Vision

November 30, 2018

Do you have a purpose, a vision, or an aspiration for your future? Baseball great, Yogi Berra once said, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” This is true in our walk with God as well. However, there is a fine line between having a clear laid out plan and a clear vision for the future.

Regrets

November 29, 2018

As we continue to think about ways to let go of our old selves and live fully into the new creation we are in Christ, let’s address regret. There are some of us who love to hang on to past failures, missed opportunities, and “what if’s.” But even the rest of us, who don’t tend to dwell on those regrets, can still get caught up in wondering what might have been.

Let Go

November 28, 2018

From infancy, we begin striving for control. Our whole job, as developing human beings, is to develop control over ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. We start life being completely dependent on others, and in optimum circumstances, we eventually learn to self-regulate.

Fear of the Unknown

November 27, 2018

Isaiah 43:18-19 says, I’m paraphrasing, “Forget about the past. Stop looking back. It may have been great, but can’t you see I’m going to do something even better?” The Israelites were stuck in the past, remembering their former captivity and the miracles God had done, yet fearing the new freedom they now had.

Shedding Leaves

November 26, 2018

My husband and I went camping in northwest Arkansas a few weeks ago. We missed the peak color by a week or two, but the trees up there were still gorgeous. So many shades of yellow, orange and red. And leaves, there were so many leaves!

God's New Creation Conversation

November 24, 2018

In our First 15’s for this week, we have been looking at some of the ways in the past, present, and future that God has moved and is moving into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Yesterday, we looked at the ever expanding tent that God has pitched in the church. Today, we come to the close of our First 15’s, but we return to where we began the week.

God’s Church-Tent

November 23, 2018

In our First 15’s for this week, we are looking at some of the ways in the past, present, and future that God has moved and is moving into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Yesterday, Thanksgiving day, we looked at the temple as the dwelling place of God with God’s people--particularly in and through the songs of thanksgiving and praise offered up by God’s people.

Singing Songs of Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018

In our First 15’s for this week, we are looking at some of the ways in the past, present, and future that God has moved and is moving into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Yesterday, we looked at God’s mobile tent, the tabernacle, built for a mobile God drawing us into God’s promises for us.

The Mobile Tent, the Mobile God

November 21, 2018

In our First 15’s for this week, we are looking at some of the ways in the past, present, and future that God has moved and is moving into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Yesterday, we looked at the story of Babel, and how our tendency to demand community that conforms to our idea is mysteriously, messily countered by the community that God gifts us with.

The Mysterious Mess of Community

November 20, 2018

In our First 15’s for this week, we are looking at some of the ways in the past, present, and future that God has moved and is moving into the neighborhood (John 1:14). Yesterday, we looked at the story of creation as a story of God’s long, redemptive conversation, across the story of Scripture and across the years, for God to once again move into the neighborhood and walk and talk with God’s people.

The Long Conversation

November 19, 2018

In this final week of our Together series, in our worship services and in our group study we discussed John 1:1-13. In particular, we looked closely at John’s announcement of some very good news: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling [literally, “pitched a tent”] among us” (John 1:14). Or, as the Message translation puts it, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

A Beautiful and Well-Lighted Place

November 17, 2018

The American author, Ernest Hemingway, in one of his short stories, described a simple, but beautiful café that was open late into the night. Two waiters, one young and one old, have a discussion about a lonely man who comes to the café each evening. The younger waiter gripes about the man and wants to close the café so he can go home to his wife. The older waiter, however, has experienced, like the lonely man, the inevitable losses and suffering of life.

Entering God’s Conversation

November 16, 2018

This week, we are inspecting the threads, strands, and fibers that comprised the heart and soul of this together kind of discipleship community that Luke described in Acts 2:42-47. Yesterday, we looked at their practices of sharing a meal together, and today we come to the final practice that Luke lists for us in Acts 2:47. This community of friends were “devoted...to prayer.”

Feasting Together

November 15, 2018

This week, we are inspecting the threads, strands, and fibers that comprised the heart and soul of this together kind of discipleship community that Luke described in Acts 2:42-47. Yesterday, we looked at their commitment to fellowship, and so quite naturally that friendship and fellowship extends to a companion practice of being “devoted to...the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42).

How They Love One Another

November 14, 2018

This week, we are inspecting the threads, strands, and fibers that comprised the heart and soul of this together kind of community that Luke described in Acts 2:42-47. Yesterday, we looked at their commitment to obey and live out Scripture. The next practice or discipline that Luke reports about this community is that they were devoted to “fellowship” (Acts 2:42).