An Easter Reflection

As I’m writing this, we’re one Sunday past Easter, and I’m sitting up at the Iron Skillet in Oak Grove. I’m enjoying breakfast, and getting ready to go into a couple of meetings for today. There’s something about Monday mornings that are relaxing and enjoyable for me. I know most of you probably think that I’m crazy, but Mondays are my day off….sort of. I don’t normally get in a hurry on Monday mornings, and it gives me a chance to sit back and think about things. Continue reading An Easter Reflection