Vulnerability means saying, “I don’t get it.” – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 2

For Advent 2020, we are following the themes in the book Honest Advent as we think about the gifts we can give Jesus in celebration of his birthday. As we saw in the previous post, in Week 1, we are giving him the gift of our vulnerability. To understand what vulnerability looks like, and howContinue reading “Vulnerability means saying, “I don’t get it.” – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 2″

The Weirdness of Christmas – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 1

Have you heard that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday party?  We use that idea often with children.  It’s not wrong, but it always seemed slightly off to me.  First of all, the biblical Gospels say nothing about the day on which Jesus was born.  The Gospels don’t mention the year, month, or the day of week. Continue reading “The Weirdness of Christmas – Honest Advent Week 1, Part 1”

How are you using your influence? – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 1

Influence. How are you using your influence? I’m writing this in 2020 amid a global pandemic, political turmoil, racial tension, and many natural disasters. It doesn’t seem like most of have enough influence to affect change. Rather it seems the events of this year have surrounded and battered us like a tidal wave. It seemsContinue reading “How are you using your influence? – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 1”

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”

How to have and express joy in the difficulties of 2020 – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 3

It can seem almost wrong to say that we should have joy in 2020. This year has been a nonstop slog of hardship. And yet, in the previous post we learned that God is and always will be actively involved in the world. As a result, it makes perfect sense how the Teacher concludes thisContinue reading “How to have and express joy in the difficulties of 2020 – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 3”

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”

How Christians need to be like the Human Carpet after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 5

Have you heard of the Human Carpet? He gets paid to go to parties where people can walk all over him.  They can jump on him.  Sit on him for hours.  Surf on him.  One time he did this for 11 straight hours! He wraps himself in a carpet, lays down and has never been hurtContinue reading “How Christians need to be like the Human Carpet after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 5”

How the surprise vine in my garden taught me about how Christians should live after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 4

This year we had a large vine growing in our garden. It was a vine we did not plant. I wondered if it was a weed, but it looked familiar, and it didn’t strike me as a weed. So we let it grow, and as the weeks went by we watched as this plant tookContinue reading “How the surprise vine in my garden taught me about how Christians should live after the election – Current Events 2020 Q4, Part 4”

Can an ironic proverb help us make sense of our complex world? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 1

Are you feeling perplexed?  Confused by the world we live in?  If so, you are not alone.  How many of you are familiar with Veggie Tales?  The creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer has been making some fascinating informational videos relating to racial justice in the USA.  One video answers the question why Black ChristiansContinue reading “Can an ironic proverb help us make sense of our complex world? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 1”