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Word of Life Church Podcast

English, Religion, 1 season, 982 episodes, 1 day, 10 hours, 19 minutes
About
Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri is a thriving non-denominational church led by Pastor Brian & Peri Zahnd. We are followers of Jesus seeking to be an authentic expression of the kingdom of Jesus in the twenty-first century. Additional sermon audio and other resources are available at wolc.com.
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The Wood Between the Worlds: The Center That Holds

Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.-W.B. Yeats, The Second ComingIn him all things hold together.He is the head of the body, the church.He is the beginning,The firstborn from the dead.-St. Paul, Colossians 1:17–18
3/31/202434 minutes, 15 seconds
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The Wood Between the Worlds: God Revealed In Death

Jesus Christ—the Logos made flesh—is the true icon of the living God. The world has at last truly seen God. And what is the climactic, definitive moment of God’s self-revelation in Christ? It’s the central event in the gospel story—the crucifixion. The cross is the pinnacle of divine self-disclosure.
3/29/202427 minutes, 15 seconds
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 7 - One Ring to Rule Them All

ABOUT THIS PODCASTBrian Zahnd, Cole Novak, and Jacob Taylor explore themes from the Lord of the Rings epic by J.R. Tolkien and more specifically how power should be handled by those who follow Christ. This episode continues conversation based on Brian's new book The Wood Between The Worlds: A Poetic Theology of the Cross. Follow for more episodes each Thursday in Lent.GET THE BOOK - The Wood Between the Worlds by Brian Zahndhttps://wolc.com/twbtw
3/28/202432 minutes, 4 seconds
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 6 - The Lamb upon the Throne (Audio)

3/17/20240
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The Wood Between the Worlds: One Ring to Rule Them All (Audio)

3/17/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 5 - Three Tress on the Low Sky (Audio)

3/14/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 5 - Three Tress on the Low Sky

ABOUT THIS PODCASTBrian Zahnd, Cole Novak, and Derek Vreeland explore topics ranging from the betrayal by Judas to the Protestant presumption that there can be no salvific work after the moment of death. This episode continues conversation based on Brian's new book The Wood Between The Worlds: A Poetic Theology of the Cross. Follow for more episodes each Thursday in Lent.GET THE BOOK - The Wood Between the Worlds by Brian Zahndhttps://wolc.com/twbtwFIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIAFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordoflifechurchInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/wordoflifechurchYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/wolctvPASTOR BRIAN ZAHND ON SOCIAL MEDIAFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/brianzahndInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/brianzahndTwitter: https://www.twitter.com/brianzahndCONNECT WITH A PASTORDo you need prayer? Are you new to Word of Life Church? One of our pastors would love to connect with you. Fill out the form at https://www.wolc.com/connectABOUT WORD OF LIFE CHURCHWord of Life is located in St. Joseph, MO. We are seeking to be an authentic expression of the Kingdom of Jesus in the 21st Century. You can learn more at https://www.wolc.comGIVETo make a financial contribution to the ministry work of Word of Life Church visit https://www.wolc.com/give
3/14/202435 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Wood Between the Worlds: How Jesus Understood His Death (Audio)

3/10/20240
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The Wood Between the Worlds: A Grotesque Beauty (Audio)

3/3/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 4 - A Grotesque Beauty (Audio)

3/3/20240
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The Wood Between the Worlds: A Grotesque Beauty

"Beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks to us directly like the voice of an intimate friend. If there are people who are indifferent to beauty, then it surely because they do not perceive it." - Roger Scruton, Beauty
3/3/202433 minutes, 24 seconds
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 3 - God on the Gallows (Audio)

2/29/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 3 - God on the Gallows (Audio)

2/29/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 3 - God on the Gallows

ABOUT THIS PODCAST - Brian Zahnd, Cole Novak, and Jacob Taylor sit down for a conversation about theodicy and centered on the idea that only the suffering God can help. This conversation continues to explore themes from Brian's new book The Wood Between The Worlds: A Poetic Theology of the Cross. Follow for more episodes each Thursday in Lent. GET THE BOOK - The Wood Between the Worlds by Brian Zahnd https://wolc.com/twbtw
2/29/202433 minutes, 15 seconds
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The Wood Between the Worlds" A Love Supreme (Audio)

2/25/20240
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The Wood Between the Worlds: A Love Supreme

Once a symbol of imperial terror, the cross has become the eternal symbol of divine love. When we look upon the cross today, we don’t see an instrument of torture and death; we see the supreme demonstration of God’s love. We see the lengths to which God will go to save the world.
2/25/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 2 - God Revealed in Death (Audio)

2/22/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 2 - God Revealed in Death

Brian Zahnd, Cole Novak, and Derek Vreeland explore the paradox of God revealed in the crucifixion of Christ on the cross. This conversation continues to explore themes from Brian's new book The Wood Between The Worlds: A Poetic Theology of the Cross. Follow for more episodes each Thursday in Lent.
2/22/202434 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Wood Between the Worlds: The Wood Between the Worlds (Audio)

2/18/20240
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The Wood Between the Worlds

The cross of Christ is the wood between the worlds.There is the world that was and the world to come,and in between those two worlds,is the wood upon which the Son of God was hung.
2/18/202438 minutes, 36 seconds
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 1 - The Wood Between The Worlds (Audio)

2/15/20240
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BZ Basement Tapes - Episode 1 - The Wood Between The Worlds

2/15/202431 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ash Wednesday: The Road of Discipleship

It's nearly impossible to comprehend how shocking Jesus' call to "take up your cross and follow me" was to a first century audience. It would not have been heard as a call to a pious spirituality. It could only be understood as a call to martyrdom. And what could be more shocking than that?
2/14/202433 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ash Wednesday: The Road of Discipleship (Audio)

2/14/20240
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Everyone Is Searching (Audio)

2/4/20240
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The Fame of Jesus (Audio)

1/28/20240
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The Fame of Jesus

The fame of Jesus spread throughout Galilee, then Judea, then the Roman Empire, and then throughout the whole world, so that Jesus of Nazareth is far and away the most famous person in history. Fame is connected with fascination. We're fascinated by famous people—we want to know more about them. And fascination with Jesus Christ is the essential thing. But wherein lies the fame of Jesus? What is Jesus famous for?
1/28/202435 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Risk of Becoming (Audio)

1/21/20240
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Heaven Opened (Audio)

1/14/20240
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Epiphany: By Another Road (Audio)

1/7/20240
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Christmastide: The Sword-Pierced Soul of Mary (Audio)

12/31/20230
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Christmas Eve Homily (Audio)

12/24/20230
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Christmas Eve Homily

12/24/20230
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The Greatest Wonder of All: Children of God (Audio)

12/17/20230
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The Greatest Wonder of All: A New Humanity (Audio)

12/10/20230
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The Greatest Wonder of All: The Word Became Flesh (Audio)

12/3/20230
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The Kingdom Imagination (Audio)

11/26/20230
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Divine Encounters (Audio)

11/19/20230
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The Hidden Chamber (Audio)

11/12/20230
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42nd Anniversary Sunday: An Authentic Expression of the Kingdom of Jesus in the 21st Century (Audio)

11/5/20230
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The Jesus Prayer (Audio)

10/22/20230
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A Feast For All (Audio)

10/15/20230
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The Lamb at the Center (Audio)

10/8/20230
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Paths of Unseen Existences (Audio)

10/1/20230
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Paths of Unseen Existences

Ours is an age of acute empirical perception that affords spectacular scientific and technological developments, but our age is also an epoch of dire spiritual dullness leading to a deep poverty of the soul. This lack of spiritual perceptivity engenders a profound sense of emptiness and meaninglessness. To recover meaning we need to rediscover the paths of unseen existences.
10/1/202341 minutes, 29 seconds
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Re-Enchanting the Christian Soul (Audio)

9/24/20230
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All Shall Be Well: The Life and Revelations of Julian of Norwich (Audio)

9/17/20230
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Beautiful (In Time)

9/10/202334 minutes, 36 seconds
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Beautiful (In Time) (Audio)

9/10/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: Seven Psalms: The Lord (Audio)

9/3/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: Lux Æterna (Audio)

8/27/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: Monsters (Audio)

8/20/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: Monsters

MonstersDave Matthews BandBroke old toy soldiers lined up one, two, threeLittle kid and everything I did just to save my paper queen'Cause love won't let me goYeah, no army's gonna save my soul'Cause love won't let me goNothing in the closetNothing underneath the bedJust the monsters in your headI hear strange voices at every step I takeNo, you can't cross the ocean if you can't get past the breakEven if fear don't put you downWon't you lean on me while I'm aroundOh, no rope to hang the deadNo line to save the drowning manJust the monsters in your headNothing in the closetNothing underneath the bedJust the monsters in your headSee killer's eyes and painted facesThe Devil wants your soul, but Jesus savesTraffic jam is an angry mazeThe Devil wants your soul, but Jesus savesChutes and ladders, pick-up sticksCounting cars and counting bricksDriving past the ol' five-and-dimeCan't get nothin' for a nickel since a long, long timeI won't let you downNothing in the closetNothing underneath your bedJust the monsters in your headNo rope to hang the deadNo line to save the drowning manJust the monsters in your headLove won't let you goLove won't let you go
8/20/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: Rescued (Audio)

8/13/20230
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Finding God In The Music | 2023: The Walk Home (Audio)

8/6/20230
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Ruth: A Subversive Romance: Obed (Audio)

7/30/20230
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Ruth: A Subversive Romance: Boaz (Audio)

7/23/20230
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Ruth: A Subversive Romance: Bethlehem (Audio)

7/16/20230
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Ruth: A Subversive Romance: Moab (Audio)

7/9/20230
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Ordinary Time 2023: A Welcoming People (Audio)

7/2/20230
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Ordinary Time 2023: Falling Sparrows, Numbered Hairs, and the Dread of Gehenna (Audio)

6/25/20230
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Ordinary Time 2023: Agents of Healing (Audio)

6/18/20230
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Ordinary Time 2023: The Medicine of Mercy (Audio)

6/11/20230
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Trinity Sunday: The God Who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Audio)

6/4/20230
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Pentecost Sunday: "About Three Thousand" (Audio)

5/28/20230
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Eastertide 2023: Jesus, the Church, the Bible, and Christianity (Audio)

5/21/20230
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Eastertide 2023: Help From The Sanctuary (Audio)

5/14/20230
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Eastertide 2023: Help From The Sanctuary

The Holy Trinity is a sanctuary of perfect love where there is never any fear, discord, or sorrow. It is from this sanctuary that the the Holy Spirit is sent as the Paraclete—the one who comes alongside to help us.
5/14/20230
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Eastertide 2023: The Way Home (Audio)

5/7/20230
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Eastertide 2023: When Do We Live? (Audio)

4/23/20230
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Eastertide 2023: A Lovely Coda

John the Evangelist originally concluded his Gospel with chapter twenty. But sometime later, perhaps to affirm the leadership of Peter and to dispel a rumor about himself, John wrote and additional chapter -- a chapter that can be described as a lovely coda.
4/23/20230
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Eastertide 2023: A Lovely Coda (Audio)

4/23/20230
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Easter 2023: Mary Magdalene: The Easter Evangelist (Audio)

4/9/20230
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Good Friday: GETHSEMANE (Audio)

4/7/20230
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Palm Sunday: Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept) (Audio)

4/2/20230
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Lent 2023: The Coming One (Audio)

3/26/20230
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Lent 2023: Working the Works of God (Audio)

3/19/20230
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Lent 2023: More To The Story (Audio)

3/12/20230
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Lent 2023: The Jesus Revolution (Audio)

3/5/20230
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Lent 2023: The Third Temptation (Audio)

2/26/20230
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Lent 2023: The Third Temptation

On the first Sunday in Lent the lectionary takes us to the wilderness temptation of Christ. As Jesus prayed and fasted forty days in preparation to launch his ministry—a ministry that would announce and enact the arrival of the kingdom of God— he was beset with three satanic temptations. The first two temptations involved misuse of miraculous powers. But it was the final temptation that was the most insidious of all: the temptation to receive political dominion over the kingdoms of the world in exchange for bowing down to the devil. The third temptation deserves special attention, not only because it was the most sinister, but because it is the temptation that has beguiled and beleaguered the church for seventeen centuries.
2/26/20230
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Ash Wednesday: Press On (Audio)

2/22/20230
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Epiphany 2023: Shine As The Sun (Audio)

2/19/20230
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Epiphany 2023: Anger Issues (Audio)

2/12/20230
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Epiphany 2023: Anger Issues

Jesus knows that all forms of spirituality built on legalistic, rule-based religion focused on behavior modification is a dead-end road. It cannot produce life. Inward transformation, a change of the heart and the formation of character, becomes the foundation for real life in the kingdom of God. Jesus warns us of the judgment that is to come if we allow anger to become angry words that seek to hurt and destroy. It is ok to get angry, but there is a massive difference between being a person who feels angry and being an angry person. One is Christlike and one is not. If we are to be made new, renewed in the likeness of God, we have to deal with our anger issues. To do so we need to answer at least three questions: How do I respond to the anger I feel? How do I resolve the anger that seems to linger? What about righteous anger?
2/12/20230
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Epiphany 2023: Break Forth Like The Dawn (Audio)

2/5/20230
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Epiphany 2023: The Beatitudes (Audio)

1/29/20230
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Epiphany 2023: It's All A Gift (Audio)

1/22/20230
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Epiphany 2023: Jesus Christ Is the True Lens of Scripture (Audio)

1/15/20230
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The Anticipated Christ: Kings Shall Come (Audio)

1/8/20230
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The Anticipated Christ: The Holy Name (Audio)

1/1/20230
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The Anticipated Christ: St. Joseph (Audio)

12/18/20220
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The Anticipated Christ: A Lamb Led to the Slaughter (Audio)

12/11/20220
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The Anticipated Christ: Here Is Your God (Audio)

12/4/20220
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The Anticipated Christ: Here Is Your God

When Isaiah penned his “Rivers In the Desert” poem, Judah was in a bad way—internally Judah was corrupt and externally it was under threat of foreign invasion. But the poet of audacious hope does not despair; instead he proclaims that God will come, and in that day it will be said, “Here is your God!”
12/4/20220
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The Anticipated Christ: The Proto Gospel (Audio)

11/27/20220
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Christ of All Things (Audio)

11/20/20220
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Springs of Salvation (Audio)

11/13/20220
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The Glory of the Latter Temple (Audio)

11/6/20220
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Search and Rescue (Audio)

10/30/20220
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...Me, A Sinner (Audio)

10/23/20220
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The God Who Intervenes (Audio)

10/16/20220
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Exiles In Babylon (Audio)

10/9/20220
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The Abolition of Death

Paul says that Christ has abolished death and brought immortality to light, and he says this is the gospel. And it is! But it’s not the gospel we’re accustomed to hearing. Over time the gospel has been reduced to be almost exclusively about forgiveness. Of course forgiveness is a beautiful component of the gospel, but that’s not all there is. The gospel in its fullest and most grand presentation is about the abolition of death.
10/2/202236 minutes, 38 seconds
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Where There Is No War (Audio)

9/25/20220
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Where There Is No War

