When it all Looks Hopeless

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When it all Looks Hopeless Get Ready for Something New Abraham is married to Sara, an old woman.  They have no children.  God comes into that situation and says, “Perfect.  Just the way I like to work.  Everything looks hopeless, therefore everything is set up for a blessing.” Too often …

Just a Word

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“Love one another deeply from the heart.” This instruction from 1 Peter is easy to understand. However, it is difficult to follow. According to Eugene Peterson, “Love one another deeply from the heart” is a way of saying love as if your life depends on it, love as though there …

The Most Difficult Task

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If you had to identify the most difficult task you face in your everyday world what would it be?  Meeting the demands of a tough and difficult job?  Learning to get along with a diverse and perhaps divisive set of co-workers?  Finding just the right word for an essay or …

The Gospel of Love and Service

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Paul reminds the church in Philippi, that “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God…emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.” This a reminder to all of us in the church whether we are ministers, elders, board members, council chairs, active members, first-time visitors or curious …

New Year, New Way

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The Bible often reminds us of our need to repent.  That word gets a lot of bad press but at its core it means: turn around and move toward maturity.  This may be the single most difficult thing we are invited to do in the Christian life.  Perhaps even more …

Hope and Leadership

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I picked up a book on leadership, titled Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership by Nancy Ortberg. I bought it because Nancy’s husband, John, is one of my favorite authors.  I’m glad I did. She links hope and leadership as two very important factors in moving …

Stable Moments

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I hope you are expecting a mess for Christmas.  I doubt you’ve put that on your gift list but I am pretty sure that all of us, in one way or another, will get a mess this year.  This time of year is always chaotic.  The malls are crowded  with …

The Heart of Christmas

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December 25, was officially sanctioned as Christmas Day by Bishop Liberius of Rome in 354 AD.  However, the roots of the way we celebrate Christmas are relatively new when placed on a historical continuum. Most of what we would call traditional celebrations can be traced to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas …

Mystery into Mystery

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The wonderful songwriter, Bruce Cockburn, upon learning of the death of a fellow musician wrote: There you goSwimming deeper into mysteryHere I remainOnly seeing you where you used to beStared at the ceiling‘Til my ears filled with tearsNever got to know you Suddenly you’re out of hereGone from mystery into …

An Inclusive Gospel

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One of the most important aspects of the “emerging church” movement is the idea of inclusiveness.  Many research organizations and reports are noting that people no longer search for a church based on “brand” loyalty.  Fifty years go if you were a member of a Christian Church like Country Club …

Thank You, George

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One of the great highlights of my career has been the opportunity to serve with my colleague and friend, The Rev. Dr. George B. Gordon.  During the last six years together in ministry, we have laughed and cried, prayed and dreamed, planned and studied, worshipped and welcomed in ways that …

An Open Door Policy

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One of my pet phrases to say to visitors who express a desire to return is, “The doors will be open!”  I want anyone who walks through our doors to know that they are open for everyone.  When we keep the doors of the sanctuary open for all we are …

God Is Bigger Than We Are

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God is bigger than we are.  I suppose that statement is an obvious truth, one that all of us would agree with, but there are times, especially during political seasons, when this basic truth is forgotten, ignored or twisted.  I mentioned in a recent sermon that both parties have tried …

A Gracious Political Season

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As we move further into the political season that is before us, I hope people of faith, especially Christians, will be able to treat those who disagree with them with graciousness and kindness.  Christian folks like us cannot control the action of the two parties as we move closer to …

God's Annoying Love

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Do you remember the parable Jesus told about a man who owned a vineyard?  You can find it in Matthew 20.  The short version is this: A man owned a vineyard and needed help to harvest the grapes.  Early in the day he found some workers.  He promised them $100.  …