Learn to ‘Wrestle’ in Prayer!

Sunday’s sermon explored the vivid image of “Wrestling in Prayer.” You can listen here. It has much to teach us about prayer as the real work of the Christian disciple. This Greek verb, agonizomai, is translated variously as “struggle, agonize, toil, labor, work hard, and wrestle.” We see it in action with patriarch Jacob in Genesis […]

Of Prayer and iPhones

After last week’s sermon stressing Paul’s injunction to “pray without ceasing,” (and the reminder that God is closer than “the Cloud!”) I got an email from friends who started to pray before and after using their smart phones for email or texts, etc. I added the thought of praying for the person involved with each message. […]

Prayer: What Difference Does It Make?

Our summer series at Christ Church asks some hard and honest questions about Prayer and our practice of it. Today we explored the relationship of God’s Spirit and continual prayer. God invites us into a love relationship that is intended to push back the lesser and competing loves that cry for our allegiance. [Sunday's sermon audio […]

Flourish! (aka Shalom!)

If you missed some or all of our series called Flourish!- the teaching here from June 22 may be very helpful. It summarizes a vision for flourishing, both as a church and as an individual. One new insight is that the word flouish is very much parallel to the expansive biblical word, Shalom. It means “wholeness, completeness, wellness, the […]

‘Beauty will save the world’ ?

I had the opportunity recently to hear Gregory Wolfe, who is the founder of Image, a wonderful quarterly journal which has the byline: Art * Faith * Mystery. His book, Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age, makes a powerful case for the importance of beauty and imagination to engage the  culture. “Beauty will save the […]

Living ‘Under the Influence’

Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter. In our Flourish! series we re-visited the essential question of the Power behind a life of flourishing – the Holy Spirit. Jesus four times (in John, ch. 14-16) promises that he will send the Paraclete  (Greek for “Helper,” “Counselor,” “Comforter,” or “Advocate” – literally, “One who comes alongside […]

Beyond Tolerance: Being the Church in our Culture

How Christ-followers engage with the culture they are a part of is a crucial and sometimes complex question. I have been working over the last two years on three essential ingredients from the Scriptures that put ‘flesh’ on being ‘salt and light’ in the culture. (Matthew 5:13-16) God calls us to be people of CONVICTION, CIVILITY, and COMPASSION.  The […]

Christ is Risen AND Ascended!

This is Ascension Day! It is the most neglected yet essential day in the church calendar. We should greet one another today (or this Sunday) with “Christ is Ascended!” Our response could be, “Yes, He is Lord of all!” We experience Jesus now without seeing him! (Just like all disciples since the resurrection) Jesus was not resuscitated only to die […]

Why Your Work Matters to God!

How we relate to the culture we live in is a crucial question for us in Christ’s Body, the Church. Our third teaching in the series, Flourish, is called: Your Work Matters to God. I include an introduction to the work of Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling.  Crouch challenges us to not settle for Condemning culture, […]