Making Sense of Sin: Introduction

I listen to a lot of preaching.  I’m kind of obsessed with it, actually.

Podcasts. Online sermons.  Visiting other churches.  Weddings.  Funerals.  Steve Jobs unveiling the next iPhone.

Wherever I can hear preaching, I tune in.

Through all of this listening, I’ve come to realize I usually respond with one of two distinct feelings.

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Your Home is Your Sanctuary: Redefined

My wife and I are both introverts.  This means we can only handle people in small doses.  Too much time around others, and we begin to shut down.  Eye contact becomes painful.  Forcing a smile starts to feel like bench-pressing two times our weight.

So after the end of a long week, mine spent wrangling college students, her’s spent constantly entertaining a high-energy and extroverted two-year old, we prefer to just veg out.

Redbox. Takeout. The couch and a blanket.

Yes, please.

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Sharing Faith, Resisting the Spirit, and Laughter

I want to share a surprising observation with you: It is possible to share your faith and resist the Holy Spirit at the same time.

This should, initially, seem like a contradiction.  After all, the Spirit empowers followers of Jesus to share the good news of Jesus with others.  This is Evangelism 101.

Acts 1:8 says it pretty well:

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.

There it is.  The Spirit of God and being witnesses to others, neatly tied together.

Because they are meant to go together, problems arise when we try to separate them.

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Meditating on a Fresh Christmas Song

This Advent season I’ve been drawn to a Christmas hymn I was previously unfamiliar with.  Since many Christmas songs can lose their punch due to being so familiar, I share these reflections in hope that you, also, can worship the Christ child as if it were your first time hearing of his birth.

The song is called “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and can be heard here and here.

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Lobby Babies

Lobby Babies.  I know you’ve seen them.

They’re not alone, of course.  Mom or dad is with them, or maybe grandma or grandpa.

But every week, without fail, they are out there.  Babbling away in their mom’s arms; or learning to crawl as dad chases them across the carpet.

Whatever they are doing, it is not appropriate for the Worship Center.  They became a distraction.  Pastor John is a pretty solid preacher, but he struggles to connect with the young ones.  Especially the really young ones.  The language barrier is a bit of an issue, it seems.

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