READ: Phil. 2.1-5 The apostle Paul had a hard life. It didn’t start that way. In fact, he was a Roman citizen, and within the Roman Empire, that got you a lot of protections and privileges. He was educated in the top schools, and he was very smart. From an early age, he had learned the ways of the Jewish religious leaders of the day — the Pharisees, and by the time he was a young man, he not only was a Pharisee himself, but he was a leader among them. Paul was given many resp
Read: 1 Kings 19.9b-18 We have a whole lot of problems and challenges in the world today. And we have a whole lot of problems and challenges in our lives, in our families, and in our communities, too. Things we can never really seem to fix. Homelessness. Poverty. Corruption. Unfair treatment… Social, religious, cultural prejudice and persecution. Inequity. Disunity. Fear. And even hate. These are the things that divide us, the things that injure and eventually kill communitie
READ: Mark 4:35-41 As many as you know, I like to sail. I have an 80-year-old, small wooden boat named Haiku, and I generally sail her on my sabbath, Fridays, out on Sayers Lake. If you remember, last Thursday, the winds here were up around 35-miles per hour, but come Friday morning, there was no wind at all, and forecast called for light winds all day. And so I set up the boat, and set out onto the lake early — about 8 am. There was hardly a breeze, as I ghosted along. But r
READ: 1. Samuel 15.1-16.13 Have you ever seen the credit card commercial in which these little scenarios play out in which someone’s bank card is stolen and used for purchases by someone else… or someone else is stuck flying coach when others with better credit cards are moved up to first class… or a homeowner’s house is destroyed by some cataclysmic event or at the hands of — I don’t know — rogue cowboys or vikings … and the whole point of the commerical is that if you used
READ: Mark 3:20-35 I want to read to you three quotes this morning on the topic of family. The first is from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who once wrote: “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” And of course the author Harper Lee wrote a quote about family that most of us are a little more familiar with. In her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” she writes: “You can choose your friends, but you sho' can't choose your family…” The final quote co
READ: Mark 2:23-3:6 During the Sundays of my youth, my family didn’t ever use the word “sabbath” to describe the seventh day of the week. But make no mistake: We sure did observe it. For an 8-year-old boy, the last thing I wanted to do on Sunday — one of the two precious days off of the week — was to spend it first at church and then resting. My parents had strict rules — Well, maybe just one: Sunday was a family day. First church. Then sitting around the table for a big brun
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