READ: Luke 12:13-21 Last year, I took my boys, who are now 9 and 11, camping for a few days in the woods.
On the first night — as the campfire embers were nearly out — the boys and I sat huddled together for warmth and company.
When you’re out in the woods at night, it can feel like a vast and lonely place.
Especially for little boys…
But right then, when all was quiet and our eyelids were getting heavy, we heard that magical sound:
If you’ve never hea
Read: Acts 4:31-37 In 1687 Sir Isaac Newton wrote that for every action, there is an equal and an opposite reaction.
That when something increases, something else must decrease.
We might know this better as Newton’s Third Law of Relativity.
But Newton’s law tends to fit all of the ordered world into a system of hierarchies.
However, today’s more emergent science — whether it be physical or social — now understands a more holistic system…
one in which all of those parts o
READ: 3 John How do we make God known?
It’s not our first question tonight, but let’s keep it in mind as we work through our reading and message this evening.
The answer might seem apparent:
We make God known by practicing good.
But the question we really should consider is this:
How do we know what practicing good looks like?
Again, maybe that seems overly obvious,
and the answers have more to do with not causing hurt to one another and welcoming everyone in God’s lo
READ: Genesis 1-2:4 One of my favorite books in the last decade or so was written by a man named Daniel Qiunn,
and the book’s title is “Ishmael.”
In it, the character of Ishmael is an overly evolved ape who can communicate and have deep intellectual conversations with a man, who has agreed to be the ape’s student.
Ishmael’s argument is whether humans will save the ape.
And that statement becomes a metaphor for whether humans will save the earth — or destroy it.
It’s a fa
READ: Philippians 1:27-30 Growing up, I had always hated that phrase “…if you know what’s good for you.”
“You’ll eat your broccoli, if you know what’s good for you.”
“You’ll lean your room, if you know what’s good for you.”
“You’ll do your homework, if you know what’s good for you.”
I never liked it because it was a command wrapped in something that’s supposed to be “good for me.”
It also came with the implication that if I didn’t do what was good for me, obviously, the
READ: Matthew 25.14-30 You may or may not know this about John Wesley, the founder of Methodism:
John Wesley grew up dirt poor.
His own father was an Anglican priest, but in one of the poorest parishes, and therefore, it wasn’t unusual for the Wesleys to go without.
As an adult, John Wesley, although following in his father’s footsteps and becoming an Anglican priest, did not suffer the same poverty as his childhood family;
See, John was an academic. A scholar.
READ: Genesis 4.1-17 You may be surprised to know that one of my favorite theorists comes not from the field of Theology, but from the field of Communications.
In 2000, Neil Postman wrote Building a Bridge to the 18th Century.
In it, he questions why we do what we do — what we might call epistemology — as it relates to the decisions we make without considering the consequences.
In short, Postman posits that we don’t ask the right questions when creating a new technology.
READ: 2 Samuel 12:1-13 Have you ever had to say something really hard to someone? To a friend or family member? I think of things like writing a Dear John letter or telling someone they’re fired. Or how hard would it be to be that person who knocks on the door of a military person’s family to break bad news?
Many years ago, I worked for a software development company in State College as an accountant and this company was very customer service oriented with in person softw
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