Morning Musing: Mark 13:11

“So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been put on the spot to speak? Some people thrive in that kind of an environment. I’m not generally one of those. I’m the kind of guy who wants to have everything written out ahead of time. I’m much better on paper than in person. I’d rather put in the effort to memorize a sermon entirely than to walk into the pulpit with nothing more than an outline. In fact, I’ve done that. In seminary, our preaching classes all pushed us in the direction of preaching without notes. They wanted us to learn how to think from an outline. I refused to play ball. I wrote my sermons, memorized them word for word, and dutifully delivered them without notes. The thought of being expected to deliver more than a few words without some sort of heads up makes my stomach churn. Sometimes, though, you don’t get that chance. Sometimes you don’t get that chance and the words you’re expected to deliver are a defense of the Gospel in a pressure situation. Jesus here offers some hope for those situations.

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Share It Everywhere

As we continue our conversation about evangelism, today we finally talk about actually sharing the Gospel with others. But rather than offer some tips and tricks, we’re going to take a slightly different approach. You don’t need to learn a particular method to share the Gospel effectively. You just need to learn to see the world through a Gospel lens. Then it will come as naturally to you as breathing. Let’s talk about how with a look at one of Paul’s most famous sermons.

Share It Everywhere

Have you ever felt put on the spot? Being a preacher it kind of comes with the territory. You eventually get to where you don’t even notice it. You just expect it. For most folks, though, that’s not something you sign up for. There may be a few spotlight-seekers out there, but most folks just want to get through their day without drawing too much attention to themselves. But more often than not, being put on the spot isn’t something over which you have any control. You’re just going about your normal day-to-day activities and then…bam…there’s a spotlight and you’re the only one in it. And again, a few folks have the kind of personality that they just roll with it, but most of us freeze and start looking for the exit.

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Beautiful Simplicity

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about our call as followers of Jesus to tell someone else about our faith in Jesus. We’ve talked about the what (connect people to Jesus) and where to start (with prayer). This week, we’re talking about what the actual message we are to share is. We have a tendency to imagine sharing the Gospel is something incredibly complex, because we think of the Gospel itself as complex. The truth is just the opposite. The Gospel is simple and so is our message about it. Let’s talk about just what this simple message is together.

Beautiful Simplicity

One of the life lessons I had set before me fairly often when I was growing up is best summed up by the acronym K.I.S.S. Anyone know what that stands for? Keep it simple…well…you fill in whatever S-word you heard put there. The idea, of course, is that it is better to keep things simple than leave them complex. Simple things are…well…simple. They’re easier to manage. They’re a lighter burden to bear. Simple is just better. Complex never made anybody’s life better.

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The Secret Sauce

As we continue in our conversation about what we should do with what we believe, Tell Someone, this week we are talking about the most essential ingredient in sharing our faith with another person. There are many things that might be considered to be the most important thing, but what we’ll talk about today really lies at the heart of the matter. Keep reading to find out what it is.

The Secret Sauce

Think for a minute with me this morning about your favorite recipe. I’m talking about the thing that if this was going to be your last meal on earth, this is what you want to have on the menu. What is the most essential ingredient in that recipe? My wife is a really good cook. Like, really good. If I was going to eat a final meal, as long as she was cooking it, I really couldn’t go wrong. There are several things she makes that would land on my list of favorites, but right near the top of that list right now is this chicken and Bisquik biscuit dish that is just amazing. She first made it several years ago, but pulled it back out a couple of months ago and it was like being reintroduced to a long, lost friend. I could have eaten that stuff until I exploded. The essential ingredient in that dish is the chicken. But not just any chicken. You really need thigh meat for it to have the flavor it needs. Better yet, when she does it with one of those whole roaster chickens you get from the deli section at the store…wow. Just, wow. How about you? What are some of the most essential ingredients in your favorite dishes?

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Morning Musing: Mark 8:4

“His disciples answered him, ‘Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to feed these people?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been around someone who was slow on the uptake? One of my favorite such characters is Pinky from Pinky and the Brain. The characters were originally one of the side shows of the classic cartoon, Animaniacs (currently in the second season of its revival on Hulu), but became so popular they got their own show. I watched every episode. Twice. The show is about two lab mice, one a super genius thanks to experimentation, the other a complete moron, who together try to take over the world. One of the show’s running gags is that Brain gets an idea for taking over the world, asks Pinky if he’s thinking the same, and Pinky responds by saying, “I think so Brain, but….” and then follows that up with something completely off the wall. Here’s a nice compilation of these responses. In any event, the joke is that Pinky never quite manages to be in the moment with Brain. He’s always a few miles behind the eight ball. When Jesus was facing another huge and hungry crowd, He asked the disciples yet again to feed them. From their response, they might as well have been Pinky.

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