“Christians must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Really?) – Acts 14, Part 4

How do you like the quote in the title? Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about it. In the previous post we looked at the question of whether or not Jesus is okay with various levels of commitment to him. As we study Acts, it seems that a guy like the Apostle Paul was radically committed toContinue reading ““Christians must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Really?) – Acts 14, Part 4″

Is it okay to be a mediocre follower of Jesus? (or is there something more) – Acts 14, Part 3

Is it okay to be a mediocre follower of Jesus? What does Jesus really want from his followers? Have you ever wondered if you are following Jesus in a way that is in line with his desires for his followers? Is it enough to believe in him, and attend church sometimes? Or is there somethingContinue reading “Is it okay to be a mediocre follower of Jesus? (or is there something more) – Acts 14, Part 3”

How to be Christian during a crisis (such as global pandemic) – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 5

How should Christians live in a liminal moment such as our current global health crisis? All week long we have been studying the life and ministry of Stephen, one of the earliest followers of Jesus, attempting to answer that question. If you want to learn more about Stephen, start by reading the first post here.Continue reading “How to be Christian during a crisis (such as global pandemic) – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 5”

One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4

If you are feeling scared, anxious or even downright terrified by the news of the spread of the coronavirus, what should you do? I feel the weight of it myself. As a pastor of a small church, we’re having to rethink how we do everything, and it can feel like a heavy burden. We’re allContinue reading “One suggestion for surviving fear and pain: look outward – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 4”

Did Stephen make a mistake in his sermon? – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 2

How are we to live in liminal moments? As I write this, our world is in the throes of the coronavirus. As we saw in the previous post, the early church experienced a liminal moment of their own, the threat of punishment and persecution from the powerful religious leaders in the city of Jerusalem. HowContinue reading “Did Stephen make a mistake in his sermon? – Acts 6:8-8:3, Part 2”

How to introduce people to Jesus – Acts 5-6:1-7, Part 4

Do you ever struggle to talk about Jesus? Religion can be a very difficult thing to discuss. You might want to talk about Jesus, but it can feel awkward, especially when you’re not sure what the people you’re talking to think about faith. This week we’ve been studying Acts 5 through 6:1-7, a passage ofContinue reading “How to introduce people to Jesus – Acts 5-6:1-7, Part 4”

Are Christians in America being oppressed?

This week we are studying 1 Peter 3:13-17.  As you turn there, remember that the backdrop of this letter is that the Christians were being persecuted for their faith. You might remember three months ago when we started this series, I talked about the situation that these Christians found themselves in.  They were being persecuted. Continue reading “Are Christians in America being oppressed?”

Reflections on perseverance in difficult times

This week, I’ve been reflecting on suffering and salvation from 1 Peter 1:6-12. In verses 10-12 Peter takes a moment to talk about this salvation.  He says that prophets in past spoke of this salvation.  The Spirit of God, he said, was at work in these prophets.  In verse 11 the Spirit of Christ inContinue reading “Reflections on perseverance in difficult times”

Satan did not break my lawn mower

Are any of you suffering?  Any of you going through a hard time? How does it feel?  Lonely, right?  Maybe you feel people just don’t understand.  Or your suffering might be ongoing, and you feel you are a burden to the people around you.  You worry about that, and your worry only compounds the suffering.Continue reading “Satan did not break my lawn mower”

We really need grace

Do you or anyone you know go by a nickname?  I love the band U2, and both the lead singer Bono and lead guitarist, The Edge, go by the nicknames.  Bono has said on numerous occasions that even The Edge’s mom calls him “The Edge”. But I wonder how many people with a nickname referContinue reading “We really need grace”