John the Baptist’s mystery friend, and why we need prophets in our lives – John 1:19-34, Part 5

In John 1:19-34, John the Baptist makes a surprising statement that there was someone alive right there, nearby, perhaps even in the crowd that day as John was baptizing people by the Jordan River, someone of whom John is not worthy even to untie his sandals.  Untie sandals…what’s that matter?  In John’s culture, that wasContinue reading “John the Baptist’s mystery friend, and why we need prophets in our lives – John 1:19-34, Part 5”

The Prophet who said the darndest things – John 1:19-34, Part 1

The TV Show Kids Say the Darndest Things has been on the air for decades.  The title of the show uses the word “darndest,” and that’s a catchy title, but what is the title really getting at? Well, take a look: The word “darndest” is getting at the fact that kids have that wonderful quality ofContinue reading “The Prophet who said the darndest things – John 1:19-34, Part 1”

Prophets who don’t know how to be prophets – John 1:19-34, Preview

Are there still prophets in the world today?  No doubt there are people who claim to be prophets.  Do you remember Harold Camping of the Family Radio Network?  He predicted Jesus was returning in 1994.  When Jesus did not return that year, Camping went on to predict Jesus would return in May 2011.  In fact,Continue reading “Prophets who don’t know how to be prophets – John 1:19-34, Preview”

Ezekiel’s final skit – Ezekiel 37:15-28, Part 1

When I was in youth group, I’ll never forget something that happened at a youth retreat.  In the middle of one of the sessions, my youth pastor stopped the retreat and told us that he knew there was disunity in the group.  I was a newbie, in 9th grade, and this was my first highContinue reading “Ezekiel’s final skit – Ezekiel 37:15-28, Part 1”

What happened when a woman interrupted my sermon…at a funeral! – Ezekiel 33:21-33, Part 2

Recently I was officiating a funeral here in our church sanctuary, and a woman arrived very late, long after the funeral service began, walked in and took a seat in the back. During my sermon, she raised her hand. The way she raised her hand was was like a student would raise their hand inContinue reading “What happened when a woman interrupted my sermon…at a funeral! – Ezekiel 33:21-33, Part 2”

Do world events scare you? – Ezekiel 29-32, Part 1

Did you hear the news that China’s military has created full scale outlines of American Naval vessels in their deserts?  Satellite images show that one of the models of US warship is on rails so that it can be moved.  Why?  To practice bombing them?  Or maybe you heard that China has developed hyper-sonic missilesContinue reading “Do world events scare you? – Ezekiel 29-32, Part 1”

How atonement changes everything – Ezekiel 15 & 16, Part 3

A family had planned a trip to a Major League baseball game to cheer on their favorite team. The whole family, parents and kids, were very excited to put on their team jerseys, drive to the big city, eat ballpark food, and cheer with the crowd.  The day before the game, though, a son inContinue reading “How atonement changes everything – Ezekiel 15 & 16, Part 3”

A curious case of God making a prophet sin? – Ezekiel 14, Part 4

Long ago I attended a church’s Sunday School class in which the teacher claimed that God is in control of everything, which includes creating and causing human sin, and then punishing humans for the sin. I found that very strange and wrong. I questioned the teacher, but he explained that God is holy and perfect,Continue reading “A curious case of God making a prophet sin? – Ezekiel 14, Part 4”

God’s surprising response to idolatry in the heart – Ezekiel 14, Part 2

Have you had a person in your life who screws you over, hurts you, chooses to barely ever talk to you, and yet when they need money, they are so bold to come ask for your help?  They haven’t had anything like a good relationship with you for a long time, and suddenly they appearContinue reading “God’s surprising response to idolatry in the heart – Ezekiel 14, Part 2”

Should we eliminate desire in our lives? – Ezekiel 14, Preview

Years ago, I remember listening to a new song thinking, “I don’t think I should be listening to this.  It doesn’t seem appropriate…but I’m not sure.”  Why was I concerned?  Because the song touched on themes that seemed to be getting really close to a line I knew I shouldn’t cross. I felt uncomfortable.  AtContinue reading “Should we eliminate desire in our lives? – Ezekiel 14, Preview”