Showing posts from February, 2016

Life Between The Trees: The Fig Tree - Luke 13:6-9

How many of you use coupons?Anita and I do, though I’m not as faithful at keeping up with them and and shopping store to store to get all the deals that help you get $200 worth of groceries for $12.You know what the most frustrating thing about not keeping up with it coupons like we’re supposed to is?It is standing in line after gathering those items that you would normally only purchase one of, having everything rung up and bagged, pulling the coupons out of the book, and handing them over to the cashier, watching her scan them, and then look at it, and say, “sorry sir, this coupon expired last week.”
There are also all those saved emails.I receive emails all the time that offer good deals on places we like to shop or places we like to eat.I’ll save the email figuring we will go soon.As daily emails come in and the saved emails get pushed down, they become forgotten, like Anita’s free birthday ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery.We thought about it Friday, and when I pulled it up yeste…

Life Between The Trees: The Broom Tree - 1st Kings 19:1-10

We are journeying, in this sermon series, and in life itself, “between the trees.”It began in Eden, with the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as we witness the gift of free will that God offers us, giving us the ability to choose His way of life or out own way, that leads to death.With the olive tree, we found the promise that God will rescue us from the floods of life and sustain us until the floods recede.Ezekiel’s vision of the cedar tree assured us that God will keep His promises and restore that which was broken, in order that all the world might come to know that He is God.The oak tree reminded us of our call to selfless hospitality.The encounter with Deborah and Barak beneath the Palm Tree taught us that we need to trust in God and rely on Him as we face battles in this life, knowing that He has already won the victory.Today, as we are halfway through the trees of this series, I ask once more, how many of us are ready to proudly be called “tree-hugge…

Life Between The Trees: Palm - Judges 4:4-10

As we have been exploring “Life Between The Trees,” I’ve been hoping we’ve been learning to be a tree-hugger.It has been pointed out to me that my disappointment with the response to my weekly question about tree-hugging may be because I’ve been asking it wrong.So rather than ask if we have any new tree-huggers, let me ask it this way: how many of you, because of God’s call to care for His Creation and the importance that we find throughout God’s Word from Eden to New Jerusalem, are ready at this point to be proudly called a tree-hugger?
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life found in Eden remind us of the precious gift of Free Will that God has lovingly given us, and our tendency to misuse that gift by choosing the path of death over the path of life.
The dove returning to Noah with the branch of the Olive Tree reminds us of God’s faithfulness when we feel overwhelmed by the floodwaters of all that we are experiencing, just as Jesus saved us from the overwhelmi…

Broken In The Darkness In Order To Be Light - Psalm 51:1-17

We don’t like broken things.If it can’t be quickly repaired with super glue, duct tape, or some other means, we are quick to throw it away or put it on a shelf or in a drawer and forget about it.If it’s broken, it's worthless. Right?I think that may be why some of us might struggle with the idea that what God desires is for us to be broken.David writes, “The sacrifices acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
David penned these words after being confronted with the sin of his affair with Bathsheba and having her husband killed to cover their sin.The prophet Nathan reveals to David the arrogance of his sin—the fact that he committed all of these acts without regard for what he was actually doing, actions that he would have readily condemned in others.As David writes this poem, this song, he reflects that his pride led to his sin.He confesses his sin before God, his need for forgiveness, and begs God not to throw him away, not t…

Life Between The Trees: Oaks -- Genesis 18:1-8

You’ve worked hard all day.You are exhausted.It’s time to at least take a break.You ease down into your chair, kick off your shoes, twist open the top of your Mountain Dew, take a sip, take a deep breath and let it out in a relaxing sigh as you lay your head back as you reach for the remote, and then it happens.The doorbell rings.Before going to the door, you glance out the window.You don’t recognize the car sitting in the driveway.You quietly ease over to the door and look through the peephole.You don’t recognize anyone standing on your front porch, just a couple who look as exhausted as you feel.What do you do?You haven’t made a sound, as near as you can tell.The garage is closed, they can’t know for certain anyone is home.Do you ignore the doorbell, slide back into your chair, hoping they will go away or do you open the door, greeting the couple, ready to meet whatever need they might have?
It’s been a long week, and you know the next one is just as full.You are ready to worship.You…

Life Between The Trees: The Cedar Tree - Ezekiel 17:22-24

Here’s your weekly question: Have we added any new proud tree-huggers to our midst?We had a few more (despite the snow and ice covered trees) last week.Hopefully each week we will add more and more of our congregation as we remember the importance of trees throughout God’s Word, as we journey in our “Life Between The Trees” from the Creation of Eden to the restoration of our fallen creation in New Jerusalem, not mention our call from Eden, in the meantime to care for all of God’s Creation.
In Eden, as we encountered the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life we were confronted with gift of Free Will offered to us by God.We also encountered humanity’s tendency to choose our way and choose death over obedience to God and choosing full life.
With Noah, we found the Olive Tree.Cast out of Eden we saw humanity spiral downward out of control until our sin brought about the destruction of creation with God saving Noah and his family and preserving animal life aboard the ar…