“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Who is your enemy? Now maybe you’re saintly enough that your response to that question is some version of, “I don’t have any enemies.” Granting that, who comes closest to that status for you? If you’re at all like a growing segment of our society, the answer just may be the people on the other side of the political aisle. In our hyper-partisan times, political rivals are among the most bitter enemies we have. The latest entry from Marvel Studios offers an important counterpoint to this decidedly unhealthy trend. Let’s talk today about Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
This week we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, Hard to Love. Do you have anyone in your life who is hard for you to love? If you do, this is a series you will not want to miss a single part of. Together we’ll talk about why and how we can better approximate God’s own love for everyone in our lives, not just the people we like. We’ll see why doing this is so powerful. And, we’ll be reminded that in doing it we’re only ever giving what we have ourselves received. Keep checking back here each of the next few Mondays to catch the next part of this critical conversation.
Hard to Love
Do you remember
some of the phrases your dad said a lot when you were growing up? Every dad has these. It’s part of the secret dad creed (but if you
tell anyone I’m afraid the consequences will be quite grave so just keep this
between us). One of the things I
remember my dad saying a lot to me was, “If you mess with the bull, you’ll get
the horns.” The point, of course, is
that if you pick a fight with something or someone bigger and stronger than you
there’s a good chance you’ll lose. I
learned this the hard way on a few occasions.
We had a friend of the family named Jerry who we saw every now and then
who was always fun to mess with, but he wasn’t much one to go easy on you just
because you were a kid. One Christmas
the family was all gathered at his house and I was being a bit bolder than
wisdom would have suggested was prudent and quickly found myself locked in a
closet, beating on the door, and screaming to be let out. In messing with the bull that night I
definitely got the horns.
This week we continued in our new series, Simplicity: Finding Contentment in a Busy Life, by talking about how we can stand firm in the storms of life. Rough times come in all different shapes and sizes, but we all face them. And when times are rough, life feels complex and contentment far away. But, if we will do three really simple things, we will have what we need to stand firm. Keep reading to find out what these are.
I have a bit of a tempestuous
relationship with water. Let me
explain. I like water. I like to be in the water. I like to swim. When we go to the beach, I could spend hours
out floating and waiting to catch a wave with a boogie board. But sometimes I think the water is out to get
me. And if you knew my story, you could
be forgiven for thinking I’m right for at least the first several years of my
life. Two experiences should make my
point for me.
This past Sunday morning, we kicked off a brand new teaching series called Simplicity: Finding Contentment in a Busy Life. The fact is: We all have lives that are busier than we’d like them to be at times. We all have times when we are just discontent with the state of our situations. Trying to navigate out of and around those kinds of seasons can be tough. This series is all about how to avoid them in the first place. Don’t miss a single part of this journey as we talk about how to focus in, slow down, and live the kind of life we’ve always wanted to have.
A Centered Life
Do you ever
want more? That’s kind of a broad
question. More of what? Well, anything. If we’re going to stay that broad, then of
course you do. I do too. Now, not of everything. But sometimes we want more, right? Maybe you want more to drink at dinner. Perhaps you want more dinner. Kids often want more attention. If you’re reading or watching a great story,
you may want more when it ends; you may want to find out what happens
next. There are all kinds of situations
in which we want more.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,” – Matthew 6:19 (ESV – Read the chapter)
The other day I was making small talk with an acquaintance. Given that we were only a couple of days past Christmas, we asked each other the obligatory, “How was your Christmas?” question. Both of us assured the other that it had been good and that, more importantly, the kids had had fun. We agreed that if the kids were happy, that was a key ingredient to a fun Christmas morning. Then he said something to which I could only respond politely because I didn’t agree.