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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The Feast of the Presentation

The Presentation of the Lord or Candlemas is meant to be a time for us to present ourselves to the Lord. As the month of January has ended I am sure many of your New Year’s resolutions may have ended as well. Perhaps that is okay and perhaps God has a different plan for you this year.
What would it look like for you to present yourself as you are right now to the Lord?

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Risk, Sacrifice, and Trust

Joseph and Mary’s story at first is messy, difficult, and oh so similar to life as we know it. How many people have gotten married under difficult circumstances? How many people continue to live in difficult marriages and circumstances? How many people remain in difficult relationships in general? Both Mary and Joseph give us a deeper understanding of what it means to be a godly woman or a godly man in this world. They give us a pathway to the Father and a way to follow in this life. Today I want to look at how their lives, choices, and attitudes can shape our lives.

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