Is Being Poor a Blessing?

Over the next several weeks I thought we'd focus on the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes (Blessed are the...).  Before we begin, however, we need to understand what Jesus is doing here.  Sometimes these passages are read as a new set of commandments or as Christian secret to happiness.  However, these statements aren't prescribing what we...

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Walking by the Spirit

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." - Galatians 5:16 This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate God sending His Spirit to dwell among us and in us.  It is the Holy Spirit who opens our hearts and minds to hear and understand God's Word.  It is the Holy...

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Scripture Readings – Day of Pentecost

Readings for the weekend of May 19 and 20, 2018. OLD TESTAMENT READING  Ezekiel 37:1-14 (God brings together the "dry bones" of the children of Israel and breathes new life into them by His Spirit.) The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle...

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Mom, The Image Of Christ?

"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." - 1 John 4:12 This past Sunday was Mother's Day.  During our services this week, Pastor Dave talked about Jesus praying for us and said how, in much the same way, mothers pray for us and...

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Confirmation, Not Completion

"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." - Col 2:7 NLT This past Sunday was Confirmation Sunday at Family of Christ.  8 eighth graders sat up by the altar and answered questions about God...

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Scripture Reading – Sixth Sunday of Easter

Readings for the weekend of May 5 and 6, 2018 FIRST READING ACTS 10:34-38 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the...

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Pruning the Branches

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." - John 15:1-2 This past weekend, my sermon was on the passage from John 15 where Jesus talks about being the...

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Scripture Readings: The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Readings for the weekend of April 28 and 29, 2018. FIRST READING      Acts 8:26–40 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the...

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You Never Know Until You Do It

I remember when my daughter Kaylee was 6 and our family was going zip-lining.  She wasn't so sure about it.  In fact, it took some convincing to get her to do it and even then she would only go if she could do it tethered to Melissa.  Once she did it, though, it was a different story.  Not only was...

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Scripture Readings: Fourth Week of Easter

Scripture reading for the weekend of April 21 and 22, 2018. OLD TESTAMENT   Acts 4: 1-12  (Peter and John proclaim the message of Jesus crucified and rising from the dead.)  The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because...

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Righteousness by Faith, Not Works

"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely...

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If Jesus Was Not Raised

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.For if the dead are not raised,...

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A Tangible Faith

He Is Risen!! "Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” "  John 20:27-28 I watched the movie, Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle, the other night.  If you aren't familiar with the Jumanji movies, the...

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Lenten Blog – 03-31-2018

Mark, Luke, and John have no accounts of anything happening on the day after Good Friday.  This would be expected because it is the Sabbath day and they would be expected to be doing nothing.  However, in Matthew, we have what some of the Pharisees did on this day after Good Friday.The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the...

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Lenten Blog – 3/30/2018

Have a blessed Good Friday.  Today is a day that is filled with the greatest tragedy of human history becoming the greatest blessing ever given humanity.  The Gospels are full of everything that happened with the trial of Jesus going on throughout the night.  The interrogations by Pilate and Herod are surrounded by the denials of Peter even knowing Jesus....

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Lenten Blog – 3/29/2018

Today is Maundy Thursday.  I am often asked, What does Maundy mean?  It comes from the new command in Latin (novum mandatum) to love just as Jesus has loved us."My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am...

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Lenten Blog – 3/28/2018

Today is Wednesday of Holy week and this is the calm day before everything happens in the next few days.  Jesus taught in the temple during the week and each night returned to Bethany and spent time with friends like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  They would often stop in the garden of Gethsemane to pray and rest in the journey...

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Lenten Blog – 3/27/2018

 Yesterday in our school chapel, we talked about Thoughtfulness.  The book of Philippians talks about thoughtfulness like this:"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." - Philippians 2:4Thoughtfulness is a combination of thinking of others and making their needs and interests important to you.  Both of these things can be...

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Lenten Blog – 3/26/2018

Yesterday began Holy Week.  We start the week with Palm Sunday and End with Easter.  During this week we have some unique worship services during the week, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  It can seem like nothing is really going on Monday through Wednesday, but the Bible records several things that Jesus did during this time.  He wasn't just sitting...

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Lenten Blog – 3/25/2018

Yesterday, several of us from the church went to Fort De Soto for fishing and playing on the beach.  It was a beautiful day for it.  As we approached Fort De Soto, I noticed something, there were more and more palm trees as we got closer to the beach.  I couldn't help but think of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is an...

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Lenten Blog – 3/24/2018

We are going fishing with a group from church to Fort Desoto Beach today. I love the ocean and the beach. I love the palm trees there and Palm trees do make me think of the beach. I remember from doing some research that there are only two places that Palm branches are mentioned in the Bible.  First is in...

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Lenten Blog – 3/23/2018

This coming Sunday begins Holy Week.  The Old Testament reading for this Sunday is this prophecy of Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday from the prophet Zechariah.Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey....

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Lenten Blog – 3/22/2018

Have you ever opened your Bible randomly to a page and point at some verses to read?  I did that this morning and here is what I read. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks...

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Lenten Blog – 3/21/2018

This morning in chapel I continued with the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians chapter 5. My theme for the preschoolers today was self control. Do you remember all 9 fruits of the Spirit? But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law.   (Galatians...

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Lenten Blog – 3/20/2018

  "[Love] is not irritable or resentful." - 1 Corinthians 13:5 When I read this verse, my first thought was of Vicki Portfolio.  I can't think of a time I've seen her when she wasn't cheerful and kind.  I wish I could say that I am always like that, but I must confess that I have my days when I'm...

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Lenten Blog – 3/19/2018

My 1-year-old son, Eli, likes to have things his way.  When he wants something, he goes and grabs it.  When someone tries to make him do something he doesn't want to do, like take a nap, he throws a tantrum... I mean a full-on, scream-his-head-off, throw stuff, throw-himself-to-the-ground, tantrum.  It's bad when 1-year-old acts like this, but it's expected.  When...

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Lenten Blog – 3/18/2018

I had a discussion with someone recently about pride. Pride is difficult concept today because it can have different meanings, some good and some bad. You can be prideful (meaning arrogant) or you can be proud of the work you've done (satisfied and pleased). You can be known as being a proud person (boastful) or you can be known as...

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Lenten Blog – 03/17/2018

Happy St Patrick’s Day! I have always loved this day ever since I read the autobiography of Patrick.  It is the second autobiography ever written after ‘The Confessions of St Augustine,” being the first.  Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates in the late 400’s from Britain.  After six years as a slave working in fields, he escaped and returned home. ...

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Lenten Blog – 3/16/2018

Easter is getting closer and one of the ways I see this is in a perennial Lilly bulb that I planted 18 years ago. Here is a picture of the plant in front of the first building. The plant is looking like it can bloom in about a week or two. It usually blooms either the last week of March...

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