Life Lessons


07
May 2018
The Struggle

This week we have been finishing up the gospel of John in our sixth month New Testament reading journey. One of the things that has stood out to me this time I have read through the gospel of John is how much Jesus seems to struggle.   Think about these images of struggle in John’s gospel: Chapter 2 – Jesus struggles with his mother: “My hour has not yet come.” (v.4) Chapter 2 – Jesus struggles to make the temple pure again: “Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!” (v.16) Chapter 5 –......

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25
Apr 2018
That's Not Comfortable

German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was part of the confessing church in Germany that stood in resistance to the Nazi regime. And he wrote this in a letter to his brother-in-law, a letter that was in part about the Bible and how we read scripture: If it is I who determine where God is to be found, then I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in some way, who is obliging, who is connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found, then it......

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13
Mar 2018
Luke--From Fear to Praise

For those reading through the New Testament together, how is it going?  What are you learning/re-learning by going through the book of Luke?  How are you being changed? I have made it through the first 8 chapters of Luke.  I realize that I have missed out on a lot of Luke’s passages before.  We dwell a lot of the popular stories of Luke such as the stories of Jesus’ birth, Jesus as a boy in the temple, John the Baptist, the temptation in the wilderness, and the healings.  As I have begun......

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27
Feb 2018
A Desolating What?

“But when you see the Desolating Sacrilege set up where it ought not to be…”  -Mark 13:14 Well, that is a sermon that I have not heard preached!!  As a matter of fact, I can’t remember ever hearing this term before.  It struck me pretty hard.  What does this mean?  Why haven’t I paid attention to this before? So, I did a little research and thinking. I first started by exploring the context. This seems to fall in the middle of Jesus’ instructions to his followers about preparing for the end.  He......

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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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09
Jan 2018
Listening (Or Not)

Have you ever gotten caught not listening? I have, especially as a child (Okay, yeah as an adult, too!) I can recall so vividly being a kid and getting to sucked in to a television show that I unintentionally tuned out the entire world. And, of course, my mom would start calling for me: “Jason. … Jason? … JASON?!?!” And I never heard her. I was completely oblivious. It’s not that she was calling too softly. By the third or fourth time she was practically yelling and the whole house could hear......

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14
Aug 2017
A Mile In My Shoes

Jerry is an occasional guest on Sunday mornings with our church family. According to him, our family of faith has shown him welcome when other churches have not. And I have heard many within our congregation share how much Jerry has to offer to our community. For example, he shares valuable insights during Bible Studies or in Small Groups and adds a beautiful voice to our singing. From talking with Jerry, he is very aware that many people see him only as a person in need. Yes, he is disabled and on......

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01
Aug 2017
We'll Fly Away

Have you ever heard these phrases: “Jesus lives in your heart.”  “Invite Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior.”  “It’s all about your personal relationship with God.”  “It’s between you and God.” What about these songs? Jesus loves me, this I know. I’ll fly away. I know whom I have believed. My Jesus, I love Thee. I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice. These are phrases that I have heard and songs that I have sung over and over again in the church.  These phrases taught me that my......

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