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Messages (23)

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. - Psalm 71:20-21 In a book I have, I recently read that “They say that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church, and that’s partly because it’s so diversified you can’t get a handle on it.” It sounds funny, and it is. But it’s also really accurate. The diversification of worship is a challenge because what might look one…
And I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.- Amos 9:14 When I was in my early 30s, I had a 1983 Ford Mustang GT. Now, while that sounds like an impressive car, the early ’80s GT Mustangs were very much pooches. The ads were fresh and enticing for these cars, but the performance was not. Still, my 1983 GT was fire engine red, with the blacked-out hood, fully loaded, and not in…
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.”- Hosea 6:1 Has anyone ever mentioned to you how God seems to be brutally vicious in the Old Testament, but then we have Jesus who is loving and kind in the New Testament? I mean, except for Revelations. We’ll just discount that because look, it’s a lot of symbolism to unravel. Why bother with that mess when we can just act like an ostrich instead, right? Honestly, both those perceptions are…
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. - 1 Peter 5:10 First of all, let me say that the "little while" of suffering to which Peter was referring is not my sermon time, contrary to what my congregation may think. But you know, I could say that the suffering we encounter in life is divisively theodical in nature and I wouldn’t be wrong. Theodical comes from one of those fancy-pants pastor words, “theodicy.” Theodicy…
“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” ‭1 John‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬ How many of us know the difference between faith and belief? That's a legitimate question with the way that we use the two terms interchangeably these days. And it begs questions like, "Can we believe and not be saved?" Throughout the Bible we see questions like this dealt with on a regular basis, but we still stumble over the exact difference between the two with regards to Christ and our salvation. For example, James 2:9 tells…
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. - Isaiah 61:7 When our church is in a time of spiritual desperation, how do we get to the point of rejoicing? It looks so far away. Thinking of all that we’ve lost over the years, we see decades of decline and think, “How can we turn this around? Is this too big for us?” The promises in this passage from Isaiah seemed…
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.- Psalm 51:10 "A long-time member of St. John’s church scolded the new pastor for his radical new ideas and changes: “Reverend, if God were alive today, He would be shocked at the changes in this church." While that sounds funny, I've been at a church where it was a real concern for someone and carried real consequences for that church in terms of lost funding. It makes a young pastor like myself think twice. Trying to grow a church for our denomination can be scary…
There are some exciting new things coming from SoMuchBless. With a few small upgrades, we're embarking on a new messaging campaign that will bring you daily scriptural encouragement, pastoral messages, interviews, instructional messages and traditional blog posts. Along with all of this, we're completing work on a third book, God is a Hog Farmer, that will be available alongside Fiercely and Well, and Essays from the Edge.

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