Getting Off The Bus (5/27/2018)

On February 18, 2018, I preached a sermon titled Loving Like Jesus. During that message, I showed a RightNow Media video clip called Community Safari. It was about a group of Christians who were riding around a neighborhood in a church bus viewing people the way an African safari looks at animals through the bus windows. They were taking pictures of a single mom who struggled with disciplining her children, a young married couple fighting on the front lawn and an elderly woman who fell in her driveway. No one got off the bus to help because they needed to let “nature take its course.” The clip concluded with the bus pulling back into the church parking lot while the host shared how great it was to be back in the safety of the church. Obviously, this was a spoof that challenged us Christians to think about how we’re engaging the world around us.

I then shared the following 5 points that disciples of Jesus should be doing in their everyday lives.

How to Share Jesus with Those Around Us:

1) Stop judging non-Christians.

2) Empathize with non-Christians.

3) Hang out with non-Christians.

4) Pray for the unchurched.

5) Live out my faith authentically.

A few days after I preached that sermon, a member of our congregation said, “The sermon on Sunday was good. But how do we get off the bus?” That’s a valid question. The points I gave are good biblical and theological instructions. But what does that look like in real life? (more…)

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Puzzle Pieces (5/20/2018)

Please go back into your childhood and remember some special relatives that are no longer with you. Who are they?

I remember Uncle Ralph and Aunt Carrie. They were my great uncle and aunt on my mother’s side of the family. Uncle Ralph was 6’5” tall with a blocky frame. Aunt Carrie was 4’11” and weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. They loved to spend time with their family. Short visits with them weren’t possible. If you wanted to talk with them for two hours, you needed to start leaving fifteen minutes into the visit. It took at least an hour and a half to get from their kitchen to the car.

I have fond memories of the times they came to see us. Not only did I appreciate their company, I also enjoyed the gifts they brought me every time they arrived. They gave me toys. That is, until I got a little older. Then things changed.

When I was about six years old, they came for a visit. I watched Aunt Carrie’s hand disappear into the top of the bag she was carrying. She was going to get my treasure. What could it be? What new toy would I be playing with that afternoon?

After a couple of seconds, Aunt Carrie pulled her hand out of the bag. She handed me my new treasure. A pair of socks.

Socks. Who wanted socks? Not me. And evidently my face showed it. After they left, my dad said that when I saw them, my facial expressions made it obvious I wasn’t happy with what they gave me.

Soon after that, they quit bringing me gifts when they visited. I assume it’s because I was getting older. (more…)

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The Spirit In Us (5/13/2018)

Do you know of any job that’s harder than being a mother? It has to be one of the most difficult jobs any woman will ever have. The amount of time, energy and love that’s required to be a mother seems to be limitless at times. Yet, somehow you ladies do it. For that, we say, “Thank you.”

However, as mother’s get older and gain some experience, they learn there are different, and perhaps even better ways, to be a parent. The following list comes from humormatters.com. It’s called

The Evolution of Motherhood

Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:

Your Clothes:

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
(more…)

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Forward In Love (5/6/18)

Do you know of someone who no longer serves in ministry or no longer attends worship services because someone has said or done something unloving to them? Unfortunately, some Christians can be very selfish and very unloving towards others when they don’t get their way. As followers of Jesus, we aren’t supposed to act this way.

Colossians 3:12-15 says, “12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

The peace of Christ in us should make us the most peaceful and loving people on earth. Is this how people outside of the church view Christians? Is this how your family, co-workers and family view you?

One reason some Christians aren’t known for being peaceful and loving is because often they can easily get distracted from what’s really important and start focusing on, and even arguing over, things that don’t matter at all. So, with that being said, what should we be focusing on? (more…)

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