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Showing posts from May, 2016

End of the week prayer

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In the beginning, we start each week
Not with a full email inbox or some manic Monday...
But with Sunday.
Rest
Renewal
Worship in community.
We center our hearts is in the promise of God's presence.
That where it starts.

Sometimes by Monday that promise fads and feels fleeting.
Schedules full of appointments (doctor or work or both)
To do lists full
Or days that seem to stretch on endlessly and we wonder, "What am I here for?"

By Wednesday perhaps we feel lost, wandering in the wilderness.
Or excited by the prospect of some new challenge.
Or don't even know that Wednesday is different than the day before.

Finally, we arrive at Friday.
Perhaps with the promise of time away.
Or perhaps just as long of a to do list as you had at work...now at home.

What is the rhythm of your week?
Is there one?
Or does it feel chaotic, indiscernible?

Look back at the last five days...
Where did you sense God?
Where did you feel like you were on autopilot?
What have you forgotten or can…

Story Part 2

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How you start a story matters and makes a difference.  As I said in the previous post, you could start with your profession...family...home state...current residence...and depending on which road you begin to travel will guide and ground the conversation.  So, where does God's story begin?  It begins NOT...as might be assumed...with Adam and Eve eating an apple, but with God craft and creating all that is seen and unseen.  More importantly, everything is called, "Good".  The Hebrew word here is, "Tov."  We begin with goodness, God-ness, the blessedness of Tov in our lives.  We are formed and fashioned with a prayer for blessing...not brokenness.  In fact, scripture never even says the words, "original sin."  What we do hear is original blessing and goodness.  I am grateful to Brian McLaren who helps us see the overarching narrative of Scripture moves from Creation to Crisis (in Genesis 3) to Call (or what I also think of as community/being the people…

Matthew 28

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Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

There is always more than one sermon sitting in a particular passage of Scripture.  Last Sunday, I preached on Matthew 28:16-20.  I love that the literal translation is NOT, "Go therefore and make disciples," as though people were play dough we could mold or widgets mass produced on an assembly line.  Rather, the invitation is to "Go therefore discipling."  It is a verb.  It is a way of being in this world God so loves.  But I also really love that line of th…

Story

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What is your story?  When you meet someone for the first time, in that great dance of getting acquainted where we doe-see-doe around, sometimes stepping on a foot as topics of politics or parenting or profit come up...what do you tell someone first?

Maybe it is your job.  I am a pastor first and foremost, which means that people already have an opinion about me before getting any deeper than that surface level piece of information.  Some want to tell me why they are "spiritual but not religious" or how they go to church every Sunday or how the church hurt/harmed them.  So maybe I am a listener first.

Or maybe you tell others about your family.  I am a husband, father to two amazing tweens...almost to be teens (pray for me).  I could tell about the loss of my mother...although probably not when we first meet.  I could tell about Iowa which is where I grew up and that soil shaped my soul.

Or maybe you tell others about where you are now.  Florida is always a great conversatio…

Midweek Prayer

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God of middle places where it is no longer the beginning,
And the end is not quite as close as we'd like.

God of slogging and barely surviving.
God of thrills and thriving.
God of messiness and uncertainty.
God of crystal clear clarity.
Meet us in this Wednesday moment.

For some, life feels stuck in the middle.
We wait for test results.
We wait for resolutions to relationships break downs.
We wait for conclusions rather than another chapter.

Where are YOU today not only in Wednesday on  a calendar...
But a Wednesday frame of mind, heart, or soul?

Where does it feel like you can't turn back...
Not sure you can keep trudging on?

Where do you need to be reminded that God is in the Wednesdays of life?
That maybe the phrase we need is TGIW....the middle.

After all the middle can be a great, amazing place.
The delicious middle of a gooey cinnamon roll.
The middle of a GREAT book where you keep turning pages not wanting it to end.
The middle of a hug where you feel your heart sync w…

Return

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It has been almost a month since I posted.  During that time, I spent a week getting ready for a trip to a retreat center in NC...spending a week at said retreat center...and upon return trying to catch up from being gone.  Despite not being able to post to my blog...which I find to be a very meaningful spiritual practice...otherwise the experience was totally worth it.  If you are like me, it takes some time to disconnect and decompress.  I don't instantly or immediately feel at peace.  But the week I spent nestled in the foothills of NC, I was surrounded by the beauty of creation.

There were the rustic roads to wander down and get lost in thought/prayer/communion with God.  There were hills that for my flat-land of Florida legs challenged me a good way.  There was conversations and information that challenged me in another way.  There were moments spent talking, shedding tears, reflecting in quiet, and re-connecting.  All of this was done with limited cell phone reception.  I …