Morning Musing: Mark 15:8-11

“The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. Pilate answered them, ‘Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?’ For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever read or listened to someone else read the Bible out loud? Forget about the Bible for a second, have you ever read or heard someone else read any story out loud? How does that usually sound? If we’re being honest, pretty dull and lifeless. Most people read out loud with a monotone voice. Have you ever noticed that? That’s really interesting to me. I don’t know many people who talk like that. When you’re telling someone else a story you care about, you put all kinds of emotion and feeling into it. Your face is animated, you move your hands, you alter the pitch and tone of your voice for emphasis. It’s engaging for others. But when we read something someone else wrote, all of that goes away. I’ve never really been sure why exactly that is. Now, come back to the Bible with me. When we read the Bible out loud like we read everything else out loud, what gets conveyed to the listener is that this is really boring stuff. There’s no life to it. There’s no excitement. There’s no real story. It’s just…blah. The thing is, though, the Bible is anything but blah. Here’s a story that proves it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:16

“When Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, the one I beheaded, has been raised.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What lessons do you draw from a story that doesn’t make any sense? Well, not many usually. But what if that story happens to be in the Bible? In that case it feels like you should get something from it. After all, why would God have included it in the Scriptures if not to teach us something? That’s the whole point of 2 Timothy 3:16, right? Well, yes, but as Andy Stanly likes to say, “All Scripture is equally inspired, but not all Scripture is equally applicable or relevant to every stage of life.” Sometimes a story is just a good story for where we are. Let’s talk about one Mark includes here.

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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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Morning Musing: Zechariah 11:16

“I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

History matters. An adage that has become a cliché over time is if we do not study history, then we are doomed to repeat it. The idea is that if we do not make ourselves conspicuously aware of the mistakes we have made in the past, then we are likely to make the same ones again when given the chance. That may be a cliché, but it’s still true. This kind of thing is what God seems to have in mind here.

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Digging in Deeper: Jonah 1:17

“The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever felt like you’ve had a rough day? Have you ever felt like everything is falling apart around you and the pieces keep getting smaller and smaller such that trying to put them back together is looking like an increasingly hopeless project? Whenever that depressing feeling is pressing in on you and despair is starting to take hold in your heart, tell yourself this one little things and feel better about your situation: At least I’m not sitting in the belly of a giant fish.

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