The Acceptable Cross

The cross, for the most part, seems to be accepted in our society. People seem to be comfortable with that old rugged cross. No offense is taken by it as it hangs around one’s neck in wood, silver or gold. Furthermore, culture accepts and even appreciates the rows upon rows of white crosses at Arlington. And so, the cross is accepted…. or is it?

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Jesus: Teacher, Example, or Redeemer??

 

“While the Gospel is something worth contending for, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this business.”  D.A. Carson

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15 Things That Self – Atonement Says

Bridge

I “know” the gospel. I know it factually. And while that may be good (we need to know the gospel) I realize I often do not live in the good of the gospel. I regularly do not “own” it. Whenever, I find myself seeking to self-atone (seeking to earn God’s favor and salvation), I have lost my way from the truths of the gospel. Don’t misunderstand. I believe in “effort”!  Paul said to the Ephesians that we were saved “for good works.”

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The Latest News You Didn’t Hear

Newspaper

 

I have been unable to blog these past few weeks. I hope to explain why in my next post.  For now, a post from Acts 4.

Recently, Orlando’s news included the needless shooting death of Christina Grimmie.  Christiana was, by everyone’s estimation, set to become the next vocal superstar.  Then, roughly twenty-four hours after Grimmie’s death, a gunman walked into the Pulse Nightclub and ended the lives of 49 people.  Then, a few days later, a mother and a father were lounging on a beach while their two-year old son played in a mere foot of water when an alligator attacked and killed him.  Unthinkable – Tragedy!

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Warm and Fuzzy Politics!

Little boy and bible

Ahhhh, the political election season…. it just gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it?!?  Have you checked the headlines today? I have, but I will spare you by not posting them here!

A few thoughts for us as we navigate the chaos:

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Gospel, Politics, And My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

pedro

It is that time again where we, here in America, are inundated with reasons to stay away from the mailbox, tv, and voicemail. Tis the season for empty promises, shallow arguments, and overused talking points. Do you remember the last time you took the time to read that shiny flyer in your mailbox? Neither do I, for it seems that the 30 seconds the flyer requires is far too big an investment of time. And so, we drown in political junk mail, campaign commercials, and voicemails to “remember to vote”.

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Gospel Hope In A World Gone Crazy

 

Republican Debate

The start of another year kicks off with yet another disappointing Presidential debate. More, Ridiculous banter, pathetic ridicule, and pre-planned talking points. Ugh!

In the midst of the presidential banner, the turn of the calendar also has me preparing sermons on racial unity and the Sanctity of Life. Sadly, in 2016, babies continue to be born clinging to life as a result of a botched abortion. Born living and breathing, these babies are then denied proper care and are left to die and ….it’s legal!  Pouring over Psalms 139 and mingling among the massive statistics of dead babies leaves me angry, sad, numb, and oddly enough…. full of hope.

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Finish The Race

Finish The Race

 

The apostle Paul, nearing the end of his difficult life, seeks to encourage his friend and son in the faith, Timothy.  Timothy is a pastor in Ephesus, where many of those that he and Paul considered to be friends are now opposing the message of the gospel.  Paul warns of these men and the effect of their false teaching in the church.

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Good News – Great Joy

 

Shepherds

I try to imagine what it must have been like for those shepherds who, we are told in Luke 2, were watching their sheep by night. I wonder how many uneventful times they had done this very thing. Watching sheep is what they do. Sheep must be protected….night after, boring, night. Occasionally, a wolf may come around, making for an eventful evening under the stars.

But….Imagine….

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The Cultural Yawn Of Christmas

Nativity

The below is a bit of a repost and re-working of an article I wrote last year.

John 1:1-2
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

John 1:14 
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…..

The Almighty God took on human flesh…

He was born miraculously of the virgin Mary….

Herod tried to have Him killed as a newborn….

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The Almost Church

Church

 

The “Almost Church” – Almost loves the gospel.  The “Almost Church” sings songs about the gospel, reads the Bible, loves Jesus, and genuinely desires to see the gospel advance.  But, at the “Almost Church”, the gospel becomes a “help” to the “Almost Christians” who are seeking to build the church. Friends, the gospel is not an additional “help” to building the church, it is the ONLY “hope” of building the church.

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Almost Christian?

Blurry People

I grew up…”Christian”.  I have a Christian name, grew up in a Christian home, and learned my abc’s shortly after memorizing the 66 books of the bible.  Just kidding… I actually learned my abc’s first; the books of the bible came shortly thereafter.

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Open Door Equals Smooth Road… Doesn’t It?

photo-1444047427283-88a67f631b3e

 

Have you ever assumed that the “open door” equals a “smooth road” equation? In other words, when a new possibility, direction, or opportunity seems to have come your way, does it mean that once you take up the opportunity or walk through that door that it will be smooth sailing?

I find that many well-intentioned Christians, living in America in 2015, answer that question with a strong, “YES”!

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