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church faith life Sharing Christ

Podcasts and Faith

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I run, when I drive and when I’m working. I love the ability to discover stories, learn new things, stay up-to-date with the news, and more. Lately, several podcasts that are part of my regular listening rotation featured episodes about church and faith. Here is a rundown… StartUp from […]

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faith life transition

Sunrise, Sunset

I took this photo over I-70 from my hotel room in Salina, Kansas. Several days later, I was adding keywords and titles and couldn’t immediately remember whether it was a sunrise or a sunset. I had to open the thumbnail to see the full image and pause to remember which direction I was facing. This […]

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church faith ministry united methodist church

Preparation for a Service of the Baptismal Covenant

A Conversation about the Meaning, Symbolism and Responsibility of Baptism One of the great privileges that I have as a United Methodist preacher is offering the sacrament of Christian baptism to individuals and families connected with the local church. I like to meet with the individual or family in advance of the service to hear their […]

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changing lives faith Sharing Christ

A Response to the Charleston Church Shootings

Over the past few days, I have continued in prayer for Charleston. I want to share a portion of my response to the Charleston Church Shootings which I preached this morning at First United Methodist Church. I believe it is important and inadequate. You can find the entire sermon and manuscript online here. Let me […]

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faith life

Praying for Charleston

The only response I can manage right now to to a story like this in the New York Times, is deep sadness, anger and prayer. “A gunman … opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the nation’s oldest black churches, on Wednesday evening, killing nine. Police arrested the suspect in Shelby, N.C., […]

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changing lives faith life

The Biggest Bulldozer in the World (or I Can Do All Things)

At a recent bedtime, I read Bulldozers (Mighty Machines) to our children as one of our stories. After reading, my son stood up and said excitedly, “One day, I going to drive the biggest bulldozer in the world!” I replied with a smile, “You sure could.” In those brief moments, I was struck at how wide the […]

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faith life

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I recently learned that Relaxation is a Skill. One of the ways to relax is to breathe deeply. Our son is 9 months old and it doesn’t do us much good to tell him to take a deep breathe. What we can do is to hold him close and breathe deeply. This helped me know […]

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Bible faith

Scripture Monday: Zechariah 9:12

“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (Zechariah 9:12, NIV). Of all the things that I could be prisoner to, I hope that I will always be a prisoner of hope.

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faith life

Independence Day 2011

As you celebrate Independence Day in the United States today, I invite you to remember. the words of Paul in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Live in the freedom of Jesus Christ.

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Bible faith

Words for a Holy Meal

I have heard these words from those who were officiating at Holy Communion, but for some reason had not realized that they were from scripture until recently. They are beautiful and true. “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread […]

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changing lives faith

Why? Making Sense of God’s Will

This week, I read Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will by Adam Hamilton. In this short book, Hamilton addresses three questions of theodicy, God’s justice in the face of suffering, Why do the innocent suffer? Why do my prayers go unanswered? Why can’t I see God’s will for my life? He concludes with a few words about Why God’s […]

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faith

The Difference between Belief and Practice

Paul is brought before the city leaders in Athens and preaches the good news of Jesus Christ. In response, “Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.” Acts 17:34 The text clearly states that […]