Encouragement


16
Apr 2018
Missing Details

Our Church Board has approved the refurbishment of 13 Stained Glass Windows in our sanctuary. Today, I got word that the company doing the work will come to remove the first of those windows – the large window featuring the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. It’s pretty exciting to get this work underway after so many months of discernment. As I sat thinking about the removal, refurbishment, and reinstallation of this first window, I realized that for several weeks there will be plywood in the space of that large......

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11
Apr 2018
Faith & Doubt

About this time of year after Easter, we traditionally read the story from the gospel of John about Thomas. We like to call him Doubting Thomas. And most often pastors set up Thomas as a man whose doubt made him a persons of weak faith. These pastors say that we need to heed Jesus words and believe even though we do not see because doing so makes us blessed. The essential message is that doubt implies lack of faith. So do not doubt. Instead trust and believe what you may not see.......

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20
Feb 2018
Mark raises questions

I have now finished the first 11 chapters of Mark.  Re-reading the gospel of Mark is leaving me with more questions.   Some points that Mark makes are leaving me confused or wanting to know more.  Some things are standing out to me that I had never paid attention to before.  Here are some of the thoughts and questions I have had over the last few days. Mark’s chronology of events in Jesus’ life are interesting.  Mark seems to jump around. For instance, in Mark 9-10, we go from the Transfiguration to teaching......

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12
Feb 2018
Talitha cum

He took her by the hand and said to her “Talitha cum”, which means “Little girl, get up!” There are so many new things that stood out to me this time I read this story from Mark 5.  The fact is, there are not many accounts of Jesus healing children.  We know Jesus’ love of children and he taught us how important they are in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But, we only get a handful of one of one experiences with children and this is one of them. The image from this......

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06
Feb 2018
Healing Touch

Touching someone’s life is powerful. Prayers, visits, phone calls, cards of encouragement, meals, sitting together, singing together, listening together…these all have tremendous power to bring healing into our lives. This is part of the message I shared on Sunday. And I threw some research and data at you all that showed exactly how powerful touching someone’s life within a community of faith can be. But numbers and research can be a bit overwhelming when it is just spoken. So, I want to share that with you again today in writing. Power of......

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30
Jan 2018
Waiting for Renewal

Do you feel tired? Stretched too thin? Is there a place in your life where you feel as if you are at the end of your rope? Has your strength faltered? Is your perseverance waning? Are you searching for courage? As I think back to my thoughts and feelings in the midst of times in my life when I have answered Yes to all these questions, a couple of things stand out: I prayed a lot; raw, tearful, humble, and passionate (sometimes angry!) prayers for help and strength I had lots of......

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29
Jan 2018
You serve, you are great!

Technically, I am on day 19 on the reading plan (Matthew 22).  We are moving right along.  Just a few more days in the gospel of Matthew.  But today, I want to reflect on words from Matthew 20 that spoke loudly to me when I read it this time. In Matthew 20:20, Jesus is approached by the mother of James and John. She asks him to make a special spot on each side of him for her sons in his kingdom.  Jesus tells her that isn’t really his responsibility.  And then the......

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17
Jan 2018
The Spiritual Gift of Snow

Today I have had dozens of things I wanted to do: several folks I wanted to visit, phone calls to make, projects to check on, planning and prep to keep working on, an exciting small group time this evening, even building permit to pull for my pending home renovations. But the pause button has been pushed. And not by me. Mother Nature did it. Winter wonderlands and work schedules don’t go so well together in North Carolina. When it snow, as it has been doing for much of the day, most things......

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16
Jan 2018
Faith in a Hurry

I have made it through the first 11 Chapters of Matthew (the first 9 days of reading through the New Testament).  Here are a couple of things that have stood out to me over the past couple of days of reading: Matthew seems to write in a fast pace.  It almost feels like Jesus is in a hurry.  As soon as he was baptized, his teachings, healings, and other parts of ministry begin with a lot of momentum.  After reading through the Sermon on the Mount, it felt like Jesus was on......

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10
Jan 2018
Freedom & Purpose

If you have grown up in the United States as a citizen, you have no doubt been taught you are free and that freedom is the sine qua non of life. We love freedom. We write books and make movies about freedom. We teach our children about freedom. We craft laws and policy to protect freedom. We fight for freedom. Freedom probably has the top place on the list of priorities for most every American. So, listen to what Paul has to say about freedom in our lives: I have the freedom......

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