When Everything Falls Apart

This week we are kicking off a new teaching series called, A Love Story. For the next four weeks we are going to be walking through one of the greatest love stories in the Scriptures. It is found in a little book tucked away in an easily overlooked corner of the Hebrew Bible called Ruth. Rather than just telling the story, we are going to experience together through the eyes of the characters who were actually in it. Read the story for yourself, and then take some time with this message and encounter for perhaps the first time through one who was there.

When Everything Falls Apart

I love a good story. Don’t you? There are just some ideas we can communicate better through the lens of a story than we can by plain instruction or by facts and figures. Now, we still need those, but stories are powerful things. There’s a reason so much of what we find in the Scriptures comes through the lens of a story. Do you know what’s even better than a regular, old story, though? A love story. Love stories are really powerful. There’s a reason Hallmark is a made-for-TV-producing juggernaut and that multiple different networks and streaming services are basically cut-and-pasting their storytelling format…especially during the Advent season. 

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Now What?

Last week, we took a look at the incredible story of Elijah facing off against the prophets of Baal on the top of Mount Carmel from 1 Kings 18. That is one of my favorite stories in the entire Old Testament. What we came away with was a reminder that God sometimes acts in powerful ways, along with the exhortation to keep an eye out for His activity in our lives and the lives of the people around us. This week, we are taking a step forward to finish the story by looking at what happened next. The outcome of that incredible mountaintop experience isn’t what we might have expected it to be. Dive in with me, and let’s see what any of this has to do with our lives.

Now What?

If you’ll indulge me just a bit, as we are coming up quickly on the one year anniversary of a truly historical event, I thought we might reminisce on it for a few moments. Forty-eight weeks ago (this being the 49th), a competition was held. This was not your every day, average competition, though. This was a true clash of the titans. Two teams met in pursuit of the same goal and only one of them would walk away a step closer to it than they had been before. The other would go home in frustration and anguish and perhaps even shame depending on how the competition unfolded. If you’ve done your math and are aware of my sporting loyalties, you have perhaps already deduced that this epic competition was none other than last year’s AFC Divisional Championship Game between the Buffalo Bills and my Kansas City Chiefs. Within minutes of the game’s dramatic finish, it was already being heralded as one of the single greatest football games of all time. 

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When God Shows Off

As we begin this new year, we are taking the first couple of weeks to think about God’s action and our response. We are going to do this with a story from the life of the prophet Elijah. Come listen in as we tell one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament and reflect together on what it means for us. Thanks for tuning in and sharing.

When God Shows Off

The transition from Christmas to New Year’s is always a bit of an interesting one to me. Now, don’t get me wrong: I enjoy it. In fact, I enjoy it immensely. I enjoy it so much because it is often a quiet week. Life seems to slow down just a bit—especially after the break-neck pace most of us travel through the rest of the month of December. As much as I enjoy it, though, it is an interesting transition. I mean, think about it: With Christmas, we have a month-long build up to a grand celebration of one of the single most powerful acts of God in the whole history of the world. Only the resurrection and creation itself rival the miraculous birth of Jesus. In other words, Christmas is big. With New Year’s, though, while we’re told that it’s big, it kind of feels like a letdown. Sure, we have parties and make resolutions and the like, but we really don’t give it much in the way of attention until after we get through Christmas. And then, we don’t spend that week getting ready for New Year’s, we spend that week recovering from Christmas before normal life—not to mention the long winter months of January and February—comes and slaps us in the face. The letdown can indeed be pretty intense. 

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Christmas Morning

Happy Boxing Day. Yesterday was the day. Here’s the message of joy and hope I shared with my congregation yesterday morning. May you delight and rejoice in the truth of our Savior. P.S. This will be the only post this week. Enjoy your week, and we’ll be together again like this in the new year.

Christmas Morning Message 2022 

Christmas is a good time for telling stories. I’d like to tell you one this morning. 

There was once a child. This child was loved by his parents. As far as they were concerned, he was at the center of their world. And this child had potential. So. Much. Potential. But he couldn’t see it. He didn’t understand the incredible things that lay ahead of him if only he stayed on the right path. But his parents did. And they knew their love was the key to his getting there. So they pursued him with their love. 

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Power to the Nobodies

So far in our journey to discover the heart of Jesus’ being God with us, we have looked at the “God” side of things. Today, we’re going to flip them on their head to see more clearly what it means that Jesus is “with us.” I’ll give you a hint: It reveals a humility that is truly unique in a proud world. Read on in the third part of our series, God with Us, to find out just why this idea is such a good one.

Power to the Nobodies

We love rags-to-riches stories. We love hearing about people who are down on their luck, but by working really hard (and receiving a bit of good fortune), suddenly coming into a life of ease and plenty. There’s simply something that feels just to us when the arrogant rich are brought low and the humble poor are lifted up. Think about how many of our stories include this kind of an element in them. Cinderella is perhaps the most famous of them. But that same theme appears all over the place. If you think through the list of Disney Princesses, nearly half of them (there are twelve total) started out poor and became a princess because she married the prince. Of the rest, nearly all of them went through a season when they lost all the trappings of wealth before coming back into it again at the end of their story. We want to see this dramatic transition happen because most of us don’t feel rich and live vicariously through their good fortune. 

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