So, He Went

Photo by Atlas GreenAs the new year starts many people make resolutions. We tend to have this sense that we need to make some changes. We want to read more, get in shape, be a better spouse, or make more money. A friend of mine said something in passing that I thought was relatively profound, “I’ve always been a “New Years resolutions are stupid” kinda guy. I mean, really…if there’s something in your life that needs changing, then change it now.” This has stuck in my head since he said it. It’s brilliant! I recently posted a series of commitments for 2017, so apparently I’m feeling the “new year” bug. However, this idea that “if there’s something in your life that needs changing, then change it now,” is completely brilliant. I was reading the Bible this afternoon and this is one of the passages that I was reading, it’s about a guy named Abram and God calls him to leave his hometown: Now the Lord...
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“Alright, alright, but what IS the gift?”

Photo by <a href=“https://unsplash.com/@fableandfolk”>Annie Spratt</a>The sun was slowly setting over the horizon. The reds, oranges, and purples were magnificent. Our bellies were satisfied from the meal and the laughter was contagious. A cool breeze gently blew as we gathered on the deck with the Scriptures open. We began reading… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known...
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Is the Church called to be “Counter-Cultural”?

Photo by Samantha SophiaI read many articles and books about what it means to be “the Church.” As a pastor of a new congregation I think that I need to continue to refine and deepen my understanding of what the Church ought to be. A concept that consistently pops up, particularly in blogs, is that the Church is “called” to be counter-cultural. This idea is foundational to what many refer to as the “culture war” that has been raging for decades in the United States. To be faithful to the Church necessarily demands that you are in a posture that is “counter” to the culture, at least that’s how the thinking goes. I am growing unconvinced that there is such a call. What I am more convinced of then ever is that the Church is called to create culture. As I continue to study and read the Scriptures and work really hard to apply their truths to my life I am learning that the...
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A Gut Response to the Tragedies of This Week

A Gut Response to the Tragedies of This Week

This week we have seen in our world two tragedies. Tuesday night a student at EMU was killed. Today we are experiencing the horror of a school shooting in Connecticut that has resulted in the death of nearly thirty children. It is at times like this when I fall to my knees and ask God, "Why?" Where is God in the midst of this kind of tragic violence? Why did God allow this senselessness to happen? Why? Each one of the children in the Antioch Movement could have been at that school today. Why? We live in a world that is broken beyond our comprehension. Human sin is rampant. Self-hatred and hatred of others is at an all time high. Hate and distrust is the air we breathe. So we ask, "Why God?" The Scriptures are full of people experiencing pain, suffering, and evil. Psalm 88 is one of the darkest moments in human literature. If we are honest with ourselves we struggle in moments...
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