As I’m writing this, the current outside temperature is -5, and no that’s not the windchill. That’s the real temperature. Continue reading Having a Real Encounter
Now I want you to imagine a new world. But this isn’t a world that we often imagine at Christmas. We can get caught up in the snow-covered, pristine back country woodlands and fields, and we begin to lose what that world really might be. For so long we’ve idealized the Norman Rockwell version of Christmas that it’s hard to see might also be possible.
This first Sunday of Advent we lit the candle of Hope. What I want us to find this season is real, genuine hope. Begin to get at this from the song below. It’s from a Christmas album by Jason Gray, and hear the message. Continue reading Finding a Way
Start by reading John 8:31-39
Over the next several weeks we’re going to be talking about the mission of the church. My hope is that we’re going to do this in a different way than it has been done in the past. We’ll talk about some of the things that we always need to talk about when we talk about the mission of the church, but I want to put everything together in a better way.
By the end of the series, I want us to be able to tell the story of our church, and through the story we help folks to know what our mission is. That’s a little different, but we’re much better at remembering stories than we are in other things. If we can tell the story, then I think we can better live our mission. Continue reading My Story
Start by reading Luke 12:35-48
This last Sunday, I did something that I’ve never really done before. I intentionally used original artwork as a part of the service. But it gets better. It wasn’t just any artwork, but original preacher artwork. That’s right. I used all of my limited kindergarten level art ability to draw a couple of things for worship. Just so you know what it was, it was a small house, and a landscape with a tree and a sun.
Continue reading Extending the Invitation
Another title for this post would be, don’t shoot the messenger. I say that because one of the things that becomes very apparent in this story is that it’s easy to take out our disapproval on who or what brings us the news that we don’t like. That’s one of our problems. We like the immediacy of exactly our displeasure on who it is that is giving us news/info that we don’t like. We do that because we don’t like things that are different than us. and a lot of times we only realize the message when we are presented with folks who are different from us. We like it when things come to us from the places that we expect. Continue reading A Talking What? When Animals Go Crazy
Do you remember some of the games that you used to play when you were a kid? I remember one, it was London Bridge is Falling down. You remember how that goes don’t you?
But, I started thinking about it some more, and did you ever think about what it was that you were saying? There’s a lot of children’s Songs and children’s rhymes that we use, and remember, but have you stopped to think about what it was that you were saying?
Actually, I would start by reading second of those scripture passages first. It does some explaining of what’s going on in the first passage. That being said, if it still doesn’t make sense, or you’re struck by a sense of weirdness, then you’re on the right track.
This is the first in a series of posts devoted to weird scripture passages. I can’t take all the credit for this, but its a collaboration with my friend Andy. One of the things that we noticed is that in the lectionary (it’s a three year cycle of scripture passages that covers most of the Bible) and in the ways that we preach, and read the Bible, that we skip over some things. Continue reading Jeremiah’s Unmentionables
Start by reading Micah 6:6-8
The tone of this post may be a little different from my earlier posts, but it is also being written for a local paper that won’t have the previous posts to go along with it.
Last Sunday I just finished a series on anger. When I started that series one of the first things that we talked about was that God gets angry. We see this a lot in the Old Testament, but we also see Jesus get angry in the New Testament as well. Something that we have to realize is that, and accept, is that God does get angry. Continue reading Angry Bibles – Living the Call
Start by reading Ephesians 4:17-32
So we’re on the second post of our discussion of anger. Last time we started off by talking about how God gets angry. That’s okay. It happens. that’s okay. God does in fact does get angry. Is, because we are created in God’s image. we’re going to get angry too. That’s okay. it is a part of who we are. Its not wrong, it’s not a sin. It’s not something to be concealed, or put down, or push away, or kept out of sight out of mind. It is a part of who we are. Now that being said, anger, like anything else, can be bad. It can be used badly it could be purposeless it can be dangerous it could be damaging. It can be hurtful, it could be all those things that we fear the most about it, if we’re not careful. Continue reading Angry Bibles – Crumbling Walls
So over the course of the next posts we’re going to be hitting an important topic, and one that we don’t deal very well with. That’s anger. This is something that we like to talk a lot about, and we like to give impressions that we’re good at dealing with it, but we aren’t. Just like the title of this post points out, we’re missing the mark. Rather than really dealing with anger, we cover it in platitudes and trite sayings. Continue reading Angry Bibles – Missing the Mark