What it means that the disciples found the Messiah – John 1:35-42, Part 4

Jumping back into the story of Jesus’ first interaction with his disciples, in John 1:35-42, we met two men who were already disciples of John the Baptist. John the Baptist points out Jesus, and the two men start following Jesus. Jesus, it seems, catches them in the act, saying to them, “What do you want?”Continue reading “What it means that the disciples found the Messiah – John 1:35-42, Part 4”

Some difficulties of having a relationship with God – Relationships: God, Part 2

In one of the premarital counseling workbooks that Michelle and I use with engaged couples, the authors ask a question at the end of nearly every chapter.  Whether they are talking about love or finances or in-laws or communication, they ask the same question: “How will the presence of Jesus help you in this areaContinue reading “Some difficulties of having a relationship with God – Relationships: God, Part 2”

What my dog’s howling taught me about how God wants to change the world – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 5

We live just down the road from a local volunteer fire station, so we hear the fire siren quite regularly.  If my dog is outside when the siren goes off, my dog will start howling.  I don’t know why he doesn’t howl inside.  Only outside.  But here’s the thing.  He cannot control the howling.  WhenContinue reading “What my dog’s howling taught me about how God wants to change the world – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 5”

How to conquer pain, death and loss – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 4

We have begun the season of Easter 2022 seeking to understand how the resurrection of Jesus gives hope to the separated, the condemned, the suffering. Paul’s words in Romans chapter 8 have already been inspiring. Now we turn to the amazing end of the chapter, and Paul’s message just keeps getting better.  Let’s start byContinue reading “How to conquer pain, death and loss – Easter 2022, Romans 8, Part 4”

Did Jesus really die and come back to life? – Easter 2022, Preview

I just walked back in to my office at our church building, because I was outside changing the message on the church sign.  It had previously advertised our Maundy Thursday service, and now the new message asks, “Did Jesus really die and come back to life?  Let’s talk about that.”  How would you answer thatContinue reading “Did Jesus really die and come back to life? – Easter 2022, Preview”

How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5

In the previous post, we learned that, just as the crowds proclaimed on the first Sunday when they shouted, “Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David,” Jesus brings the Kingdom of God in our lives. But God’s Kingdom is not just within people, it is also within cultures and societies.  Yes, God wantsContinue reading “How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5”

Why “Lord Jesus Christ” is subversive, and “grace and peace” is more than a greeting – 2 Thessalonians 1, Part 3

Have you ever heard someone talk about Jesus Christ, as if “Christ” is his last name, or surname? The name “Jesus Christ” has become so culturally familiar, perhaps most often used as an expletive. What does his name mean? Continue reading, as our study through 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 during this first week of AdventContinue reading “Why “Lord Jesus Christ” is subversive, and “grace and peace” is more than a greeting – 2 Thessalonians 1, Part 3″

What’s wrong with the world? – Introducing Ezekiel, Part 1

What’s wrong with the world?  Ever discuss that question?  It’s a popular one, and rightly so because of what we see going on around us, especially in our day and age when we have instant access to news from anywhere in the globe.  It can get overwhelming thinking about the problems in our world, especiallyContinue reading “What’s wrong with the world? – Introducing Ezekiel, Part 1”

What to pray for yourself and others – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 4

Think about the content of your prayer requests. Often the prayer requests in my church family are health-related.  There’s nothing wrong with asking God to heal us.  But I do get concerned when it seems we have a fixation on health.  While it is okay to pray for health-related concerns, that should not be ourContinue reading “What to pray for yourself and others – Colossians 4:2-6, Part 4”

How to live your retirement years “as unto the Lord” – Colossians 3:22-4:1, Part 5

Christian…how are you thinking about your retirement years?  The principle we’ve been studying this week, “work unto the Lord,” holds for retirement, even though in retirement you are no longer working a job.  This principle can guide you as you retire if you answer the question: What is a distinctly Christian view of retirement?  HowContinue reading “How to live your retirement years “as unto the Lord” – Colossians 3:22-4:1, Part 5″