The Greatest Temptations

Every year, different groups collate the most popular things that people give up during Lent, based on surveys or social media mentions. The whole tradition of giving something up for Lent, as you may know, comes from our New Testament story this morning, where Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness. And while individual […]

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Get Your Shine On

Are you a beach person or a mountain person? That’s one of the great divisions in our society today; perhaps not quite as bitter or deep a division as cat people vs. dog people, but real all the same. But I’m going to take a bold stand here today and declare that I think you […]

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For Good Measure

“What religion are you?” the driver asked. Even in the best of circumstances, that’s a pretty loaded question, and usually means something unpleasant is coming behind it. But this time, it was being asked of my wife, Tammy, by the driver of the bush taxi she was sitting next to as we sped along the […]

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Those Little Stories

The summer after my freshman year in college, I had the summer job that all my friends coveted – I was a lifeguard at our town pool. The Riverside Swim Club was a very safe environment with two lifeguards on duty at all times in the big pool, and children were not even allowed into […]

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Amazing Grace

If you had told me six weeks ago that one of the biggest television shows of 2019 was going to be about people cleaning their houses, I would have laughed at you. Not a home makeover show, where people have an old or rundown or just painfully unstylish home and a team of experts comes […]

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The Downside of Love

Believe it or not, nobody is getting married this morning. I understand if you were confused, though. First Corinthians 13 is the classic, “go-to” Scripture lesson for weddings, even for people who otherwise have little or nothing to do with the Christian faith. Years ago I was meeting with a couple who was trying to […]

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Blessed to Be A Blessing

If you would like to read the Scripture upon which this is based: Matthew 5: 1-12 Meek. Merciful. Persecuted. Peacemaker. Reviled. Poor in spirit and heart.  Are those really words to live by?  Sounds hard! Sounds scary! Sounds dreadful!! Those words and others like them are surely not the words a new preacher should be […]

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In the Deep End

I think I was around four years old when I first ventured into the deep end of the pool, which seems a little young looking back on it. I was taking swim lessons at the local YMCA, and I had discovered some natural ability for swimming. I picked up the basic mechanics of swimming pretty […]

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The Threat of Christmas

There’s Easter candy in the stores now. Not just Valentine’s Day candy; that is actually just a little over a month away, so that doesn’t surprise me. But Easter candy? Apparently so. A pastor friend of mine posted a picture of piles of Cadbury chocolate cream Easter eggs in his local store with the sign, […]

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Jesus’ First Words

One of my favorite Christmas cards depicts the classic stable scene in its center.  Mary is holding the baby Jesus and gazing adoringly into his eyes with a broad smile on her face.  Joseph stands behind her, peering over her shoulder, and shepherds and animals are gathered all around.  Off to the side, though, are […]

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