Rebirth, New Life, & New Beginnings

Though I know Easter is behind us, & Christmas on the distant horizon, these thoughts have been swirling around in me since April, so I though I’d put them down for others to engage with.

I was raised in a non-believing home, so I had only the vaguest notion that Easter had anything to do with Jesus – if anyone in my family had ever mentioned it, I didn’t remember – but the excitement of Spring, new life, and EXCESS AMOUNTS OF REESE’S EASTER BUNNY CANDIES just moved my SOUL, so it didn’t surprise me whatsoever when I began exploring the Bible late in my teenage years that Bunnies, Eggs, and Spring all represented new life and were a living arrow all pointing towards the resurrection of Jesus.

My younger brother and I would get up early on Easter Sunday, sneaking out into the kitchen to find our huge Easter baskets – packed full of candy, and toys – and Mom & Dad would be awoken by the ruckus, joining us shortly to cook a full-out breakfast of  pancakes, bacon, eggs, and hash-browns.  Then we’d empty our Easter baskets in our room, and take to our immense 8 acre back-yard to hunt for eggs for the next hour or so.  And when THAT was through, we’d  hop in the car and drive across town to Granda & Papa Wilkinson’s with the rest of the extended family, hunt eggs again at their house –  except they had mostly plastic eggs with MONEY INSIDE – then eat a huge Easter lunch that would make Thanksgiving recoil in fear of it’s huge-osity.

I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone here has some sort of annual traditions that you uphold – whether the big one takes place at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas… or SUPERBOWL.  There are things in each of our lives that we count on year after year to happen a certain way, and often just ride through the experience – simply going through the motions.  Well, Jesus was a Jew, and the Jews had a LOT of traditions they upheld, but few as important as the passover… [Read more…]

Philippians 4: what is Reel? Christians & the media

It seems to me that, given the restrictions caused by Covid19, this topic has never been more relevant than it is now. Feeling trapped in our homes, we’re devouring any & all available entertainment at our fingertips: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, cable TV, & all sorts of ‘entertainment’ available on the web. I pray this message is a healthy reminder for us, because I’m likely going to step on everyone’s toes, my own included… [Read more…]

Engaged Worship

As a disciple of Jesus my life should be a response to His work (what He has done and is doing) of creation, sustenance, rebirth, enlightenment, salvation, and sanctification. How I respond to God IS WORSHIP – that is what tells the world how valuable He is. This is how we worship – how we declare declares His worth. Of course, that’s far more than just singing a song – in fact, it is possible to worship God and NEVER SING, but as a people who – in order to fully experience a truth need to LIVE it – singing/making music to the Lord is also for our benefit. It doesn’t ‘usher’ in God – he’s omnipresent, and – for believers- already present by his Spirit on the inside…but it does change us, letting us experience – & making us more aware of the experience of – His Spirit in our midst.

Here are a few Biblical guidelines for what singing to God can look like:
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We, the Least: on Honor

NO PARKINGIn light of recent national (& for my family, somewhat local events) I thought it important to re-publish this post. Honor comes a result of recognizing God’s image in everyone…

Have you ever spent time with someone & afterward just felt very happy to be you? You knew you were loved, no matter what, & your name was “safe” in their mouth? It’s true of all of us: when I like being me around you, I like you. This is the natural impact of a person of honor. Considering the sorts of people who were drawn to Jesus, & how many were, I think it’s fair to say that Jesus was a person of honor[Read more…]

Asking Jesus how to Pray

With the National Day of Prayer just this past week I wonder how often & how freely we pray?

I’ve found that when one struggles to pray it’s often because they struggle with their view of God, or have a faulty understanding of prayer itself. Both of these issues are addressed when Jesus gave us His simple blueprint for prayer.

Prayer isn’t hard – no need for complex words, or heady concepts. There is no “performance” in prayer. Jesus gave this example of the sorts of things one might say to God:

 Therefore, you should pray like this…

Note: Jesus didn’t say “You should PRAY THIS…” – it’s not something that is only useful if quoted word for word. This is simply a roadmap of how we might converse with God. Pray like this…

Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.

Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

[Read more…]