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Showing posts from May, 2013

Act(s) of God - Psalm 41:1, Romans 12:15

Flooding in Texas, North Dakota, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Earthquakes in California and Idaho.  Landslides in Minnesota. Hail in Tennessee and Texas.  Tornadoes in California, Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma.  All natural disasters that have happened this month.  Unfortunately, as men and women walk through the devastation left by some of these events, they will be labeling them, either knowingly or unknowingly, with a poor theological statement.  David King in Texas, Val Brown in North Dakota, and Jim Wilson in Oklahoma will be looking at these events and be among the many people who will be labeling them as “acts of God.”  Their employment gives them no choice but to make this theological assertion, regardless of their beliefs.  They aren’t preachers, though…they are insurance agents.  Somehow, somewhere along the line, someone decided that the best term for destruction caused by a natural disaster was to label the event as an “act of God.” While King, Bro…

Charged and Ready for Action - 2nd Timothy 1:3-14

We live in a technological age.  There is no question about it.  There is no denying it.  If there is anyone here who can claim that they are living technologically free, then you will have to help the rest of us out—and the rest of us might point out how in some way, shape, or form, even you are dependent on technology.  I’ve been accused of being a technology freak by one of my colleagues, who watches me with at Annual Conference with my laptop, my smartphone, and my e-reader all spread across the table or our hotel room bed while I work, while he pulls out his pad and paper.  He gives me grief and tells me I couldn’t survive a day without my technology.  Of course the tables quickly turn when his granddaughter locks up her tablet, he needs help setting up an email account (or accessing that email account on a new computer), or he needs some bit of information in a hurry.  Guess who he calls! However, there is one thing that those of us who are “technology freaks” dread.  It is getti…

Embracing Creation: A New Start - Revelation 21:1-7, 22:1-7

As I was reflecting on “new starts” in connection with our concluding sermon in the Embracing Creation series, the thing that kept coming to mind was a video game.  I have always like playing video games.  What do video games have to do with “a new start”?  It is the feature than you can use when things don’t go as well as you want: “the start over button.”  If you are not scoring enough points, you miss a goal, you “lose a life,” or you’re just unhappy with your progress, most often you just pause the game then tap the “start over,” “restart,” or “try again” feature, and in many games you start completely over as if you had never started the game.  Yes, in games like Angry Birds, it may cost you some coinage or crystals to start again, and your power-ups aren’t replaced, but you still have the option of stopping when you see things going wrong, and starting over—messing up does not mean you’ve blown your only chance and it is “gave over.”  There are other games, however, that you can…

Embracing Creation: Fallen and Waiting - Romans 8:18-25

The movie is back in theaters this year, celebrating its twentieth anniversary with a 3-D release, which I figure is an attempt to rejuvenate the Jurassic Park industry.  I haven’t been to the theaters to see it, though I have watched it several times over the last twenty years.  However, as I was preparing this morning’s sermon and looking over a few clips, one line by Jeff Goldblum’s character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, really stood out: “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” Last week we began our three-part series on “Embracing Creation.”  We addressed the fact that so many of us have tended, over the years, to look at this world and the troubles in it, and as children of God, decided that this earthly realm of existence is corrupt, temporary, and something we should long to escape from…we offer platitudes to those who are struggling and suffering, saying, “remember this life is only temporary, …