Pentecost Power!

 
Pentecost was an incredible event that occurred in Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago.  God unleashed his Holy Spirit upon those who were Jesus’ disciples.  They boldly proclaimed the truth that Jesus was the Son of God.  They told their audience (the Jewish people), that they were nothing short of guilty for killing Jesus and they exalted Jesus as Lord and King.

The people who were gathered were from all across the known world.  They each had their tribe and language and yet God’s Spirit enable each person to hear the message in their native tongue.

The results were astounding! The people were convicted.  They were ready to repent.  They accepted the message; both their guilt and their forgiveness.  They were baptized and 3,000 became followers of Jesus that day.  You can read about it in Acts 2.


Read more...

Courageous

You are COURAGEOUS!

Why, you ask. You are courageous for following Christ. Deciding to follow Christ and continuing to follow him throughout your life is brave. Maybe you don’t feel like it takes a lot of bravery in our little part of suburban America but, you would be wrong.

Faith in God is courageous in and of itself. First. you have decided to follow a God you cannot see; then practice teachings outside of today’s modern norms. All of this takes bravery.

Each day we put a trust in God with our lives. Author Gretchen Fleming states, “Courage is acting like “God’s got this!” even before it looks that way. It is stepping out to follow when you really don’t know how things will actually turn out.”

Now that you know you are already brave, how does that change your perspective of your faith journey?

Read more...

Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage? The New Testament (Part 1)

The New Testament (NT) shows a complete continuity with the Old Testament laws about human sexuality, and in particular the act of engaging in sex. In fact, the NT not only upholds the stance that sex must be reserved for marriage, it actually makes it stronger! Jesus does this in Matthew 5:27-29: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” That’s right! According to Jesus, adultery is not just the physical act. You also commit adultery when you lust after someone!  It’s also about your inward desires. So, according to Jesus, you don’t have to have physical sex to commit adultery! Ouch!


Read more...

Spring in Minnesota

Spring is here in Minnesota.  Of course, we wish someone would notify the weather!  Even though we are now four days into April, we have been blanketed with non-stop snow!  Not only are we forced to break out all the winter gear again, but now every conversation you hear or have has to revolve around the amount of snow on the ground.  Heck, it’s in all the blog posts too!
 

I will admit that snow in April is not one’s ideal picture for spring, but the beauty of the snow-covered trees and bright reflecting landscapes cannot be denied.  I personally love how our fresh snow fall coincides so perfectly with Easter.


Read more...

To Let Go

I lay there wide-eyed, I should be sleeping but instead my mind is whirling, visions of speeding cars and the sound of crunching metal fill my ears. The thoughts are going faster than I can track them. Normally, I am not one to worry, but anxiety has it’s hold on me with this one. I spend a few nights a week unable to sleep, focused on just one thing, my child will be driving soon.

Now if this story w

as from this past week it may make more sense, since she turns 15 soon, but sadly this story started when she was 12. It just happened one night I went to bed without a worry and the next I was in a panic about the future.

I was losing sleep, this made me crabby and distant the next day. I was so busy worrying about a her future that I was missing out on her present.

Read more...

Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage? The Bible’s Teaching

After a couple of blogs setting up the role of the Bible in guiding how we live for Jesus, we now are positioned to better tackle the question of sex outside of marriage. Remember, we begin by listening to Scripture rather than hoping Scripture will say what we want it to say! The Bible will guide us, but we have to receive it as words of life!


Read more...

The Evidence of God

 
Recently, while driving in to work one morning, I heard an old jam from one of the great Christian bands of the 90’s: Geoff Moore and the Distance.  (Hey, many great bands have terrible names.)  It was a sort of rock ballad that instantly brought me back.  I could not help but sing along to every word.  And wouldn’t you know it, as I reached the end, I was actually moved to tears.
 
Now I am not prone to tears often, and though I love music, this song will not likely win any awards for it’s ground breaking composition.  It wasn’t the artistry or the talents that moved me…it was the truth it proclaimed.
 

