Showing posts from March, 2018

Life Together: Forgiveness - Colossians 3:12-17

I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie, “Facing the Giants,” but about halfway through the movie, there is a scene in which Coach Grant Taylor challenges one of his players to a major test of strength.  Coach Taylor has felt like his players, especially one of his seniors and team leaders, Brock Kelly, is not putting 100% of his effort into playing.  The coach feels like his poor attitude is bringing the rest of the team down with a defeatist attitude causing them to lose the games before they even play them.  After just doing a 10-yard “Death Crawl” in which a player, on his hands and feet (without his knees touching the ground) carries another player on his back, Coach Taylor challenges Brock to carry Jeremy (another player) in a death crawl from the end-zone to the 50 yard line…however, Brock must be blindfolded to do the drill.  The drill begins and Coach Taylor is beside Brock all the way, encouraging him, asking him to give his absolute best. Brock keeps asking how fa…

Giving Up Apathy For Good - James 1:22, 27; 2:8, 13-19; 4:17 - Wednesday Night Reflection

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…sud…

Life Together: Humility - Philippians 2:1-11

It was October 14, 2012, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier while flying a rocket.  However, Felix Baumgartner was not riding in any rocket or other aircraft when he broke the sound barrier.  Baumgartner was free falling after rising to an altitude of 128,100 feet in a helium-filled balloon.  As he fell, he broke the sound barrier after reaching a speed of 843.6 mph.  Baumgartner not only became the first person to break the sound barrier without the aid of a plane or a rocket in his 4:20 minute long freefall, as of 2010, it was the highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight.  
A little over two years later, on October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace, Senior vice President at Google, climbed to a height of 135,898.68 ft above Roswell, New Mexico, USA, and set a new free-fall height record.
While those heights may seem ridiculously high, and while I talked this past Wednesday night about refusing to let the fear of heights control my life, jumping off the roof o…

Giving Up Fear For Good - Matthew 8:23-27; 10:28-31 Wednesday Night Reflection

For many years I let it control my life.  It kept me from fully participating in some activities, or if I did, my heart would be racing faster than a stock car running at Talladega.  One time it left me stranded on a roof.  The drains in our house were not quite draining the way they were supposed to.  Plumbers in Northampton County, at least the part of Northampton County we found ourselves living, were far and few in between.  In fact there was only one plumber that anyone in the western half of the county, where I lived, called.  He had a waiting list a mile long of calls he needed to respond to, and he prioritized, not by the date you called, but by critical nature of your plumbing problem…and slow drains did not rank way up on the waiting list.  If I remember correctly, it was about a six week wait for him to respond to the call.  One time before, in a previous parsonage where the same problem occurred, the plumber had said that the issue was a buildup of stuff in the vent and i…

Life Together: Brought Into Community - Ephesians 2:12-14

George Burns had something to say about families before he died.  He was recorded one time as saying, "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family…in another city."
Dietrich Bonheoffer, had something a little different to say about living together.  Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, church leader, and seminary professor during the reign of Adolph Hitler.  While leading a congregation in the anti-Nazi Confessing Church in Germany, he was arrested, jailed, and later hung for his efforts to take a stand against Hitler and the Nazi movement. Bonhoeffer is best known for writing The Cost of Discipleship.  However, he has written many more, among them is Life Together, a reflection of the life of Christian Community he established at Finkenwalde Seminary, a community that was involuntarily shut down by Hitler's Gestapo.  Bonheoffer writes about what a blessing and gift of God it is to live in Christian Community:
It is easily forgotten that the community …

Giving Up Regret For Good - Philippians 3:12-14 - Wednesday Night Reflection

I know it has happened more than once in our twenty-four years of marriage…it probably happens more often than I even know.I know it has happened within the last week.Sometimes it happens when I am tired.Sometimes it happens when I am frustrated with something I am working on.Sometimes it just happens because I have a “Y” chromosome.Maybe I could blame anything from the past week on the flu.What happens is that Anita and I are talking, and I open my mouth and say something, and I immediately wish that I could take those words back.I love Anita dearly, and yet sometimes I find myself saying things that are hurtful or cutting or simply uncaring.It’s not that I say them because I am intentionally trying to be mean or hurt her, I immediately regret saying them.I completely understand what Paul is talking about when he tells the church in Rome, “I do not understand my own actions.For I do not do what I want, but I the very thing I hate…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not…