focus

Keeping Focus

We all have them, seasons we would rather avoid, that cause us to lose focus and drain our joy. Still, rough patches are a part of being alive. They make up the texture of our lives and going through them can make us stronger in the process. The past year was such a season in our lives. Unexpected challenges arose in a steady stream, sometimes […]

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Go Deeper

Last week was our denomination’s Annual Conference. It is always great to see friends, experience great teaching and worship, and do the business of the church. In preparation for the event, each of us receives a journal with all of the necessary information, including all of the action items for our time of business, details of the budget, and general information about our time together. […]

Waiting

Waiting goes hand-in-hand with pondering and, though not always easy to do, the results are certainly worth the effort. The story of Jesus unfolds one day at a time, just as our lives do. There was no button Jesus or his family could press that would leap them forward in the story. They had to walk out the plans of God in their lives like […]

The Kingdom of Light has Come

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” […]

The Gift of Praise

This morning, I am preaching from Mary’s response to the angel’s news that she was to be the mother of the Promised One. Luke’s Gospel captures her words in the first chapter, “And Mary said, my soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant….” She goes on from there […]

No Skipping Steps

“And he appointed twelve (whom he also called apostles) so that they might be with him, and he might send them out to preach and have authority…” – Mark 3:14 When we rush into doing things, we get things out of order, and we can miss what really matters. I remember a test one of my high school teachers gave to our class. It was […]

Blessed at the Beginning

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 ESV What if there really is a hidden spiritual value in quiet, early mornings? I’ve been asking myself this question recently, and I am afraid that the answer might be, “Yes.” After some recent dental surgery, […]

In the Light of the Season

The weather is finally starting to change. It is hard to believe it was over 60 degrees on Tuesday. It certainly was not normal for early December, and while the warmth was enjoyable, it was a little disturbing to think that the natural order was so out of step with what should be happening at this time of year. Less than 24 hours later, however, […]

Spirit-filled Debate

As election day draws closer, the aggressive nature of the campaign continues to escalate. There is a steady stream of venom spoken in the public sphere. A parade of television and radio messages declare the litany of reasons why opposing candidates are the apparent incarnation of evil. Every mistake is magnified and used to demonize the opposition, which inspires a multitude of loyal followers to […]