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Words

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Coined in 1839, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, this quote is obviously more about words than the instrument used to write them. At our core, we understand that words matter. They carry great power and can be used for good or evil. Scripture has a lot to say about words. The Bible begins with an expression of their power as […]

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Discern God’s Will – Reason

Before we consider the role of reason in spiritual discernment, I want to mention I comment I received on yesterday’s post. A concern was raised regarding God’s involvement in our experiences. Specifically, that God does not cause bad things to happen in our lives so that we will learn a lesson. This is a very important point! Rather than simply make a passing comment on […]

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Discern God’s Will – Experience

Swiss theologian Karl Barth once said we should do theology with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” While newspapers are no longer the dominant media source, his point is still quite valid. We need our experiences to properly discern God’s will. Yes, as we already established, we need the truth of Scripture and the solid foundation of Tradition, but we understand […]

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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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Lift off!

There is nothing quite like knowing you are on your way! There is a sense of excitement and joy that comes from each new beginning in our lives. We feel things begin to tremble as we begin to launch and we know that we are underway, something amazing is about to begin. The anticipation is tangible. Even facing some fear and the unknowns, we know […]

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Gravity

Gravity, it is the weak force of physics that keeps us strongly rooted to the ground and affects everything from the lightest feather to the grandest sun. It is something we depend upon for life to remain ordered, and it is surprisingly difficult to overcome. We see that difficulty every time we watch a rocket launch. Massive amounts of fuel are needed to create the […]

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Slow Down

Busyness is not a sign of success, effectiveness, or importance, yet many live their lives as if it is. Busyness is a sign that our schedules are too full, and we are missing the opportunity to be fully present in the moment, focused on our true priorities. Of course, there are times, maybe even seasons, where circumstances require us to live with heavy agendas, but […]

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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. […]

God’s Vision: A Big Idea

This morning, I am preaching from a couple of verses from the prophet Habakkuk. This is the first sermon in a New Year’s series on vision. For many of us, Habakkuk is not the first place we turn in the Bible, but his words are a powerful challenge at the beginning of 2015. “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a […]

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 […]