Freedom Isn’t Free

“My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.” Galatians 5:13 Today, I hear a lot of people using the word “freedom” when it comes to their individual rights and choices. Many use this word to imply that there should be no limits, no restraints, no cost for freedom and liberty. We use the word “freedom” quite a bit in this country, but little understand its implications. What is freedom? What does this concept imply? Before we attempt to describe what freedom is perhaps it might be helpful to…

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Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

… as Christians, followers of Jesus we go beyond what the civil law stipulates. We live under the law of love expressed by Jesus’ Great Commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your heart and all your strength.” And the second Great Commandment is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We are obligated by Jesus’s second Great Commandment to use our freedom for the benefit of others.

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A Prayer…

Some days it is hard to find the words. Thankfully my friend Nancy shared a beautiful prayer by Karen Ebert which now I submit for your care and consideration. It goes like this; God of colorful palette,God of broken chains, As we sit in the kaleidoscopic glow of the stained-glass, we are aware of the sameness of most of the faces which surround us.We note this as a confession, not that we have consciously turned away from those who are different from us. But it is evidence that we have not made strong enough our efforts to turn towards those, whose skin, and accent, and income, do not…

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Improving With Age

“So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an…

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Finding Your Wings

Yesterday while getting ready in my room, I heard a loud crashing sound near my bedroom window. I quickly investigated only to discover my very determined cat trying to get to something he saw behind the blinds. Raising them up I discovered the source of my cat’s attention. A young bird had hopped up on the windowsill and was sitting there petrified of the gray mass of fur desperately trying to catch him. Thankfully for the bird a pane of glass separated them.  Curious I watched the bird for a while. It wasn’t long before he hopped down and wandered around in the grass. I wondered where he…

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“Where is God?”

“I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!”  Romans 8:38-39 (CEV). At this writing, our nation has just surpassed 100,000 deaths from the Covid-19 virus. One hundred thousand Americans have lost their lives to this virus and the total number of deaths slowly increases with each passing day. That’s more than 40 times the number of people killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Someone observed that…

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Breaking Through

Several years ago, Becky at my request created a bit of a lenten living lesson. The idea was to fill a plastic bowl with soil, grass seeds, rocks and a buried flower pot covered by a bigger rock. After several weeks once the grass grew, this was supposed to represent the empty tomb of Jesus on Easter. Needless to say, there wasn’t enough water and sunlight to make the grass grow and the little art experiment was placed behind the Trinity center to be cleaned up later.  As things to be done later often go, later never came. Last Sunday as I was walking up to the church…

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Becoming a Spiritually Mature Church

“Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, so that his people would learn to serve, and his body would grow strong. This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.”  Ephesians 4:11-13 Last Sunday, I began a new sermon series on “Becoming a Spiritually Mature Church.” In the next few weeks we are going to explore some ways in which we can cultivate our growth into spiritual maturity. God’s goal and desire for God’s people is that they…

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Real Love

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 Today is the day known in our country as Memorial Day.  For too long, this day has been to many Americans simply a marker of the beginning of summer and little more.  But I wonder if perhaps this year, is different.  Maybe we have slowed down just long enough to consider that perhaps the day could and should mean so much more.  It was created, after all, to be a solemn day to remember the fallen soldiers…

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Exposed

As we continue down this long and winding road, I offer this beautiful and thought provoking piece by Seminary student Sarah Bourns.   EXPOSED – By Sarah Bourns We’ve all been exposed.Not necessarily to the virus(maybe…who even knows ).We’ve all been exposed BY the virus. Corona is exposing us.Exposing our weak sides.Exposing our dark sides.Exposing what normally lays far beneath the surface of our souls,hidden by the invisible masks we wear.Now exposed by the paper masks we can’t hide far enough behind. Corona is exposing our addiction to comfort.Our obsession with control.Our compulsion to hoard.Our protection of self. Corona is peeling back our layers.Tearing down our walls.Revealing our illusions.Leveling…

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