Where there is no war, is in heaven above, where Christ reigns supreme. In the world above, the world to come, the war is already won. The devil has been cast down and no longer has any place in heaven above. Heaven is the place where there is no war, so keep your head in heaven above.
9/25/202241 minutes, 46 seconds
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Beloved But Hard To Believe It (Audio)

9/18/20220
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Beloved But Hard To Believe It

This sermon is an exploration of the fundamental truth that many of us know, but most of us find hard to believe. 1 John 4 lays out the extraordinary claim that God is love. The implications for our lives and the world we live in are profound and unlimited in the light of this reality - if only we can come to know and believe that it is true. May we let go of our false self and let our true self be known and loved by the God who is love.
9/18/202238 minutes, 42 seconds
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Memorial Stones (Audio)

9/11/20220
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Memorial Stones

After the ancient people of God crossed the Jordan River and entered into the Promised Land, they stacked 12 stones to serve as a memorial that God indeed had remained faithful to God’s people. The resurrection of Jesus is our memorial stone as the renewed people of God. Jesus’ resurrection was not a collection of stones stacked by human beings, but a single stone that God rolled away when life triumphed over death. Resurrection as a memorial stone is a way of seeing. Our painful past is often recorded in our memories in black and white, but resurrection colors everything with hope and life. The resurrection as a memorial stone changes how we look at our suffering personally and collectively because the resurrection of Jesus is a signpost pointing us to a future resurrection of our own.
9/11/202236 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Truth Comes From Above (Audio)

9/4/20220
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The Truth Comes From Above

The Gospel of John decidedly and deliberately differs from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John the Evangelist wants to give us a theological Gospel containing the highest possible Christology. In his opening sentence John tells us that this one who is the Word of God is fully divine. While the other Gospels give genealogies and tell us that Jesus comes from Bethlehem and Nazareth, John is not interested in those particular biographical details. For John the only genealogy of Jesus that really matters is that he is the Son of God, who was in the beginning with God, and that he is the truth of God who comes from heaven, that is from above.
9/4/202234 minutes, 28 seconds
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Finding God In The Music: Sanctuary (Audio)

8/28/20220
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Finding God In The Music: Sanctuary

SanctuaryHiss Golden MessengerFeeling badFeeling blueCan't get out of my own mindI know how to sing about itRing of boneA little lonelyI better hit the road, childWe can cry into the phone a whileJubileeFind meSteady with your hope nowThat little light's gotta last a whileLike an arrow to the marrowI know it feels like hell now'Til we make it to the other sideYou want good newsYou want sanctuaryWhen you try to get realOh, they break you on the wheelYou wanna moveYou want sanctuaryThat's all that I can offer to youFrom the bottom to the boneTo the boneGet used to the bad newsIt's all part of the show, childHandsome Johnny had to go, childDid you feel the bad news?Oh, there's something you should know nowLittle things that'll cut you downRagged peopleHard timesAnd the lightning strikes the poorhouseThe rich man cries like a crocodileSalvationDespairBut the game that they taught meSometimes it feels like it just ain't fairYou want good newsYou want sanctuaryWhen you try to get realOh, they break you on the wheelYou wanna moveYou want sanctuaryThat's all that I can offer to youFrom the bottom to the boneTo the boneYeah, to the boneAh, to the boneYeah, to the boneAh, to the boneYeah, to the boneAh, to the boneFeeling badFeeling blueCan't get out of my own mindBut I know how to sing about it
8/28/202241 minutes, 4 seconds
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Finding God In The Music: Quiet Town (Audio)

8/21/20220
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Finding God In The Music: Quiet Town

Quiet TownThe KillersA couple of kids got hit by a Union Pacific trainCarrying sheet metal and household appliancesThrough the pouring rainThey were planning on getting married after graduationHad a little baby girl, trouble came and shut it downThings like that ain't supposed to happenIn this quiet townFamilies are tightGood people,They still don't deadbolt their doors at nightIn this quiet townWhen we first heard opioid storiesThey were always in whispering tonesNow banners of sorrow mark the front steps of childhood homesParents wept through daddy's girl eulogiesAnd merit badge milestones with their daughters and sonsLaying there lifeless in their suits and gownsSomebody's been keeping secretsIn this quiet townThey know how to liveGood people who lean on JesusThey're quick to forgiveIn this quiet townNow whenever I'm near the townI'll find some reason to giveAnd I will walk with the dead and the living where I used to liveAnd every time I see my parents in the prime of their livesOffering their son the kind of love he could never put downPart of me is still that stainless kid, luckyIn this quiet townSalt of the landHard-working people, if you're in troubleThey'll lend you a handHere in this quiet townThe first crop of hay is upSchool let out and the sun beats downSmoke billows from a Sunday trainThat cries away from a quiet town
8/21/202238 minutes, 20 seconds
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Finding God In The Music: Unconditional (Lookout Kid) (Audio)

8/14/20220
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Finding God In The Music: Unconditional (Lookout Kid)

Unconditional (Lookout Kid)Unconditional (Lookout Kid)Arcade FireLookout kid, trust your heartYou don't have to play the part They wrote for youJust be trueThere are things that you could doThat no one else on earth could ever doBut I can't teach you, I can't teach it to youLookout kid, trust your mindBut you can't trust it everytimeYou know it plays tricks on youAnd it don't give a damn if you are happy or you're sadBut if you've lost it, don't feel bad'Cause it's alright to be sadLookout kid, trust your bodyYou can dance, and you can shakeThings will break, you make mistakesYou lose your friends, again and again'Cause nothing is ever perfectNo one's perfectLet me say it again, no one's perfectRightA lifetime of skinned kneesAnd heartbreak comes so easyBut a life without pain would be boringAnd if you feel it, it's fineI give you everything that's mineI give you my heart and my precious timeLookout kid, trust your soulIt ain't hard to rock n' rollYou know how to move your hipsAnd you know God is cool with itBut some people want the rock without the rollBut we all know, there's no God without soulRightA lifetime of skinned kneesAnd heartbreak comes so easilyBut a life without youWould be boring for someone like meAnd if you feel it, it's fineI give you everything that's mineI give you my heart and my precious time(Precious time)(Give you everything)I give you my heart and my precious timeUnconditionalUnconditionalNo matter what you doIt's unconditional Unconditional No matter what you doIt's unconditional
8/14/202240 minutes, 25 seconds
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Finding God In The Music: Waiting On A War (Audio)

8/7/20220
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Finding God In The Music: Waiting On A War

Waiting On A WarFoo FightersI've been waiting on a war since I was youngSince I was a little boy with a toy gunNever really wanted to be number oneJust wanted to love everyoneIs there more to this than that?Is there more to this than that?Is there more to this than that?Is there more to thisMore to this, more to this thanJust waiting on a war?Just waiting on a war?Every day waiting for the sky to fallBig crash on a world that's so smallJust a boy with nowhere left to goFell in love with a voice on the radioIs there more to this than that?Is there more to this than that?Is there more to this than that?Is there more to thisMore to this, more to this thanJust waiting on a war?Just waiting on a war?Just waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than thatJust waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than thatI've been waiting on a war since I was youngSince I was a little boy with a toy gunIs there more to thisMore to this, more to this thanJust waiting on a war?Just waiting on a war?Just waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than thatJust waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than thatJust waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than thatJust waiting on a war for this and thatThere's got to be more to this than that'Cause I need moreYeah, I need moreJust waiting on a warJust waiting on a warYeah, I need more (for this and that)(There's got to be more to this than that)Yeah, I need more (just waiting on a war, for this and that)(There's got to be more to this than that)Just waiting on a war
8/7/202236 minutes, 35 seconds
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Finding God In The Music: A Hero's Death (Audio)

7/31/20220
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Finding God In The Music: A Hero's Death

Sunday, July 31, 2022Life ain’t always empty…Don’t get stuck in the pastSay your favorite things at massTell your mother that you love herAnd go out of your way for othersSit beneath a light that suits youAnd look forward to a brighter futureLife ain’t always empty…Sink as far down as you can be pulled upHappiness really ain’t all about luckLet your demeanor be your deep down selfAnd don’t sacrifice your life for your healthWhen you speak, speak sincereAnd believe me friend, everyone will hearLife ain’t always empty…Bring your own two centsNever borrow them from someone elseBuy yourself a flower every hundredth hourThrow your hair down from your lonely towerAnd if, and ifYou find yourself in the family wayGive the kid more than what you got in your dayLife ain’t always empty…Never let a clock tell you what you got time forIt only goes around, goes around, goes aroundTake your family name for your own great sins'Cause each day is where it all beginsAnd don’t give up too quickYou only get one line, you better make it stickIf we give ourselves to every breathThen we’re all in the running for a hero's deathLife ain’t always empty…
7/31/20220
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The Perfect Prayer (Audio)

7/24/20220
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Everyday Mystics (Audio)

7/17/20220
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Everyday Mystics

Mary and Martha do not represent two kinds of people—the contemplative person and the practical person. Mary and Martha represent two choices—two choices we all have to make. Jesus said that Mary made the better choice. Mary chose to be an everyday mystic.
7/17/202238 minutes, 28 seconds
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Go And Do (Audio)

7/10/20220
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Go And Do

The life of the age to come for those who are seeking first the kingdom of God is a “go and do” kind of life. Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21). This may be one of the most sobering things Jesus has to say. Calling Jesus Lord is not the same thing as doing what the Lord Jesus says.Our life in pursuit of Jesus is not primarily about theology (what we believe), liturgy (the shape of our worship), or piety (our heart’s devotion), but a way of living shaped by the Holy Spirit around the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yes, what we believe about God is important. Yes, worship and prayer are important. Yes, devotion and passion for God are important. But each of these find their significance when they prompt us to go and do.
7/10/202239 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Fall of the Satan (Audio)

7/3/20220
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The Fall of the Satan

Wherever people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and begin to love God with all their hearts, love their neighbor as themselves, embrace the way of peace and reject war, refuse to be an agent of accusation, choosing advocacy instead, there Satan falls like lightning.
7/3/202234 minutes, 6 seconds
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What Kind of Spirit? (Audio)

6/26/20220
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What Kind of Spirit?

The "Sons of Thunder," James and John, wanted to call fire down from heaven on a Samaritan village who refused to welcome Jesus. In their petition they were able to cite Scripture because Elijah had done this. But Jesus rebuked them, saying, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of." The question isn't can we find it in the Bible, but can we find it in Jesus. If we weaponize the Bible to hurt other people, we do not have the Spirit of the Lord.
6/26/20220
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Demons (Audio)

6/19/20220
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Demons

Don't surrender your faith in Jesus to an ideological ism. Nationalism, Socialism, Capitalism, Marxism, Conservatism, Progressivism, Fundamentalism, Liberalism, etc. Isms can easily become possessed, turn into a herd, and rush off a cliff. Sit with Jesus instead. Jesus will put you in your right mind. Following Jesus may sometimes look conservative or sometimes look progressive. But it’s Jesus we are following, not an ideological ism.
6/19/202233 minutes, 46 seconds
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Trinity Sunday: Dazzle Gradually (Audio)

6/12/20220
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Trinity Sunday: Dazzle Gradually

This sermon is about the long, gradual, Spirit-guided journey into the dazzling light of all truth.Tell all the truth but tell it slant —Success in Circuit liesToo bright for our infirm DelightThe Truth’s superb surpriseAs Lightning to the Children easedWith explanation kindThe Truth must dazzle graduallyOr every man be blind —–Emily Dickinson
6/12/202238 minutes, 30 seconds
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Pentecost: The Experience of God (Audio)

6/5/20220
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Pentecost: The Experience of God

The Holy Spirit is the experience of God. Thinking about God is theology. And theology matters. Theology is the Queen of the Sciences. It’s important that we think as accurately as possible about the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—just like it’s important that we think as accurately as possible about physics, chemistry, and mathematics. But relatively few people are called to do the actual hard work of creating and writing theology. Not everyone is called to be a theologian. But the message of Pentecost is that everyone can experience God!
6/5/202237 minutes, 27 seconds
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Eastertide: The Healing of the Nations (Audio)

5/29/20220
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Eastertide: The Healing of the Nations

On the seventh Sunday of Eastertide we look at the culmination of great story of redemption. At the end of the Bible we discover that the gospel story does not end with the lucky elect whisked off to heaven—it ends with heaven coming to earth. And the story does not end with the demise of the nations—it ends with the healing of the nations.
5/29/202231 minutes, 8 seconds
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Eastertide: The Darkness Will Not Endure (Audio)

5/22/20220
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Eastertide: The Darkness Will Not Endure

"I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. In this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!”–The Return of the King, The Steward and the King
5/22/202233 minutes, 12 seconds
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Eastertide: The Road Away From God (Audio)

5/15/20220
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Eastertide: The Road Away From God

Sermon by Jonathan Martin.In this sermon, Jonathan Martin reimagines Luke's story of twodisillusioned disciples walking the Emmas road away from the holy city, where they had watched their hope die a gruesome death right before their eyes. With compassion born from his own experience, Martin reveals that the resurrected Christ is profoundly present with us-even as we walk away. This is a sermon to help you feel seen in your spiritual journey and all its complexities ... and to find home where you least expect it.
5/15/202243 minutes, 43 seconds
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Eastertide: Shining In the Light (Audio)

5/8/20220
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Eastertide: Shining In the Light

With the resurrection of Jesus Christ the darkness is fading and the true light is already shining. But how do we know if we are shining in the light or drifting into the darkness?
5/8/20220
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Eastertide: Showings (Audio)

5/1/20220
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Eastertide: Showings

The greatest revelations of divine love come from showings of the risen Christ. But these showings are not just for first century disciples or medieval mystics; Jesus wants to show himself to all of us, and in ways that are unique to our experience.
5/1/202229 minutes, 55 seconds
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Eastertide: Is Easter Incredible?

4/24/20220
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Eastertide: Is Easter Incredible?

"What inclines even me to believe in Christ’s resurrection? It is though I play with the thought of it – If he did not rise from the dead, then he decomposed in the grave like any other man. He Is Dead and Decomposed. In that case he is a teacher like any other and can no longer HELP; and once more we are orphaned and alone. So we have to content ourselves with wisdom and speculation. But if I am to be REALLY saved – what I need is…faith. And faith is faith in what is really needed by my heart, my soul, and not my speculative intelligence. For it is my soul with its passions, as it were with its flesh and blood, that has to be saved, and not my abstract mind. Perhaps we can say: Only LOVE can believe the Resurrection." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
4/24/202231 minutes, 20 seconds
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Easter Sunday 2022: Christ Pantocrator (Audio)

4/17/20220
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Easter 2022: Christ Pantocrator

Jesus preaches his own Easter sermon, when in the book of Revelation he says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Pantocrator). Fear not! I am the First and the Last. I am he that lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Death and Hades." Because it is Jesus Christ, the Almighty Pantocrator, who has the keys of Death and Hades, we can fear not!
4/17/202230 minutes, 38 seconds
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Good Friday 2022: The Singularity of Good Friday (Audio)

4/15/20220
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Good Friday: The Singularity of Good Friday

The cross is the true center of history—everything leads up to it and everything flows from it. The death of God upon a tree is not just some event within history, it is the event that defines and explains, reveals and redeems all of history. However we understand the origin of sin within the human story, its trajectory moves inevitably toward Good Friday. This is the moment when the Spirit of Love that flows between the Father and Son erupted to engulf and forgive the sin of the world.
4/15/202226 minutes, 48 seconds
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Jesus the Healer: A Temple for All (Audio)

4/10/20220
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Jesus the Healer: A Temple for All

During his final days in Jerusalem, Jesus prophesied the end of the old temple and the emergence of a new temple -- a new temple known as the Body of Christ. This new temple is not made of limestone, but of living stones. One of the chief characteristics of this new temple is its radical inclusivity -- it is to be a temple for all people.
4/10/202231 minutes
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Jesus the Healer: To Harm or Heal? (Audio)

4/3/20220
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Jesus the Healer: To Harm or Heal?

