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”

Is it wrong for Jesus to say, "if we love him, we'll obey him"? – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2

In the previous post, we talked about Jesus makes some promises in John 14:15-31, and the main promise takes the form of an “if-then” statement. If we do x, he promises to do y. So here is the promise: If we love him, we will obey him, and then he promises to give us whatContinue reading “Is it wrong for Jesus to say, "if we love him, we'll obey him"? – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2”

The only way to truly fulfill your longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5

Have you ever thoughts that you be so happy if you hit the lottery? I have. I have dreamed of how I would spend the money. It sounds so freeing. I would be free from debt. My kids would have no college debt. I get excited just typing it. Many of us can feel thatContinue reading “The only way to truly fulfill your longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5”

Peer pressure and our longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2

Have you ever been swayed by what other people think, even though you don’t really agree with them? Have you ever been influenced to act contrary to your beliefs because you feel pressure from others? Often we say that teenagers succumb to peer pressure, but the reality is that adults of all ages are justContinue reading “Peer pressure and our longings – First Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 2”

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”

What can satisfy the soul? part 3 (can your phone?)

Our smartphones promise so much.  Can they satisfy the soul?  Take note today how often you use yours, and lift up your eyes and observe how often other people are on their phones.  The first iPhone came out in June 2007, and in 12 years smartphones have swept the globe, with about one-third of everyContinue reading “What can satisfy the soul? part 3 (can your phone?)”

What can satisfy the soul, part 1

Do any of you watch satisfying videos?  They’re a thing.  Every now and then, someone in my house enjoys watching them.  Just go on YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.  There is a whole genre of satisfying videos.  Here’s an example of one that caused a delay in writing this post…because I couldn’t stopContinue reading “What can satisfy the soul, part 1”

Feeling low this Christmas?

Fear.  Sadness.  Longing.  Disappointment.  Loneliness. Are you feeling any of these emotions lately? It seems like the world can be a dark place.  Even at this most joyous time of the year, we can feel low.  As we look around our lives, our culture, and our planet, we can have a distinct impression that thingsContinue reading “Feeling low this Christmas?”