Read more...

I Need the Rail

Life circles around us in swirling chaos. It’s rare that I just stop and kneel before the Lord; taking time for quiet reflection or repentance. In the busyness of life I don’t take time to reflect often.

After awhile I can feel my heart yearn for something.

This current sermon series is reminding me of all my times at the rail. I started attending Red Rock Camp when I was going into 3rd grade. At the end of each evening worship there is a call to the altar. It was during one of those calls that I accepted Christ in elementary school and it was at one of those calls that I felt God’s healing hand. Through the years I have come to find myself and God at that rail.

The rail isn’t this magical place that you have to be at to receive vision and purpose. It is not holier than any other location, but something does happen at that rail, at any rail whether physical or mental.

Read more...

Sex Outside of Marriage Part 2

The question was (and often is) put to me this way, “Does the Bible prohibit sex outside of marriage?” Or, I hear it another way, “Does the Bible (or God) allow sex outside of marriage?”

The question is innocent enough, but I find it helpful to flush out the question behind the question. Sometimes people ask the question from a biased starting point. Often, I discover that what people ask me is really, “Is there a way for me to still do what I want?” The starting point for some is even, “I want to have sex outside of marriage, and I am looking for a way for the Bible to tell me I can.”


Read more...

Finding the Perfect Gift

As a procrastinator, I have been having many conversations with my wife as of late about what we have or have not yet purchased for Christmas gifts.  The list is shorter than it was, but much remains to be accomplished, and time is beginning to become a factor.  The scapegoat of gift cards looms in my mind as a wonderful, stress-free option.  You don’t even have to wrap those! I realize that a gift ought to be thoughtful and hold some kind of meaning, but, in the end, you hope that the recipient would at least want the gift you are giving them. 
 

And so we shop, and browse and hunt for deals and then do it all again at another store.  And why do we do it?  Why do we give gifts this time of year?  Because it makes us feel good?  Because we know we will be getting something in return?  Because this is what people do for Christmas?


Read more...

Pentecost Power!

 
Pentecost was an incredible event that occurred in Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago.  God unleashed his Holy Spirit upon those who were Jesus’ disciples.  They boldly proclaimed the truth that Jesus was the Son of God.  They told their audience (the Jewish people), that they were nothing short of guilty for killing Jesus and they exalted Jesus as Lord and King.

The people who were gathered were from all across the known world.  They each had their tribe and language and yet God’s Spirit enable each person to hear the message in their native tongue.

The results were astounding! The people were convicted.  They were ready to repent.  They accepted the message; both their guilt and their forgiveness.  They were baptized and 3,000 became followers of Jesus that day.  You can read about it in Acts 2.


Read more...

Courageous

You are COURAGEOUS!

Why, you ask. You are courageous for following Christ. Deciding to follow Christ and continuing to follow him throughout your life is brave. Maybe you don’t feel like it takes a lot of bravery in our little part of suburban America but, you would be wrong.

Faith in God is courageous in and of itself. First. you have decided to follow a God you cannot see; then practice teachings outside of today’s modern norms. All of this takes bravery.

Each day we put a trust in God with our lives. Author Gretchen Fleming states, “Courage is acting like “God’s got this!” even before it looks that way. It is stepping out to follow when you really don’t know how things will actually turn out.”

Now that you know you are already brave, how does that change your perspective of your faith journey?

Read more...

Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage? The New Testament (Part 1)

The New Testament (NT) shows a complete continuity with the Old Testament laws about human sexuality, and in particular the act of engaging in sex. In fact, the NT not only upholds the stance that sex must be reserved for marriage, it actually makes it stronger! Jesus does this in Matthew 5:27-29: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” That’s right! According to Jesus, adultery is not just the physical act. You also commit adultery when you lust after someone!  It’s also about your inward desires. So, according to Jesus, you don’t have to have physical sex to commit adultery! Ouch!


Read more...

