Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 34 in total
When the crowd hears John the Baptist warn that God was about ready to cut everyone off, "that the ax was at the root," they do what many of us do: They panic and try to find out what they need to do to stave off their imminent demise. Note that instead of saying, "Nothing," like Jesus does to Nicodemus who asks the Lord what he can do, John begins to tell the people how they can begin to repent.
I take a brief look at Mark 8 and Jesus' rebuke of Peter. Sorry if it's a bit rambling, but sometimes you just gotta say it.
I'm doing my best to start back on a committed publication schedule, and I think that Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday is a good week to start. I hope that you find this episode a blessing.
Today we will take a look at Job 13-14 & Acts 17-18 and consider Job and Paul's response to life's troubles.
God helps those who help themselves. Right? It may be beneficial to read these chapters before listening.
This is a brief look at 2 Corinthians 4:6-10. Perhaps it will help when you are facing change, tumult, and upheaval in your life.
Do we as disciples want what Jesus wanted? Do our churches, faith communities, and traditions share God's desires for others, for the world, and for ourselves? Join us as we begin our search for the answers.
It takes time to live into our new identity in Christ Jesus. Patience, Grasshopper.
This is a brief episode to start the podcast going again in this extraordinary time. Are we going to allow what has happened change our priorities, or are we just taking back up the status quo?
If a sacrament is an ordinary action or substance through which the grace of God flows to those that are in need, those that are hurting, then by living as a disciple our very lives become sacramental. As we live the life that Jesus describes in Luke 6, we bring blessing, and the power of God's Spirit and grace flows through us.
We continue our look into Luke 6 and Jesus' description of the life of a disciple.
The life that leads to blessings is a life that is predicated upon reacting to those who hate you in the same way that Jesus does. The disciple doesn't seek to have it his or her way but instead is willing to consider other's needs as more important. The disciple will be blessed by giving freely to those who would take; disciples will be mocked and rejected by others when they choose to respond in love rather than retribution. They may be called cowards for praying for their enemies, but Jesus will call them friends.
The beginning of our journey into discipleship begins when we decide to share in God's desire for all the world to be reconciled in Jesus Christ; it is when we decide to love rather than to be right. The disciple can be content because discipleship is about living, about being a blessing to those who are hurting.
Are we living as disciples of Christ or are we merely churchgoers? Christian teaching is necessary, but it cannot be the only source of spiritual truth in the believer's life. There are times that Christian teaching doesn't quite match up with Jesus' teaching and times when belief is not being put into action, perhaps because what Jesus describes as the expected life of his followers may be too uncomfortable for us. At these times, it is easy to default to what we have been told, rest in our arguments, than to live the life of love. This is the introduction to a closer look at Jesus' teachings about discipleship found in Luke 6.
There is no way that any one person can navigate this thing called life successfully alone: Cooperation and mutual concern are demands. When we start to see ourselves as part of a whole, serving a purpose far greater than any one we would devise on our own, perhaps we will start to be able to experience the fullness of God's blessing.
The dry, barren times in our lives can very well be the best times to see God doing amazing things. In these time, if we would but look up from our routine, we might catch a glimpse of the burning bush and hear God's invitation to be a part of something wonderful.
God desires that none should perish and, also, promises that there will come a day when all people and nations will seek to live righteous and holy lives. Do we share in God's desire and are we prepared to help make this day come to pass?
Often times we have our attentions and hearts focused on the wrong things. When we do, we can miss the point of our relationship with God; even worse, we can actually end up working against it even when we don't mean to so so. If the point is to draw nearer to Christ in this life, to respond to others in the way that he did, then there is never really an end to our journey: if we are trying to reach God. However, if our focus is on the wrong thing, if it is upon ourselves and our attempt to overcome death, if it is not on living in the present, we run the risk of becoming complacent and failing in our calling to be a blessing to the people that we meet. How does this complacency come about? How do we get beyond it and yearn for the things of God?
The things that we cherish most will be the things that determine if we react to overwhelming events in our lives or if we respond to them. Will we react in fear or respond in hope? When it's all over, will we be broken, or will we be changed?
Trust is the key to escaping the entanglement that results from being judgemental. As we choose to hold on to our distrust, we increase the likelihood that we will point out the specks in others' eyes while more easily ignoring the beams in our own. This distrust and its ensuing judgementalism will prevent us from living freely in the life that God has ordered around us, a life of grace and hope, and will bring us only isolation and ever increasing anxiety. As we learn to trust more deeply in the things that are cherished by God, we discover that we can actually make the choice to release into God's care those who have inflicted upon us even our most pernicious hurts.
(But how do you feel?) It takes time to develop trust, be it in God, others, or in ourselves. We can begin to cultivate trust if we make the choice to seek it, to spend time focusing our attention upon the excellent and the honorable. As we remain present in the lives of others and seek the best in and for them, even though at times it is rather difficult to find the good in some people, we may very well some to see and trust in God's presence in our own lives more clearly. To get to this point, however, will require us to look just a little deeper than the surface. We'll take a look at Philippians 4:8 and Romans 12:1-2.
The foundation of every relationship that we have, be it with God, other people, institutions and even our stuff is trust. Our ability to trust indicates how effectively we will be able to participate in God's blessing for ourselves and for others. Fortunately, trust is choice; unfortunately, trust often requires us to choose against our own immediate self-interests in the hope of a better future.
We have all been equipped to see others through the same eyes as God does. We can align our motivations and inclinations with our Creator's because we have been blessed with glory and honor. See Psalm 8 for more details. "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" is by Tom Fettke and is intended to inspire this needed change in all of us and to remind us of what we were actually created to be.
Why does God want us to have the fullest life that we possibly can have? What's God's angle? The short answer that we most often get is love. Ok. But there's a problem here: People have very different experiences of love; many definitions of this, dare I say overused, word exist. Yes, God does indeed desire our wellbeing because of love, but that reality does not get as to why God desires us to receive grace, comfort, hope, inclusion and forgiveness. What is God's purpose for ministry to creation? God's why and our raison d'être are spelled out rather explicitly in Genesis 12:1-4.