Morning Musing: Mark 7:14-15

“Summoning the crowd again, he told them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you get when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste? I recently saw a magician squeeze ketchup and then pour salt out of the same tube of toothpaste. I’m pretty sure he monkeyed with the tube somehow. Normally, when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste out comes a glob of…toothpaste. This isn’t rocket science. Now, here’s the real trick question: Why does toothpaste come out of that tube when you squeeze it? Ready for this: Because that’s what’s in it. I know, I know, this is mind-blowing stuff. So why am I thinking about toothpaste this morning? Because of what Jesus said here. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Lamentations 3:17-18

“My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.'” (ESV – Read the chapter)

Eighteen months. Eighteen months of nothing. There were rumors and reports, sure, but nothing concrete to embrace. Not a single thing. Then it suddenly arrived: Hope and the promise of a brighter future. We could all breathe a big sigh of relief because Marvel Studios had indeed not succumbed to the COVID economy. After waiting since July 2, 2019 when Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters, on Friday, January 15, 2021, the much anticipated new entry, Wandavision finally premiered on Disney+. Whether because it really is that good, or because we’d all grown so used to Marvel’s regular theatrical releases that the absence primed our hearts to be fond of whatever they released next, it has been a major hit. After months of nothing but rumors and scoops, the Marvel fandom finally had something solid to digest and debate. And so it has. This morning let’s talk about Wandavision and what it just may mean for you and me.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 7:5

“So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ceremonially unclean hands?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever crossed a taboo? I live in the south now where, “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Yes, Sir,” are a fundamental part of the culture. Not so where I grew up. I grew up greeting most adults with nothing more than their first names. You can perhaps imagine the shock, then, when I met my wonderful in-laws when visiting Lisa in Charleston, SC for the first time and greeted them warmly by name…first name. Much to their credit, they handled my massive faux pas without even blinking, but I had violated a culturally sacred custom. Every culture has its customs. Some are wise and rightly held (like patterns of respect and honor in the south), but some are just there because, well, they’re there. Others are locked in place because of the currently prevailing worldview whether or not that worldview accords with reality. Jesus and His disciples came up against some of these during His ministry. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 3:5

“It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

You shouldn’t have to feel bad. That’s one of the unspoken mantras of our culture. The only thing that’s really bad these days seems to be feeling badly about something. What we want to feel—and others with us—is competent. We want to feel like we can do anything. 

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Breaking Free

In this final part of our series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we talk about one last, powerful way to break free from the pull our stuff otherwise naturally has on our lives.  Along the way, I offer a three step process for how to begin building the practice of sacrificial generosity into our lives, an example of what generosity can do, and a chance to respond.  Thanks for reading and blessings as you make your plan to break free from the gravity of your stuff.

Breaking Free

Have you noticed that one of Disney’s goals lately seems to be to make live-action remakes of all their classic animated films?  We’ve so far seen Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Maleficent, Pete’s Dragon, and Christopher Robin, with films like Dumbo, Mulan, the Lion King, and Aladdin on the near horizon.  A bit of research allowed me to discover that there are also tentative plans to redo other classic films such as Snow White, Robinhood, The Sword in the Stone, and Pinocchio. Read the rest…