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Showing posts from August, 2015

New - Week One: "At One Time"

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I was watching a reality TV show the other day that really fascinated me.  It's called Bad Ink.  The show is set in Las Vegas and is essentially about two friends--one of whom is a tattoo artist--who comb the Vegas strip looking for people with really bad tattoos.  Since it's Vegas, they don't have to look that hard, to be honest.  Lots of people in Vegas have bad tattoos.  

But what these guys do that is so fascinating is they offer these people with really bad tattoos the chance to fix them.  It's kind of their specialty, you see: redeeming the bad choices people made.  According to the artist on Bad Ink, most bad tattoos happen when people are either young and impulsive or drunk, or all three.  

Here's a quick sample of some  "bad ink" that artists have been able to fix: 







So why are we talking about tattoos, exactly?  Well, it's probably the best kind of metaphor for the sermon series that we are beginning today.  A lot of people walk around feeling l…

#struggle - Week 5: "Rest"

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Today we are going to conclude the sermon series that has taken us all the way through the month of August--a sermon series we've entitled #struggles: Following Jesus in A Selfie-Centered World.  We've been thinking together over the past several weeks about how technology and social media have shaped the way we think about what it means to be content, to have real relationships, to be fully authentic, show genuine compassion... 

And today we are going to take the final step in our journey as we explore how technology and social media have shaped the way we view what it means to rest. 

Turn in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 4 verses 9-11.  

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[a] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

In Genesis chapter 2 the narrative tells us that God rested fr…

#struggles - Week 4: "Compassion" http://draft.blogger.com/home

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Today we are continuing the sermon series that is taking us all the way through the month of August--a series entitled #struggles: Following Jesus In A Selfie-Centered World.  

Each of the last several weeks we have been exploring how technology and social media have been shaping our culture and our understanding of what it means to be content, to be in relationship with one another, to be fully authentic...  And the overriding question we've been asking is simply this: "As Christians, how do we navigate through this rapidly changing culture--a culture that is decidedly "selfie-centered."  

This week we are going to be talking about Compassion--and more specifically how the rise of social media and our increasing reliance on technology have shaped our ability to show it in some not very helpful ways. 

First, let's turn in our Bibles to Mark chapter 1 verses 40-41.  

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me c…

Christian Gerrymandering: Moving The Line On Faith Essentials

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Recently, I received an email from a former attendee of my church who expressed a great deal of anxiety over the state of Christianity in America.  He was of the opinion that the current debates over various social and cultural issues were tearing the Church in America apart.  

He also believed that any deviation from what he identified as the "plain truth" of the Bible was a sign of the end times. 

I didn't have the time or the space to share with him all of my thoughts, but I did my best.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I wished I'd said. The thing is, there have always been issues that have torn at the heart of the Church.    

Consider the following quote from the 16th century reformer Martin Luther on the great controversy regarding the heliocentric theory of the solar system:  
“People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. This fool…wishes to reverse the en…

#struggle - Week Two: "Relationships"

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Today we are going to continue the sermon series that we started last week, a sermon series that is going to take us all the way through the month of August. The title of our sermon series is #struggle: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered world.  The basic overriding idea that will be moving us forward through this series is a simple one:  technology and social media are shaping our culture in ways that are often less than life-giving. Christians need to learn how to live faithfully and fully for Jesus within a culture that is--as we described it--"selfie-centered."  

So last week we talked about how technology and social media have influenced our culture's ideas about contentment.  Today we're going to be talking about relationships.  

One of the many things that I love about the technology that we use to communicate with is the immediacy that it offers us.  Back in high school when I wanted to talk to my wife when we were dating, I had to use the phone.  So we both …