You know how in the difficult, dark moments of life, people try to lift your spirits? You lose a job and someone says, “Cheer up! It’s not so bad. You still have your health!” You make a huge mistake with a dear friend, and someone says, “Why not look on the bright side? You still have tons of other friends.” You lose a family member, and someone says, “You know she’s better off now. After all, God just needed another angel.” If you are like me, then you appreciate the sentiment, but......
The Transfiguration in 4 Movements Glory Jesus is tranfigured, that is, transformed and changed on the mountain. His face literally glows and shines a dazzling white! And the disciples almost miss it! They are falling asleep! There is a sense of mystery in the story. And mystery is alluring; it draws us into the story. Story begs us to ask: What is going on here? We know what will happen to Jesus and so in hindsight this transformation isn’t even as profound as resurrection. But try to put that out of your......
What is a law? This may seem like a simple question. But it’s actually a little more complex than it appears. Google’s dictionary define law in this way: A system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties. A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present. So which of these do we mean when we speak of the laws of......
One early evening on a lonely country road, an old man was standing on a bridge, high above a deep river. He had just dropped a pebble over the railing to see how long it would take to hit the water. As he watched the ripples fanning out, along came a pickup truck. It slowly came to a stop, but the motor kept running. The old man noticed the name painted on the door: Jack’s Greenhouse Nurseries. Walking up to the window, he saw a man behind the wheel with his head......
We have talked a lot about mission over the past few weeks. Here’s a recap… Mission is the sending of God to the world. We don’t bring God or Christ to others, God is already there! And Our job is to see Christ in others. find God at work and join in with God. Forgiveness is critical to God’s work. It is foundational. Without forgiveness it is far to easy to be judgmental, condescending, or even paternal Paternalism is a particularly problematic attitude when engaging with God in mission work. In essence,......
I have a somewhat unpopular and uncomfortable topic today. Are you ready for it? Okay, here it is: God can change. Folks often talk about how God can change us humans. But we don’t often talk about God as the one who changes. But it’s true. Just look to scripture for examples… Moses changes God’s mind on Mt Sinai. (see Exodus 32 – verse 14: And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.) Psalmist sings prayers to change God’s mind all the time (for example, Psalm......
This past Sunday, we talked about how the heart of resurrection is change. Change from one state to another, from death and despair to life and hope. That is the very essence of resurrection…a change that takes place in someone, something or someplace that restores him, her or it to life…and not just any old life, but to new and abundant life. I mentioned that change can be hard…uncomfortable. But that discomfort and unrest is exactly where God meets us and finds us. Change is where we experience the new life that God......
What is resurrection to you? What was it to you in the past? How has your concept of resurrection begun to change during this Easter Season? On Easter: We talked about how resurrection is a God’s Love Wins moment. And that resurrection means letting go of our pre-understandings of our faith stories, dying to the staleness of hearing what we have always heard and rising to listen with new ears, new eyes and a fresh perspective as if hearing a story for the first time. Last Sunday: We read about Thomas, Doubting......
Someone who has changed my life: Caren Enloe. She taught me more about life than I could begin to explain. I always enjoyed music, but Caren changed me. During the summer before high school, she offered me free trombone lessons and over the next 4 years, she invested her life into me and several other students. It was because of Caren that my enjoyment was transformed into passion and vocation. There were 4 of us students: Matt, Stevie, Raj and myself. We all traveled in different crowds, yet she brought us together…showing......
Christian Faith is a story of movement. I heard Brian McLaren speak this past week and these words were part of his key message. Christian Faith is a story of movement. Practically every story in scripture is about movement. People moving from one place to another…like Abraham following God’s command to move to a new land, like Jacob moving away from his home afraid of his brother only to return and find forgiveness, like Joseph moving up the chain of command in pharaoh’s court, like David who moved from a shepherd......