The thing that was initially the most obvious about Jesus was that he was a healer. Everyone knew that Jesus was a healer, even his enemies, who sought to use this against him. In the story of Jesus healing the man with a withered hand in the synagogue on the sabbath, we look at Jesus—who is the perfect revelation of God—and ask this theological question: Is the character of God revealed in the power to harm or heal?
4/3/202233 minutes, 24 seconds
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Jesus the Healer: Hope For The Harassed and Helpless (Audio)

3/27/20220
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Jesus the Healer: Hope For The Harassed and Helpless

What happens when the carriers of hope and healing become the cause of harm and hurt? The wounds cut deeper, the pain becomes unbearable, and the harassed and helpless feel like sheep without a shepherd. Despite the failure of the church at times, there remains a good shepherd who walks with us through every valley. Jesus is the healer of every disease and every affliction including the afflictions suffered because of his church.
3/27/202239 minutes, 26 seconds
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Jesus the Healer: Ultimate Healing (Audio)

3/20/20220
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Jesus the Healer: Ultimate Healing

Ultimate HealingThe healing of Lazarus brought the dead back to life. Much like the other events of healing in the ministry of Jesus, this miracle demonstrated God’s glory, majesty, and magnificence. People saw Jesus' authority as he raised the dead and many believed in him. This miracle was a sign for those present at the tomb of Lazarus and a sign for us. The raising of Lazarus is a sign that our ultimate healing will take place in the resurrection at the end of the age.
3/20/202236 minutes, 58 seconds
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Jesus The Healer: Bringing the Sick to Jesus (Audio)

3/13/20220
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Jesus the Healer: Bringing the Sick to Jesus

Jesus carried our sins in his own body on the cross so that he might take away our sins, our brokenness, our sickness. This is the good news buried in the sorrow of Lent. He was wounded so that we could be healed, both body and soul, healed both on the outside and the inside, and so we bring sick people to Jesus with our prayers whether their brokenness is in their bodies, minds, or emotions.
3/13/20220
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Jesus The Healer: The Faith of Friends (Audio)

3/6/20220
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Jesus The Healer: The Faith of Friends

We tend to make a hard theological distinction between sin and sickness, between iniquity and illness, between guilt and death; but Jesus doesn’t seem to make that kind of hard distinction. In his great compassion Jesus looks upon all of us as soul-sick sinners broken by a terrible fall, and he comes to help us, to heal us, to forgive us, and to restore us. The salvation we find in Jesus Christ is holistic.
3/6/202233 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ash Wednesday: Into the Ashes (Audio)

3/2/20220
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Ash Wednesday: Into the Ashes

You have heard it said, God helps those who help themselves. But I say unto you, God helps the helpless and leaves the rest to help themselves. We are saved when we call upon the name of the Lord—and we call upon the Lord when we know we can't save ourselves. When we go into the ashes and wait in the place of loss, we admit that we need God.
3/2/20220
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Epiphany: Mystics on the Mountains (Audio)

2/27/20220
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Epiphany: Mystics on the Mountains

Scripture references are NRSV.Transfiguration Sunday, February 27, 2022Mystics on the MountainsOne of the most remarkable aspects of the Transfiguration is the appearance of Moses and Elijah—Moses who lived twelve centuries before Christ and Elijah who lived nine centuries before Christ. Moses and Elijah were mystics who had had their own encounters with God on a holy mountain. They were Mystics on the Mountains.
2/27/202241 minutes, 44 seconds
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Epiphany: The Politics of Heaven (Audio)

2/20/20220
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Epiphany: The Politics of Heaven

During the season of Epiphany leading up to Lent, the Gospel readings in the lectionary are focused on the early ministry of Jesus—that is, from his baptism to his transfiguration. What we find in the first half of the Gospels is the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus as he travels throughout Galilee. This sermon will look at the core of Jesus’ kingdom message—The Politics of Heaven.
2/20/202241 minutes, 44 seconds
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Epiphany: Hence Comes the Healer (Audio)

2/13/20220
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Epiphany: Hence Comes the Healer

When Jesus began his public ministry in Galilee around the age of thirty, the thing that drew the crowds and spread his fame was that he was a healer. John the Baptist was famous as a preacher and baptizer, but Jesus was first of all famous as a healer and miracle worker. From curing Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever in Capernaum at the beginning of his ministry to resorting Malchus’ severed ear in the Garden of Gethsemane at the end of his ministry, Jesus was a healer. When we look at the ministry of Jesus we can say…Hence Comes the Healer.
2/13/202228 minutes, 37 seconds
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Epiphany: Depart From Me (Audio)

2/6/20220
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Epiphany: Depart From Me

"Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. This is the man that I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him. And to be unknown by God is altogether too much privacy. My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love—outside of reality and outside of life. And such a self cannot help but be an illusion. … The secret of my [true] identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God."—Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
2/6/202232 minutes, 34 seconds
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Epiphany: Hometown Jesus (Audio)

1/30/20220
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Epiphany: Hometown Jesus

Jesus was rejected in his hometown. What are we to think of the people of Nazareth? Were they just more dull-witted or hard-hearted than the people of Capernaum? No. They had simply stumbled at the offence of familiarity. And today in Western society, we're all from Jesus hometown.
1/30/202234 minutes, 32 seconds
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Epiphany: Praying The Psalms (Audio)

1/23/20220
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Epiphany: Praying The Psalms

1/23/202238 minutes, 41 seconds
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Epiphany: Vintage Christianity (Audio)

1/16/20220
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Epiphany: Vintage Christianity

My life has become so intertwined with the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana that it has become the primary way that I tell my born again again story. Every time I read about how Jesus turned the water to wine, I feel a deep personal connection with the story. It’s become my story—or at least some of my story. And when the Gospel stories become our stories, this is when Scripture is doing its most profound work in our lives. I love the whole Bible, but I have a particular love for the story of Jesus’ first miracle. My love for this story is such that whenever I just hear the word Cana, it makes me happy. When I hear the baffled steward say, “But you have kept the best wine until now!”, I think, “That’s my story too!” The story of how in midlife Jesus turned the water to wine and I discovered the vintage I’d been looking for all my life.
1/16/202236 minutes, 5 seconds
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Epiphany: Water and Flame (Audio)

1/9/20220
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Epiphany: Water and Flame

The spiritual genius of the lectionary is on display when the water and flame poem of Isaiah 43 in the Old Testament is connected with Luke’s account of Jesus’ baptism in the New Testament. By making this connection, we are shown that God’s promise to be with us as we pass through rivers and waters, through fire and flame, is fulfilled, as all the promises of God are, in Jesus. For Christ Jesus is the one who joins us in the waters of baptism and the one who purifies us in the baptism of fire.
1/9/202236 minutes, 45 seconds
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Christmas 2021: The Rising Star (Audio)

1/2/20220
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Christmas 2021: The Rising Star

The star of Bethlehem is not to be found in a re-creation of ancient astronomy. The star of Bethlehem is the "more sure word of prophecy" that rises in our hearts in response to the proclamation of the gospel.
1/2/202230 minutes, 32 seconds
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Christmas 2021: Into the Wonder (Audio)

12/26/20210
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The Season Of Advent: Where the Word Enters the World (Audio)

12/19/20210
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The Season Of Advent: Where the Word Enters the World

Christ is not just born in the beautiful places of our lives, as if we live in the idyllic bubble of a snow globe. Christ is also born in the war-torn places of our lives, littered with rubber bullets and teargas canisters. Jesus was not born into a fairytale but into the world as it is.
12/19/202130 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Season Of Advent: Presence Is Salvation (Audio)

12/12/20210
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The Season Of Advent: A Refiner's Fire (Audio)

12/5/20210
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The Season Of Advent: A Surprising Salvation (Audio)

11/28/20210
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When Everything's On Fire: The House of Love (Audio)

11/21/20210
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When Everything's On Fire: The Dark Night Of Unknowing (Audio)

11/14/20210
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Homecoming: A Tapestry of Grace (Audio)

11/7/20210
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When Everything's On Fire: The End Is the Beginning (Audio)

10/31/20210
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When Everything's On Fire (Audio)

10/24/20210
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"Not So Among You" (Audio)

10/17/20210
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The Tears of Jesus (Audio)

10/10/20210
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The Human Telos (Audio)

10/3/20210
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Jesus or What? (Audio)

9/26/20210
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Older Than Methuselah (Audio)

9/19/20210
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Practices For an Unhurried Life (Audio)

9/12/20210
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Abide Don’t Strive (Audio)

9/5/20210
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Leaping Upon the Mountains

8/29/20210
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You Can't Change the World, But You Can Change Your Life (Audio)

8/22/20210
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God and Soul: A Miktam (Audio)

8/15/20210
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A World Full of Blessings (Audio)

8/8/20210
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A World Full of Blessings

Our secular age doesn’t make much room for a world filled with blessings. Our age is one that wants to reduce everything down to cold sterile mechanisms, where everything is predictable, provable, and explainable. We are given the choice to live in a world of blessings or curses. What kind of world do you want to live in? God who blesses all humanity has made a way for us to live in a world full of blessings because Jesus rescued us from the curse. If we want to live in a world full of blessings then we have to do our part and impart blessings to others including those who curse us. When we bless those who curse us, we neutralize cursing. When we curse those who curse us, we normalize cursing. Choose to bless.
8/8/20210
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I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty (Audio)

8/1/20210
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I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2 (Audio)

7/25/20210
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I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2

I have climbed highest mountainsI have run through the fieldsOnly to be with youOnly to be with youI have runI have crawledI have scaled these city wallsThese city wallsOnly to be with youBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forI have kissed honey lipsFelt the healing in her fingertipsIt burned like fireThis burning desireI have spoke with the tongue of angelsI have held the hand of a devilIt was warm in the nightI was cold as a stoneBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forI believe in the kingdom comeThen all the colors will bleed into oneBleed into oneBut yes I'm still runningYou broke the bondsAnd you loosed the chainsCarried the crossOf my shameOh my shameYou know I believe itBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forBut I still haven't found what I'm looking forBut I still haven't found what I'm looking for
7/25/202137 minutes, 18 seconds
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Higher Love - Steve Winwood (Audio)

7/18/20210
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Higher Love - Steve Winwood

Think about it, there must be higher loveDown in the heart or hidden in the stars aboveWithout it, life is wasted timeLook inside your heart, I'll look inside mineThings look so bad everywhereIn this whole world, what is fair?We walk blind and we try to seeFalling behind in what could beBring me a higher loveBring me a higher loveBring me a higher loveWhere's that higher love I keep thinking of?Worlds are turning and we're just hanging onFacing our fear and standing out there aloneA yearning, and it's real to meThere must be someone who's feeling for meThings look so bad everywhereIn this whole world, what is fair?We walk blind and we try to seeFalling behind in what could beBring me a higher loveBring me a higher love Bring me a higher loveWhere's that higher love I keep thinking of?Bring me a higher loveBring me a higher love Bring be a higher loveI could rise above on a higher loveI will wait for itI'm not too late for itUntil then, I'll sing my songTo cheer the night along (bring it)I could light the night up with my soul on fireI could make the sun shine from pure desireLet me feel that love come over meLet me feel how strong it could beBring me a higher loveBring me a higher loveBring me a higher loveWhere's that higher love I keep thinking of?
7/18/202130 minutes, 1 second
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Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears (Audio)

7/11/20210
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Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears

Welcome to your lifeThere's no turning backEven while we sleepWe will find youActing on your best behaviorTurn your back on mother natureEverybody wants to rule the worldIt's my own designIt's my own remorseHelp me to decideHelp me make theMost of freedom and of pleasureNothing ever lasts foreverEverybody wants to rule the worldThere's a room where the light won't find youHolding hands while the walls come tumbling downWhen they do, I'll be right behind youSo glad we've almost made itSo sad they had to fade itEverybody wants to rule the worldI can't stand this indecisionMarried with a lack of visionEverybody wants to rule the worldSay that you'll never, never, never, never need itOne headline, why believe it?Everybody wants to rule the worldAll for freedom and for pleasureNothing ever lasts foreverEverybody wants to rule the world
7/11/202150 minutes, 49 seconds
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Gotta Serve Somebody - Bob Dylan (Audio)

7/4/20210
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Strangers In A Strange Land: The Exile of the Early Christians (Audio)

6/27/20210
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Strangers In A Strange Land: The Faithfulness of Daniel

The sixth century BC was a very difficult time for the Jewish people. Their holy city and their holy temple had been destroyed, and most of the survivors had been deported into forced exile in Babylon. The difficult challenge they faced was how to survive as exiles in Babylon and maintain their monotheistic faithfulness to Yahweh. How do you integrate into Babylonian society so that you can have a life but at the same time retain your Jewish identity? How do you live in a pagan world without becoming a pagan yourself? This is what the book of Daniel is about.
6/20/202131 minutes
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Strangers In A Strange Land: The Exodus of Moses (Audio)

6/13/20210
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Strangers In A Strange Land: The Quest of Abraham (Audio)

6/6/20210
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Under the Oaks (Audio)

5/30/20210
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Pentecost Sunday: The Experience of the Spirit (Audio)

5/23/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: The Things Above (Audio)

5/16/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: Captive To No Ism (Audio)

5/9/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: The Center That Holds (Audio)

5/2/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: The Mystery of Christ (Audio)

4/25/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: The New Humanity (Audio)

4/18/20210
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The Supremacy of Christ: Finding Ourselves in Jesus (Audio)

4/11/20210
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What Does This Mean? An Easter Look at the Cross: The Death That Conquers Death (Audio)

4/4/20210
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What Does This Mean? An Easter Look at the Cross: The Death That Conquers Death

The Crucifixion is not a defeat to be overturned by Resurrection; the Crucifixion is a victory revealed by Resurrection. The cross was made by Christ to become the portal by which he invaded death to liberate the dead ones.
4/4/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: Looking Upon The Pierced One (Audio)

4/2/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Overthrow of Satan (Audio)

3/28/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Axis of Love That Re-founds the World

In Cain the world was organized around an axis of power enforced by violence. Violent power became the organizing principle for human civilization. This is the story of Cain of Abel, the story of Romulus and Remus, the story Sméagol and Déagol. These archetypal stories remind us of dark truths we would rather keep hidden. But Jesus came into the world to shine the light, tell the truth, and re-found the world. In Christ crucified the world is re-founded around an axis of love expressed in forgiveness.
3/21/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Axis of Love That Re-founds the World (Audio)

3/21/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Beauty That Saves the World (Audio)

3/14/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Pinnacle of Divine Self-Disclosure (Audio)

