Growing Up as a Family

The sermon from Sunday, July 14, really got me thinking about the church as a family. The accounts of Barnabas and Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 4, 5, as I mentioned in the sermon, are easily reduced to a moral plea to be generous in your giving. While that is true and a good takeaway … [Read more…]

Free to Serve

When we Americans celebrate our independence, we mean it. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association in 2014, consumers spent about $675 million on fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. This kind of spectacular celebration seems to be what the Founding Fathers had in mind. In a letter to his wife, Abigail, John Adams wrote on July … [Read more…]

Growing Up Together

Do you remember that kid who used to do all the silly things that would make people laugh and get them into trouble? How about the kid who always knew the answers and reminded the teacher that she had forgotten to collect the homework? What about the kid who always had the newest clothes or … [Read more…]

Growing Community

For many churches, “community” is a value. That is, they want to develop among the people of the church a sense of belonging to the group. Their goal is to get people to think about “we” and not just “me,” which certainly agrees with scriptural descriptions of the church being an assembly, at least, and … [Read more…]

Growing Presence

“Are you here?” It’s all too common to have to ask this question of someone who is right there in plain sight. The problem is, they’re not really “here.” Most often, they’re face down in their phone (and no, it’s not just younger people). Sure, they could be distracted by something else, but it’s more … [Read more…]

Don’t Fear Community

No doubt about it, we’re experiencing a dramatic shift in our culture that has led people to fear community. Our culture is characterized by rabid individualism, the thought that I/me is more important than you/we. We live in a world that is driven by personal feelings and fulfillment instead of unity and mutual growth. And … [Read more…]

Growing in Community

In the beginning – not a bad start for a New Year’s message, right? In the beginning, God said that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18); so he created Eve. While many preachers and Bible teachers will point to that as a foundation of marriage, and rightly so, it probably points … [Read more…]

Give the Gift of Jesus

Paul wrote in Colossians 4:5, 6: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” He wrote this immediately following his request for prayer that God would open doors … [Read more…]

Giving Thanks Like Jesus

Believe it or not, there are only a few instances in the accounts of Jesus’ life when the Gospel writers tell us that Jesus gave thanks to God. In each of the accounts of Jesus feeding multitudes of people with just a bit of fish and bread, the writers tell us that Jesus gave thanks … [Read more…]