The Prophet Daniel describes the Babylonian government as full of division, posturing, jealousy, covetousness, corruption, deceitfulness, and distrust…in other words much like how I imagine our nation’s government operates today. But Jesus, through his Sermon on the Mount, paints a much different picture of what is possible. One of hope, of unity, of peace, and of love. If we would just humble ourselves, confess our sinfulness to God, and turn toward H
Jesus often told stories where he likened weddings to the Kingdom of Heaven breaking into our midst. Indeed these communal festivities are wonderful opportunities to cultivate a greater heart of gratitude. The truth is that the more we accept these invitations to join in the party, the more grateful we become. So let us be more grateful and festive!
There is a dangerous movement in American Christianity that says “I believe in Jesus, but I just don’t believe I need to be part of the local Church.” The Apostle Paul also addressed this spiritual apathy in the Church in Ephesus. Through his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we are better together than we are on our own. We are stronger together than we are on our own. We are more blessed together than we are on our own. We have a grea
I’m sure everyone could attest that there are days when we don’t feel very grateful. The truth is that we are hard pressed on all sides, busy beyond exhaustion, and confronted by people who wish to do us harm. And King Jehosaphat in the Old Testament encourages us that it is during those days when we need to intentionally practice our gratitude. Though we may need to allow ourselves to feel all our emotions, at some point we also must put them aside,
Last week we talked about the emotion of gratitude and how hard it is to be grateful when we are grieving. But if gratitude is an emotion, it is also an ethic or something we can do. Today we suggest a few gratitude practices that if we do, over a period of time, will become habits that could change the way we live and view the world around us. My hope is that they will spark ideas that we can then import into our own homes so that we can express gratitude in our
I will confess that it’s been a hard season of ministry. There have been several people that I loved who have died recently. Some were expected, but some unexpected. Truth be told, as I deal with my grief, I find that I am a bit grumpy that my days with these folks were cut far too short. And when a heart is grieving or grumpy, it can be a challenge if not impossible to feel grateful. And yet Psalm 34 exhorts us to Praise the Lord at all times. Bu
Research shows that 94% of Americans feel grateful for the lives we live and yet less than 50% of us ever express that gratitude to others. Why is that? Luke tells the story of ten lepers who were healed by Jesus but only one of them ever returned to say “Thank You” to him. Why is that? Scripture calls us to be grateful in all things, at all times. Our fall sermon series, Gratitude” will focus on what happens when we reframe the way we look at peopl
Psalm 150 reminds us that we are to worship the Lord from the beginning of our life to our final breath. Did you know that when we gather for worship we are caught up in the ongoing worship taking place in heaven? So worship is less about our human biases and more about God and who God is. Worship can be as complex as a thousand voice choir or as simple as the very act of breathing. Both are gifts that can unleash our human worship of the Triune Lord God, Father, Son,
The world tells us that our identity is often wrapped up in what we do. Our jobs. Our marriages. Our kids. Our health. But what do we do when those things give way and fail us? Psalm 46 reminds us that God alone is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. In those moments, we must find our true identity in our status as beloved Children of God. We are called to “Be Still and know that God is God and we don’t have to be.” Then
Psalm 23 is one of the most familiar and widely used of David’s psalms. Some of us memorized it as children in Sunday School. Oftentimes, we hear it at funerals. Psalm 23 speaks of life. It speaks of hope. It speaks of trust in the face of any uncertainty in life or death. It is confessional. It is contractual. It is personal. And it is deeply hopeful.