We’re hardwired to stick with the status quo. We like what we know. And we don’t like…what we don’t. It’s uncomplicated. It’s not hard to understand. It doesn’t challenge us. It’s why so many of us make the same mistakes over and over again. In other words, we are often comfortable being dry ground. What can God do with that? The prophet Isaiah shares exactly this.Read More
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A few weeks ago, Pastor Brynn made a joke about how conversations with me have a tendency to wind up on the subject of Judgement Day. And you all laughed because you thought she was kidding.
Well today, that IS where our conversation is going.
Judgment Day.Read More
The church is a web of relationships - and just like is true in any relationship, sometimes the church is hard to love. The second that we sense inauthenticity, we feel lied to. Cheated. We feel unsafe and tempted to run in the other direction. Christians are still fallible, broken human beings with diverse and diverging opinions. Fallible, broken human beings who can still hurt us quite a bit. How then, should the church respond to inathenticity?
We can and should debate all day long on immigration policy. The ability to love one another while being united in mission in the midst of disagreeing viewpoints is one of the hallmarks of a strong and healthy church. But what is the role of the Church when politics and Biblical teaching collide?Read More
All day, every day, we’re surrounded by people making judgment calls about us. We’re led to believe that the key to our success is in being memorable for all the right reasons. We don’t want to feel forgotten. Or worse - that we, ourselves, are forgettable. So what does God say to a group of people afraid of being forgotten, afraid of being left behind, to you and to me in those moments?
Because regret, these if onlys; that’s not how the story starts. The story starts with God. And God had invited the people to a life of shalom. We usually understand shalom to mean something like “peace,” like the absence of war or violence, but the Hebrew word actually meant more than that.Read More
Our passage this morning finds us deep in the middle of a court case, like Pastor Angie introduced last week. But this isn’t just any court case. The witnesses? Are the nations. The defendants? Are the gods. And the question before everybody is which nation’s god is the real god?Read More
Those seasons when the workload and responsibilities pile up. And the demands of your relationships feel daunting. Then you receive that unexpected call from a doctor or family member with that “not-so-good” news. And to top it all off, it seems like nearly every major household appliance breaks all at once.
When it rains, friends, it pours.
And I imagine this phrase was not lost on God’s people as they found themselves exiled in Babylon during the time Isaiah wrote the words from our passage this morning.
For the last few weeks, we’ve been going through a series on the book of Isaiah called One Hope. And throughout the series, we’ve considered the promises God makes to His people in the depths of despair. Because, for God’s people, the events leading up to the exile were not simply a minor rain storm…When it rained over Israel in the 6th century BCE... it poured.
Whether it’s online or in real life, we have our true self - the self with all its insecurities and struggles and joys and quirks.
And then there’s our filtered self, the self we wish we were.
The filtered self might look like our true self, but maybe isn’t totally what we’re actually like. Maybe we picked The Smart Filter, or the Put Together Filter, or the Hipster Filter. Some of us are wearing the Don’t-Hurt-Anybody’s-Feelings Filter, or the Perpetual Critic Filter, or the I’m in Control Filter.
But whether or not we hang outside office buildings in creepy cloaks and masks, or filter or photoshop our lives, to an extent, we all do this kind of life editing in one way or another.
There have been seasons when life has felt dark ... when I felt wretchedly alone and afraid. Times when I felt as though darkness was my closest friend. Times when I felt isolated in the darkness of defensiveness and insecurity. Where is God in the midst of these moments?Read More