The “AWESOME” Stool! (Job 38)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Job 38

My grandson Damon is 6 years old. Like most children his age, he is exuberant about life. He gets excited, I mean really excited about what interests him or what is new and different. For Damon there are degrees of excitement. He uses different words, like “Wow” or “Easy Peasy” to mark the degrees. However, the Damon seal of approval is Continue reading

Let Justice Roll Like a River (Amos 5:21-27)

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Amos 5:21-27

“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the sound of your song! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” (Amos 5:21-23) These are odd words to have come from the Lord Almighty! Are not these the very things he commanded? Continue reading

Tethered to God (Romans 8:28)

 

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Romans 8:28

One my previous occupations was managing an animal shelter. I was also an Animal Cop. One time I went to a home, I was amused by what I saw. There was no violation of the law. The cats, each weighing twelve to fifteen pounds, were tethered to the front porch by long strings of yarn. Continue reading

Can Prayer Fix This? (1 Kings 8:31-51)

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1 Kings 8:31-51

In the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting, the New York Daily News ran the headline, “God Isn’t Fixing This,” on its cover page. The article criticized certain politicians for asking for prayer following the shooting, saying, “prayers aren’t working.” The headline led to the #GodIsntFixingThis movement. Continue reading

The Art of Slowing Down (Galatians 5:22)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain. 

Galatians 5:22

“Slow Down!”

My lovely wife has said this to me many times over the years whether driving a car or working on a project at home. I have always been a high achiever, type A, self-actualizing and fast. I have for as long as I can remember been a speedaholic. Continue reading

The Book that Changed My Life (Acts 8:26-40)

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Acts 8:26-40

I had just returned from a Christian festival as a mid-teen. My friend had invited me. It was my first exposure to a large group of Christians. I realized quickly that the people at that festival had something I did not. I wanted it! Continue reading

Everybody Worships (Revelation 5), Part 2 of 2

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Revelation 5

Last week we entered into the glorious worship scene of John’s vision, recorded in Revelation 5. We left off with John weeping. He was weeping, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll in the hand of God. That scroll represented God’s plan to right all the wrong in the world. Without anyone to open it, creation was doomed. The same can be said of our culturally constructed salvation narratives. These narratives promise redemption, yet – as we saw last week – they cannot deliver on those promises. In the end they leave us weeping, like John before the unopened scroll. Continue reading

Everybody Worships (Revelation 5), Part 1 of 2

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Revelation 5

The word “worship” is not a uniquely religious word. Everybody worships something or someone. The late author David Foster Wallace once said, “There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. Continue reading

I Made the Man of Sorrows Sorry (Acts 2:36-41)

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Acts 2:36-41

The protestant reformer John Calvin starts the first chapter of his theological magnus opus with the words, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” It is tempting to think Calvin means that the pursuit of wisdom involves searching our souls and experiences. Continue reading

Prayer that Makes a Difference (Ephesians 6:18-20)

Prayer the Makes a Difference

Ephesians 6:18-20

The alarm goes off. You bathe, brush your teeth, and get dressed. If you have kids, you get them up and going and eat breakfast. You get into your car and drive to work, maybe you turn on the radio. Continue reading