Imagine for a moment that your future was in jeopardy…your career, your retirement, your marriage…all of it. And the thing standing in your way was a question: Who are you and what are you doing? The answer you give to this question will either set everything positive and good in motion…or it will set off disaster in your life. Maybe it’s your boss asking you this question. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s your financial adviser. It could be anyone. The point is that person is standing in your way and holding......
For those of you who are reading through the New Testament with me, how is it going? I have been a little slow, but will start the book of Romans next week. So, I spend a little time reflecting on Acts. Reading through the book of Acts has given me an idea. What if we compiled a book of stories from members of Hood Memorial Christian Church? What if each member shared a story of one of the most raw, life-changing spiritual experiences you have had? How much could we learn from......
I love God. I don’t just believe in God. I love God. And I’m pretty certain that love is more important than belief. After all, one of the most significant and celebrated passages of the Hebrew Bible (which Jesus quoted when asked about the greatest commandment) is Deuteronomy 6:4-5… Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV) Yet even on the best of days, I tend to question my love for God. I ask myself, How do I......
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......
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......
To participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love. David J. Bosch As we continue to reflect on mission this Lent, consider this quote from missiologist and theologian David Bosch. He reminds us that mission begins with God as a movement of love, specifically the divine sending love towards humans. Let’s explore this for just a few moments. God’s love is understood by Christians in a specific way. It’s not just an abstract love. Instead, it is a......
Imagine talking to someone about God who had never heard of such a being. What would you say? How would you describe God? What characteristics best communicate who God is? Or pretend you wee introducing God at a big fancy event to people who had never heard of God. What are God’s accomplishments, highlights or achievements? What would God’s biography look like? One psalmist does just this. Psalm 50 opens with a poetic bio of God. Check it out… From the rising of the sun to where it sets, God, the Lord......
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......
“Mighty God” (Isa. 9: 6) is the name of this child. The child in the manger is none other than God himself. Nothing greater can be said: God became a child. In the Jesus child of Mary lives the almighty God. Wait a minute! Don’t speak; stop thinking! Stand still before this statement! God became a child! Here he is, poor like us, miserable and helpless like us, a person of flesh and blood like us, our brother. And yet he is God; he is might. Where is the divinity, where is......
What is home to you? Better yet, who is home to you? You are probably thinking about a house, a city, a neighborhood, family members or maybe even a roommate or really good friend. Listen to how Israel answers the question in Psalm 90 through Eugene Petersen’s translation called The Message: God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God. (v1-2) God is their home. God has been their home for......