Don’t Fumble the Humble!

Posted: November 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALWAYS WITH ME WHEN I PREACH, WHETHER I SENSE ITS PRESENCE OR NOT, but when preaching this particular message on humbleness, I felt the Spirit’s presence upon me in an unusually powerful way. Thank you, Lord!

Read the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14) directed at those who trust only in themselves and then check out Don’t Fumble the Humble.

Are we just using religion as a mask to hide sin, sadness, or loneliness?

DO WE REALLY NEED MORE FAITH? THE CHURCH ALREADY HAS FAITH THE SIZE OF A MUSTARD SEED, NO? Jesus said that with faith like that, we would do amazing things. So what’s keep us grounded? And how do we truly take flight?

Read Luke 17:5-7 and then check out As the 9 Pound Crow Flies!

EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD “PEARLY GATE” LAUGH. Even Jesus had some pearly gate stories, like the one about the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus who trade places in the afterlife. But be forewarned, sometimes Jesus’s humor can pack a punch like an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove. He pokes us with the truth with a rubber sword; it may not draw blood, but it sure cuts to the core.  Jesus’s story about the afterlife has huge implications for how we are living right now! Do we dare to listen? Check it out now.

THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS MAY LEAD TO THE LIFE ABUNDANT BUT . . .  some passages are as hard to swallow as a can full of cold peas!

Did the boss in Jesus’s odd parable commend the dishonest manager for his dishonesty? The manager was a crook, and a cheat who cooked the books to save his own skin. Why did Jesus tell us to be like him? And why did Jesus tell us to make friends with our “dishonest wealth”?

Read Luke 16:1-9 and then check out this message that answers some important questions about the parable of the dishonest manager and reminds that even if its out of desperation, our ability to forgive people their debts can lead us to a higher humanity and the abundant life in Christ.

Check out this totally unrehearsed Sunday morning jam of What a Friend We Have in Jesus from the Old Stone Church and surprise, impromptu clarinet solo from Davey “Gravy” Kasper. The Old Stone Church: Cleveland’s Original Rock since 1820!

Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

In America, where individual interests are often lifted up over and above a more wholistic understanding of the common good, it can be difficult for the church to grasp messages of hope from our God who so often speaks to us in the plural. God doesn’t speak just to you or just to me; more often than not, God speaks to us.

Through the young prophet, Jeremiah, God has a message of promise for individuals, for sure, but ultimately it is a message for the entire house of Israel, and for every faith community – every synagogue, church, or congregation that has longed to be made whole in God. Maybe it’s time we started listening as one.

 

 

The Mighty Mustard Seed Church

Posted: September 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

THE AWESOME THING ABOUT THE MUSTARD WEED ISN’T THAT IT GROWS UP, BUT THAT IT GROWS OUTThe gospel church isn’t a mighty cedar of Lebanon, but a weedy movement that goes out to those who need rest and shelter from the challenges of our times.

While some folks might be looking for a mighty cedar of Lebanon kind of church, high and mighty, the one that Jesus calls us to grow starts as a tiny seed and becomes a place where the birds of the air might find shelter and rest from the hard winds of our day and generation. Mark 4:30-34