Friends with benefits?

This past Sunday, as a body, we walked through 1 Corinthians 11:17-28, as I shared on the importance of Christ, and Him alone, remaining central to the church. While I was preparing earlier in the week to preach on that passage and building a case for the significance of communion to our Sunday gathering, one of my arguments sent me beyond our weekly service. The fact that communion re-establishes our unity as the Body of Christ drifted towards one of the downfalls of the Body. The unfortunate reality is that many of our practices as believers, in regards to church, mirror the social scene of popular society: commitment phobia. If we’re not dating churches, we’re in a long-term relationship with one (church), but still making “friends” with others.

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change you really don’t believe in

Every four years we see the true character of our nation.  In the summer, we’re as united as Americans can be as we cheer on our athletes in the Olympics.  Grown men of all races sit around TVs in homes, restaurants, and bars cheering on people we don’t know playing sports we’ve never heard of.  We unite under the banner of being American and revel in the fact that we live in the second greatest country in the world (second only to the great nation of Texas, of course).  No sooner than the Olympics are over, however, we immediately transition into Civil War mode, and we become the most divided country in the world when politics take center stage. Isn’t it amazing how the trivial unites us, but the vital divides us?  What does that say about where we’re headed?  What does that say about what we really value?  The best way to unite our country is to get us to compete in games that mean nothingand the easiest way to divide us is to try and get us to cooperate in the building of our society, which in some sense means everything.  If that’s not an indictment on where we are as a country, I don’t know what is. Read more →

Becoming Strong by Following

Life offers us, if we’ll let it, many opportunities to become expert followers. . . Just so you know, I wrote this several years ago. It is not in response to any of the current leaders in my life, either at home, at church or in our government.

Psalm 77:19

“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.”

The context of these verses is the incredible story of God’s leadership of his people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the Promised Land. As I began to picture the men and women of Israel standing on the banks of the Red Sea – roiling waters before them, raging enemy closing in behind them – I could only imagine that they were anxious and afraid, but also that they were angry with Moses for leading them to what was surely imminent death. Knowing my own nature and the tendency of most of us when we aren’t in charge but want to be, I can picture that the Israelites were disgruntled with Moses for what appeared to be botched leadership. And because they were effectively trapped between two dangers, unable to fix or change the situation themselves, they grumbled and complained. What else could they do? Read more →

The Audacity of Halloween

Last night, all around the country, kids, teenagers and adults (not just parents) did something bold and courageous.  They went up to their neighbors and strangers alike asking for what they wanted: candy. In most cases (of course, there are those stubborn apple-givers) their requests were obliged.  But what if the lights were off at one house because no one was home? What if someone opened their door only to tell them they weren’t giving out candy? What if they didn’t get the candy they wanted at that old guy’s house? Unshaken, they kept knocking. Door-to-door they went with hopeful hearts. What they hoped for was enough to keep them knocking.

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