“Mark My Word!” (Jesus)

Matthew’s Gospel is filled with the challenge and promise of taking Jesus’ word seriously! To live as if Christ has inaugurated the Kingdom on earth (because he HAS!). In this sermon, we looked at one of the many radical sayings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He calls us to be “Unoffendable!” (to borrow […]

What makes Jesus Angry?

We know Jesus often felt sad. He wept over Lazarus and over unresponsive Jerusalem. But what made Jesus ‘mad?’ We may think only of turning the tables in the Temple, but Jesus had some extremely angry words for the Pharisees and ‘experts’ in the Law. In Luke 11:37-12:3, we see Jesus ‘in the face’ of his religious […]

Is Jesus Vision really OUR vision?

Beginning at Advent, we are preaching through the Gospel of Luke this year at Christ Church. We are taking the first 3 weeks of the new year to explore the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry recorded in Luke, chapters 3-5. We’re asking the challenging question, “Is Jesus’ vision OUR vision?” Listen to the first sermon, […]

Living the Good News with Conviction, Civility, & Compassion

How do we engage the culture in which we find ourselves in a Christ-honoring way? This is a crucial and sometimes complex question for Christians everywhere. There are three essential ingredients from the Scriptures that put ‘flesh’ on being ‘salt and light’ in the culture. God calls us to be people of CONVICTION, CIVILITY, and COMPASSION.  The sermon from Oct. 4th is linked here. I’ve […]

“Be One Person!” Faith at Work – part 2

We all struggle with what the Psalmist calls a “divided heart.” (Psalm 86:11-13) The second teaching in our series, Faith at Work is about INTEGRITY: Being One Person! Listen to it here. It includes a personal story by Jim O’Donnell that inspired this emphasis for The Center for Faith at Work. The word, integrity, has a long, meaninful […]

Why we have to learn how to Ruminate!

When I started blogging several years ago, I chose the title Ruminations. It’s still in the subtitle. It’s not just a graphic term for bovine digestion. It was adopted early in the church as a metaphor for the essential discipline of meditation. It means internalizing and assimilating the truth of God (specifically from Holy Scripture) into […]

Do our lives have Authority?

In our series, Ordinary People, Radical Kingdom, we examined Mark 1:21-28 and asked the question, “By what authority?” Why was Jesus’ authority so obvious – and what, if any, authority do we have as his modern day disciples? Jesus demonstrated his authority, not only in his teaching, but also in calling the 12, casting out demons, […]

Content “like a weaned child…”

As a sequel to Sunday’s sermon, Enough, and  our last post on Contentment, I share this reflection from Psalm 131. It is a beautiful picture of our satisfaction being rooted more and more in Christ. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things […]

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 […]

Transformation and Hope – learning from an icon

The transfiguration of the Christ, described in Mark 9, Luke 9 and Matthew 17, is depicted in this icon from the 16th cent. There is so much of the biblical story and so much powerful theology packed into it. An iconographic picture truly “worth a thousand words!” Many have asked about the meaning and use […]