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Showing posts from September, 2015

Red: Understanding the Hard Sayings Of Jesus - Week One: "Eat My Flesh & Drink My Blood"

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This week we are launching a brand new sermon series, entitled "Red: Understanding the Hard Sayings of Jesus," a series that I hope both challenges and inspires us to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus, to be a Christian.  

Let me begin by asking you a question:  What do you do when you hear something that absolutely rocks your world?  And what I mean by this is when you hear a truth, a new idea, something that when you hear it, you feel the reverberations of what you've heard deep inside your soul?  

What do you do when you hear something that challenges the way you thought about the world? About God? About everything?  

I was at a conference for pastors and went to hear a talk by author and Christian activist, Shane Claiborne, who was promoting his newest book: Jesus For President.  Shane is one of those Christians that make us all look bad.  He developed a heart for the poor, so he gave up everything and went to live in one of the worst neighborhoods in Phila…

New Week 3 - "A New Life Has Begun"

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Today we're going to conclude the sermon series that we've been working on for the past few weeks--a sermon series on Grace entitled "New."  For the past couple of weeks we have been focused on one passage of Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.  I know, it seems weird to just preach on one passage of Scripture for three weeks.  Just think of it as one long sermon in three parts.  

So what exactly does 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 say?  Well, let's read it again.  

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

In Week 1 of the series we learned that: Who you were is in the past, who you aren't isn't interesting and who you become is a choice. 

In Week 2 of the series we learned that: When Jesus loves away your past, he transforms your present.  

Today we are going to be focusing on this …

Aylan & Prayers for a More Just & Welcoming World

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The humanitarian crisis caused by the civil war in Syria would have been easier for Americans to ignore ten or fifteen years ago.  But now, with a twenty-four hour news cycle, social media, and the internet literally at our fingertips--this human tragedy is in front of us almost constantly.  

I have been haunted for weeks by the images of the 3 year-old boy, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed ashore on the Turkish coast after the overloaded boat carrying his family along with other Syrian refugees capsized, killing Aylan, his mother, brother and nine other people.  Aylan's family was trying to get to Greece, and from there they hoped to eventually join his father's sister in Canada.  


I have read all of the conflicting accounts of what happened, and the convoluted statements from Aylan's father as well.  Honestly, none of that matters to me.  What matters is the image of that 3 year-old little boy lying face down on a Turkish beach.  

Several years ago, my youngest son almost dro…

New - Week Two: "Anyone Who Belongs To Christ"

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Today we're going to be continuing the sermon series that we started last week, a sermon series on grace entitled, New.  We are focusing on one passage of Scripture throughout this series, which might seem kind of odd at first, but when you think of the three sermons in this series as one long sermon in three parts, it kind of makes more sense.  I hope. 

The passage of Scripture that we're talking about is 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 which reads like this: 

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Last week we talked about what it meant to not have our past held against us. The truth that we learned was simple:  Who you were is in the past, who you aren't isn't interesting and who you become is a choice.  

Listen, I am all about the grace of God.  I will never forget the first time I set foo…