Last night Jessica and my sister Natalie took all the kids to Party City to get costumes. My sister and brother-in-law’s church does a yearly harvest festival where thousands of people from the surrounding community come to play games, get candy and wear their costumes (and did I mention candy).Read More
The most significant value of our church is “Bible Centered.” Everything we believe and teach hinges on the validity of the source. If not the Bible, then what? Culture? Politicians? Facebook? Twitter? Google? Oprah?
I recently watched a clip of Oprah interviewing Rob Bell. He is the author of several books and formerly the pastor of the megachurch Mars Hill. In the interview, he is asked about the how the church is responding to homosexuality, and he responds “the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.”Read More
Tonight is the first presidential debate, and everyone is guaranteeing it will be entertaining. I don’t doubt it. One of the tactics we may see tonight, often used by politicians, is the redefining of a word. This change in definition can give a candidate with a past unpopular statement a way to maneuver out of a corner they have put themselves in through their words.
Remember the redefining of the word “is” during a former president’s term in office? If they can make the word mean something different than what you and I have always understood it to mean, do words even matter? They do. After all, how can anyone carry on a conversation if the words they are using have different meanings to each person in the conversation?
We recently unveiled our new mission statement in the context of a new message series on the vision for the church. It is “Helping broken people become Spirit-filled followers of Jesus who help broken people.” During the process of constructing our mission statement, our Vision Team labored over each word used. We wanted to clearly capture what we believe is God’s direction for the church body.
One word continued to rise as a clear example of who we are ...Read More
A few weeks ago, my son rode in an ambulance. He had attempted what many his age have -- swinging high enough on a swing set to make a complete flip over the top. He failed spectacularly. If you didn't know, according to the show Myth Busters it's impossible, but I'm sure that fact won't dissuade other kids. On the back swing, he must have slipped out of the seat because he landed flat on his back and we called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room.
When the paramedics were leaving, one of them asked me which hospital I preferred because there were several nearby. I chose one of the local hospitals, and the ambulance took him while I followed. He ended up being fine with some bruising on his back, but I was glad there was a place that specialized in helping the sick and injured. Jesus encountered some people who were hurt and desperately needed the care of someone who knew how to fix the broken.Read More
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.” Nehemiah 1:4a
Several years ago, I took a new ministry position in a church on the opposite side of town, and I began making a long commute each day. Many days it would take me two hours to get there and another two hours to get home. After doing this for a year, I was ready to move closer to my job, and Jessica and I had to sell our house. If you’ve ever sold a house, you will relate to what happened next. We saw our house. It was the same house we had lived in for years, but now that we were going to sell it, we saw it. It's amazing how someone can live in a home and after a little while, no longer see what needs improving. Suddenly, I saw the landscaping needed some work, one of the boards on the fence needed attaching, the paint needed touching up, the windows cleaned, and a list had to be made to ensure we did everything needed. When we just slowed down, we could see it. Were all of these here before we decided to sell? Yes, but we didn’t see them.
In 586 BC Jerusalem was destroyed and her inhabitants taken as prisoners, forced out of their land and taken to a foreign country. After almost five decades of captivity, the Jewish people began returning to Jerusalem. The Jews quickly settled into the routine of daily life and a century later the brokenness surrounding them had faded from their sight. Brokenness surrounding but unseen. Over a thousand miles away, a Jewish servant ...Read More