Living Life so People Will Remember Me After I Die Is Too Small a Cause to Live For
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New England Churches 049

I was sitting at a funeral dinner with the grown children of a dear woman whose service I had just conducted. One of her sons was talking about adding a patio to the back of his house. Her daughter was talking about doing some work on her home. I thought to myself, “This mother has just died and her children are talking about everything but her! I don’t even have kids, just think how quickly I will be forgotten when […]

05: Discipling the Sick – Hit the Mark
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He had only one hope. No other options. No other solutions. He had used every resource at his disposal and everything that concerned family members and friends could do had been done. Now dangling in a bed let down through the roof of Peter’s house, he was at his moment of truth.

The familiar story of the paralytic shared in Luke 5 contains many of the shared experiences of those facing sickness personally or dealing with loved ones who are sick. […]

Sunday: The Healing Messiah
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Read Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17, and John 9:1-3. In what way are we to understand these texts? What questions do they raise? What hope do they offer us?

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

In antiquity, sickness was considered the result of sinful actions. (And even today, who hasn’t at times-even if only for a moment-wondered if illness, either their own or that of a loved one, wasn’t brought on as a punishment for sin?) In the book of Job, his […]

Forgiveness Is Not Saying It Is Okay
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Carrying the Cross

One Sabbath afternoon I received a phone call from the mother of a child I had corrected earlier at church, who had smarted off to me, when I told her to stay out of a room that was off-limits. The mother told me, “My daughter wants to tell you she is sorry, but before she gets on the phone, I wanted to ask you, when she says she is sorry, don’t tell her it is okay. Just tell her she […]

Would Jesus Be Judas’s Facebook Friend?
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Facebook now lets you label all your friends and place them in categories. I can label them, family, close friends, just friends and even acquaintances, if I don’t think they quite measure up to friend. You have more control and power over your Facebook world than you do the real world. On Facebook you can delete a friend if they let you down. Can’t do that in the  real world, or at least not without going to prison.  If someone […]

God’s Love and My Flawed Marriage
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Mike-and-Jen-238x300

My friend Harold called me about a month ago, asking, “Can you come speak on marriage at our church retreat? We have so many couples in crisis!”

H’mm, I thought. I enjoy public speaking. The date is open. I can promote my latest book. It’s a great opportunity to share God’s love. Everything checked out perfectly. But even while my mouth formed a “Yes,” my stomach churned a “No!” in the fearful defiance of a child being forced to shake hands […]

Never Give Up
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hem

“because she thought, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Mark 5:28, NIV

Twelve years before, two events had taken place that would come together later on a single day in Jesus’ ministry.  At that time, Jesus himself was a young man still working in Joseph’s carpenter shop in Nazareth. He had not yet been baptized by John. He had not called any disciples. Few thought of him as anything but Joseph and Mary’s son, one of several […]