Digging in Deeper: Mark 14:3

“While he was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on his head.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

At various times in the church’s history, there have been certain places the current culture of the church expected believers not to go. For a long time in our fairly recent past, one of those places were bars. It was simply understood that Christians in good standing didn’t go into bars. Those were places of sin and you didn’t want to be associated with that. Of course, cultural expectations and personal behaviors are two different things. And, when desired behaviors and cultural expectations aren’t in sync for some reason, the result is often a twisted mess of hypocrisy and deception. That’s a sermon for another time. Starting as early as the 1970s and accelerating from there, some young believers began to have entirely different attitudes as to what was and wasn’t appropriate for followers of Jesus to do. Alcohol gradually became one of the things they were okay with where their parents and grandparents were not. One of the consequences of this was that they began to see places like bars as fair game for ministry. Some even went so far as to plant churches in them. Well, plunking the Gospel down in a place most folks don’t expect to find it can lead to some interesting, but powerful, ministry encounters. That’s what we see here as we continue in Mark’s story about Jesus’ life.

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Knocking Down Walls

We’ve finally reached the end of this journey. We’ve seen the church rise up, thrive through adversity, stand firm in the face of some pretty intense internal challenges, and finally hit its stride here in the most exciting story of all with a church business meeting. Wait…a church business meeting? How could that be exciting? Because this one would set the tone for how the church working well would approach ministry for the rest of its history. You’ve never seen such an exciting business meeting before. Read on to find out what happened and what it means for us.

Knocking Down Walls

Have you ever seen the gameshow Wipeout? It is a favorite in our household. If you’ve never seen it, the basic premise is that a group of pretty average folks are invited to take part in an insane series of obstacle courses. Each course is designed for the contestants to fail and in increasingly embarrassing ways. The bigger the wipeouts, the better the laughs. 

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Morning Musing: Mark 1:28

“At once the news about him spread throughout the entire vicinity of Galilee.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Some people are attention hounds. They’ll do whatever they can to get people to pay attention to them. Sometimes the antics are positive and funny, sometimes they’re more unsavory, but attention is the goal. Social media has allowed for the creation of more of these folks than have ever existed in the past. There are people whose entire lives are spent finding new ways to get people to notice them. Jesus wasn’t like that at all, but He got it all the same.

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Morning Musing: Amos 5:10-12

“They hate the one who convicts the guilty at the city gate, and they despise the one who speaks with integrity. Therefore, because you trample on the poor and exact a grain tax from him, you will never live in the houses of cut stone you have built; you will never drink the wine from the lush vineyards you have planted. For I know your crimes are many and your sins innumerable. They oppress the righteous, take a bribe, and deprive the poor of justice at the city gates.”
— ‭‭Amos‬ ‭5:10-12‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What is it that gets you the most worked up? What is it that when you see it happen, you get all fired up and take a while to calm down? What makes you angry? Whatever this thing is, it’s a clue to what’s most important to you. Now, if this thing is something pretty trivial, it may be an indicator that you’ve got some priorities in need of straightening out. Knowing what is most important to you matters, though, because it allows you to set some direction for your life. What we get in these three verses from Amos is a picture of one of the things that is most important to God.

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Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 6:8

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’  Then I said, ‘Here I am!  Send me.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There is a real sense on the part of too many that the call of God is only something experienced by people who He is calling to full-time, professional ministry.  I experienced this call in my own life and still remember it clearly.  I can remember where I was sitting and what the are around me looked like in almost as much detail as the morning I proposed to Lisa. Read the rest…