To Forgive…or to Murder?

“You shall not murder." -Exodus 20:13 When we first read the 5th Commandment here, it seems pretty simple.  Don't murder.  Great, finally a Commandment I can say I haven't broken.  Though, I have to admit, there were a few times I came pretty close while driving around town.  And then there was that kid who picked on me middle school.  Well,...

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Born of God

"We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him." -1 John 5:18 At first glance this passage stretches the mind. Who are the subjects of anyone born of God, the one who was born of God, and him? I think...

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Do NOT Mock Your Mom or Dad!

“The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures. -Proverbs 30:17 Wow! When you first read this, it honestly sounds really scary and gruesome, doesn’t it? But, what this piece of scripture really has to do with is that it is a...

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My Stronghold and My Refuge

"My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies." -2 Samuel 22:3-4 Life can be difficult.  There are days where we just...

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A Hug And A Swift Kick

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." -Hebrews 10:24-25 These two verses have an interesting dichotomy. Verse 24 challenges us to...

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Whose Beat Do You Walk To?

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields...

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What's In A Name?

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." -Exodus 20:7 [From Luther's Small Catechism]: "We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble,...

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Counting Your Blessings

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." -John 1:16 Have you ever heard the expression, “Count your blessings?” This verse made me think of that expression. The abundance of God’s grace in Jesus gives us one blessing after another. Have you ever literally tried to count all of your blessings? (more…)

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When We Make Idols

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth...

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Do Not Fear

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -Isaiah 41:10 How am I going to cover these medical expenses?  My son just went off to college.  I hope he'll be alright there.  What if "that person"...

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The Most Important Thing

"You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3) This is the very first of the 10 commandments. If you ask most people what is the most important commandment, you do not often hear this commandment. The most common I hear is usually, Thou shall not kill. This first commandment here sets the foundations and the priorities of life....

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An Early Valentine's Gift

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17 Happy Birthday! Merry Christmas! Happy Valentine’s Day! Who doesn’t like to give or receive gifts? Especially when that gift is something that we really wanted or needed. All too often though, what was desired today...

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Anarchy!!

"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness." -1 John 3:4 When we talk about sin, we tend to talk about "sins", specific things that we do.  We talk about lying or murder or lust.  We make a list of things we shouldn't do and maybe a (much shorter) list of things we should do....

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Blessings and Deadly Sins

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19 We are starting this season of Lent focusing on Blessings and sins. Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality and of the saying ashes to ashes, dust to dust. This verse gives a promise of blessings. In fact God promises here to...

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