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Showing posts from September, 2012

Childlike Maturity: Forgiveness - Matthew 18:21-22

Isaiah 11:6 reads, “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” My friends, as we enter the third week of our series, we are trying to let a little child, or actually, let children in general lead us, as we are striving to grow up in childlike maturity, responding to Jesus words, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”[i] We know that like children we are growing.  We have to choose to grow in our faith…seeking out opportunities for learning and stretching (such as Sunday School and Bible Study), refusing to be satisfied to remain infants in the faith, and realizing that the moment we stop growing, we start dying. We know that like children we are dependent.  Just as children are dependent on their parents, grandparents, or some other adult for life, sustenance, and shelter, so too are we all dependent up…

Unlocked - Mark 7:31-37

Now some of you may be like her and come to her defense later on, but I accuse my wife of being a somewhat OCD.  Anita has a thing about locks, in particular about locks on the doors that go in and out of a house.  If a door has a lock, it needs to be locked, especially at bedtime.  Very often Anita’s nighttime pre-bed ritual is to go around to all the doors and make sure that all the locks are locked.  It doesn’t matter if we haven’t used that door during the day, she needs to make sure that it is locked.  If somehow we make it to bed without her checking, she will ask me, “Did you check the doors?” or “Are all the doors locked?”  Unless I can answer with 100% certainty that I did, one of the two of us has to get up and go check (I’ll let y’all guess which of the two has to get up).  I will admit, she has never asked me to install additional locks on any parsonage doors, but if it has any type of lock, it has to be locked…the doorknob, the dead bolt, any chain or slide locks.  If it …

Childlike Maturity: Fearlessness - Matthew 14:22-33

I guess I can thank Joshua’s meteorological abilities for this morning’s illustration.  It has happened twice this summer.  Joshua, out of the clear blue, has said, “It’s fixing to storm.”  The second time was yesterday, while we were at the zoo.  Anita, Natalie, and I had already seen the clouds, but they looked to be miles away and going around us.  Joshua made his comment, and I looked at Anita and we said to Natalie, “Did you hear what Joshua said? Remember last time, we better get going if we’re going to see anything else.” What was last time, it was July 6th at Wrightsville Beach.  We had driven down to Wrightsville Beach for a simple day trip and had been enjoying a beautiful day and the beach.  There had not been a cloud in the sky.  We had taken our lunch so we didn’t have to worry about anything but sitting, swimming, and playing.  A couple of us had gotten a little burnt on places that simply were missed with the sunscreen and we decided, maybe another hour, and we’d leave. …