3/7/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Enduring Model of Discipleship (Audio)

2/28/20210
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What Does This Mean? A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Eternal Moment of Forgiveness (Audio)

2/21/20210
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What Does This Mean?: A Lenten Look at the Cross: The Eternal Moment of Forgiveness

On Good Friday the sin of the world coalesced into a hideous singularity that upon the cross it might be forgiven en masse.
2/21/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: A Glimpse of the End (Audio)

2/14/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: We Need A Healer (Audio)

2/7/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: The Son of God Goes Forth to War (Audio)

1/31/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: The Good News of God (Audio)

1/24/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: Sub Ficus (Audio)

1/17/20210
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The Beginning of the Good News: Thunder In The Desert (Audio)

1/10/20210
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Songs of Messiah: The Light Shines In the Darkness (Audio)

1/3/20210
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Songs of Messiah: The Light Shines In the Darkness

John's poetic prologue to his Gospel is one of the loftiest presentations of Christology in all the New Testament—it's also one of them of the most beautiful passages of Scripture. John's theopoetics reaches its crescendo when proclaims that until we see Jesus, we've never seen God.
1/3/202139 minutes, 41 seconds
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Songs of Messiah: Simeon's Song (Audio)

12/27/20200
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Songs of Messiah: Simeon's Song

When Jesus was dedicated in the Temple, two old prophets -- Simeon and Anna -- spoke of the infant Jesus as Salvation and Redemption. Indeed, Jesus will save both Simeon and Anna, but neither of them knows how.
12/27/20200
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Songs of Messiah: The Angels' Song (Audio)

12/20/20200
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Songs of Messiah: Mary's Song (Audio)

12/13/20200
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Songs of Messiah: Zechariah's Song (Audio)

12/6/20200
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Songs of Messiah: Servant Songs (Audio)

11/29/20200
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Let My People Go: Encountering Christ in Exodus: A Prophet Like Unto Moses (Audio)

11/22/20200
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Let My People Go: Encountering Christ in Exodus: In The Wilderness (Audio)

11/15/20200
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Let My People Go: Encountering Christ in Exodus: The Exodus (Audio)

11/8/20200
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Let My People Go: Encountering Christ in Exodus: The Burning Bush (Audio)

11/1/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Joseph (Audio)

10/25/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Jacob (Audio)

10/18/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Isaac (Audio)

10/11/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Isaac

We look for Jesus in the story of Isaac, because as Christians that is how we read the Bible. Issac is the son of promise. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of God. Isaac is the son of laughter. Jesus is the bringer of joy. Isaac is the son of sacrifice. Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Isaac serves as a signpost pointing to the hope, joy, and new life we find in Jesus.
10/11/202039 minutes, 6 seconds
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Abraham (Audio)

10/4/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Abraham

In his many adventures Abraham constantly encountered Christ in some way. Abraham encountered Christ in the Voice that called him out Ur of the Chaldees and into the land of Canaan. In the foreshadowing of Melchizedek king of Salem who gave him bread and wine. In the trinity of strangers he entertained at his tent under the oaks of Mamre. In the smoking oven and burning torch that appeared when the covenant was cut. In the ram caught in the thicket on Mount Moriah on the day Isaac was offered up. Truly Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
10/4/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Noah (Audio)

9/27/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Noah

Jesus is the Ark that carries the Cosmos away from corruption and into God’s new creation. Just as there was a door placed in the side of the Ark for access to salvation, so the side of Jesus was pierced that creation might enter the heart of Christ and be carried through the flood of destruction and arrive safely in a redeemed world where all things are made new.
9/27/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Adam (Audio)

9/20/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Adam

Where do we find Jesus in Genesis in relation to Adam? We find Jesus as a new Adam who gives humanity a new original ancestor. We find Jesus in the Seed of the Woman who crushes the head of the serpent. We find Jesus in the One who comes in search of lost Adam.
9/20/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Creation

If we read the Old Testament as only predating Christ instead of deeply anticipating and foreseeing Christ, we have failed to read it in a Christian manner. But when we see Christ as the Creator, as the New Adam, as Noah’s Ark, as Abraham’s sought-after city, as Isaac’s ram on Mount Moriah, as the ladder between heaven and earth that Jacob saw, as foretold in the life of Joseph, then are we reading the Old Testament in the way Jesus taught his disciples to read it following his resurrection.
9/13/20200
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In The Beginning: Finding Jesus In Genesis: Creation (Audio)

9/13/20200
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Finding God In the Music: John Brown (Audio)

9/6/20200
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Finding God In the Music: John Brown

John Brown went off to war to fight on a foreign shoreHis mama sure was proud of him!He stood so straight and tall in his uniform and allHis mama’s face broke out into a grin“Oh son, you look so fine, I’m glad you’re a son of mineMake me proud to know you’re wearing a gunDo what the captain says, lots of medals you will getWe’ll put them on the wall when you come home”That old train pulled out, John’s ma began to shoutTelling everybody in the neighborhood“That’s my son that’s about to go, he’s a soldier now, you know”She made well sure her neighbors understoodShe got a letter once in a while and her face broke into a smileShe showed them to the people from next doorShe bragged about her son with his uniform and gunIn this thing she called a good old-fashioned warThen the letters ceased to come, for a long time they did not comeCeased to come for about ten months or moreThen a letter finally came saying, “Go down and meet the trainYour son is coming back from the war”She smiled and she went right down, she looked up and all aroundBut she did not see her soldier son in sightWhen all the people passed, she saw her son at lastWhen she did she could not believe her eyesOh his face was all shot off and his hands were blown awayAnd he wore a metal brace around his waistHe whispered kind of slow, in a voice she didn’t knowAnd she couldn’t even recognize his face!“Oh tell me, my darling son, tell me what they’vd doneHow is it that you come to be this way?”He tried his best to talk but his mouth could hardly moveAnd the mother had to turn her face away“Don’t you remember, Ma, when I went off to warYou thought it was the best thing I could do?I was on the battleground, you were home acting proudYou wasn’t there standing in my shoes”“Well, I thought when I was there, Lord, what am I doing here?Tryin’ to kill somebody or die tryin’But the thing that scared me most was when my enemy came closeI could see that his face looked just like mine”“And I couldn’t help but think, through the thunder rolling and stinkI was just a puppet in a playAnd through the roar and smoke, the string it finally brokeAnd a cannonball blew my eyes away”As he turned away to go, his mother was acting slowSeeing the metal brace that helped him standBut as he turned to leave, he called his mother closeAnd he dropped his medals down into her hands
9/6/20200
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Finding God In The Music: Call Me Rose (Audio)

8/30/20200
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Finding God In the Music: Call Me Rose

My name was Richard Nixon only now I'm a girlYou wouldn't know it but I used to be the king of the worldCompared to last time I look like I've hit the skidsLiving in the project with my two little kidsIt's not what I would of choseNow you have to call me RoseI was boss of bosses the last time aroundI lived by cunning and ambition unboundThe suckers said they'd stand behind me right or wrongAs if they thought that hubris was the mark of the strongI was an arrogant manBut now I've got it in handIt's not what I would have choseNow you have to call me RoseCall me RoseCall me RoseIt's not what I would have choseNow you have to call me Rose My name was Richard Nixon only now I'm a girlYou wouldn't know it but I used to be the king of the worldI'm back here learning what it is to be poorTo have no power but the strength to endureI'll perform my penance wellMaybe the memoir will sellIt's not what I would of choseNow you have to call me Rose
8/30/20200
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Finding God in The Music: Wooden Heart (Audio)

8/23/20200
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Finding God In the Music: Wooden Heart

We're all born to broken people on their most honest day of livingAnd since that first breath we'll need grace that we've never givenI've been haunted by standard red devils and white ghostsAnd it's not only when these eyes are closedThese lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach,But they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weatherAnd my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north,Stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets betterBut it won't, at least I don't believe it willSo I've built a wooden heart inside this iron ship,To sail these blood red seas and find your coastDon't let these waves wash away your hopesThis war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchorsPulling fist-fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviorsBut I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single boardWashed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shoresSo come on and let's wash each other with tears of joy and tears of griefAnd fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beachCome on and sew us together, just tattered rags stained foreverWe only have what we rememberI am the barely living son of a woman and man who barely made itBut we're making it taped together on borrowed crutches and new startsWe all have the same holes in our heartsEverything falls apart at the exact same timeThat it all comes together perfectly for the next stepBut my fear is this prison, that I keep locked below the main deckI keep a key under my pillow, it's quiet and it's hiddenAnd my hopes are weapons that I'm still learning how to use rightBut they're heavy and I'm awkward, always running out of fightSo I've carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking shipHoping it would help me float for just a few more weeksBecause I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beamLost and found like you and me scattered out on the seaSo come on let's wash each other with tears of joy and tears of griefAnd fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beachCome on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained foreverWe only have what we rememberMy throat it still tastes like house a-fire and salt waterI wear this tide like loose skin, c’mon, rock me to seaIf we hold on tight we'll hold each other togetherAnd not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleepWhile these machines will rust I promise, but we'll still be electricShocking each other back to lifeYour hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connectedOur bones grown together in timeOur hands entwined, my fingers in your veins connectedOur spines grown stronger insideBecause I know that our church is all made out of shipwrecksFrom every hull these rocks have claimedBut we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the changeSo come on and let's wash each other with tears of joy and tears of griefAnd fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beachCome on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained foreverWe only have what we remember
8/23/20200
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Finding God In The Music: Woodstock (Audio)

8/16/20200
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Finding God In the Music: Woodstock

Well, I came upon a child of GodHe was walking along the roadAnd I asked him, tell me, where are you goingThis he told meSaid, I'm going down to Yasgur's FarmGonna join in a rock and roll bandGot to get back to the land and set my soul freeWe are stardust, we are goldenWe are billion year old carbonAnd we’ve got to get ourselves back to the gardenWell, then can I roam beside you?I have come to lose the smog,And I feel myself a cog in something turningAnd maybe it's the time of yearYes and maybe it's the time of manAnd I don't know who I amBut life is for learningWe are stardust, we are goldenWe are billion year old carbonAnd we got to get ourselves back to the gardenBy the time we got to WoodstockWe were half a million strongAnd everywhere was a song and a celebrationAnd I dreamed I saw the bomber death planesRiding shotgun in the sky,Turning into butterfliesAbove our nationWe are stardust, we are goldenWe are caught in the devil’s bargainAnd we got to get ourselves back to the garden
8/16/20200
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Finding God In The Music: You Were There (Audio)

8/9/20200
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Finding God In The Music: You Were There

Saw a man's home, a box made of cardboardFrozen to the bone, can't take much moreHe says Lord I need help here, send me a strong handTo lift me from the street, help me to standI've been forgotten, been forsakenPoisoned by a bottle I could not shake itI've been passed over, been rejectedAnd I'm afraid I'll never feelThe warmth of summer come againMan I am helpless, I'm freezingYou were there, you were thereI saw a sick man on a sick bedScorned by the world like he had two headsHe says I'm a man here dying a cruel deathI'm cut off from the world, man it was so sadHe was suffering, he was ailingTortured by his fate, his body was failingHe says I'm an outcast, left defenselessAnd I'm afraid that I'll be deadBefore the summer comes againI've been rejected, man I am dyingYou were there, you were thereSaw a rich man alone in a dark houseA prison made of gold he could not break outHe says my life is aimless, it just seems pointlessBoredom truly kills, man I am hopelessI got diamonds, I got housesI got silver clouds and silver spoons to match itI've come up empty, man I am desperateAnd I never want to feelThe warmth of summer come againI'll be forgotten, my life is overYou were there, you were thereYou were there, Lord, you were there
8/9/20200
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Finding God In The Music: The Logical Song - Supertramp (Audio)

8/2/20200
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Finding God In The Music: The Logical Song - Supertramp

When I was young it seemed that life was so wonderfulA miracle, oh it was beautiful, magicalAnd all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happilyJoyfully, playfully watching meBut then they send me away to teach me how to be sensibleLogical, oh responsible, practicalAnd they showed me a world where I could be so dependableClinical, intellectual, cynicalThere are times when all the world's asleepThe questions run too deepFor such a simple manWon't you please, please tell me what we've learnedI know it sounds absurdBut please tell me who I amNow watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radicalLiberal, fanatical, criminalWon't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're acceptableRespectable, presentable, a vegetable!Oh, take it take it yeahAt night, when all the world's asleepThe questions run so deepFor such a simple manWon't you please tell me what we've learnedI know it sounds absurdBut please tell me who I am
8/2/20200
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No Ordinary Time: A New Hope (Audio)

7/26/20200
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No Ordinary Time: A New Hope

When things become unsettled, we typically look for some kind of change, something new, but what we need right now is not a new car, a new job, a new spouse, a new church, or a new country. What we need in the midst of all this craziness is a new hope. Faith, hope, and love all work together. Faith is a present reality oriented towards the past, what God has done. Hope is a present reality oriented towards the future, what God will do. Love is that present reality made known by the Holy Spirit.
7/26/20200
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No Ordinary Time: What To Do On the Worst Day of Your Life (Audio)

7/19/20200
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No Ordinary Time: What To Do On the Worst Day of Your Life

When David returned to his home in Ziklag, he encountered disaster -- he had lost everything. His house had burned down, his possessions had all been stolen, his family had been kidnapped. What do you do on a day like that? How do you recover from such devastating loss?
7/19/20200
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No Ordinary Time: The God Who Speaks (Audio)

7/12/20200
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No Ordinary Time: The God Who Speaks

The living God is the God who speaks. This God who knows you, loves you, and calls you by name, will speak to you. You can learn to discern the voice of God. And this is a wonderful thing, because one word from God can change your life.
7/12/20200
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No Ordinary Time: For the Weary and Worn (Audio)

7/5/20200
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No Ordinary Time: For the Weary and Worn

We live in a moment when almost everyone feels weary and worn. Too much has come at us too fast. We are facing no less than four crises at once: A public health crisis; an economic crisis; a political crisis; a racial justice crisis. In addition to these we still have to deal with whatever personal crises may come our way. We are weary and worn. And to the weary and worn Jesus says, “Come to me. You're weary and I want to give you rest. You're worn out from heavy burdens—let me lighten your load. The world is harsh, but I am gentle; the age is arrogant, but I am humble; the times are hard, but my yoke is easy. Come to me and I will give you rest.”
7/5/20200
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No Ordinary Time: The Word From Heaven (Audio)

6/28/20200
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No Ordinary Time: The Word From Heaven

When I begin to feel pessimistic about the way things are in the world, I remember that the world will be saved, because God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world. Because Jesus is the Savior of the world, the world will be saved. The Word of the Father sent from heaven will not return in vain—it will succeed! This is not an excuse for irresponsibility or apathy, but an invitation to trust Jesus and to cooperate with the Savior in saving the world.
6/28/20200
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No Ordinary Time: Scandalous Joy (Audio)

6/21/20200
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No Ordinary Time: Scandalous Joy

To cultivate joy that is not dependent upon acquisition or events is deeply Christian.‬ It also subverts the powers who want to control everything, including our joy. The powers want to dictate when and why we can rejoice, and then sell it to us.‬ Rebel, and rejoice in the Lord!‬ This is the scandalous joy given to us by Jesus.
6/21/20200
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No Ordinary Time: Return of the Exiles (Audio)

