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Showing posts from May, 2015

Would Jesus Defend The Duggars?

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Over the past couple of weeks my Facebook feed has been filled with Duggars. 

The Duggars are the family that stars in the widely viewed TLC reality TV show "19 Kids & Counting."  They are unabashedly Christian, and profoundly interesting, mostly because they have a boatload of kids--19, in case you were wondering. 

I don't really watch the show all that much, but I have seen more than ten episodes--less than twenty, but more than ten, which doesn't make me an expert, by any means. It does make me someone who at least has seen the show.  I have always perceived the Duggars to be nice Christian people, who have never been shy about using their celebrity to promote their understanding of the Christian faith, and their belief in traditional family values.  

But they have also been embroiled in a huge controversy involving their eldest son, Josh.  As it turns out, when Josh was 14 he was caught touching some young girls in an inappropriate way--much younger girls, appar…

I Like Giving - Week Four: I Like Listening

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Today we are going to be concluding the sermon series that we've been working on for the month of May, a series entitled "I Like Giving."  This series was inspired by the book I Like Giving which I read a while ago and which I thought would be an excellent conversation partner for a sermon series on what it means to live generously. 

For more information about the book and the website that served as the inspiration for this series, you can visit www.ilikegiving.com.

The central idea behind this series is simply this: We were created in the image of God--a God who is inherently generous.  It is out of God's inherent generosity that all the attributes of God flow out toward you and I.  God's mercy, love, creativity, redemption all come out of the boundless generosity of God. And, as I said, you and I are created in God's image with God's DNA embedded within us.  So it stands to reason that you and I should inherently be generous, too.  

So why aren't we? …

I Like Giving - Week Three: "I Like Soccer Balls"

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This week we are continuing the sermon series that we've been working on for the past couple of weeks, entitled "I Like Giving."  Throughout this sermon series we'll be learning what it means to learn to live generous lives--the kinds of lives that God intends for us to live.  

You see, for those of us who believe what we've been taught in the biblical witness, we have been created in the image of God... which means we have the very DNA of God in us.  And God is inherently a generous God.  Out of God's incredible generosity springs forth God's grace, love and boundless creativity.  

We were made to be generous--to lead generous lives.  But we sometimes struggle to live into our true nature, because of the way we always seem to choose selfishness over selflessness.  

The purpose of this sermon series is to wrestle with these issues and to uncover what the Bible has to teach us about living generously--mostly through the words and teachings of Jesus himself. 

T…

I Like Giving - Week 2: I Like Being 98

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Today we are continuing the sermon series that we started last week entitled, "I Like Giving."  During this series, which we'll be working through throughout the month of May we'll be learning what it means to live a generous life--with our finances, time, talent, etc. 

As I said last week, the very essence of God is generosity.  Out of the boundless generosity of God flows God's unmeasurable grace and expansive love.  And you and I are made in the image of God--with God's DNA all in us and through us. So it stands to reason that our default, our go-to should be to live generous lives. 

But we don't always live generous lives.  In fact, for most of us---even those of us who call ourselves Christians--we do quite the opposite.  This sermon series is going to wrestle with that issue--seeking to demonstrate that there are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits to being generous, and as we will learn today there are also unbelievable benefits for th…

I Like Giving - Week One: "I Like Car"

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This week we are launching a brand new sermon series for the month of May entitled, "I Like Giving."  Each of these sermons is inspired by the book and the website of the same name.  Generosity is not just a virtue--and it's certainly not an exclusively "Christian" virtue, but I do believe it is a virtue that flows from the very heart of God.  I also think that for those of us who  all ourselves Christians, it's more than just a virtue, it's a way of life. 

Over the course of this sermon series, we are going to explore what it means to serve a generous God, whose generosity is built into our very DNA.  You and I were made to be generous, it's how we were created.  But in order to fully experience the benefits of living a generous life, we need to learn what it means to practice generosity as a lifestyle.  

Today we're going to explore one of the most famous conversations Jesus had with someone about what  it means to be generous:  the story of the…