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Jesus On The High Seas

You are likely familiar with the account in Mark’s gospel where Jesus calms the wind and the waves. It's night time. A storm whips up on the Sea of Galilee. The boats are being swamped. Jesus is asleep on a cushion. The disciples are afraid so they wake Jesus up, and He rebukes the wind and the waves. We can and should be amazed as Jesus’ power in this regard. And, like the disciples, we can ask, "who is this?" However, what about the question Jesus asked … [Read more...]

Jesus and The Flash Mob

Have you ever wondered why all the folks were waving palm branches and shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David," as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey? There are tons of reasons deeply embedded in Israel (e.g., is this the long-awaited rescuer who will free us at last)? But there are significantly more practical reasons for the flash mob. It was Passover - so there were people (and sacrificial animals) everywhere! But the Passover crowd was just the … [Read more...]

Who Were Those Guys?

Who were the four guys that carried the paralytic on a mat to Jesus? They obviously had heard of Jesus. They knew right where he was, but the crowds were swarming like bees and they couldn't enter the house. They were clearly bold, smart, and capable, able to adapt to the situation at hand, get creative, and lower the paralytic through the roof. But who were they? They were the faithful. The had faith in Jesus. They knew and believed enough about Jesus … [Read more...]

Whoever Is Not With Me Is Against Me

Can you imagine if I answered an argument with, "Hey man, if you're not with me, you're against me." What would you say? You'd likely say I was crazy, or being unfair, or ridiculous - that I have no basis upon which to make such a claim. And you'd be right. And yet, that's what Jesus said. In Matthew's gospel, Jesus had just healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Everyone freaked! They were like, "Man! Could this be the Son of David!" That … [Read more...]

Experiencing God’s Love

In my early teens I had just begun dabbling with drugs. Like most teenagers, I took the opportunity to brag about it whenever possible, as this behavior was considered cool. As I was puffing up with pride relating my shenanigans, my favorite cousin (3 years my senior) came crashing down on me like thunder. You idiot! What do you think you're doing! Do you want to throw your life away! Don't be stupid, Ted! His words combined with the tone in his … [Read more...]

Breaking The Guilt Gospel

Guilt, shame, scare-tactics and the like undermine the gospel. You've seen the Facebook posts: Share if you love Jesus!. Or, Re-post if Jesus is Lord!. One recent message argued that if you're ashamed of re-posting a message about Jesus, then Jesus will be ashamed of you. Wow! Not sure they understand the context of verse 38 that they're quoting from chapter 8 in Mark's gospel. What's going on? The guilt-tactics are really pressure tactics that are … [Read more...]

Challenging Simplicity

A friend created as memory verse card for me - he's kind of a geek that way. A memory verse card is a Bible verse printed out on a small card that you keep in your wallet...or wherever - car, bathroom - so you can easily commit it to memory by having it in front of you a lot. This type of repetition is a classic technique in teaching. I've read this particular verse several times now for a few weeks when I realized Jesus was teaching his disciples in a … [Read more...]

As Yourself

What comes to mind with the phrase, "Love your neighbor as yourself?" What does that mean? Sure, the parable of the Good Samaritan is helpful, but there aren't many folks beaten up and left for dead on the side of the road in my neighborhood. I like to think I'd stop to help. So, what's it look like today? And, why is it so important? Love your neighbor as yourself is actually a command from Jesus. It's not a suggestion, or a life tip, or a self-help … [Read more...]

A Prayer For The Weary

I pray frequently with some friends, but sometimes we're not able to meet. So, we often use email. If you're a prayer, you'll know that sometimes someone will pray in a way that makes you say, "Wow, I wish I recorded that!" Thankfully, email can capture such moments. Example below. I hope it helps you. Oh Lord, struggles at work, high emotions at home, frustrations in general...and little social life. I know these times are shaping and refining, but it's … [Read more...]

Supposing Him To Be The Gardener

In the gospel of John, the one written by Jesus' best friend, John tells us of Mary's encounter with Jesus after he rose from the dead. It was early, still dark, and Mary was overwhelmed with grief. When she turned around from the empty tomb there was Jesus, but she thought he was the gardener. Now, suppose, as Charles Spurgeon has pointed out, that Jesus was the gardener. Is this an appropriate metaphor for Jesus? Actually, while obviously not an … [Read more...]