Redefine discipleship

I want to start by asking everyone a question: How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourselves a disciple, like the ones Jesus sent out in our Gospel lesson — tenderly caring for bruised and hurt lives, going to the lost and confused, living generously. Raise your hands! The truth is, most of […]

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The cost of our discipleship

As you know, Deb and I, and her sister and her husband, just fulfilled a lifetime dream and went to England and Scotland. It was amazing, a blast, we will never forget it. While we were in London we visited Churchill’s War Room. It is where Churchill and has military staff hid out during the […]

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The good, the bad and the ugly

Do we have this impression that God is only interested in loving and saving an already cleaned-up version of ourselves? As if we believe God can only love us when we are our very best selves and that, everything else needs to be swept under the carpet. Lucas Cranach As we continue to lift up […]

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God opens the door and lets us in

I would like to start with a verse read just minutes ago from Romans “In one way or another God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside, so that He can personally open the door and welcome us back in.” Historically this inside/outside stuff refers to God’s acceptance of the […]

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Is God to blame?

If God is good, why? Why do young people die, earthquakes devastate, poverty shatter? Why does God allow it? Why doesn’t He do something about it? The darkest nights of our souls are when we’re wrestling with the mysteries of suffering, pain, and God’s Sovereignty. For Mack, his worst fear came true. When he needed […]

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Reforming the church in crisis

Our times are much like the first century church, and also like the time of Martin Luther — a time of great crisis for the church. As pastors, we are now being invited, encouraged, to go to “Change or Die” conferences. This week’s theme in our celebration of 500 years of the Reformation is “Other […]

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The format this Sunday was a group Bible study. Pastors Deb and Steve taught, asked questions, and the congregation shared, first in small groups and then altogether. Questions in red are the discussion topics for the congregation. Scripture text is in blue. Here is an outline for July 9, 2017. Jesus’ condemnation upon unrepentant cities and his […]

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Where is God when we suffer?

Where is God when we suffer? In the movie “The Shack,” the main character is in great pain at the murder of his little daughter. He receives a letter inviting him to come back to the place where she was killed. There he met three very unusual people — an older, black women playing God […]

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