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Showing posts from 2020

Nic & John

via https://youtu.be/WQ0LW6-44kw

Wine and Whips

via https://youtu.be/KTvs0N5exVY

Come and See

via https://youtu.be/H1JikZ25bu8

Encountering John the Baptist

via https://youtu.be/iUrv2MfnBDc

Encountering the Word

via https://youtu.be/FWzdGj0zfAk

Saved From What? Rethinking Salvation

via https://youtu.be/iXXRxOtUvsI

Should We Repent for the Sins of Our Ancestors?

via https://youtu.be/WE4YjVdl_BQ

Was Jesus an SJW?! (The Gospel and Social Justice)

via https://youtu.be/NyLoVCZE9zw

What Are You In For?

via https://youtu.be/M1Oo0J54U98

If It's Not Good News for the Poor, then It's Not Good News

via https://youtu.be/tVhKiuOcpTY

Was Blind, but Now...?

via https://youtu.be/pVswDNkiCMw

The Truth about Jeremiah 29:11

via https://youtu.be/6dQlNQ6C5QQ

REVIEW: Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King, Jr

via https://youtu.be/iQ6K9LO6kQY

You're in Exile. What Now?! (Jeremiah 29)

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I'm sure you've likely heard or read Jeremiah 29:11. It's a great verse. It really is! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." It's an inspiring verse of hope and an encouragement to trust in God. He will provide for us and take care of us. God has our best interests in mind. He doesn't want us to fail but to succeed and prosper as his people. But let's put this verse back into context, and it might just be even more relevant for us. (Read the full letter from God/Jeremiah to the exiles here.) God, through his prophet Jeremiah, is writing a letter to the Jews who are in exile. They have been conquered by the Babylonian Empire, and thousands of them now have been uprooted and forced to live as foreigners in Babylon. Imagine your entire life being torn from you. Imagine an invading army destroys your hometown, burns down your church, demo

What If Jesus Was Serious About the Poor?

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Hey Jesus, I have a question for you. I heard something you said recently, and I think I need a little explanation. You said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven." Yes. What don't you understand about that? Well, it's just that I hear a different message in our churches and from Christians online. I hear pastors on TV and the internet talk about how God is supposed to bless us with money and whatever else we want. They toss around the phrase, "Name it, and claim it." They point to the time you said we will get whatever we want if we ask for it in faith. So...if I don't get what I want, then doesn't that mean I don't have enough faith? Doesn't that mean the poor simply aren't faithful enough for God to bless them? I see. I think those people are referring to what I told my disciples before I went to the cross. During our last Passover meal together I told them I would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

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If you're like me–a kid who grew up in church his whole life with Bible classes and VBS and Bible Bowl, etc. etc...–then you've probably heard this definition of "parable:" An earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Yep. My Bible class teachers always had to make a distinction between a Parable, a story told by Jesus to communicate a deeper meaning about life in the Kingdom of God, and a Fable, a cute little children's story meant to get us to behave. There is a fundamental difference between the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf. I've been thinking a lot about Parables lately. I am a big reader of fiction, specifically sci-fi and fantasy with the occasional YA novel or mystery/thriller thrown in. Right now I have the honor and joy of reading The Lord of the Rings to my nine year old son at night before bed. We're in The Return of the King, and I don't really want it to be over. He is experiencing this story for th

Cancel Culture: A Christ-Follower's Response

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[Don't forget to check out the previous post concerning Cancel Culture .] Cancel Culture. That's such a buzz-worthy topic right now. It seems like every week a new celebrity is in danger of being "cancelled." But surely those among the Christian community who decry the practice have never been guilty of similar actions against their own, right? Ahem... It hurts my heart to see my brothers and sisters in Christ go after each other and attack one another's character. Cancel culture is alive and well even within the church. So what are we to do? Should we shine a spotlight on everyone's sins or what we consider to be "false teaching" in order to shame them into repentance? Should we sweep it under the rug and pretend like there's nothing to see here when the lives and faith of people are at stake? Here are six ways we Christians to can stop propagating cancel culture while still maintaining our own integrity, values, and standards. 1. Stop be

Should Christians Participate in Cancel Culture?

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Cancelled. Fans of the show Firefly still get traumatized by that word. Too soon? We're growing more accustomed to things we love becoming cancelled - trips, conferences, events, movie premiers, sports seasons, television series. But we're also growing more accustomed to a phenomenon known as "cancel culture," in which people get "cancelled." Stop me if you've seen this before. A person achieves celebrity status - musician, actor, comedian, athlete, or even pastors. They enjoy the limelight, the success, the wealth, the fame for a while, sometimes even decades. But then something comes to light that they would rather have left hidden away in the darkness of their past - racist, sexist, homophobic comments or Tweets; "black face"; abuse accusations, etc. Suddenly the thing they thought was dead and buried has been resuscitated and weaponized against them. Now in the "attention economy," there is an attempt to "cancel"

Jesus and Systemic Evil: The Faith of the Centurion

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One of the most amazing stories in the Gospels occurs soon after the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 8:5-13 ; or the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 7:1-10 . Read those accounts of this story if you haven't. When Jesus talks to the Jews about their "enemies" he is undoubtedly referring to Rome. The Roman Empire is THE enemy in the New Testament. And everywhere they looked there were reminders of Rome, reminders of who was in charge, who called the shots, who ran the show. Israel did experience a certain level of freedom and autonomy - but only if they kept themselves in line. But even so, Rome wanted to make sure that nobody forgot who was the boss. Their coins were imprinted with the profile of Caesar. They used these coins to pay taxes which were collected by fellow Jews who had defected to serve the cause of Rome. These taxes went to support the Roman military machine, including the occupying Roman soldiers in every town of significance. Roman soldiers were basical

Jesus and Systemic Evil: Kingdom v. Empire

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As a Christian and a minister I try my best to base my worldview on the life and teachings of Jesus. He is the lens through which I view the world, society, religion, politics, the news, etc. So obviously I've been giving a lot of thought to how Jesus addressed some of the very issues we are facing today. Particularly I've been thinking about the way of Jesus in response to the protests concerning police violence and systemic racism. Yikes. These are difficult waters to navigate, but we must brave the rough waters ahead. IT'S NOT JUST FOR YOU I want to begin by drawing your attention to two of Jesus' earliest sermons. His first real "sermon" was delivered in his hometown of Nazareth ( Luke 4:14-30 ). One Sabbath he got up to read from the scroll of Isaiah. He reads what we would label Isaiah 61:1-2a – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,     because the Lord has anointed me     to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up t

Justice and the New Covenant

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Needless to say, a lot is happening in our country right now. This past week, I shared some thoughts on current events as they relate to the New Covenant in the blood of Christ and the justice that comes with it. Communion invites us into a new reality, a new covenant, a new way of life fashioned after the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Nine Tips to Discover Your Enneagram Type

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So you want to discover your Enneagram number? Awesome. Welcome to the movement. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as taking a test. Discovering your Enneagram type isn't like taking a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what Disney Princess you are. In fact, you will notice that taking an online questionnaire is the last thing I mention. Online quizzes should NOT be your first go-to for discovering your type. The Enneagram, in my understanding and opinion, is different than other personality typing systems. Yes, the Myers-Briggs, or the DISC, or the Strength-Finders tests can all give you a good overview of who you are. But those tests and systems tend to be more descriptive than proscriptive . Here's what I mean. The Enneagram is not just a personality typing system. Think of it more as the art of self-discovery and transformation. It doesn't just tell you who you are, it tells you who you don't want others to know you are. It reveals the masks and defense mechanisms