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Showing posts from April, 2014

Sin, Addictions and Healing

[this is a re-post from August 2010] In the Gospel of John, Jesus encounters a lame man that leads to one shocking question. The story goes that Jesus encountered this man at a public place in Jerusalem where - apparently - quite a number of blind, lame and paralyzed men and women lay. In modern terms, this place – called Beth-zatha – was something like a safe-house, an ancient form of the modern day Salvation Army.
Lying there with the others was a man who had spent thirty-eight years of his life waiting for healing. Thirty-eight years! For almost four complete decades, this man's days began and ended in this public place. To many people in Jerusalem, the man had likely become part of the place - almost blending into the paved stones. This should not surprise us. It still happens in our own day - homeless men or women who begin to blend into the environment.

But, for some reason, Jesus noticed the man. More than that, Jesus intentionally went up to this man, and asked him: "Do …

Mad Men & My Mid-Life Crisis

"You've got to learn how to fall,
      before you learn how to fly." - Paul Simon

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives." - Jesus
Last week, my favorite television show returned for what is going to amount to fourteen final episodes, split arduously into two more seasons.  Mad Men is the show, the 1960's period piece with its sharp and clean style.  Behind the slick suits and pomade, though, Mad Men is ultimately probing a profound and universal question:  what happens to us as we age?  
The central figure throughout the series has been a man known as Don Draper, a well groomed man who looks like he could easily slide into the role of Clark Kent.  For much of the first two seasons, we followed Don as he strode confidently through life, seemingly rising in power and prestige, all while staying cooler than any one else ev…

Hope: Pass It On

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." - Peter's encouragement to his fellow Christians, 1 Peter 3:15

What does a thirteen year-old boy have to look forward to?

What does a freshman girl have to look forward to?

Sunday afternoon, Brady Rhodes and I sat on the steps of our church sanctuary with five young adults, four jr. high students and one freshman.  And we wanted to find out the answer to these two questions.

Actually, the answer to the first question was pretty easy to discover, if completely shocking at the same time.

Any guesses?  

Taco Bell.  Yeah, that's right.  We learned that Ethan Tuggle has been looking forward to Taco Bell's new breakfast menu for quite some time, so much in fact that he showed up at 7:00 am the first day Taco Bell unveiled its new contributions to our day's most important meal - walking a few blocks to be the first one to order.

So, there's that.

But, what else…