Spring in Minnesota

Spring is here in Minnesota.  Of course, we wish someone would notify the weather!  Even though we are now four days into April, we have been blanketed with non-stop snow!  Not only are we forced to break out all the winter gear again, but now every conversation you hear or have has to revolve around the amount of snow on the ground.  Heck, it’s in all the blog posts too!
 

I will admit that snow in April is not one’s ideal picture for spring, but the beauty of the snow-covered trees and bright reflecting landscapes cannot be denied.  I personally love how our fresh snow fall coincides so perfectly with Easter.


Read more...

To Let Go

I lay there wide-eyed, I should be sleeping but instead my mind is whirling, visions of speeding cars and the sound of crunching metal fill my ears. The thoughts are going faster than I can track them. Normally, I am not one to worry, but anxiety has it’s hold on me with this one. I spend a few nights a week unable to sleep, focused on just one thing, my child will be driving soon.

Now if this story w

as from this past week it may make more sense, since she turns 15 soon, but sadly this story started when she was 12. It just happened one night I went to bed without a worry and the next I was in a panic about the future.

I was losing sleep, this made me crabby and distant the next day. I was so busy worrying about a her future that I was missing out on her present.

Read more...

Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage? The Bible’s Teaching

After a couple of blogs setting up the role of the Bible in guiding how we live for Jesus, we now are positioned to better tackle the question of sex outside of marriage. Remember, we begin by listening to Scripture rather than hoping Scripture will say what we want it to say! The Bible will guide us, but we have to receive it as words of life!


Read more...

The Evidence of God

 
Recently, while driving in to work one morning, I heard an old jam from one of the great Christian bands of the 90’s: Geoff Moore and the Distance.  (Hey, many great bands have terrible names.)  It was a sort of rock ballad that instantly brought me back.  I could not help but sing along to every word.  And wouldn’t you know it, as I reached the end, I was actually moved to tears.
 
Now I am not prone to tears often, and though I love music, this song will not likely win any awards for it’s ground breaking composition.  It wasn’t the artistry or the talents that moved me…it was the truth it proclaimed.
 

Read more...

I Need the Rail

Life circles around us in swirling chaos. It’s rare that I just stop and kneel before the Lord; taking time for quiet reflection or repentance. In the busyness of life I don’t take time to reflect often.

After awhile I can feel my heart yearn for something.

This current sermon series is reminding me of all my times at the rail. I started attending Red Rock Camp when I was going into 3rd grade. At the end of each evening worship there is a call to the altar. It was during one of those calls that I accepted Christ in elementary school and it was at one of those calls that I felt God’s healing hand. Through the years I have come to find myself and God at that rail.

The rail isn’t this magical place that you have to be at to receive vision and purpose. It is not holier than any other location, but something does happen at that rail, at any rail whether physical or mental.

Read more...

Sex Outside of Marriage Part 2

The question was (and often is) put to me this way, “Does the Bible prohibit sex outside of marriage?” Or, I hear it another way, “Does the Bible (or God) allow sex outside of marriage?”

The question is innocent enough, but I find it helpful to flush out the question behind the question. Sometimes people ask the question from a biased starting point. Often, I discover that what people ask me is really, “Is there a way for me to still do what I want?” The starting point for some is even, “I want to have sex outside of marriage, and I am looking for a way for the Bible to tell me I can.”


Read more...

Finding the Perfect Gift

As a procrastinator, I have been having many conversations with my wife as of late about what we have or have not yet purchased for Christmas gifts.  The list is shorter than it was, but much remains to be accomplished, and time is beginning to become a factor.  The scapegoat of gift cards looms in my mind as a wonderful, stress-free option.  You don’t even have to wrap those! I realize that a gift ought to be thoughtful and hold some kind of meaning, but, in the end, you hope that the recipient would at least want the gift you are giving them. 
 

And so we shop, and browse and hunt for deals and then do it all again at another store.  And why do we do it?  Why do we give gifts this time of year?  Because it makes us feel good?  Because we know we will be getting something in return?  Because this is what people do for Christmas?


Read more...

 
 
 

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