How to bring hope to struggling people around you – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 5

This week I hosted my local ministerium’s monthly meeting at Faith Church.  Throughout the year, we take turns, meeting at one another’s churches, and it was my turn. So I set up small round tables in our fellowship hall, spreading them out six feet apart, placing one chair per table, trying to make sure thereContinue reading “How to bring hope to struggling people around you – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 5”

“Words that bring smiles” – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 4

Want some news to bring a smile to your face? As we continue studying Colossians 1:1-8, look at verse 4.  Paul says that he has heard good things about the Christians, news he is thankful for, and as a result he wants to keep encouraging them.  Word has spread through the Christian network, which reliedContinue reading ““Words that bring smiles” – Colossians 1:1-8, Part 4″

Not so fast 2021…why we needed 2020 – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, Part 1

A new year is upon us!  Are you excited?  On one hand, the switch from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021 this coming Thursday night is the same as any old Thursday night.  It is one day, then the next day.  Sure, we get a long holiday weekend, which is nice, but New Year’sContinue reading “Not so fast 2021…why we needed 2020 – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, Part 1”

What people need to know about Christmas – Honest Advent Bonus Post

For Christmas Eve, Faith Church included as part of our worship service, the excellent depiction of the Christmas Story as told by the TV show The Chosen. Before continuing with this post, I urge you to watch the episode below: As I watched the first part of the video, the introduction felt very familiar.  RememberContinue reading “What people need to know about Christmas – Honest Advent Bonus Post”

Show vulnerability when you feel like an outsider – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 5

There’s one more story of vulnerability that I want us to learn from.  Turn to Luke 19:1-9.  At this point in the story of Jesus, he is on the way to Jerusalem where he will face his destiny.  But Jesus is not quite there yet.  He is passing through the nearby city of Jericho.  CrowdsContinue reading “Show vulnerability when you feel like an outsider – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 5”

An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4

If we aren’t supposed to succumb to worry about the future, is there an antidote to despair?  Again, the Teacher, the writer of Ecclesiastes, is ready with more wisdom for us.  Look at chapter 9, verses 7-9a. Dorsey’s Translation: “7 Therefore go, eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a joyful heart,Continue reading “An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4”

God has you in his hands? (Is that just Christian mumbo-jumbo?) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 2

What do you think about the title of this post? God has you in his hands. Christians have been saying that kind of thing for centuries. Is it true? Or is just Christian mumbo-jumbo, feel-good nonsense? As we continue our study in Ecclesiastes, the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) has some ancient wisdom for us,Continue reading “God has you in his hands? (Is that just Christian mumbo-jumbo?) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 2”

The Uberman Sleep Cycle, Time Travel, and figuring out God’s Plan – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 1

A couple weeks ago I sent a church-wide email with resources for tending to our mental health.  I had received it from Messiah University, and I adapted it for our church.  I sent it along because God cares about our mental health.  I heard back from a number of people expressing their thanks because 2020Continue reading “The Uberman Sleep Cycle, Time Travel, and figuring out God’s Plan – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 1”

What to remember when life seems unfair or hopeless – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 2

Sometimes life DOES seem hopeless.  How do we live wisely then?  This week on the blog, we’re studying Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, and yesterday we saw how the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) suggests that life can be so unfair. Let’s follow the Teacher’s logic: Here are verses 12-14 in Dorsey’s translation: “12 Nevertheless, although a wickedContinue reading “What to remember when life seems unfair or hopeless – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 2”

If we don’t have to be perfect, then what should we strive for? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 5

What is the right way to live? It’s a big question with many possible answers. We have arrived at the final proverb in Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, proverbs in which the Teacher has been helping us make sense of our perplexing world. I said in the previous post that the Teacher would answer the question, “If weContinue reading “If we don’t have to be perfect, then what should we strive for? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 5”