Two inspiring stories to encourage us during the loneliness of quarantine – Acts 11:19-30, Part 3

For most of us, quarantine is turning two months old, and I wonder if it is getting to you. The daily news reports about the number of infections and deaths can weigh heavy on us. Are you feeling it? You might not be jumping for joy like the guy in the picture. As we continueContinue reading “Two inspiring stories to encourage us during the loneliness of quarantine – Acts 11:19-30, Part 3”

What to do in the middle of nonstop bad news – Matthew 28, Part 5

I’m wondering if you’ve experienced an inner yearning lately for some good news. As I’m writing this, our world is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic. Every day the news reports how many people have contracted the virus and how many people have died. This morning I watched the weekly CBS News morning show’sContinue reading “What to do in the middle of nonstop bad news – Matthew 28, Part 5”

Why did the US death rate jump sharply in recent years? – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1

If you could say in one word what you want more of in life, what would that be? What this question gets at is longing.  This Advent, we are talking about longing.  Advent is a season of longing.  Ancient Christians created the season of Advent as a four week long preparatory time for the greatContinue reading “Why did the US death rate jump sharply in recent years? – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 1”

How the godly fall – Characters: Samson, Part 2

A fall from grace. Maybe you’ve experienced it. Or maybe another’s fall has affected you. There have been a number of high profile such failures, and countless more lower profile examples that don’t get reported in the news. No matter the situation, they impact people deeply, leaving us wonder, “How did that happen?” Parents splitContinue reading “How the godly fall – Characters: Samson, Part 2”

No matter how bad it is, there is hope – Characters: Samson, Part 1

What gifts has God given you?  Sometimes we call them spiritual gifts.  Or it could be our personal abilities.  Our aptitudes. Things we are good at.  Could be working with our hands.  Thinking.  Art.  Communication.  Leading.  There are many such gifts. Have you ever wondered if you’re using those gifts the way God wants? OrContinue reading “No matter how bad it is, there is hope – Characters: Samson, Part 1”

God’s purpose for your life – Titus 3:1-8, Part 4

Stop! Don’t read this post. (I know. That’s not an advisable way to start a blog post.) Before continuing with this post, thought, if you haven’t read the previous post, part 3, please go back and read it here. In this series of posts, we’re studying the amazing teaching of Titus 3:1-8, so actually, IContinue reading “God’s purpose for your life – Titus 3:1-8, Part 4”

Hope when life is very dark – Titus 3:1-8, Part 3

Do you have a dark past? Is life feeling messy or difficult right now? If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, you’re not alone. All of us go through really troubling times. In the middle of it, we can feel a confusing mixture of fear, sadness, pain, longing, despair, and we wonder ifContinue reading “Hope when life is very dark – Titus 3:1-8, Part 3”

God works in mysterious ways? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s involvement in our lives. Part 5]

Does God seem mysterious to you? Confusing? Distant? In this fifth and final post in our series fact-checking phrases about God’s involvement in our lives, we’re seeking to evaluate the phrase: “God works in mysterious ways.” This is related to “everything happens for a reason”.  When we say “everything happens for a reason” we areContinue reading “God works in mysterious ways? [False ideas Christians believe about…God’s involvement in our lives. Part 5]”

A Christmas Surprise [Fourth Sunday of Advent]

Today we’re going to meet shepherds.  But as I studied these passages, what emerged was something surprising, something unexpected!  During Advent, we have been following the readings in the Lectionary, and our first passage is Micah 5:2-5a. Micah gives us in verse 2 a prophecy of a future ruler who would come to rule overContinue reading “A Christmas Surprise [Fourth Sunday of Advent]”

When holidays are depressing [Third Sunday of Advent]

Editor’s Note: I’m playing catch-up with blogging Faith Church’s sermons. My doctoral coursework, a heavy load grading online classes I teach, and the holidays landed simultaneously these past few weeks! So before we jump back to the Deuteronomy series, I’ll survey the last few weeks of Advent, belatedly, of course. On the Third Sunday ofContinue reading “When holidays are depressing [Third Sunday of Advent]”