6/14/20200
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No Ordinary Time: Return of the Exiles

One of the most important stories in the history of Israel is the story of their exile in Babylon. Israel's experience with exile informs so much of the Bible that its importance cannot not be overemphasized. The story of exile is what sets up the good news of Jesus.
6/14/20200
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No Ordinary Time: No Ordinary Time (Audio)

6/7/20200
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No Ordinary Time: No Ordinary Time

The life of discipleship (which is to say the Christian life) is a life of obedience to Jesus. When the church lets decisions replace discipleship, we drift into nominal Christianity.
6/7/20200
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The Eternal Church

This church and that church may come and go with the tides of time, but the Church, built upon the foundation of the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, will outlast the gates of Death and endure from generation to generation.
5/31/20200
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The Eternal Church (Audio)

5/31/20200
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The Only Foundation (Audio)

5/24/20200
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The Only Foundation

The foundation for Christian faith is the revelation of Jesus Christ; not the Church, not the Bible. The revelation of Jesus is where our faith begins and it cannot begin anywhere else. The Church and the Bible are essential, but they are not the foundation. And both the Church and the Bible teach us this.
5/24/20200
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A Tale of Two Psalms (Audio)

5/17/20200
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A Tale of Two Psalms

“The Psalms are not for those whose life is one of uninterrupted equilibrium. Such people should stay safely in the book of Proverbs.” –Walter BrueggemannIn the world of the king, in the safe confines of the palace, just reward and proper punishment are seen as a sure thing. But the Psalms see a much more complicated world. The Psalms give us a perspective from the bottom, from the outside, from the poor, from the forgotten. The Psalms give us prayers for an unpredictable world where just reward and proper punishment are not always the guaranteed outcome.
5/17/20200
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The Way To The Father's House

When Jesus says he’s the way, he means he’s the way to Father’s House. And what is the Father’s House? It’s the House of Love. We constantly have to choose between the House of Fear and the House of Love.
5/10/20200
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The Quarantine Sermons: The Way To The Father's House (Audio)

5/10/20200
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Living the 23rd Psalm A Conversation with Brian & Peri Zahnd

On their 40th wedding anniversary Brian and Peri Zahnd talk about a life of following Jesus together.
5/3/20200
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The Quarantine Sermons: Living the 23rd Psalm A Conversation with Brian & Peri Zahnd (Audio)

5/3/20200
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New Eyes and Burning Hearts

Have you ever said goodbye to a hero?Have you ever had to lay away your dreams?Have you ever been so lonely that a stranger is your best friend?Then you'll know what I meanSo this is our highway to heavenOur American dreamThe two fools on the road to emmausWell they might as well be you and meHave you ever been angry at your country?Have you ever been angry at your God?Have you ever been so angry that you can't see what you've got right in front of you?Have you ever been distracted by the homeless?Have you ever thrown your dollar with disgust?Have you ever thought the great commission's just too great a cost?Have you ever played the fool? -Jason Upton
4/26/20200
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New Eyes and Burning Hearts (Audio)

4/26/20200
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Not Abandoned To Hades

When Jesus died his soul descended to hell, Hades, Sheol, the realm of the dead. But Jesus did not enter Hades as a captive, Jesus invaded Hades as a conqueror. Because Jesus is fully human, he could die and descend into Hades. But Jesus is fully God, it was impossible for Hades to hold Christ as a captive.
4/19/20200
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Not Abandoned To Hades (Audio)

4/19/20200
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The Resurrection of the Dead Ones

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just a one-off personal victory for Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus Christ has cosmic implications -- new heavens and new earth! The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the event that guarantees the resurrection of the human race! This is what the Apostles and the early church taught and emphasized. But somewhere along the way this emphasis got lost in the West. Now is the time to recover The gospel message that the resurrection of Christ is the resurrection of the dead ones.
4/12/20200
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The Resurrection of the Dead Ones (Audio)

4/12/20200
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The Lenten Journey: A Palm Sunday Promise (Audio)

4/5/20200
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The Lenten Journey: A Palm Sunday Promise

Coming from the Mount of Olives, Jesus not only entered Jerusalem from the opposite direction than the Roman governor, but in the opposite manner. Instead of riding a warhorse like Pilate and all the warhorse riders throughout history, Jesus rides a donkey, and not even a full grown donkey, but a donkey’s colt. Jesus’ triumphal entry was the anti-military parade. It was a mockery of Rome’s intimidating show of military power. It also presented Jerusalem with a stark contrast between the way of war and the way of peace.
4/5/20200
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The Lenten Journey: "Now Is My Soul Troubled" (Audio)

3/29/20200
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The Lenten Journey: "Now Is My Soul Troubled"

On three occasions in Galilee, Jesus foretold his death by crucifixion. But in Jerusalem, a few days before his death, Jesus talked about the meaning of his crucifixion. We cannot attempt to understand the meaning of the crucifixion without paying attention to how Jesus understood his death. Jesus interprets the meaning of his crucifixion by saying it will accomplish three things:1. It will judge the world.2. It will cast out the ruler of the world.3. It will draw the whole world to him.
3/29/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Love In the Time of Coronavirus

In the time of coronavirus the question isn't who can we blame, the question is how we can love and who can we help. We don't know what's going to happen, but we know we're not abandoned. We can't control our lives, but we trust God. We can help everyone, but we can help someone
3/22/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Love In the Time of Coronavirus (Audio)

3/22/20200
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Th Lenten Journey: At the Well...Again

We find ourselves here again at the the well in Samaria. This sermon invites us into the story of the woman at the well with a fresh perspective and a daunting challenge. Are we willing to see this woman as strong and brave? Are we willing to follow her lead and visit the places of our own pain? In doing so, we will find a God who doesn’t exempt himself from places of pain, but rather makes himself present there in that very place.
3/15/20200
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The Lenten Journey: At the Well... Again (Audio)

3/15/20200
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The Lenten Journey: The Brightness of Jesus

At the Transfiguration the disciples had a powerful encounter with the brightness of Jesus in his divine glory. During the season of Lent we can let the brightness of Jesus shine into some of the dark places of our hearts. Shadowy places develop in our hearts when we are living from a place of pretense or hypocrisy. Shadowy places expand in our hearts when we move away from love. God wants to do incredible things in our world and God has chosen to do those things through the church. God wants to set right a world gone wrong and that begins with setting his people right. Lent is a time for self-examination and repentance, a time to allow the brightness of Jesus to shine in our hearts to reveal pockets of our hearts that still do not look like Jesus.
3/8/20200
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The Lenten Journey: The Brightness of Jesus (Audio)

3/8/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Suddenly Angels

In speaking of the devil I mean something, though not precisely, like this: Experiences of evil and pressure toward evil that become disturbingly present in our lived experience. We all have these experiences with evil from time to time, and in those moments there’s no doubt that the devil is real. And are angels heavenly energies of grace that are generally non-material (as we understand materiality) but can at times assume a material presence? This seems to be what C.S. Lewis thought and I tend to agree.
3/1/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Suddenly Angels (Audio)

3/1/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Journey To The Center of Salvation

During Lent we follow Jesus from Galilee to Good Friday in Jerusalem. It’s a journey to the center of salvation. That the cross is the center of salvation is a confession all Christians can agree on, but precisely how the cross is the epicenter of salvation belongs to sacred mystery. The cross is a mystery, not because we have no idea what it means, but because we can never fully fathom or articulate the depth of its meaning.
2/23/20200
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The Lenten Journey: Journey To The Center of Salvation (Audio)

2/23/20200
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From Secret Place To Public Space

2/16/20200
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From Secret Place To Public Space (Audio)

2/16/20200
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Salt & Light

Jesus who is the light of the world says that we are salt and light. As salt, Jesus is sprinkling us throughout the earth that we might provide moral flavor and preserve society from collapsing in on itself due to moral rot and decay. As light, we are reflecting the light of God's love into a world growing dark because of tribalism, rage, and despair. We are called to reflect something different in the world God loves. The pollution of perpetual rage has left people in a place of bitterness, cynicism, and despair, which is an awful state of existence. We who follow Jesus are the hopeful hope-bringers who shine the hope of the gospel into the darkness of despair.
2/9/20200
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Salt & Light (Audio)

2/9/20200
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MONEY: The Apostles and Money

Moses says if Israel is going truly be the people of God they must have a different economy.The Prophets say worship is meaningless if it doesn't affect how we make and spend our money.Jesus says love of money is the single biggest challenge to full participation in the kingdom of GodThe Apostles say the newness of Christ touches all areas of our life, including our money.
2/2/20200
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MONEY: The Apostles and Money (Audio)

2/2/20200
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MONEY: Jesus and Money

The interesting thing about Jesus and money is that he really doesn't say anything other than what Moses had already said. What Jesus does is call his followers to take seriously what Moses said about money and to live according to God’s alternative economy. We see this especially in the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler.
1/26/20200
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MONEY: Jesus and Money (Audio)

1/26/20200
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The Prophets and Money

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.” –Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)
1/19/20200
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MONEY: The Prophets and Money (Audio)

1/19/20200
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MONEY: Moses and Money

Other than God himself, the Bible talks more about money than any other topic. We cannot separate our relationship with God from how we think about, how we make, and how we spend our money!
1/12/20200
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MONEY: Moses and Money (Audio)

1/12/20200
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Celebrating Christmas with Isaiah: The Portent of the Magi

A portent is a sign that anticipates a momentous event. Isaiah’s Arise, Shine song is a portent of the three kings who came from the East bearing gifts to pay homage to the Christ child. But the event itself — the Adoration of the Magi — is a portent of an even more momentous event: The Gentile world coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
1/5/20200
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Celebrating Christmas with Isaiah: The Portent of the Magi (Audio)

1/5/20200
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Celebrating Christmas with Isaiah: On the Fifth Day of Christmas

When the angel appeared to the shepherds, he gave them five gold rings in the Christmas announcement. These five announcements ring true:Fear NotGood NewsGreat JoyAll PeopleA Savior
12/29/20190
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Celebrating Christmas with Isaiah: On the Fifth Day of Christmas (Audio)

12/29/20190
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Waiting for Christmas with Isaiah: Deep as Hell, High as Heaven

It’s only by reading the Scriptures in the light of Christ that we get their full meaning. No one could have “predicted” that Messiah would be born of virgin from Isaiah 7. But once we are told that Messiah was born of virgin, then we can see it. Christians must read all the Bible in the light of Christ to discover all its riches
12/22/20190
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Waiting for Christmas with Isaiah: Deep as Hell, High as Heaven (Audio)

12/22/20190
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Waiting for Christmas with Isaiah: Here is Your God

Advent is for waiting. As we tell the story of redemption through the church calendar we begin our telling of the sacred story, not with doing, not with celebrating, but with waiting — waiting for God to act.
12/15/20190
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Waiting on Christmas with Isaiah: Here is Your God (Audio)

12/15/20190
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Waiting for Christmas with Isaiah: When the Lion Lays Down with the Lamb

Isaiah envisions a day when a Messianic king will rule in righteousness, causing the beastly to be converted and to live humanely with the most vulnerable in society. It's the glorious day when the lion lays down with the lamb.
12/8/20190
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Waiting on Christmas with Isaiah: When the Lion Lays Down with the Lamb (Audio)

12/8/20190
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Waiting For Christmas With Isaiah: In the Light of Christ

Jesus Christ is the light that enlightens every person. In the light of Christ we know that narcissism is a deformity of the soul because in the life of Jesus we see self-sacrifice. In the light of Christ we know that materialism is a wrong orientation of the soul because in the life of Jesus we find no greed. In the light of Christ we know that nativism is odious because in the life of Jesus we see radical hospitality.
12/1/20190
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Waiting For Christmas With Isaiah: In the Light of Christ (Audio)

12/1/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 3

When you are grieving and in great pain, pour out your lamentation to God, but hold on to your ticket. Remember that life is a precious gift, affirm the goodness of creation, love every leaf and every grain of sand, and trust God. Trust that, in the end, God is able to make all things work together for good, that God will wipe away every tear, and that God will make all things new.
11/24/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 3 (Audio)

11/24/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 2

When we encounter tragedy, the question is not, Who can we blame? The question is, How can we help? If the framing question in tragedy is, Who can we blame?, then we end up doing the work of the devil. But if the framing question in tragedy is, How can we help?, we will do the work of God.
11/17/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 2 (Audio)

11/17/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 1

The Book of Job exposes the satanic practice of blame. The book presents a test to the reader: Can the reader hold onto what God says about Job — that Job was blameless. Most readers cannot. Eventually they are seduced into agreeing with the arguments set forth by Job’s accusers. Most readers end up forgetting what God has said about Job and agreeing with what Satan says about Job. This shows us the insidious lure of the satanic temptation to blame a scapegoat. It’s a temptation that really only Jesus can save us from.
11/10/20190
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Job: A Blameless Victim Part 1 (Audio)

11/10/20190
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Anniversary Sunday: A Long Obedience In the Same Direction

“The essential thing in heaven and in earth is that there should be a long OBEDIENCE in the same direction that thereby results, in the long run, in something which makes life worth living—virtue, art, music, dancing, reason, spirituality—anything whatsoever that is transfiguring, refined, foolish, or divine.”–Friedrich Nietzsche
11/3/20190
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Anniversary Sunday: A Long Obedience In the Same Direction (Audio)

11/3/20190
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We Are Family

Jesus shows us what it means to be family. We are fully seen and known by him. Even after diving deep into the details of our lives he still calls us family. This is how we are called to love each other as well. To go out of our way and be troubled by what troubles others is the love Jesus challenges us to live.
10/27/20190
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We Are Family (Audio)

10/27/20190
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I Am Chosen

It feels good to be chosen, because it communicates to us that we are wanted. It communicates that not only are we welcomed, but we are wanted. It creates a sense of belonging. Psychologists since the 1950s have said that a sense of belonging is a fundamental human need. You feel like you belong when you know you have been chosen. As followers of Jesus we have been chosen, not for salvation, but for a vocation, for a mission to bear the image of God in the world. We live in a wolf-world and Jesus isn't sending us out to be a better version of the wolf. Jesus is sending us out like sheep among wolves. Jesus is sending us out to be distinctly different, a chosen and holy people. It is through our holiness, our distinctiveness, that we fulfill God's call for us.
10/20/20190
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I Am Chosen (Audio)

10/20/20190
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I Am a Worshiper

You were made to worship, because you are human. Worship is a human quality. We all have the capacity to look towards something outside ourselves, to give attention to some version of the good life, to give our hearts and devotion to something or someone. This is what worship is and we were made for this. Our hearts were made for worship just as our bodies were made to move. We were made for worship. For followers of Jesus, God is looking for worshipers who will worship God in spirit and truth.
10/13/20190
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I Am a Worshiper (Audio)

10/13/20190
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I Am Called

From Moses to Mary we see God calling individuals to specific tasks and special vocations through peculiar and powerful events. This can leave us awestruck and distraught at the same time, wondering what our calling may be and if we have missed our calling. In Christ we discover that we are all called and our calling is more about who are becoming than what we are specifically doing.
10/6/20190
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I Am Called (Audio)

