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.


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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.

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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!


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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.
 

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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.

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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.”


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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?


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Christmas Music is Worship Music

Just as everyone is starting to get sick of all the Christmas music they have been playing since Thanksgiving, this wise man is just beginning to break out the harmonies of the holiday.  That’s right, I hold off on the yuletide tunes as long as I possibly can.  (And for someone who leads worship at a church, mid Dec. is pretty late).  However, I have found that if I revisit these classic songs too early, they are already burnt out and somehow lackluster by the time Christmas does roll around.
 

Christmas can be such a “fluffy” time of year.  Santa rears his ugly head and consumerism plagues our bank accounts.  We can become pretty good at reciting nice platitudes about love and joy and peace, but come January, all the expectations of the holiday season are gone and we are just left with another year…one that looks a lot like the last.


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Making Room

“There was no room for Jesus in the Inn.” Luke 2:7

Do you struggle during the Christmas season, like I do? I feel like I am in a constant fight with myself around this time of year. Not between Jesus and Santa, an over commercialized aspect of the holiday but with savoring His birth and the hustle of the season.

I feel like the Innkeepers of Jesus’s day, with no room for him in my life.

From the start of September through January 1st,  it seems like just one hustle after another. As soon as school starts, the leaves change and pumpkins arrive on doorsteps, then Thanksgiving is here and before we know it December is in full swing. Christmas time brings its own schedule of busyness to our lives.

I begin to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.


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Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage?

Does God’s Way Allow Sex Outside of Marriage? Beginnings

I have met my goal! I’ve answered to the best of my ability at this time the questions posed to me by teens about God’s existence and why Jesus is the only way of salvation. It took me 13 blogs!! If you are still reading these, you have amazing stamina!

But questions keep coming. I will continue to try to answer them to the best of my ability. This next one is also going to take me a while to answer!

A teen asked me, “Sex before marriage: is the Bible clearly against sex [before marriage] both in the New Testament and in the Old? There are not a ton of passages about it in the Bible, but it is such a big issue in our culture right now.”

Read more...

 
 
 
 

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