Distracted

This past Sunday was a special one for us to celebrate our great men and the work they are doing to advance God’s kingdom. With this in mind, here is a special reflection on how we can stay focused on the mission God has given us to accomplish. This reflection comes from the life of Nehemiah. Enjoy.

Distracted

I want to try something with you this morning. I want for us to do a little prayer exercise together. It’s going to require that we all be really quiet and focus our attention entirely in one direction for a few moments. Think we can do it? It’s at least worth a try, right? Okay, let’s see if we can do this for one minute. I’ll keep tabs on the time for us. For one minute I want all of us to pray together, and seek what God has to share with us this morning. Are you ready? Let’s go. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every worldview has a creation story. After all, we had to get here somehow. No one has ever believed we’ve been here forever (or that we will be here forever, but that’s a story for another time). This verse here is obviously the beginning of Christianity’s creation story. Well, although it’s not actually a worldview anyone believes in because it’s a fantasy story, but this past year, Marvel finally told its creation story on the big screen. This was done in the movie, The Eternals. The Eternals, more than any Marvel movie before it, invites viewers to ask some pretty big questions. It also reminds the perceptive believer watching of just how good the Gospel is. This is a longer post than usual, but there was a lot here to think about. Let’s dig into it.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Philippians 4:8-9

I’m still calling this a “Morning Musing” because it’s fairly short, but it’s not arriving until afternoon today because sometimes being home with three boys means things happen at a little different of a pace than they usually do. All the same, enjoy and thanks for reading and sharing!

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the more insightful cultural newsletters I have been receiving for a few years now is the Culture Translator from the digital youth ministry, Axis. Just before the end of the year, they analyzed the major cultural trends of the last year. One of them was the practice of Manifesting. This is the idea that we can create whatever we want in the universe by simply wanting it enough and imagining it clearly enough. Now, as far as ideas rooted in reality go, this one is pretty disconnected from it, but at the root of it is a grain of truth. What we think matters and affects our experience of the world around us. What Paul offers us here is a better way to experience this reality.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Luke 16:13

“No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been a slave? Probably not. That being said, there are more people living as slaves around the world right now than at any other point in human history. Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry. How about this one: Do you have a master? Once again, your gut reaction to that question may be to say, “No,” but give this one just a little bit more thought. Just because you don’t have a human master (and, no, neither parents nor bosses at work count) doesn’t mean you don’t have any master at all. The truth is that we all have a master. What kind of master we have and how much freedom that master grants us is the real question. Let’s talk about it.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Psalm 90:12

“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Are you one of those people who count days? As a preacher, I count days by Sundays. I can just about always tell you how many days away the next Sunday is. I can usually tell you the date by adding or subtracting from the date of the next or previous Sunday. If you have kids, I suspect they can tell you how many days are left until their birthday or Christmas or the next break from school. Maybe you have a big project coming up and the deadline makes sure you always know how many days you have left. Two wonderful families I know just added babies to their families. They were counting down the days to the arrival of their bundles of joy. Numbered days are precious days. What Moses is asking God here is for help in treating our whole lives like this. I think there’s something to this. Let’s talk about why.

Read the rest…