10/6/20190
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I Am Peaceful

We are created to be people of peace. Jesus is present with us in the midst of our fears and worries. Rather than participate in the chaos Jesus invites us into the peace of His presence through prayer. Prayer is the place that makes space for peace.
9/29/20190
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I Am Peaceful (Audio)

9/29/20190
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I Am Content

There is a sense in our day that the drive for more is driving us crazy. Jesus wants to liberate us from this madness of more, setting us free to rest in his grace. Jesus says to us, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” May we learn to walk the way of thankfulness and trust, seeing more than enough wherever we look.
9/22/20190
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I Am Content (Audio)

9/22/20190
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I Am Loved (Audio)

9/15/20190
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I Am Loved

The second most important question a person can answer is "Who are you?" This question follows the most important question "Who is Jesus?" As we look to Jesus and the cross we can honestly answer, "I am loved." Shame is soul-crushing and can keep us from believing the truth about who we really are. The good news is that shame has been defeated by Jesus' death and resurrection. The words of shame are not who we are. We are people who are loved. In the words of Henri Nouwen, “We are not what we do. We are not what we have. We are not what others think of us. Coming home is claiming the truth. I am the beloved child of a loving Creator. We no longer have to beg for permission from the world to exist.”
9/15/20190
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Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan (Audio)

9/8/20190
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Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan

Mama, take this badge off of meI can’t use it anymoreIt’s gettin’ dark, too dark to seeI feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorMama, put my guns in the groundI can’t shoot them anymoreThat long black cloud is comin’ downI feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s doorKnock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
9/8/20190
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Jesus Just Left Chicago - ZZ Top (Audio)

9/1/20190
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Jesus Just Left Chicago - ZZ Top

Jesus just left ChicagoAnd he's bound for New OrleansWell now, Jesus just left ChicagoAnd he's bound for New OrleansWorkin' from one end to the other and all points in betweenTook a junk through MississippiWell, muddy water turned to wineTook a junk through MississippiMuddy water turned to wineThen out to California through the forests and the pinesAh, take me with you, JesusYou might not see him in personBut he'll see you just the sameYou might not see him in personBut he'll see you just the sameYou don't have to worry 'cause takin' care of business is his name
9/1/20190
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Peace Train - Cat Stevens (Audio)

8/25/20190
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Peace Train - Cat Stevens

Now I've been happy latelyThinking about the good things to comeAnd I believe it could beSomething good has begunOh, I've been smiling latelyDreaming about the world as oneAnd I believe it could beSomeday it's going to come'Cause out on the edge of darknessThere rides a peace trainOh, peace train take this countryCome take me home againNow I've been smiling lately,Thinking about the good things to comeAnd I believe it could be,Something good has begunOh, peace train sounding louderGlide on the peace trainCome on now peace trainYes, peace train holy rollerEveryone jump upon the peace trainCome on now, peace trainGet your bags together,Go bring your good friends, too'Cause it's getting nearer,It soon will be with youNow come and join the living,It's not so far from youAnd it's getting nearer,Soon it will all be trueOh, peace train sounding louderGlide on the peace trainCome on the peace trainPeace trainNow I've been crying lately,Thinking about the world as it isWhy must we go on hating,Why can't we live in bliss'Cause out on the edge of darkness,There rides a peace trainOh peace train take this country,Come take me home againOh, peace train sounding louderGlide on the peace trainCome on the peace trainYes, peace train holy rollerEveryone jump upon the peace trainCome on, come on, come onYes, come on, the peace trainYes, it's the peace trainCome on the peace trainOh, peace train
8/25/20190
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Heart of Gold - Neil Young (Audio)

8/18/20190
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Heart of Gold - Neil Young

I want to live, I want to giveI've been a miner for a heart of goldIt's these expressions I never giveThat keep me searching for a heart of gold and I'm getting oldKeep me searching for a heart of gold and I'm getting oldI've been to Hollywood, I've been to RedwoodI crossed the ocean for a heart of goldI've been in my mind, it's such a fine lineThat keeps me searching for a heart of gold and I'm getting oldKeeps me searching for a heart of gold and I'm getting old
8/18/20190
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Shine A Light - The Rolling Stones (Audio)

8/11/20190
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Shine A Light - The Rolling Stones

Saw you stretched out in room 1009With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eyeCould not seem to get a line on you, my sweet honey loveBerber jewelry jangling down the streetMaking bloodshot eyes at every woman that you meetCould not seem to get high on you, my sweet honey loveMay the good Lord shine a light on youMake every song your favorite tuneMay the good Lord shine a light on youWarm like the evening sunWhen you're drunk in the elevator with your clothes all tornAnd your late night friends leave you in the cold gray dawnJust seen too many flies on you, I just can't brush them offAngels beating all their wings in timeWith smiles on their faces and a gleam right in their eyesThought I heard one sigh for youCome on up, come on up, now, come on up nowMay the good Lord shine a light on youMake every song you sing your favorite tuneMay the good Lord shine a light on youWarm like the evening sun
8/11/20190
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Revolution - The Beatles (Audio)

8/4/20190
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Revolution - The Beatles

You say you want a revolution Well, you knowWe'd all love to change the worldYou tell me that it's evolutionWell, you knowWe'd all love to change the worldBut when you talk about destructionDon't you know that you can count me outDon't you know it's gonna be alrightYou say you got a real solution Well, you knowWe'd all love to see the planYou ask me for a contributionWell, you knowWe're all doing what we canBut if you want money for people with minds that hateWell, all I can tell brother is you have to waitDon't you know it's gonna be alrightYou say you'll change the constitutionWell, you knowWe'd all love to change your headYou tell me that it's institutionWell, you knowYou better free you mind insteadBut if you go carrying pictures of chairman MaoYou ain't going to make it with anyone anyhowDon't you know it's gonna be alright
8/4/20190
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All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no reliefBusinessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earthNone of them along the line know what any of it is worth”“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a jokeBut you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fateSo let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”All along the watchtower, princes kept the viewWhile all the women came and went, barefoot servants, tooOutside in the cold distance a wildcat did growlTwo riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl
7/28/20190
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Let Justice Roll Down (Audio)

7/21/20190
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All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix (Audio)

7/21/20190
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Let Justice Roll Down

Justice is the presence of God’s healing presence in the world. It's God’s ongoing work of setting right a world gone wrong. When people are suffering, where the strong oppress the weak, when people are suffering lack, the justice of God comes. When the brokenness of our world keeps people pushed aside and robbed of dignity and value, the justice of God comes to heal and restore. When we do justice and love kindness we are joining God in God's mission on the earth.
7/21/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements JOHN (Audio)

7/14/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements JOHN

God is like Jesus.God has always been like Jesus.There has never been a time when God was not like Jesus.
7/14/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements LUKE (Audio)

7/7/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements LUKE

Just like we have four directions and four seasons, we have four Gospels. These four distinct, yet complimentary witnesses, give us a full portrait of Jesus Christ. We need all four Gospels just like we need the whole body of Christ. Luke, the third Gospel written, gives us the most human picture of Jesus. It's from Luke that we see the prayer and table practices of Jesus.
7/7/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements MATTHEW (Audio)

6/30/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements MATTHEW

Matthew opens his Gospel with these words: “The book of the genesis of Jesus Christ.” So we could say that Matthew is the Genesis of the New Testament. But in a Christian reading of Scripture, Matthew is actually the genesis of the whole Bible—for it is only as we look back on the Old Testament through the light of Jesus Christ that we can read the Old Testament in its proper light.
6/30/20190
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Quartet: The Gospel In Four Movements MARK

The New Testament opens with four Gospel witnesses to the life of Jesus Christ. Each of these Gospels has their own voice, perspective, and particular emphasis. The Gospels are not mere biographies—they are theologically driven documents. They differ in historic details because they’re interested in theological reflection. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are not mere biographers, they are theologians.
6/23/20190
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Is Christianity A Religion?

On Trinity Sunday the church emphasizes that the living God is a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Trinity is not a word found in Scripture, rather it is a formulation within the Christian religion drawn by the church from Scripture in concert with the Holy Spirit. It took the church three centuries to arrive at the creedal statement about the Trinity set forth in the year 325. In the Council of Nicaea we see how the Holy Spirit works with the church in the development of the Christian religion. But I also know that some modern protestants balk at Christianity being referred to as a religion. So today I want to address the question: Is Christianity a Religion?
6/16/20190
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PENTECOST SUNDAY: The Dreams I Dream

Visions are for when you’re holding on tight and are looking for direction. Dreams are for when you’re letting go and have less to lose — or something like that. Visions are prose and need a plan. Dreams are poetry and only need be dreamt. Visions are still a little bit tethered to what we tend to think is possible. Dreams are a portal to a world where all things are possible. We are free to dream of that which we have no idea how it could come to pass. Much of the Bible is the poetry from those inspired dreamers we call prophets.
6/9/20190
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Eastertide: Jesus Gets a Promotion

The ascension of Jesus given to us in Acts 1 pictures Jesus going up into heaven. Jesus has gone up into heaven until the day when he brings heaven down to earth. So what is Jesus doing up there? In the Apostles' Creed we confess, "He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father," a place of authority, so when you hear “ascension” think “promotion.” Jesus was promoted to the right hand of the Father. Though hidden from our eyes, we believe Jesus is ruling and reigning over the earth from the control room of heaven.
6/2/20190
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EASTERTIDE: The Crystal City On the Shores of the Lake of Fire

In the closing chapters of the Bible, the lost garden of Eden and Abraham’s sought-after city are combined in the garden metropolis of the Lamb. The arrival of New Jerusalem is celebrated as a great wedding. Just as Jesus began his ministry at the wedding in Cana, now the ascended Christ presides over the marriage of heaven and earth. The tragic divorce between heaven and earth is now reconciled by the Lamb. Today every local church is to be a suburb of New Jerusalem.
5/26/20190
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EASTERTIDE: The Newness From Above

The book of Revelation is the most prophetic book in the Bible; it’s a prophetic interpretation of the cataclysmic events of the AD 60s and 70s; it’s a prophetic critique of the Roman Empire and thus all empire; it’s a prophetic exposé of the idolatry of civil worship; and most of all, the book of Revelation is a prophetic depiction in sign and symbol of the ultimate triumph of Christ. It’s from the Apocalypse that we gain the Christian eschatological hope of God in Christ making all things new.
5/19/20190
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EASTERTIDE: The Global Nation of the Lamb

When we dare to read the book of Revelation we find all manner of strangeness — angels and demons, dragons and beasts, bowls of blood and a bejeweled city, angels with four faces and locusts with human faces, cryptic numbers like 144,000 and 666, a beast with seven heads and ten horns and a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns, a great whore drunk on blood and a pregnant woman clothed with the sun, three frogs that deceive kings and an angel that tells John to eat a scroll, wars in heaven and wars on earth, blood as high as a horses’ bridal and angles falling like stars, lakes of fire and rivers of life, a fallen Babylon and a New Jerusalem!
5/12/20190
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EASTERTIDE: Surprised By Jesus

The New Testament gives us about eight accounts of Jesus appearing to people following his resurrection. First to Mary Magdalene in the garden; then to a group of women as they left the empty tomb; to Cleopas and his wife on the Emmaus Road on Easter afternoon; to ten disciples in the upper room on Easter evening; to Thomas a week later; to seven disciples beside the Sea of Galilee; to all of the disciples on a mountain in Galilee; and finally, as to one untimely born, to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. What all of these appearances have in common is that they all contain an element of surprise. To encounter the risen Lord is to be surprised by Jesus.
5/5/20190
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EASTERTIDE: We're All Thomas Now

Thomas, the disciple of Jesus. Thomas the twin. Thomas the one who doubted. But Thomas was no more inclined to doubt than any of the other disciples, it’s just that Thomas had not had their experience; so Thomas had a roadblock to belief. We’re told that Thomas had a twin. Who is the twin of Thomas? We are. In a secular age we’ve all encountered the same roadblock to belief as Thomas. As sons of the Enlightenment and daughters of Modernity we’re all Thomas now.
4/28/20190
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Jesus On the Other Side

Throughout Lent we’ve been seeking to encounter the Unvarnished Jesus. In 46 daily meditations and seven sermons we’ve been looking at and listening to Jesus Christ. We’ve seen him announce and enact the kingdom of God by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, casting out demons, and forgiving sinners. We’ve seen Jesus on his long journey toward the royal city of Jerusalem; a journey toward coronation by crucifixion; a journey into danger and death; a journey that ends with Jesus buried in a garden, laid to rest inside a rock-hewn tomb. Now, on Easter Sunday, we see Jesus on the Other Side.
4/21/20190
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Good Friday: Three Crosses

That Jesus was crucified with victims on either side of him presents us with a powerful image: Jesus among the victims in solidarity with them, but simultaneously becoming the dividing point. How we respond to Jesus determines everything. One thief sees in Jesus the possibility of a new kingdom and believes. The other thief, though himself a victim, can’t resist participating in the old way of victimizing others. Only one response leads to the paradise of union with Christ.
4/19/20190
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Behold Your King

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in order to be crowned King and inaugurate the Kingdom of God. During his coronation and passion Jesus stood before all three representatives of the principalities and powers — Joseph Caiaphas the High Priest, Herod the King of Judea, and Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor.
4/14/20190
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The Sweet Fragrance of Pure Worship

All four Gospels give an account of Jesus being anointed by a woman as an act of worship. In Matthew and Mark, Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, anoints Jesus’ head in Bethany following the Triumphal Entry. In Luke an unnamed woman who was a notorious sinner anoints Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair in the home of Simon the Pharisee in Galilee. In John these two anointings are combined. Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair just before the Triumphal Entry. But in all four accounts the woman is criticized by someone for her extravagant worship, yet defended and commended by Jesus.
4/7/20190
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Jesus And The Homecoming

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most important stories of our faith. As with any truly great story, this parable invites everyone everywhere throughout all time to find themselves somewhere in this tale of a father and two sons. Jesus' brilliance is on full display as he invites us to see the father's love afresh and anew in our own lives. He challenges the notion that we can earn God's love for ourselves or withhold his love from others. Jesus reminds us that the love of the father is readily available in abundance for everyone.
3/31/20190
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The Apocalyptic Christ

Some Galilean Passover pilgrims had been executed when they rioted against Roman occupation and eighteen people had perished in a Jerusalem building collapse. Jesus commented on these tragedies by saying, unless your rethink everything, you will all perish in the same way. Jesus is not talking about afterlife issues, but warning Jerusalem against embracing the way of war. Jesus is saying to them, if you don’t rethink war and peace according to what I’m teaching, you’re all going to die by Roman swords and collapsing buildings. And this is exactly what happened forty years later when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 and according to Josephus 600,000 people perished. War is hell. And there is no way to peace — peace is the way.
3/24/20190
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What Was Jesus' Goal?

