Digging in Deeper: Mark 5:35-36

“While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?’ When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, ‘Don’t be afraid. Only believe.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

In the enormous library of real estate series on TV right now, perhaps the one I like the least is “My Lottery Dream Home.” The basic format is the same as all the rest of them: a homebuyer is shown three different homes by a real estate agent and then chooses one of them to purchase. The twist for this version of that plot is that the homebuyers have all recently won the lottery and are using part of their winnings to buy a new home. Not all of them have won huge jackpots, and some of the lottery dream homes have been pretty humble, but every episode leaves you wondering, “Why won’t that happen to me?” Jealousy doesn’t sit well with me personally, so I don’t watch the show. But I can’t avoid the Scriptures, and this passage feels like an episode of “My Lottery Dream Home” that I don’t want to watch. Let’s look anyway.

Read the rest…

Rest in Jesus

This morning we are wrapping up our short series, I’m Fine. The truth is that in many times of our lives, we aren’t fine. We might profess to the contrary, but we know what’s going on inside and we don’t like it. We can put in place good habits to help keep some of those hard emotions at bay, but sometimes not even that seems to do the trick. In this last part or our conversation we’re talking about the ultimate solution to being not fine. Read on to find out what it is.

Rest in Jesus

There are some tasks you can’t accomplish on your own. This is not necessarily an easy-to-accept reality in our culture. The stories we have long celebrated most are the stories of individuals overcoming incredible odds to accomplish monumental tasks on their own. But this doesn’t make it any less true.

Read the rest…

Good Habits

Last week we confronted the uncomfortable reality that we are often not fine in this life. This week we start to explore a solution. How can we keep the hard emotions that so often bring us down at bay before they have a chance to do their dirty work? We learn the secret from something Paul wrote when he was in some pretty dark times himself. Check this out with me.

Good Habits

I am a man of habits. It’s just part of my personality. I operate best in conditions that are customary and repetitive. Maybe you’re the same, maybe you’re different, but that’s simply my personality type. And when it comes to personality types, there’s no one type that’s particularly right or particularly wrong. At least…that’s what I keep telling myself. No, each personality type comes with advantages and disadvantages. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For me, when something is a habit, I’m dependable. Now, I’m sometimes forgetful, but once something is locked into a habit, you can count on my doing it. On the other hand, I can be boring; especially if you have the kind of personality that prefers a bit more variety.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:35-38

“On that day, when evening had come, he told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.’ So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in a situation that left you completely unnerved, but didn’t seem to bother the other person at all? How were you feeling then? You probably had three competing emotions all vying for dominance in your mind. The first was fear because of the unnerving situation you were in. The second was frustration that the other person was not equally bothered by the situation as you were. The third was wonder at how the other person could keep cool in a situation like the one you were facing. As Jesus and the disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee one evening after a long day of teaching, this was exactly the situation in which they found themselves in one of the wildest stories in the Gospel of Mark. Check this out with me.

Read the rest…

We’re Not Fine

This morning we’re kicking off a brand-new teaching series. As we go through our lives, our culture tells us to pretend like everything is fine even when it’s not. And if we’re honest, it’s often not. Pretending we’re fine when we’re not, though, is no way to live. Fortunately, the Gospel has something to say about this. The Gospel offers us a way out of it. For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about what this solution is together. Today, though, we’re going to start with a dose of reality. Let’s dive in together.

We’re Not Fine

So, how are you doing this morning? Now, wait just a second before you answer that. First, let me ask a second question by way of survey—and be honest now. For how many of you, by a show of hands, if I caught you on the street and asked how you were doing would respond with some version of, “I’m fine”? Most of us would, right? And if we’re being really honest, it doesn’t matter much what else might be going on in our lives in that moment. Our knee-jerk response to the standard American greeting of “how are you doing” is “I’m fine.”

Read the rest…