Why you need to leave your culture every 24 months – Relationships: with the world, Part 1

Did you ever play that game, “If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?”  I would love to go to Wales, England because my grandmother was born there.  I would love to go to Israel, Turkey or Greece because of the biblical sites.  I would love to goContinue reading “Why you need to leave your culture every 24 months – Relationships: with the world, Part 1”

Baseball and God’s heart for the world – Relationships: with the world, Preview

My freshman year of high school I tried out for my high school baseball team, as I thought baseball was my best sport. I had played soccer the previous fall, making the Jr. High team as a 9th grader, and I enjoyed it. I also considered trying out for the basketball team, another sport IContinue reading “Baseball and God’s heart for the world – Relationships: with the world, Preview”

Christian, what aroma does your manner, method and message give off? – Relationships: In the community, Part 5

My wife, Michelle, works at a local café.  She and the other servers say that the Sunday, after-church crowd are some of their least favorite to serve.  Why?  Their manner, message and method stink.  They can be demanding. They can treat their servers coldly or disrespectfully. They can lack polite manners. They can barely tip,Continue reading “Christian, what aroma does your manner, method and message give off? – Relationships: In the community, Part 5”

Do you give off the aroma of life or the aroma of death? – Relationships: In the community, Part 4

When I go running with my dogs, one of the most amazing things is the smell of breakfast cooking emanating from the houses we pass by.  Or maybe you are more familiar with the smell of someone cooking burgers.  Or a chicken barbeque.  The wind can carry that smell really far.  I grew up inContinue reading “Do you give off the aroma of life or the aroma of death? – Relationships: In the community, Part 4”

Jesus’ mission in five balanced statements – Relationships: In the community, Part 3

What was Jesus’ mission? Or better yet, how did he understand and articulate his mission? In Luke 4, we read his understanding of his mission.  The first 13 verses tell the story of Jesus who was full of the Holy Spirit, which had just come upon him at his baptism, and now who was leadingContinue reading “Jesus’ mission in five balanced statements – Relationships: In the community, Part 3”

How to see your neighbors – Relationships: In the community, Part 2

A Bible scholar once tried to trap Jesus in a game of Bible trivia.  This particular guy was an expert, and he thought for sure that he was going to easily crush Jesus.  As you and I well know, the last person that you want to go toe-to-toe in a game of Bible trivia isContinue reading “How to see your neighbors – Relationships: In the community, Part 2”

How do you smell? – Relationships: In the community, Part 1

How do you smell?  You can check.  Sniff your armpits, or maybe your breath.   Don’t be embarrassed.  When you go to work, school, or most anywhere, my guess is that most of you get ready in the morning by showering, putting on deodorant, perhaps cologne or perfume, and maybe brushing your teeth or having aContinue reading “How do you smell? – Relationships: In the community, Part 1”

Are you a quality friend? A good member of your community? – Relationships: In your community, Preview

Who are your neighbors?  Do you know their names?  Their story?  Their beliefs?  Evaluate your relationships with them.  Are you close?  Distant?  Would they say you care about them?  What about your co-workers?  Your friends?  Your classmates?  What does it mean to have godly relationships with the various people in your life?  Are we justContinue reading “Are you a quality friend? A good member of your community? – Relationships: In your community, Preview”

How not to leave a church – Relationships: In the Church, Part 5

Did you know that when a pastor leaves a church, anecdotal evidence suggests that 25% of the congregation will also leave the church as a result?  Not a guaranteed stat.  It could be way less.  Could be more.  But it should be zero, of course depending on the situation.  What I am referring to isContinue reading “How not to leave a church – Relationships: In the Church, Part 5”

Why dying to self and rising again are the way to have healthy… – Relationships: In the Church, Part 4

We continue the story of Jesus to see how his birth, life, death and resurrection is instructive for church family relationships.  We celebrate Jesus coming in the flesh at Christmas.  We must also consider Good Friday, as Paul reminds us in Philippians 2 that God, who was willing to take on human flesh, also tookContinue reading “Why dying to self and rising again are the way to have healthy… – Relationships: In the Church, Part 4”