Palm Sunday

It is in the nature of God to profoundly love us even though we are broken, lost, and often make bad decisions. It was profound love for you, me, and all of humanity that Jesus took upon the cross so many years ago so that we might know the way to the Father. Jesus’ gift of being willing to suffer so traumatically for all of us was meant to set us free from our brokenness and free from our addictions and free from our thoughts of worthlessness. Come and see that the Lord is good this Holy Week.

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Listening to the Lord

This past year or so has felt much like a long season of Lent. For many of us we have given up so many experiences, times with family and friends, activities we used to enjoy, or even just feeling like things are normal. It can be very tempting to focus on everything that is different and yet Fr. Chris and I truly feel like it is an invitation for all of us to draw closer to the living God who wants to speak to each of you and to provide a way for you. Abraham was faithful to God and God provided a way out of His situation. God provided a sacrificial ram that would take the place of Isaac.

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Shaped by the Great Teacher

Today lots of people in positions of power often do not realize the full impact of their words and actions. Today we can consume ideas and thoughts in the privacy of our homes or the privacy of our phone viewing. So it is easy to see how people can not realize the sheer quantity of people who are hearing their message. A number on the screen can not compare to human bodies in front of us. Rarely do we have to watch or listen to something in front of others. This is a profound difference in the way that humans have taken in information for all of time. With the invention of the internet and the invention of the cell phone we can quietly consume ideas without the input of others around us. So how do we live for Jesus and set down our ideas to the one who can shape us for good? Come listen with us.

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Decreasing in Order to Increase

It is my prayer for each and everyone of you that you might come before Jesus this week submitting your hearts, lives, and minds to His scrutiny and care. Let Jesus show you where you are missing the mark and need to repent and turn from your sins. Let Jesus show you where you need to be set free from unruly emotions that are not steeped in truth. Let Jesus show you faulty attitudes you have that need to come under the gracious submission of Jesus to be made more like him. And may you know the gracious love of the Father that calls us back and gives us another chance at life.

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Growing as a Saint

What does a Holy Spirit filled life look like? The beatitudes found in the gospel today point the way towards the characteristics of a Holy Spirit life. Jesus is not just giving advice but rather he is saying something different. These ‘blessings’, the ‘wonderful news’ that he’s announcing, are not saying ‘try hard to live like this.’ They are saying that people who already are like that will experience joy. What could it be like to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit? Could you life be more orderly, could it be more joyful, could you experience more peace in your situation?

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Anger and Forgiveness

To many people anger would be the only possible response to hard situations. It would seem just and right to retaliate against the man/woman who had caused so much suffering in a person’s life. Many people would think that he/she would feel more empowered to reject the person who hurt them and yet today we hear in our scriptures that true freedom exists with forgiveness. How can something that seems to be such an opposite of how we naturally feel and respond give us freedom? How come so many of us in this world feel such anger and rage on a daily basis?

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Walking on the Water

In the scriptures we find Jesus like so many parents who are weary from the work of just living life seeing the disciples and knowing they need help. He leaves the quietness of communion with the Father to enter the raging sea and to rescue or reassure them of his presence and care. The boat had gotten far from shore and despite the fact that they were professional fishermen they were unable to control the boat due to the high winds and blinding darkness. Jesus sees them floundering and comes to them walking on the water.
How does God want to come into your life and help stabilize you? How could the creator of the heavens and the Earth change your life for the good? He longs to love you, provide for you, and give you a life filled with single minded focus.

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The Sower

What does it matter what I listen to or read, or take in? Surely it’s just a book, a song with random lyrics, a youtube channel, a podcast, or just entertainment, right? Wrong!! Jesus talks today about living lives that can create a soft heart willing to receive the Word of God. Jesus shows us the importance of thinking critically about what we put into our minds and hearts. Filling our time with scripture, classic Christian writers, and worship music can help create a soft heart ready to receive the Word of God. Jesus longs to love you and to give you peace and goodness come to him for comfort and wisdom.

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Living in the Mission of God

God longs to give us a mission and purpose in our life. God longs to show you what he wants you to to in this life so that you can experience deep fulfillment in your life. Our personal missions are meant to be a part of the great mission to reach the world with the loving message of hope, redemption, and restoration. Do we have to do this perfectly? Absolutely not!! But we are called to try, stumble, get back up, and try again. We are supposed to change, to be challenged in our thinking, and submit our ideas to the living God and to His Word.

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Life in the Vine: Rogation Sunday

Jesus said, “I am the vine, and my father is the vinedresser.” He was using an image of growth that would have been very familiar to all who heard it to teach an important lesson about the source of our life. We can’t have life apart from Jesus just like a branch that is diconnected from the vine will wither and die. But when we stay connected, we flourish.

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