Apr 7, 2014

Invitation to a Modest Moral Inventory,...

Ephesians 4:31-32
Last Thursday , we began what I've called a "modest moral inventory" based on Ephesians 4:31-32. The first verse of this passage mentions several attitudes or behaviors that we need to get rid of as new people in Christ. I suggested that you might use this short list of negatives...Read more +
Apr 6, 2014

Stewardship of Place

Psalm 37
In the late 1800s, an ancestor of mine traded a horse and saddle for 2,100 acres of land in the Texas panhandle. Over time, some of his heirs sold their portions of the inheritance, but my grandmother kept hers. Today, my parents still live on Hay Creek Ranch—the place I...Read more +
Apr 5, 2014

From Mediocrity to Maturity

Ephesians 4:1-16
Living beyond mediocrity is rooted in our identity in Christ. It also involves bringing our very best to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, and our communities. Bringing our very best to every life circumstance necessitates that we try our best at what we do. I don’t just mean trying...Read more +
Apr 4, 2014

The Up and Down of Worship

Psalm 99:1-9
When I was about five years old, my family joined another family on a weekend vacation in Palm Springs, California. When Sunday morning rolled around, my parents informed me that we were going with them to their church. They warned me that there would be no Sunday school and that...Read more +
Apr 3, 2014

Invitation to a Modest Moral Inventory,...

Ephesians 4:31-32
Step 4 of the 12-step program created by Alcoholics Anonymous reads: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." Those who follow the 12 steps on the way to recovery often spend lots of time in thought and prayer as they take stock of their moral shortcomings and defects...Read more +
Apr 2, 2014

Let Your Words Give Pleasure to God

Ephesians 4:29-30
In Monday's reflection we considered the question: Can you give joy to God? If your words (and deeds) can grieve the Spirit of God, is it possible for you to give joy to God? Tuesday's reflection featured several passages of Scripture that speak of God's delight in us and the...Read more +
Apr 1, 2014

Yes, You Can Give Joy to God. No Joke!

Ephesians 4:29-30
Today is April Fool's Day, a day when, in many parts of the world, people play practical jokes on each other. The standard April Fool's strategy is to try to get someone else to believe something ridiculous, like "You just won the lottery" or "You're fired." Then, when the victim...Read more +
Mar 31, 2014

Can You Give Joy to God?

Ephesians 4:29-30
In several of last week's reflections, we considered how our words might grieve the Holy Spirit. When we speak in ways that are contrary to the person we will be on the day when God redeems all things, the Spirit grieves. When our words hurt our brothers and sisters in...Read more +
Mar 30, 2014

Is Jesus Enough?

Matthew 5
Living beyond mediocrity can mean many different things. I continue to learn that, in some ways, living beyond mediocrity does not mean we need to do more. Instead, I realize, we live beyond mediocrity when God gives us the strength to be more. We live in a culture that tends...Read more +
Mar 29, 2014

Sports Are Fun

Ecclesiastes 8
Like many of you, I greatly enjoy sport. My favorite is baseball. My favorite team, since Junior High School: the reigning World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox. I watch about 100 MLB games a year. I am a fan. There is a difference between idolatry and fandom. And, there...Read more +