January 15, 2017: “Made New: New Joy,” 1 Peter 1: 3-9

I want to use a term this morning that I’m guessing will be unfamiliar to many of you although I may be surprised, the term is “Jesus juke.”  Anyone heard it before?  Are we aware of what it means to juke someone, like in football?  You make the person think you’re going one way and the quickly move the other way, hopefully sending them off in the wrong direction.  Well the Jesus juke is probably what you’d expect given that information and using context clues, it’s taking what is obviously not a spiritual conversation and reversing its direction into something serious and holy.  I’ll give you an example, this comes from stuffchristianslike.net.  The author of the site, a guy named Jon Acuff, was at an airport during a layover and noticed a man doing pushups outside of the airport Starbucks.  He tweeted something joking about the guy’s dedication to fitness and the first response he got was “imagine if we were that dedicated to our faith.”  Which is true, a lot of people are probably more disciplined about their fitness than they are their spiritual life but you don’t have to say it.  When I was in divinity school I got to go to several seminary student or young Baptist retreats and there would usually be a board asking things like favorite book, movie, tv show, things to let us get to know each other.  And it never failed that on the book list someone would write “GOD’S HOLY WORD,” all caps.  Not just, the Bible, “GOD’S HOLY WORD.”  And it never failed that it came right underneath where I had written “To be the Man” by Ric Flair so it seemed like a personal attack.  Because there’s an element to the Jesus juke that at least comes off a personal, right, its showing off how holy you are at the expense of someone else.

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Jan 1, 2017 – “Made New: New Life,” Romans 6: 1-11

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas and any other holiday celebrations you had went well, but I’m glad to see you this morning and glad that you’ve chosen to kick off 2017 in worship, beginning this new year by focusing first on the things of God.  Newness is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian.  When the wise-men came before Herod they asked to see the new king who had been born.  In Mark’s gospel one of the first statements an outsider makes about Jesus is that he has a new teaching, and with authority.  Newness comes up over and over in the Bible, right up to the end, where in Revelation we hear these words, “behold, I am making all things new.”  What a great reminder, here in the new year, that God’s doesn’t give up, that God is always at the work of creation and recreation, always working towards an end goal of newness.

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First blog post

The suggestion for this post was to explain why this blog exists.  The simple answer is that I was looking for somewhere to put all the different things I’m writing and doing as a Pastor and this seemed like the best way to do it and make it available to those (probably a small group) that might be interested in it.  So I guess the answer is also a little bit of arrogance, I think there may be people out there interested in what I think and say.  If you’re one of those people (and I assume you are since you’re here), thanks for the ego boost!  If you somehow got here by accident, I hope you find something worth your time.  As for what this is eventually going to be, I don’t know.  Maybe beyond sermons and devotionals and things like that I’ll get into other thoughts on faith and culture, I’ve got some ideas.  Thanks for stopping by, hopefully you’ll finds something here worth your time.

Andrew