How to avoid assimilation and follow Jesus – Characters: Daniel, Part 5

A retired couple in my congregation told me about the time they attended a high school reunion, and their classmates, now all retired, each took turns sharing what they were doing with their lives.  The sharing went all the way around the circle, and not a single person mentioned anything about serving the Lord.  PerhapsContinue reading “How to avoid assimilation and follow Jesus – Characters: Daniel, Part 5”

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”

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”

Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 1]

What are God’s desires for Christians?  He just wants us to pray and read the Bible, right?  Well, actually there are a lot of ideas about what God wants his people to do.   Unfortunately not all the ideas are based in Scripture. In fact, some of the ideas that Christians use to guide their lives,Continue reading “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s desires for Christians. Part 1]”

Who is THE prophet? [God’s heart for people to find truth, part 4]

In part 3 of this series, we met a prophet named John the Baptist in the book of the Bible titled John (though the “John” in that title was a different John!)  In John 1:25, the people question John the Baptist about his ministry.  They wanted to out him as the Messiah (the savior kingContinue reading “Who is THE prophet? [God’s heart for people to find truth, part 4]”

Can you smell what The _____ is cooking? (When Jesus give you a nickname and changes your life.)

Can you tell whom I’m thinking about? Read the title of this post.  Look at the picture. The Rock! That is Dwayne Johnson’s nickname from his days as a professional wrestler. There seems to be a specific kind of person whom we nickname with the word “Rock”. Think about Rocky Balboa. Remember the character SylvesterContinue reading “Can you smell what The _____ is cooking? (When Jesus give you a nickname and changes your life.)”

Jesus doesn’t want believers, he wants…

Jesus doesn’t want believers?  What?  Yes, he does.  Doesn’t he? Yes, he does.  He even said “Believe in me.”  Read the Gospel of John and you’ll hear Jesus say that many times. So a couple of years ago the leader of my denomination, Bishop Bruce Hill, made the statement in the title of this post.  When IContinue reading “Jesus doesn’t want believers, he wants…”

When Christians should stop inviting people to church

I appreciate a good provocative title.  My wife says if I use them too much, people will become callous to them.  She’s right.  But I really am serious about the title of this blog post.  At first I titled it “WHY Christians should stop inviting people to church.”  But that was a smidge misleading, andContinue reading “When Christians should stop inviting people to church”

Could a church worship service be a bad thing?

Did you have a security blanket as a kid?  Maybe it was a special stuffed animal or a pacifier.  Or did you suck your thumb? I had a blanket as a child.  My own kids had a variety of security items, which got progressively bizarre.  Child #1 carried around a blanket, which we had snuglyContinue reading “Could a church worship service be a bad thing?”

He is risen? Really? So what?

“He is risen!  He is risen indeed!” This is the call and response that we use on Easter Sunday.  But this Sunday is not Easter Sunday.  That was two months ago.  This Sunday we’re revisiting Easter again.  Why? In the book of Acts we learn that the earliest Christians decided to meet on Sundays becauseContinue reading “He is risen? Really? So what?”