Morning Musing: Mark 6:51-52

“Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. They were completely astounded, because they had not understood about the loaves. Instead, their hearts were hardened” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been through an experience you simply didn’t understand? There are a couple of ways we respond to times like those. The first is to let the lack of understanding build within us a sense of curiosity wherein we go on some kind of a journey to gain a better grasp of what happened and why. The second response is to lean into the lack of understanding and turn ourselves away from the experience. We don’t want to try and understand it, we just want to put some distance between ourselves and it. Of these two responses, exactly which one we choose depends on a whole variety of factors. Generally, though, the more profound our lack of understanding is, the more likely we are to lean into the second. That’s what we see happening with the disciples here. Let’s dig into their reaction a bit and see what it might have to do with us.

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Digging in Deeper: Romans 14:13

“Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother of sister.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I used to wear rubber bands on my wrist. It was a phase in high school. I always had a least one and sometimes wore several. Whenever I found one sitting around somewhere I’d slip it on and wear it. The thing about rubber bands is that over time they begin to lose their elasticity when they are exposed to the rigors of life. It doesn’t happen all at once. But eventually, when you stretch them, you begin to notice that there are cracks in them. Once these start forming as long as you leave the rubber band alone, you can’t see them. If you stretch them, though, they show up. The further you stretch them, the more they show and the bigger they become. Stretch too far – and what counts as “too far” narrows over time – and eventually they snap. Our culture is like a rubber band right now. The church is too. Let’s talk this morning about how to avoid the snap.

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Morning Musing: Romans 1:21

“For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A couple of days ago, I started listening again to a modern Broadway classic. I guess I was just missing the stage a bit. Not the being on it, just the watching. One of the things Lisa and I so enjoyed doing together before COVID shut everything down was going to the theater–that is, stage shows, not the cinema. This particular show is widely held to be one of the best of this generation. It was certainly different from anything that had premiered before. Technically an opera, it glorified one of America’s less well-known Founding Fathers and did so almost entirely with the musical genre of hip-hop. And by now you know exactly what show I’m talking about. I spent this week listening to the excellent music of Hamilton.

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Follow the Instructions

Happy New Year! If you’re like everyone else in the world, I suspect you were about as ready for this calendar turning as you have ever been for anything. We made it. 2020 is in the books–and my how that book will be remembered! We have a fresh start ahead of us. Yet, how do we make this fresh start more than just a new set of challenges? In a new teaching series called, A Fresh Start, we’re talking about that very thing. Keep reading to learn more.

Follow the Instructions

So…are you ready for a fresh start? Do you even remember this time last year? Remember how excited we all were about the prospect of 2020. There’s just something exciting about the turning of a whole decade more so than a normal new year brings. And maybe it was because of the place of life I was in, but for some reason 2020 just felt more exciting than 2010 had. And then…well…you know. This mystery virus popped up in China and a year later nearly 350,000 of our fellow citizens have lost their lives to it. Worldwide we’re up over 1.8 million lives lost. We’re over three-quarters of the way to 100 million infected.

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