Salvation is this: to live in the kingdom of God—the kingdom that comes from heaven bringing peace, justice, and human flourishing to the earth, and where King Jesus bestows forgiveness upon all, and finally, at the end of the age, raises the dead.
3/17/20190
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Jesus and the Devil's Good Ideas

In the wilderness the devil tempted Jesus with three good ideas:1. Feed everyone.2. Liberate everyone.3. Persuade everyone.And who would disagree that these are good ideas? But Jesus discerned the devil lurking in those good ideas. The devil's good ideas were really these not so good ideas...1. Feed everyone and forget God.2. Liberate everyone and kill the bad guys.3. Persuade everyone and eliminate faith.
3/10/20190
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Not Like Moses

Jesus is the perfect epiphany of who God is. Reading the Bible without the spirit of Jesus is a veiled and death-dealing reading of Scripture. This why Augustine said, "It is not the Old Testament that is done away with in Christ, but the concealing veil, so that it may be understood through Christ."
3/3/20190
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Enemy Love from Above

Loving is a kind of knowing. We know God not only by collecting information about God. We know God by loving the way God loves. We love our enemies because God loves them. God loves the people we hate. When we love those who judge us, make fun of us, insult us, dismiss us, or judge us we see who God is and who we are supposed to be. Hate is a destructive force. When we respond to enemies with hate, it begins to deform our hearts. When we love our enemies we find our true selves and we free ourselves from hate and the need to serve as judge, jury, and executioner.
2/24/20190
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The Sermon On The Plain

In Matthew's account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus opens his sermon with the Beatitudes -- eight blessings. In Luke's account of the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus also opens his sermon with the Beatitudes -- this time four blessings. But in the Sermon on the Plain Jesus also pronounces four woes. Luke's Gospel reminds us that the Kingdom of Christ brings both blessing and woe.
2/17/20190
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Jesus Only Calls Sinners

You may feel like a sinner; you may feel guilty; you may feel like a failure; but none of that matters. Keep believing in the boundless mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
2/10/20190
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The Stories Prophets Tell

The Bible is a dangerous book — especially if you emphasize the parts people would rather overlook. In his hometown the people of Nazareth tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. Why? Because Jesus told the stories prophets tell — and no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
2/3/20190
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Reading The Bible With Jesus

Throughout history the Bible has been misused to justify wars of conquest, genocide, the institution of slavery, women held as property, and any number of other egregious abuses. But to do this we have to ignore the greatest truth the Bible gives us: Jesus Christ is Lord of All! As Christians we are not allowed to use the Bible to disobey Jesus! All Scripture is fulfilled in and by Jesus Christ. So if we don’t see it in Jesus, we let it go—because even the Bible must bow to Jesus.
1/27/20190
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L'Chaim!

1/20/20190
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A New Humanity

Every baptism is a new Exodus from the bondage of Egypt and a new entrance into the Promised Land of freedom and forgiveness in Christ. Every baptism is a spiritual incorporation into a new Israel — an Israel no longer defined by ethnicity, circumcision, and Torah observance, but defined by faith, baptism, and loyalty to Jesus. This new Israel is what the Apostle Paul calls the Body of Christ or the New Humanity.
1/13/20190
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Return of the Magi

On January 6 we commemorate the epiphany granted to the magi from the east—Persian astronomers, astrologers, magicians who discerned an auspicious sign in the stars and made a thousand mile journey to worship the Christ child in Bethlehem. These magi were the first Gentile worshipers of the King of the Jews and with their famous gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they foretold that Mary’s child would not just be King of the Jews, but King of Kings. After seeing and worshiping the infant King indicated by the Christmas star, they returned to their own country, but by another way, because they would never be the same.
1/6/20190
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The Boy Jesus

When we think of Jesus we mostly think of the man of his ministry years. At Christmastime we also think of the baby Jesus lying in the manger of Bethlehem. But there’s one episode in the Gospels that takes place between infancy and ministry. It’s the episode of the boy Jesus when he was in Jerusalem at the age of twelve
12/30/20180
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The Second Half of Human History

In the eighth century BC the Hebrew prophet Micah of Morasheth said that Bethlehem would be the place where a new king of the Jews would be born. Bethlehem was a small village five miles south of Jerusalem, but it was also the place where three hundred years earlier King David had been born. In other words, Micah was prophesying that in Bethlehem a new kingdom of Israel would begin. But we who know the Christmas story can say much more than that — we can say that Bethlehem is where The Second Half of Human History began!
12/23/20180
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When God Lives Among Us

When God lives among us salvation will swallow up our sorrows, sweep away our troubles, and we will fear no more. When God lives among us our salvation will have come. Salvation is not a program or a plan, salvation is not three steps or four laws—salvation is what happens when God lives among us.
12/16/20180
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Prepare the Way, Prepare to Change

During Advent we prepare the way for a “second coming" of Christ into our lives. Yes, Jesus Christ shall come again to judge the living and the dead. Amen. But the living Christ also comes to us again and again in fresh new ways, and we must prepare the way for these new comings of Christ. We prepare the way by cultivating a willingness to change. Dietrich Bonhoeffer put more bluntly: "When a human being confronts Jesus the human being must either die or kill Jesus.”
12/9/20180
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No Shame For Those Who Wait

Advent is for waiting. And our Advent hope is rooted in sacred memory — the memory of the story of salvation that we tell through the Christian calendar. We begin the year-long telling of the salvation story, not by celebrating, but by waiting — waiting for God to act. But that’s the problem, we don’t really like waiting, because waiting is not having. Waiting assumes a kind of poverty, we wait because we lack. And in our Amazon and Instagram age of one-click consumerism and careful image cultivation we a conditioned to be ashamed of our poverty, of our lack, of our having to…wait. In our waiting it can feel like the embarrassment of sitting alone at a table for two and telling the maître d' that our date will show up any moment, yet inwardly we’re already feeling the shame of having been stood up. Our waiting has been in vain and we feel ashamed. But here’s the message of Advent: None who wait for God will be put to shame.
12/2/20180
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In the Days of the Righteous King

I know I’m speaking idealistically, but I’m a dreamer (and I’m not the only one), so let me just say it. There’s no place on earth like the church. A place where Matthew 25 is just a normal day — a place where the poor are fed and clothed, the sick are helped and healed (who do you think invented hospitals?), a place where the immigrant is welcomed, and the prisoner is given dignity. A place where everyone is saint and sinner. A place where a judge and a felon can sit side by side on the same pew with equal status in Christ. A place where we not only carry each other’s burdens, but when necessary carry each other, because, despite our vast differences in education and opportunity, opinions and politics, we are learning to love one another like Jesus loves us — unconditionally. Yes, I know I’m speaking like a dreamer, but I’m dreaming with my eyes wide open, because I’ve seen everything I’ve just described right here at Word of Life Church. Amen.
11/25/20180
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Exile On Main Street

The Babylonian exile was a time of theological deconstruction for Israel. The literal destruction of Jerusalem and the temple gave the Hebrew prophets space to rethink things. And they did. They dreamed of a new Israel, a new Jerusalem, a new temple, and a new covenant.
11/18/20180
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How Lonely Sits the City

If we’re schooled in denial we don’t know what to do with suffering when it comes. But the Hebrew people—formed in the crucible of suffering—know what to do. You write a poem, sing a song, create a lament that gives full expression to the pain you feel. You make art out of your pain so that you can give it away to God.
11/11/20180
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A Prophet for the End Times

Jeremiah was a prophet for the end times; and we need such prophets because things are always coming to an end. It’s hubris and idolatry to think that anything other than God and his kingdom lasts forever. Nations and empires, institutions and economies, moments, movements, and even our lives all come to an end. But prophets like Jeremiah help us accept these inevitable endings and see the purposes of God in them.
11/4/20180
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My Soul Follows Hard After Thee

This road we are on following Jesus isn’t pretty or neat and tidy. It’s hard to follow Jesus. Whoever told you otherwise is selling Jesus short. Following Jesus is thrilling and rewarding, but it isn't easy. We have to accept hardship as the pathway to the peace that Jesus talks about. The psalms have been given to us as very real, very honest language to be used to reach out to God through the hardships of the Christian life including the hardships of patience, perseverance, forgiveness, and love.
10/28/20180
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Mercy As Sure As The Morning

This beautiful pilgrim psalm is a meditation on the mercy of God. The psalmist sings about how God does not mark iniquities, about God’s plenteous forgiveness, about God’s steadfast love, about God’s great power to redeem. It’s also a song about waiting with hope. The soul of the pilgrim waits for the mercy of God...more than the watchman for the morning. Yes, we wait for the mercy of God—mercy as sure as the morning.
10/21/20180
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You're Being Followed

"Sometimes when I stand in some corner of Auschwitz, my feet planted on Your earth, my eyes raised toward Your heaven, tears sometimes run down my face, tears of deep emotion and gratitude. And I want to be there right in the thick of what people call “horror” and still be able to say: life is beautiful. And now I lie here in a corner, dizzy and feverish and unable to do a thing. But I am also with the jasmine and with that piece of sky beyond my window. For once you have begun to walk with God, you need only keep on walking with Him and all of life becomes one long stroll—such a marvelous feeling." -Etty Hillesum (1914-1943)
10/14/20180
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The Pilgrim's Way

Pilgrimage (a journey of a spiritual nature) has always been a practice among spiritual seekers. The ancient Jews were to make three pilgrimages a year to the holy city of Jerusalem. This is the context for Psalm 84 — it’s a meditation on the pilgrim journey to Zion. As such it's a profound reflection upon the all-important journey of the heart — an inner pilgrimage toward a mature revelation of God.
10/7/20180
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No Man is an Island

On the journey of life, we will find ourselves as both the helper and the helped. The myth of the self-made man is a strong belief in our culture, but an honest reflection on life will find "no man is an island entire of itself." We are a God-made mankind and it is not good that we are alone. Therefore, may find comfort in a God who is good and faithful - who's help most often comes through other people.
9/30/20180
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Four Practices for Resurrection People

We are resurrection people not only because believe in the doctrine of the resurrection. We are resurrection people because we practice resurrection. We walk in newness of life. There are four practices that open up the door to all the other practices of the faith, namely awareness, learning, reflecting, and action. When we adopt these four practices, the way of life opens up for us.
9/23/20180
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A Mystic Or Nothing At All

“The devout Christian of the future will either be a ‘mystic,’ one who has ‘experienced’ something, or he will cease to be anything at all. –Karl RahnerThe tsunami of secularism will be survived, not by clever apologetics, or by waging misguided culture wars, or by pining away for an irretrievable past, but being a person who has had their own mystical experience with God.
9/16/20180
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My Back Pages

My Back PagesBob DylanCrimson flames tied through my earsRollin’ high and mighty trapsPounced with fire on flaming roadsUsing ideas as my maps“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said IProud ’neath heated browAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that nowHalf-wracked prejudice leaped forth“Rip down all hate,” I screamedLies that life is black and whiteSpoke from my skull. I dreamedRomantic facts of musketeersFoundationed deep, somehowAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that nowGirls’ faces formed the forward pathFrom phony jealousyTo memorizing politicsOf ancient historyFlung down by corpse evangelistsUnthought of, though, somehowAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that nowA self-ordained professor’s tongueToo serious to foolSpouted out that libertyIs just equality in school“Equality,” I spoke the wordAs if a wedding vowAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that nowIn a soldier’s stance, I aimed my handAt the mongrel dogs who teachFearing not I’d become my enemyIn the instant that I preachMy existence led by confusion boatsMutiny from stern to bowAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that nowYes, my guard stood hard when abstract threatsToo noble to neglectDeceived me into thinkingI had something to protectGood and bad, I define these termsQuite clear, no doubt, somehowAh, but I was so much older thenI’m younger than that now
9/9/20180
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There Is A Light

There Is A LightU2And if the terrors of the nightcome creeping into your days And the world comes, stealing children from your roomGuard your innocence From hallucination and know that darkness always gathers around the lightThere is a light you can’t always see If there is a world we can’t always beIf there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt And there is a light, don’t let it go outWhen the winds screams and shoutsAnd the sea is a dragon’s tailAnd the ship that stole your heart away sets sailWhen all you’ve left is leaving And all you got is grievingAnd all you know is needingIf there is a light you can’t always see If there is a world we can’t always beIf there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt And there is a light, don’t let it go outCause this is a songA song for someoneSomeone like meI know the world is doneBut you don’t have to beI’ve got a question for the child in you before it leavesAre you tough enough to be kind?Do you know your heart has it’s own mind?Darkness gathers around the lightHold on, hold on There is a light you can’t always see If there is a world we can’t always beIf there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt And there is a light don’t let it go outAnd this is a songA song for someoneThis is a songA song for someoneSomeone like meSomeone like meSomeone like me
9/2/20180
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This Wild Darkness

LamentA portion like madness in seasonBracing all like a breaking of reasonWith every night lost and every day tornWith the drama feeling calmer and it's calmer in the stormSpeakers are crying like a forest in the rainI was so alone with my thoughts and my painAnd the darkness closed like a mouth on a wild nightI'll never be freeGospelOoh, in this darknessPlease light my wayLight my wayLamentI can't stand on my own anymoreI can't stand in the stain of the broken and poorI can't break what I held and it never was trueIn the mirror what I said was a lie to youAnd me and everything I see and everything I couldI tried so hard to be goodFor myself, for you, for the hidden and divineFor everything but I can fail just so many timesGospelOoh, in this darknessPlease light my wayLight my way
8/26/20180
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Saving Grace

I'm passing sleeping citiesFading by degreesNot believing all I see to be soI'm flyin' over backyardsCountry homes and ranchesWatching life between the branches belowAnd it's hard to sayWho you are these daysBut you run on anywayDon't you baby?You keep running for another placeTo find that saving graceI'm moving on aloneOver ground that no one ownsPast statues that atone for my sinsThere's a guard on every doorAnd a drink on every floorOverflowing with a thousand amensAnd it's hard to sayWho you are these daysBut you run on anywayDon't you baby?You keep running for another placeTo find that saving graceDon't you baby?You're rolling up the carpetOf your father's two-room mansionNo headroom for expansion no moreAnd there's a corner of the floorThey're telling you is yoursYou're confident but not really sureAnd it's hard to sayWho you are these daysBut you run on anywayDon't you baby?You keep running for another placeTo find that saving graceDon't you baby?
8/19/20180
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Oh Joy Begin

​The day you cameNaked, afraidYoung mother screams and pushes youThe day you came Oh joy beginWeak little thingMore precious there’ll be nothing, noOh joy begin Let’s not forget these early daysRemember we begin the sameWe lose our way in fear and painOh joy begin First just one stepOne word and thenWith laughter sing, oh life beginFirst just one step Innocent kissBlack magic blissFirst broken boneSudden and swiftOh innocence Let’s not forget these early daysRemember we begin the sameWe lose our way in fear and hateOh joy beginOh joy begin
8/12/20180
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Love Never

Love NeverJimmy Eat WorldLove ain’t never been your friendLove never going hear what you’re demandingLove ain’t some magical thingLove never gonna to be the way you’re dreamingIt’s going to seem so farIt’s going to feel so hardUntil you want the work more than the rewardUntil you stop asking, “Oh, what is it all for?”Do you want the work more than the reward?
8/5/20180
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My Mind Is for Sale

My Mind Is For Sale - Jack JohnsonWell, I heard the blinker's onI heard we're changing lanesI heard he likes to raceI heard there's six or seven words he likes to useAre always in bad tasteAnd I heard that Monday's just a word we sayEvery seven times aroundAnd then we pin the tail on TuesdayWatch those strings go up and downThe elephant in the room begins to danceThe cameras zoom intoHis mouth begins to moveThose hateful words he usesI don't care for your paranoidUs against them wallsI don't care for your carelessMe first, gimme gimme appetite at allAnd all the real estate in my mind is for saleIt's all been subdividedDivided into reasons whyMy two opposing thoughts at once are fineThe residue from the price tagOn the tip of my tongueWords don't come, they goHow many likes I gotta getBefore I know the truthAnd the truth isSeason three will be a great reasonTo forget all about Reality's a slippery slopeWatch the TV, scream and shout itI don't care for your paranoidUs against them, fearful kind of wallsI don't care for your carelessMe first, gimme gimme appetite at allNow I heard the blinker's onI heard we're changing lanesI heard we need more spaceI heard there's six or seven words are in bad tasteIt's absurd to believe that we mightDeserve anythingAs if it's balanced in the endAnd the good guys always winI don't care for your paranoidUs against them fearful kind of wallsI don't care for your careless"Me first, gimme gimme" appetiteWith the residue from the price tagOn those two opposing thoughts in my mindUs against them fearful kind of walls
7/29/20180
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ROME!

