How the Holy Spirit helps us have peace when we struggle with fear – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5

What is at the root of fear?   Human nature? Maybe it is just a part of the human experience? We fear that we won’t be taken care of. Clearly so many of us, young and old fear rejection, loneliness, insecurity, or being destitute.  We can fear that people will look down on us. There isContinue reading “How the Holy Spirit helps us have peace when we struggle with fear – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5”

How God’s Spirit is Alive in Us – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Part 4

Each stream of Christianity has its unique approach to the role and activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of the follower of Jesus. Some Christians feel that they know with certainty who the Spirit is and what the Spirit does. Some Christians have very little certainty. I grew up thinking the Spirit wasContinue reading “How God’s Spirit is Alive in Us – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Part 4”

What is Jesus most astounding promise? – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Part 3

Jesus makes lots of promises. What do you think is his most amazing promise? In this post, I think we just might have a candidate for it. We actually started studying the promise in the previous post. Jesus teaches the promises to his disciples in John 14:15-31, and he crafts in the form of anContinue reading “What is Jesus most astounding promise? – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Part 3”

Is it wrong for Jesus to say, “if we love him, we’ll obey him”? – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2

In the previous post, we talked about Jesus makes some promises in John 14:15-31, and the main promise takes the form of an “if-then” statement. If we do x, he promises to do y. So here is the promise: If we love him, we will obey him, and then he promises to give us whatContinue reading “Is it wrong for Jesus to say, “if we love him, we’ll obey him”? – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2″

Why the moon freaks me out – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1

You know how the moon appears larger when it is low on the horizon? There are a few times each year when the full moon is visible low on the horizon straight out our back yard.  When that happens, I grab my binoculars, and go out on the deck, kneel down by the railing, andContinue reading “Why the moon freaks me out – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1”

How to have victory over envy and jealousy – Second Sunday of Advent, Part 5

Throughout Advent this year, we are examining our longings. During this second week, we have been studying Psalm 73, learning what to do with envy and jealousy. If this is the first post you are reading in this series of five, I urge you to go back and start at the beginning, as the psalmist,Continue reading “How to have victory over envy and jealousy – Second Sunday of Advent, Part 5”

God says he is enough for us, so why doesn’t it feel like it? – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 4

Have you ever questioned something like what the title of this post suggests? I have. My guess is that you have too. What do we do when God doesn’t seem to be enough for us? What do we do when we struggle with envy and jealously, especially of the arrogant and mean people who seemContinue reading “God says he is enough for us, so why doesn’t it feel like it? – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 4”

The antidote to envy – Second Sunday of Advent, Part 3

Is there any hope to rid ourselves of envy and jealousy? What are we to do with our dark longings? We can feel powerless to combat them. We hate the way they make us feel. Dissatisfied and grumpy. Convinced that the next iPhone, the next TV show, the next vacation, the next date, the debtContinue reading “The antidote to envy – Second Sunday of Advent, Part 3”

How envy rots our insides – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2

Have you ever burned with envy? You’re not alone. Envy is, as we saw in the previous post, considered to be the central fact of American Life. In our Advent series, Longings, this second week we are looking at envy through the lens of ancient poem, Psalm 73. So far we have seen the author,Continue reading “How envy rots our insides – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2”

The central fact of American life – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1

What is the central fact of American Life?  Please don’t Google it.  Just think about the first word that comes to your mind. Did you think of words like: freedom, liberty, money, politics, consumerism, individualism or shopping?  There are many words both good and bad that define our American experience.  I recently read an answerContinue reading “The central fact of American life – Second Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1”