On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...
I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.
Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.
I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.
Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.
Dear readers: For the last 10 years, I have been the guy on call to be there for people when they're going through tragedy. I've tried to comfort them with God's Word as they mourn the loss of a loved one, face uncertain surgeries, and deal with pain in so many different ways.
We go through a lot to do "church". Think of the time and money and effort and energy put into making sure we've got a place to meet on Sundays, all the work that goes into the various events and traditions. People give up so much in the name of church, so today I ask you, "Why?" What's the point?"
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Wives, do you wish your husbands were better communicators? Guys, do you wish your wives didn't read things into what you say that were never there? You know what I'm talking about.
You can tell a lot by a gift's reaction, can't you? - about the gift, the giver, the receiver, their relationship. So, since reactions to gifts are so important - think about your reaction to the greatest gift of Christmas -Jesus.
It's getting closer. The end of the Mayan calendar has caused so many to talk about the end of the world. They say it will be next Friday, Dec. 21. Of course, God said we wouldn't know when - but we do know he's coming. So it is important to ask if you're ready. Are you?
T minus 14 days and counting. Are you ready? According to the Internet (and you know if it's on the Internet it has to be true, right?) ...according to the internet on Dec. 21st, 2012, at exactly 11:11 a.m. there will be a conjunction of the Winter Solstice with the crossing point of the Galactic Equator and the Ecliptic path of the sun. The Mayans predicted it 2500 years ago and ended their calendar on that day. Nostradamus called it the "Galactic alignment of 2012" way back in 1555. And it is now just 11 days away ...
Well, it's official. Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is upon us. I know, the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Dec. 25, but our society can't wait that long to start celebrating. So Christmas creeps up earlier and earlier in the year. I even saw Christmas trees coming out already in October in one local store. But now that Thanksgiving is past, it is full on. Christmas is everywhere.
"Rejoice in the Lord always... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Last week, I defended my statement that being a church person is really living. But I know how hard our society and our own sinful natures fight against that. I've heard all the arguments against the whole "religious scene." I know it's popular (foolish, but popular) these days to say, "I'm spiritual, just not religious." I've heard so many reasons the "church" world makes life hard. And I know, often the "church" messes up. Often, the real reason for church and religion is pushed to the side, so it does lose its purpose. That doesn't ...
"This is living." Has that statement ever come out of your mouth? Take a minute and think about when. Is it sitting on the beach; sending a rocket of a drive down a picturesque fairway; being squeezed in a hug from your grandkids; enjoying a fantastic meal with people you love? What would make you say, "This is living"?
Have you ever said it about coming to church? Today, I'd like to posit the proposition that doing the church thing - going to church, reading the Bible, reading an article like this, just being a Christian - "THIS is living."
Last week, I left you hanging. I spent 90 percent of my column showing you from God's word that regardless of what you might try to tell yourself - you don't deserve anything good. I know, that doesn't sound like a very nice thing to do. But the truth is - it's the truth. In fact, the wages of sin is death.
"Just keeping it real." I've learned to dread that statement, because it usually comes with something I'd rather not hear. You know, they say it's important for a public speaker to have a good critic - someone to honestly and objectively evaluate how you're communicating, what you're saying, all that. Well, God has certainly blessed me with that in my wife. You see... How can I put this? My wife doesn't worry about hurting my feelings when I ask how it went after I've preached. In fact, she tells me she wants to make ...
It was nearly 20 years ago now. My dad took the opportunity to speak to the court at the trial of the man who killed my sister, his daughter. You see, the man had gotten drunk...again, and gotten behind the wheel...again, even though his license had been taken away, even though he knew better, even though he had been warned and cited and told. All this my dad knew.
You: cute brunette with green eyes shopping with your sister at the mall.
"The church is all about money." You've heard that said, right? How sad when it's true, when good well-meaning Christians start worrying about the budget more than the Bible, when churches show that lack of focus. More accurately, it's when we focus on the wrong thing.
So Paul, in 1 Timothy 6, snaps us back with the very first word of verse 6: "But." You see, just before our text, Paul was warning young Pastor Timothy about false teachers who saw religion as a means for financial gain, those who acted as if the church was all ...
Everybody loves a party, right? I write this article a few days after being on a college campus on game day, about an hour before kickoff. And as I walked, people were mingling and mixing, drinking and dancing, eating, smiling and just having a good time. One guy took it upon himself to run from party to party and start shouting team cheers - and people were happy to join in. It was a celebration.
"What would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike bar?" Have you seen the ads? The guy challenged to listen to his wife instead of looking at the big game on the TV...and then a wife had to actually choose to go see an action movie. The ice cream had better be good, right?