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Showing posts from November, 2014

Making Room for Christ - Advent Week One: "Time Keeps On Ticking"

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We have this Christmas decoration at my house that counts down the days until Christmas.  My little kids love this thing.  They look at it every day in anticipation of the the coming of Christmas.  You can almost feel the excitement that emanates off of them as the Day approaches.

I remember feeling that intense feeling of anticipation when I was a kid.  I think it happens more when you're a kid, honestly.  It's not that I am not excited about the coming of Christmas now--I am.  In fact the stretch between the end of October and New Year's Day is easily my favorite time of the year.  
But you know how it is... when you get older you start associating this time of year with the sorts of things that leave you decidedly less than excited.  You think about how busy you are going to be... with family obligations, church obligations, work stuff, parties, dinners...  Then there is the shopping, the crazy busy stores... the credit card bills that are going to land on you in Janu…

Attitude of Gratitude Week Four - "Enduring Love"

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All good things must come to an end.

Have you ever heard that before?  Maybe you've even repeated it on occasion. Probably when something good was coming to an end.

Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to get a way for a couple of days--just the two of us.  We relaxed, sat by the beach, wandered around Key West, watched the sunset, ate unbelievable meals, slept in, read some books, laid in a hammock...

What? I should tell you everything?

At any rate, as we came to the end of our time away we both found ourselves saying over and over again---"just one more day... if we had just one more day..."

I remember the last football game of my oldest son's high school career.  He re-injured his surgically repaired shoulder throwing a forty yard touchdown pass, and then a few plays later got concussed on a running play.  We all knew that it was over.  His season had ended, and a promising football career with it.  I remember my wife and I sitting with him on the side…

The Apocalypse of John: Video Teaching Series

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So, for the past nearly two months I have been teaching a study on the book of Revelation entitled, "The Apocalypse of John."  We have been live streaming the teaching sessions for anyone who wants to watch at home, and the videos have also been available to re-watch for anyone who would like to see them again, or catch up on the series altogether.

I am also blogging on Tumblr (although I am pretty far behind the sessions at this point!) what will eventually become a companion guide for the videos themselves.

You can follow along at tumblr here:
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/leonbloder

Below are the sessions with links to the videos that you can view.

Session One - "How Do We Read Revelation?"
https://new.livestream.com/accounts/1917279/events/3445563

Session Two - "The Origin and Context of Revelation"
https://new.livestream.com/accounts/1917279/events/3470132

Session Three: "God, The Lamb, Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets"
https//new.livestream.co…

Attitude of Gratitude: Week Two - "Come & Listen"

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All throughout the month of November I'll be preaching a sermon series entitled, "Attitude of Gratitude," which is pretty timely considering by the time we finish the series, it will be time for Thanksgiving.  You're Welcome.  That's how I roll.

What we learned the last time that we gathered together (I was out for a week with a busted mouth) was that there is evidence of God's grace, blessings and favor all around us--if we are willing to see it.  In fact, we also learned that the every breath we take is a prayer of thanksgiving to God--as we say his name (Yahweh) each time we breathe in and out.  Which led us to say this...

When you finally realize all that God has done for you, the only true response is gratitude.  

I wanted to take things a step further this week.  We started pretty far out in the universe with the first sermon in this series--echoing the question that the Psalmist proclaimed: "When I consider the heavens... the moon and the stars...…

Attitude of Gratitude - Week One: "A Little Lower"

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This week we are beginning a brand new sermon series entitled, "Attitude of Gratitude," which will take us all the way to the end of the November and the season of Advent, which is nearly upon us.

November just seems like the perfect month to talk about gratitude, don't you think?  We are becoming masters of the art it ti-ming around here, man.  Boom.

Each of the sermons in this series is coming right out of the Psalms, which is a bit unusual for me--I don't often preach on the Psalms.  Typically we read from the Psalms on Sunday mornings in worship, or we sing songs that are drawn from the Psalms when we aren't reading from them--and sometimes we get crazy and just do both.  But we don't often have sermons from them, so I thought we would change that a bit.

Let me read to you from Psalm 8, if you would indulge me...
1 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and suckl…

Book Review: The Zimzum of Love

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For those of you who know me by now, I've been a big fan of the work of pastor, author and speaker Rob Bell for years.  I've attended four of his conferences, read all of his books, bought all of his videos and I even have a t-shirt I bought at some event he did somewhere.  Listen, Rob actually knows me by name and not because I'm some weird stalker, although those last few sentences might indicate otherwise.

But my affinity for all things Rob Bell has associated me with a particular strata of Jesus-follower--the kind that are summarily dismissed by most conservative, evangelical Christians.  Where you stand on liking or disliking Rob Bell is now up there with abortion and gay rights as a means of identifying where you land on the conservative/liberal theological continuum.

This is unfortunate.  Because Rob has written some amazing things that have spoken to so many people who were trying to figure out what it means to believe and follow God.  His work scares more tradit…