prayer a wonderful privilege

Prayer, A Wonderful Privilege – Matthew 6:5-15

Prayer!  What a wonderful, and often underutilized, privilege we have.  The creator and ruler of the universe essentially has an open door policy for his children.  We can come before our Abba (daddy) anytime we want, talking, listening and just spending time with him.  Good luck trying that with any human ruler that you might be under. So why don’t we take better advantage of this privilege he has given us?  I suspect fear is a part of it; it is God we are trying to talk to after all; and he seems distant and remote.  But feelings of inadequacy …

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enter through the narrow gate

Enter Through the Narrow Gate – Matthew 7:13-14

So which will you choose? To walk the easy and well traveled road that ends up with destruction; the road that may lead to happiness and success in this life, but, in the end, leads to eternal separation from God? Or will you choose the road less traveled, walking with Jesus away from the allure of this world and toward the life that we were created to experience?

clay jars

And the Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail – Matthew 16:13-20

Recently, the church where I serve received an unsolicited letter from an organization that warned us about the potential for lawsuits from members, ex-members, and outsiders because of stands that we might take as a church.  Included in this letter were a set of recommendations for changes to the churches by-laws that would make us more immune to those types of lawsuits, although they also admitted that we were not really at much risk anyway. But we choose to look into it and a committee was appointed to make recommendations concerning changes to our by-laws that would further protect us …

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parables of small beginnings

The Parables of Small Beginnings – Matthew 13:31-32

Instant gratification!  That seems to be the theme anymore; at least for folks in the US.  If we don’t see results pretty quickly, and preferably pretty dramatic results, we lose patience and call for a change.  And it seems not to matter if the target is a president, a football team, or a weight loss program.  

clay jars

Are You Ready? – Matthew 24:45-25:13

In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus shares with his disciples some information about his return and what to expect as his return draws near.  He concluded that teaching with a warning (24:36-44) about being ready because the time of his return will not be known until it occurs.  When he comes back, it will be suddenly and without warning, and some will be taken and others will be left.  And what will determine who is taken and who is left?  He answers that question in a pair of parables that follow. The first, in Matthew 24:45-51, is about a servant who …

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hidden treasure, pearl of great price

The Parables of the Precious – Matthew 13:44-46

One of the tools Jesus used in his teaching was the parable; a simple story using common every day circumstances that had something to say to his hearers, both then and now.  A parable is kind of like an object lesson, and Jesus used them often to illustrate spiritual truths.  Some of these parables were very short and to the point, while others were a bit longer.  Among these shorter parables are the parable of the hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl of great price. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a …

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was Jesus a backpacker

Was Jesus a Backpacker? – Matthew 14:23

Jesus dismisses all the people (distractions), and heads up into the hills for some quiet time. And he spends the night there alone. Sounds to me very much like a solo backpacking trip / retreat. So good knowing that I will be able to justify a month out on the trail by pointing to Jesus example.