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Showing posts from April, 2012

Living A Resurrected Life - Psalm 23

Two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter.  Many folks have already moved on from Easter to focus on Mother’s Day and summer.  As a matter of fact, Joshua’s class at school is already learning “summer fun” songs.  We tend to get geared up for and celebrate Christmas, starting in November (between November 1st and Thanksgiving) and continuing on until either the day after Christmas or January 6th, when in reality, the Christmas season only spans from December 25th through January 6th, a mere twelve days of Christmas.  However, when it comes to Easter, we do well to celebrate Easter from the weekend of Palm Sunday through Holy Thursday to Good Friday to Easter morning, and when that is over, for most of us, we are pretty much done with Easter. It is funny that our focus on Christmas is so long and Easter remains so short, when Scripturally, Easter is what most of the New Testament is about.  If we were to sit down and examine how much of the New Testament talks about the birth of Jesus, we wo…

It’s No Tea Party or Occupation, It’s A Resurrection Revolution -- Acts 5:17-32

Would you take a stand?Revolutions happen when someone takes a stand. In 1297, William Wallace and others took a stand against what they understood to be unfair occupation of Scotland by England and the tyranny with which the king ruled. Almost 500 years later, folks began taking a stand from Boston to Alamance, from Philadelphia to Valley Forge took a stand against what they felt was unfair taxation by England, and thus began the American Revolution. In the 1780’s a financial crisis and the separation of classes caused folks to take a stand in France. In the early 1900’s, folks began to take a stand in Mexico against the concentration of power, wealth, and justice to a very few and the denial of such to the people of Mexico. From 2011-2012, we have seen the people of Egypt, Lybia, and Syria, among others, taking a stand against what they felt were ruthless leaders, or unfair practices of the government, and seen resulting revolutions. Our country may have escaped some of the violence, but …

Don’t Hold On, Move On! - John 20:1-18

Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.  But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” I had to have been in middle school.  We went to the lake as usual for the weekend.  For some reason we weren’t doing my favorite activity at Kerr Lake—crappie fishing—we were doing my cousin’s favorite lake pastime….water skiing.  Almost everyone on my dad’s side of the family skied.  My dad, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, and even my grandmother (and if it wasn’t for his bad knee, my grandfather would have skied—he drove the boat to pull all the others).  I finally decided, after much encouragement from everyone, to give it a try.  With my life jacket on, I eased into the lake, worked the skis onto my feet, grab hold of the rope, and told them to go.  I wish I could tell you from the moment the boat began to pull away that I was a natural.  I wish I could tell you that Sea World conta…

Expectations Interrupted - Mark 16:1-8

Friday morning I was at Best Buy standing there, lost in deep thought, debating a purchase I was considering.  Suddenly someone said, “Do you need any help?”  I near about jumped out of my skin.  I wasn’t expecting someone to speak to me, much less someone to be standing there because I had not seen them walk up.  How many times has something like that happened to us?  We are somewhere, and suddenly we are startled because someone has quietly moved into our area and we were didn’t notice.  They speak and we jump, our heart starts pounding, and we might even find ourselves at a loss for words. It is kind of like a child playing with a “jack-in-the-box” for the first time.  They are there turning the handle, making the music play as they turn it round and round, and they are just enjoying the music.  All they expect to hear is the music as they wind the handle.  Then suddenly their expectations are shattered, the lid pops open, and out pops the little clown, or whatever “jack” is hiding …

A Night of Betrayal - Luke 22:14-23

“But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table.  For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!”  Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.” How many of us have ever been betrayed?  Maybe it was back in our school-age years.  Maybe we told someone we considered to be a close friend about this crush we had on a popular girl or guy.  We swore them to secrecy because we knew that crush was way out of our league.  Then a few days later, walking through the hallways at school, we hear snickering from half the folks we pass, only to find out that our secret crush is the gossip fodder of the day at school.   Maybe it has nothing to do with secrets, but everything to do with our best friend, or the person we thought was our best friend.  Maybe those feelings of betrayal came as that “former best friend” suddenly treated us like the stuff on the bottom of your shoe after walk…

Email, Text Message, Tweet, You? - 2nd Corinthians 3:1-6

What kind of message are we?  What do we communicate to those with whom we come in contact? We began our journey through Lent five weeks ago choosing the path less traveled, the path that enters through the narrow gate, the path that calls us to follow Jesus.  We choose to walk the path of a disciple, seeking to become more Christ-like in our lives.  Based on James A Harnish’s book, A Disciple’s Path, we have sought to consider the vows of membership in the United Methodist Church and how they might draw us into a closer following of Jesus. As we considered the first of the membership vows, prayer, we discussed how all too often we use prayer as a time to air a laundry list of concerns before God without taking the time to listen to how God may be directing us to be involved in His resolution of those concerns.  We consider how prayer is not so much about getting God to do what we want, but about allowing our wishes and desires, our very wills, to come in line with God’s Will. Next we co…