Have you been paying attention? There has been a common theme, these last few weeks, of raising the stakes and expectations upon what it means to be a follower of Christ. It began as we joined the disciples and crowds who gathered along the shores of Galilee to hear these teaching statements when they were first delivered. We gather, today, to reflect upon what it means to live for Christ.
Throughout this study of Matthew 5, we’ve talked about some difficult and challenging passages and how they apply to our lives. If you remember, we said Jesus gathered this group together to express what the kingdom of God was all about. This was after people were curious about Jesus after he began preaching and healing throughout Capernaum and Galilee. As the crowds gathered around him, Jesus wasn’t interested in creating a popular movement that gave people what they wanted to hear. He wasn’t there to please the people.
He came to raise the expectations by expressing what it means to follow God and live out our faith. Jesus does not desire disciples who merely just show up or claim a faith in God but never put it into practice. He is interested in disciples – followers of Christ – who seek to become less of their own self and more like Christ every day. Continue reading “Why So Angry?”
Growing up in West Virginia, if you asked me to name one thing about Kentucky, I would have quickly shouted … Continue reading What Does a Horse Race Teach Us About Ourselves
There is a lot of noise in society today. There is a lot of talking in our world today.
Just turn on the cable news networks and this becomes apparent. There is a lot of noise in our world today. Our news presentations feature a steady stream of people constantly talking at each other. This talking is presented to us as debates, when we know that it is far from it.
What we are given is a form of loud talking that is often more about selling a point than entering into a discussion. Those who spend a lot of time talking on television often are simply wanting to defeat their opponent, give out a few talking points, and get retweeted or posted instantly. The process makes it hard to understand what is being discussed and difficult to discern the truth in the topic. Continue reading “Sunday Sermon: A Prophetic Voice”
Former Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis coined a phrase that has become familiar to all, regardless if you spend your evenings watching whatever game is on ESPN.
He said, “Just win, baby!”
Many of us have ascribed to this philosophy when it comes to our favorite teams, whether it be the professional or collegiate ranks. (For the purposes of this column we will focus primarily on college athletics.) We want the thrill of victory and will accept almost anything to be victorious when the game is over.
Sports is about winning and there is nothing wrong with wanting our teams to win. It is part of what makes sports fun and enjoyable. I have often told my wife that if West Virginia University ever wins a national championship in anything besides rifle that it would be one of the happiest days of my life. She got a brief taste of this excitement in 2010 when West Virginia advanced to the Final Four and I immediately ran out of the house screaming for joy. Continue reading “Is There a Limit to Our Sports Obsession”
Before entering ministry, I had the great joy and privilege of being a journalist. For 11 years starting in high school when I was a part-time stringer for the local paper I covered everything a young reporter could cover. I saw the inner workings of the legislative process, the fast-paced nature of NASCAR on a race weekend, the joy of a high school athlete who just won a state title, and the pain caused by the most obscure crimes.
Though I no longer cover a beat with my reporter’s notebook in hand I often find myself reflective of that time in my life. One of the things I have recognized about this time in my life was that it was season of preparation for this life in pastoral ministry. Not only did it give me the tools to communicate and express our mutual hope in Jesus Christ, but it also gave me the tools to look at our communities and world and to see what we often do not see at first glance. Continue reading “Loving the Weeds”