Posts

Showing posts from April, 2015

Experiencing The Spirit: Fire and Water - Matthew 3:11-12

John was supposed to be getting things ready for his cousin’s ministry to start.  He was the “opening act” for God’s main show if you will.  I wonder, though, how many of us would have felt led to line up and wait for Jesus to show, after hearing John.  John was kind of a gruff, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy. He wasn’t in the synagogue or the temple, he was out at the Jordan River. Had he been in the temple or synagogue at any point?  It’s possible.  His father was a priest, after all.  Maybe his gruff message got him run out.  For any who know Methodist history, we know that it wouldn’t be unheard of for a preacher to get run out of the church for being confrontational and being relegated to preaching outdoors. Anyways, John is out at the river preaching, confronting folks with their sinfulness, and calling them to repent—to confess that they are sinners, and to turn their life around.   People were gathering at the river, hearing his words, and coming forward for Baptism.  His in-you…

Experiencing The Spirit: Wind - Genesis 1:1-2; 2:7

It is the most basic aspect of life…and has been since the very beginning.  Go into any delivery room and the sound everyone is waiting to hear is the sound of that baby crying.  Why is that?  It is because the cry reveals that the baby has taken a breath and is alive.   The sound of that cry was emphasized in a movie that Anita and I watched a couple of months ago.  The movie was entitled “Hours,” and starred the late Paul Walker (of Fast and Furious fame).   It offered a fictional account of a young man who rushes his pregnant wife to the hospital just as Hurricane Katrina is set to hit New Orleans.  The woman gives birth prematurely and dies and the baby is in critical condition. Unable to breath on her on, she is placed on a ventilator.  The doctor informs the father than the next 72 hours are critical for the baby to be able to start breathing on her own.  As the hurricane hits, the hospital is evacuated, but because of limited space, there is no way to transport the baby on the …

Life Can Never Be The Same - 2nd Corinthians 5:14-21

On a national or global scale, Nine-Eleven stands out as probably the premier event of this type in my lifetime, and maybe many of yours.  Probably second on the list, over the last ten years would be the financial crash of 2008.  On a more personal level, it may be the loss of a loved one, a family member, or close friend.  Maybe it was medical diagnosis of an illness such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s, or AIDS.  Maybe it was simply a sense of being betrayed by someone you thought you could always trust.  It could be something entirely different.  The kind of times I am talking about are those things that happen, and after it has happened, we can never go back to the way it used to be before the event, it can never be the same.  Life is forever altered and there is no pretending it has not. Consider how our lifestyles and nation have changed as a result of Nine-Eleven.  I remember every once in a while hearing of someone who was afraid of flying, but now I hear on a regular basis of someon…

Can't Find Jesus? - John 20:1-18 - Easter (10 am Worship)

You can’t imagine how tempted I have been to buy a Tile.  No, not tile, a Tile.  Tile are used to tag things that you might lose so that you can use your smartphone to locate the lost item.  The trouble with the Tile is that they cost $70 for a set of four.  If I was to try and tag everything that I typically misplace with a Tile, I would almost need to purchase their warehouse.  I would need to tag my key ring, my wallet, my phone, my glasses, all the remotes in the house, my coffee thermos, the water glass I use here during worship, my car in the parking lot at the mall, the Kindle (that has been missing since before Christmas), my wife in any store where we decide to split up to “save time” tackling the shopping list, and most days I would have to find a way to Tile my mind. If there is anyone worse than me, it is probably our kids they are constantly losing things, and when the item isn't where they think it should be, they automatically think someone has taken it (even when t…

Who's Going To Do What We Can't- Mark 16:1-8 - Easter Sunrise

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.  And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”  When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.  But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”  So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid…

(Holy Thursday) A Night To Remember - Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14; 1st Corinthians 11:23-26

She began active duty 103 years ago today.  However, within two weeks, her service was over forever.  Many movies have marked the night 103 years ago this month that was wrought with death.  A Night To Remember offered to the world an interpretation of the 1st hand account of 2nd Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller—the highest ranking offer to survive that dark night.  It is a night that has been etched into many memories even though those who were living at the time are far and few between.  However, we don’t go many years without a resurgence of interest in the night that over 1,500 passengers went to a watery grave as the Titanic went down. There are other “nights to remember” that go back even further, much further, which are marked by death.  We don’t know how many died that night, but we do know that “there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.”[i]  Pharaoh’s sin…Pharaoh’s hard heart had led to the Hebrew people continuing to be enslaved in Egypt…

Lenten Reflection on Apathy - James 1:22, 27; 2:8, 13-19; 4:17

It’s a wonder we ever end up anywhere to eat.  The conversation usually starts out this way, “What’s for supper?” “I don’t know.  You want me to fix something, or do you want something from somewhere?” “I don't care.  What do you want to do!” “It doesn't matter.  Well, since I have a meeting, let’s get some thing out.  Do you want to eat there or bring it back home?” “I don’t care.  What do you want to do?” “It doesn’t matter.  What do you want to get?” “I don’t care.  What do you want?” You see what I mean.  Like I said, it’s a wonder that we ever eat anything.  (Of course, these are the times that Joshua is not part of the conversation, because depending on what he wants, he’ll be quick to tell you exactly where he wants something from and that we’re bringing it home to eat.) It’s one thing to not care what you eat and where you eat…however, I would even suggest that if someone were to pick somewhere you didn’t like or wanted something you didn’t really have a taste for…suddenly, yo…