Life Under Pressure

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When our lives are under pressure it can feel like we have been abandoned by God.  St. John of the Cross calls this the “dark night of the soul.”              I have been asked many times by parishioners, by neighbors, even by strangers on airplanes: How can I avoid this …

A Word from Glen, July 26, 2013

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I hope to see you this Sunday for Part 2 in my sermon series “Overwhelmed.”  This week’s focus is “Hurt and Hope.” Have you ever been unfairly criticized, misunderstood or wrongly attacked?  If so you’ll resonate with this week’s reading from Psalm 69.  There we will hear the cry of …

Teach Us to Forgive

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And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel.  Learning to both receive and give forgiveness is at the heart of every relationship that matters.  Receiving and giving forgiveness is not always an easy thing. Accepting forgiveness is hard because we …

Love from the Center

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Paul, the apostle, wrote, “Let love be genuine.” The Greek word translated here as “genuine” can be read literally as “un-hypocritical.”  Let love be un-hypocritical.  The popular translation of the Bible known as The Message translates this first verse to say: “Love from the center of who you are; don’t …

Summer Reading

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Every year as the days get longer I offer a list of books that I have, or I am hoping to, read.  Here’s the latest: What We Talk About When We Talk About God, by Rob Bell.  I read this powerful little book during a plane flight on my way …

Learning to Pray

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I find the practice of prayer powerful and difficult at the same time.  The powerful moments come when my prayer life is in full swing and I realize I can handle almost anything that comes along.  When I make space in my schedule for 30 minutes of quiet time spent …

Summer Sermons – Invite a Friend

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I’m preaching two sermon series this summer that I am really looking forward to delivering.  The first one, “Living the God Life,” is based on Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia and is inspired by John Ortberg’s book of the same title. The Galatians were becoming quite strict in …

On Why I Love This Church

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I’m preaching this Sunday on the gift of love.  While working on my notes for the sermon I made a list of all the things I love about our congregation.  I did this as a spiritual exercise, as a prayer of thanksgiving for you, the members and friends of this …

The Future Starts Now

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The message of Easter says that we are not stuck in the past.  The story of the cross and the empty tomb says that we are no longer slaves to guilt but have been set free.  Peter wrote to the ancient church that “we’ve been given a brand new life …

Live at Peace with All

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The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with all.”  This instruction is clear but it comes with an “if.”  “If it is possible.”  Paul knows that we are not always able to mend every …

Good Friday Is Too Painful

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Today is Good Friday.  At noon today about 150 folks will gather in our sanctuary to face the ugliness of the execution of God’s beloved child.  When we hear the story of the crucifixion our beautiful gold cross will be shrouded in black cloth. The service will end in a …

Getting Ready for Easter

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  “You need to die if you want to live with me,” Jesus says to his disciples and to us, but most of us are not too sure that we want to follow that advice.  This is a difficult teaching but if we pay attention to the Easter story we’ll …

To Wound the Heart

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The Argentinian Poet Antonio Porchia has written, “To wound the heart is to create it.”  That is a truth that is difficult to embrace.  We try to protect our hearts.  We guard them.  We don’t want to have them wounded in any way. No one knows how to hurt each …

What Is Lent?

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I grew up attending mostly very conservative, evangelical churches.  We did not participate in the season of Lent.  Some of my Sunday School teachers and youth group leaders implied that Lenten practices like giving up chocolate for 40 days or praying a certain set of prayers every day was “Catholic,” …

Following Jesus?

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Jesus taught, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” This is not an easy thing to do. We have a hard enough time loving each other. I’m a preacher’s kid. I went to church for the first time when I was six days old. One of the complaints …