Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 12:11-13

“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you know why most people don’t exercise the way they should? Because they don’t want to. I rushed that, didn’t I? You were getting all of your excuses ready to start listing off in defense of your lack of exercise, and I cut your short. But the truth is, at the end of the day, we don’t exercise as much as we should (and I’ll let you define “should” in a way that makes you comfortable) because there are other things we’d rather do more. We have time for all of the things we most want to do. Period. Of course, the reason we don’t want to exercise as much as we want to do other things is because exercising is hard. We don’t like doing hard things. But sometimes, hard things that hurt us in the moment help us in the long run. This is an important thing to keep in mind in the next part of Hebrews 12 here. Let’s take a look at this together.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 12:7-8


Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline – which all receive – then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We live in a culture that hates feeling bad. We don’t ever want to feel badly…about anything. More than that, we don’t want to make someone else feel bad. Well, that’s not totally true. We don’t want to make someone else feel bad when our name and reputation are attached to it. We’re happy to make people feel bad on social media where we usually feel safely anonymous all the time, but that’s a separate issue. And living like this in the abstract sounds really good (it’s not, of course, but it sounds like it). But when you take this kind of cultural movement and bring it into the world of parenting, you are going to run into problems sooner or later because parenting is the art of making kids feel bad at the right time, in the right ways, and the right amounts. And God is a good parent. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 11:17-19

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promise and yet he was offering his one and only son, the one to whom it had been said, ‘Your offspring will be traced through Isaac.’ He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore, he received him back, figuratively speaking.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I love being in the mountains. This summer we got to spend a week in the Rockies while visiting my sister and her family. It was a delight. One of the things, though, that is so cool about driving up into the mountains to me is how deceptively wide they are. When you start driving from the airport in Denver, you can see the whole front range stretched out before you. It is a magnificent view. As you start driving into the mountains, however, you pass the first peaks you can see…and there are more behind them. You drive over the first big pass…and there are more mountains. You get into the Vail Valley, past dozens of peaks, and in the distance, there are still more hills to climb. Always more. Sometimes the life of faith feels like going into the mountains. Let’s talk about how this morning.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 5:11-14

“We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever have a bad teacher when you were in school? I don’t just mean a teacher you didn’t like or who wasn’t particularly kind. I’m talking about a teacher who was genuinely not good at teaching. He stood there and lectured endlessly about things no one really understood and never really explained them or entertained questions. He tried so hard to be cool that he never really got around to the teaching part of his job, but then tested you anyway. He covered a difficult subject that he never quite unpacked sufficiently that anyone was following along with him. Bad teachers are frustrating. But sometimes our lack of understanding isn’t a teacher’s fault…it’s ours. We just don’t want to own it, so we blame someone else. The author of Hebrews has been covering some tough stuff so far. He’d like to go further with it, but he knows his audience won’t understand because they’re just average students. He challenges them on this here and leaves us with something to think about in our own lives. Let’s take a minute this morning to do that.

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Growth Is Mandatory

This week we are continuing our series, Generations. Last week we focused our attention on Generation Z and talked about the importance of following. This week the Millennials are in the docket. What is it that Millennials most need to hear in order to get their faith right in the season of life they are in? Read on to find out.

Growth Is Mandatory

I’ve talked before about our gardening exploits. The little garden spot we use does weird things. Last year, for instance, while we had three tomato plants from Jim, only one of them actually produced a tomato. It made its grand appearance in June, grew to about the size of a grape, and stayed that way until about October when it finally turned red. With all of that in mind, this year we tried to get smarter. We have put all of our plants in the same area of the yard, but we put them all in pots. Six plants. Six pots. Easy to maintain and water and weed and the like. What could go wrong? We even have tomatoes on both of our plants. I took a picture of two of them just to document the evidence. And we have blossoms on the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Lots of them. But would you believe we still don’t have any produce? We got one little zucchini about the size of my pinky finger (which disappeared before it ever got any bigger), and that’s it. Oh, at the boys’ request, we planted a whole bunch of two different types of sunflowers including one variety that’s supposed to get up to 12-feet tall. About a quarter of those have popped up including just three of the twenty or so seeds we planted in the actual planter box. I’m starting to think there’s something weird about that whole side of our house. Or maybe it’s just us. 

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