The story line of the Book of Acts is very straightforward: It retraces the Gospel from Jerusalem to Samaria to the Gentiles and finally to Rome. The dominant person in the first twelve chapters is the Apostle Peter: His preaching in Jerusalem, his proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles at Caesarea, and the Council in Jerusalem that determined that Gentiles do not have to become Jewish in order to belong to the body of Messiah.The central figure in the remaining sixteen chapters of Acts is the Apostle Paul: His conversion on the Damascus Road, his preaching of the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire, the persecution he suffered from both Jews and Gentiles, and finally his arrival in the capital city of Rome about thirty years after the resurrection of Jesus. Rome is where the Jesus revolution had to go.
7/22/20180
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Why The First Christians Were Persecuted

Why were the first Christians frequently persecuted? Not because they embraced a new religion, but because with their faith, their baptism and their Christian lifestyle they announced and enacted a new social order. The first Christians pledged their allegiance to Christ as the world's new and true King and they dared to live according to that allegiance.
7/15/20180
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Missional Imagination

7/8/20180
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"THEY are IN?!"

7/1/20180
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Plenary Session 7: Panel Discussion

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/30/20180
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Plenary Session 6: Brian & Peri Zahnd - Leading A Church Beyond Easy-Cheesy-Cotton-Candy-Christiani

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/30/20180
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Joe Beach: 90 Miles an Hour Down a Dead End Street: Evangelicals’ Impossible Bible

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Brad Jersak & Derek Vreeland: Unwrathing the Cross: Redeeming the Atonement from an Ugly Gospel

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Plenary Session 4: Mercy Aiken

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Plenary Session 3: Brad Jersak

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Plenary Session 5: Brian Zahnd - Second Half of Life Churches

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Peri Zahnd: Meeting God On Mount St. Scholastica: An Introduction to the Rich Tradition of Spiritual

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Scott Erickson: Spiritual Formation Through Image Making, Contemplation, and Working With Creatives

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/29/20180
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Opening Plenary Session: Brian Zahnd - Am I Here All Alone?

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/28/20180
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Plenary Session 2: Jonathan Martin

Join us next year for our next Water To Wine Gathering, June 13-15, 2019. Register now at www.watertowinegathering.com.
6/28/20180
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You Say You Want A Revolution...

In Acts 9 we meet a man who was always zealous for God, who always wanted a revolution, who always wanted to change the world; but after he met Jesus he had to rethink how the world is to be changed and how the revolution is to come. This man is Saul of Tarsus—we know him as the Apostle Paul.
6/24/20180
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A Revolution of Inclusion

Hierarchies and strategies of exclusion belong to the old order that died with Christ. In the new order of the risen Christ, revolutionary inclusion and equality reign. Ethnic hierarchies, economic hierarchies, gender hierarchies are all done away with!
6/17/20180
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Everybody Must Get Stoned

From Stephen and James, Peter and Paul, Polycarp and Perpetua in the early church, to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Eliot, Oscar Romero, and the Coptic martyrs in modern times, the church has always had those who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and loved not their lives even unto death. These are the martyrs—the great saints whose loyal witness we honor.
6/10/20180
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There Must Be Some Way Out of Here

On the day of Pentecost Peter preached the gospel to people who belonged to a religion that had become corrupted by its compromised allegiance to a materialistic and militaristic empire. So Peter’s invitation was, “be saved from this crooked generation.” It's the same today.
6/3/20180
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A Jesus-Centered Bible

The Bible becomes an obstacle for some people when they are in a serious season of doubt or a process of spiritual deconstruction. Some choose to throw the Bible out and others simply walk away from the faith. Jesus offers us a better way: Read the Bible with Jesus at the center. In this way, the Bible leads us to Jesus. The written word leads us to the living Word. The word made text leads us to the Word made flesh. The Spirit-inspired word leads us to the Spirit-conceived Word. The Bible is the word of God insofar as it leads us to Jesus who leads us into the life of God, the Triune life of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
5/27/20180
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The Dark Night Of Unknowing

In the Bible the new day doesn’t begin at sunrise or at midnight, but at sunset. Thus, for example, the Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday. In the Jewish way of thinking each new day begins with new darkness. This is counterintuitive. The new day does not begin by being able to see, the new day begins with being unable to see. Dark nights come before new dawns. Spiritual progress does not begin with the bright day of knowing; spiritual progress begins with the dark night of unknowing.
5/20/20180
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Don't Freak Out About Doubt

"Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." –Frederick Buechner"Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth." –George MacDonald
5/13/20180
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The End Is The Beginning

At the center of Christian faith is not a belief system or a book, but a person—Jesus Christ. We confess Christ as the incarnate Word of God who saves the world through his death, burial, and resurrection. Constructed around Jesus is our theological house. But we may discover that our theological house is an inadequate dwelling for Christ the King—too small, too sectarian, too impoverished. That's when our theological house has to undergo a renovation, and perhaps some deconstruction and reconstruction.
5/6/20180
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Lies We Believe About God: A Conversation with Wm. Paul Young

What we think and say about God affects us more than we know. If we believe lies about God, those lies begin to run rampant and do damage to our souls. Today, we will turn our attention to the one true living God and listen to a great conversation about separating out truth from lies regarding the God we worship.Paul Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Shack and most recently Lies We Believe About God. Through his own journey of coming to discover the God revealed in Jesus, Paul has experienced overwhelming healing and the grace of God's transforming love.
4/29/20180
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Soil With A Soul

Soil is miracle ground — it’s the matrix of all life on earth. As the second account of creation in Genesis tell us, all life comes “out of the ground” — plants, animals, and humans. We did not fall as pure spirits from the realm of the perfect forms and find ourselves imprisoned in contemptible matter (as Platonism claims); rather we were formed from the dust of the earth, breathed on by God, and became living souls. We are humans from the humus, soil with a soul; we are a mysterious synthesis of the dust of the earth and the breath of God. There is a sense in which humans are very complicated, self-aware rocks — rocks so magnificently complex that we are capable of bearing the Creator’s image and sharing the Creator’s spirit.
4/22/20180
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The Contemplative Alternative

"It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how a human being becomes good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that… The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties—but right through every human heart and through all human hearts." -Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago
4/15/20180
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A Life That We Can Live

The truth can change a manIn the wisdom of his daysIt whispers soft but constantlyYou cannot live this way–The Call, “When”In the madness of modernity how do we cultivate the practices of prayer and contemplation that give us a life that we can live?
4/8/20180
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The Eighth Day

"On the third day the friends of Christ coming at day-break to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of a gardener God walked again in the garden, not in the cool of the evening, but in the dawn." –G.K. Chesterton
4/1/20180
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Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground

In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager spacecraft, and for forty years it has continued its long journey into interstellar space. Today Voyager is more than thirteen billion miles from home. Aboard Voyager is a golden record; one of the songs on the golden record is Blind Willie Johnson's Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground. It's a blues moan. It has no lyrics. It's a song about death, the most bitter of all human experiences. It's a song that belongs to Holy Saturday.
3/30/20180
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The Singularity of Good Friday

At the cross the sin of the world coalesced into a singularity where it was both borne and forgiven by God in Christ. The structures of sin (“the sin of the world”) that entangles and implicates all of us reached its hideous apex in the crucifixion of the Son of God. At Golgotha the sin of the world gathered in a Good Friday singularity where it was absorbed and forgiven and thus dispelled.
3/25/20180
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A Place Called Gethsemane

Gethsemane means "oil press" and it's in the garden of Gethsemane that the Anointed (the Christ) comes under immense pressure. It's in Gethsemane that we most clearly see the humanity of Jesus as he struggles with the will of the Father. And it's in Gethsemane that Jesus most pointedly renounces the myth of redemptive violence and takes his stand for a peace that will only come through co-suffering love.
3/18/20180
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A Royal Waste of Time

When Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper on Wednesday during his last week, a woman poured a bottle of costly perfume on him while he sat at the table after dinner. The group around the table scolded her. But Jesus commended her. They thought what she did was shameful. Jesus saw it as beautiful, because she was preparing his body for burial. What she did was an act of worship and in it we discover that two components working together make Christian worship a beautiful thing—intentionality and expression. Both are needed. Expression without intentionality ends up in heartless worship and intentionality without expression ends up in lifeless worship. But together they bring out of us something very beautiful.
3/11/20180
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Getting Down To Brass Tacks

On Jesus’ last Tuesday, he speaks to us with unfiltered clarity. The temple and it’s systems which perpetuate injustice has walked the way which leads to destruction. As the end of Jesus’ life draws near, he speaks to us about the things of utmost importance. How might we avoid the same fate as this temple and the city which surrounds it? We must let Jesus lead us in the way of neighborly love.
3/4/20180
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When The Whip Comes Down

On Monday of the final week before his death Jesus interrupted the operations of the Temple by driving out the sacrificial animals with a whip and flipping over the tables of the money changers. We are accustomed to calling this the "cleansing of the Temple." But is that what it really was? Or is there a better to way to interpret Jesus' provocative action in the Temple?
2/25/20180
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There's Always Some Dude On A Horse

There's always some dude on a horse. The most famous dude on a horse is Alexander the Great (356–323 BC). Even his horse is famous—the warhorse Bucephalus (355–326 BC). At the same time when Alexander and Bucephalus were conquering the world, the Hebrew prophet Zechariah gave a different vision of a different kind of king. Zechariah prophesied that Israel’s king would not be like Alexander the Great, riding a warhorse and conquering by killing. Instead, Zechariah prophesied that Messiah would come with gentleness and humility, riding a lowly donkey and teaching peace to the nations.
2/18/20180
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Of Wolves and Lambs

Jesus came as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy where the wolf and lamb come to eat together. The mission of Jesus is revolutionary because Jesus wants to save both the oppressed and the oppressor, both the abused and the abuser, both the offended and the offender, both the lambs and the wolves. All people are invited into his saving embrace. We can experience a kind of forgiveness that leads to reconciliation if lambs tell the wolves how their actions make them feel and if wolves ask, "Will you forgive me?"
2/11/20180
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Cristine Eckhardt's Story

Cristine Eckhardt's Story of Forgiveness
2/7/20180
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Forgiveness That Transcends Tragedy

What Jesus calls us to in the Kingdom of God is not a religiously modified version of the self-preservation and self-promotion value systems that govern the empires of men. What Jesus calls us to is far more radical than that. Jesus calls us to the demanding ethic of the turned cheek and the second mile; he challenges us with the absurd idea of loving our enemies, overcoming evil with good, and triumphing over tragedy through forgiveness. The only reason we even entertain the possibility of living such a life is that we believe Jesus is the Son of God.
2/4/20180
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Stories of Forgiveness: Todd Norris's Story

Todd Norris's story of forgiveness
1/31/20180
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No Future Without Forgiveness

We must dare to believe in Jesus’ radical ideas of enemy-love and endless-forgiveness, because without this kind of love and this kind of forgiveness, there is no future. The future you look for, the future you long for, the future that would free you from the unending repetition of the painful past, lies in your capacity to move beyond the past through the liberating practice of faith-based forgiveness. It is forgiveness that creates the future you want to live in.
1/28/20180
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Candy Draper's Story

Candy Draper's Story of Forgiveness
1/24/20180
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Why Forgive?

When we choose to forgive those who harm us, instead of perpetuating the cycle of revenge, we become a living imitation of Jesus Christ. As we do this we help flood a world hell-bent on paybacks with a forgiveness that washes away sin. The world is full of a lust for vengeance that fuels our conflicts—from petty quarrels to deadly wars. Christians are called to opt out of the game of getting even.
1/21/20180
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Stories of Forgiveness: Glen and Heather Taylor

Glen & Heather Taylor's Story of Forgiveness
1/17/20180
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The Sunflower

If Christianity is to be a compelling and relevant voice in the 21st Century, we need a fresh message—not a new innovation or novel interpretation, but a return to our roots. And if Christianity is about anything, it's about forgiveness.
1/14/20180
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In the Time of Tyrant Kings

The Epiphany text begins with these words: “In the time of King Herod.” Most of history has been “in the time of King Herod.” And if not the time of Herod, then the time of Pharaoh, the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the time of Caesar, the time of Nero, all the way into modern times—the time of Hitler and Mussolini, of Franco and Salazar, of Pinochet and Putin. It’s true that most of history has been lived in the time of tyrant kings. But the gospel also tells us that since the birth of Jesus, heaven has been invading the time of tyrant kings.
1/7/20180
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Christmas Saves the World

In singing his prophetic song over the infant Jesus, Simeon drew upon a verse from one of Isaiah’s Servant Songs. The Servant Songs (Isaiah 49–52) were prophetic poems written in the sixth century BC that envision Israel as Yahweh’s Servant. But these poems also seem to envision Yahweh’s Servant as a person who will be the embodiment Israel. In other words, this Servant will be Israel in person, as a person. And it is this person who will fulfill Israel’s mission to the world—it is this person will be Messiah!
12/31/20170
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If This Is God...

This is what Christians confess about Christmas: Emmanuel (God with us) joined humanity, not by swooping down from the celestial heavens in a golden chariot, but by being born—born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Like all of us, God was pushed from the womb through contractions, labor, agony, and blood, to enter headfirst into the beautiful and horrible mess that is our world. This is not Athena springing fully formed from the head of Zeus, this is Jesus born of Mary.
12/24/20170
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Enfleshing the Holy

It was through a young, poor Jewish maiden named Miriam (Mary) living in the backwater Galilean village of Nazareth during the Roman occupation of the first century, that the Eternal Logos, the Word of God, the Logic of Divine Love, took on flesh, becoming incarnate and fully human. In Christian theology this is known as the Incarnation and Mary is known as the Theotokos—the God-bearer. The Incarnation of Christ through the Theotokos is one of the most sublime confessions of the Christian faith—it’s the sacred mystery of how through a cooperation of the Spirit and humankind the holy becomes enfleshed.
12/17/20170
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A Burning and Shining Lamp

John the Baptist was a burning and shining lamp—but he wasn’t the dawn of the new day. John doesn’t belong to the new day—John belongs to the end of the long night. John is not the sun of righteousness that will give the world a new order and orbit. John is a supernova—the brief, brilliant explosion of a dying star. But it's John who prepares us for the coming of Jesus and the birth of a galaxy of grace.
12/10/20170
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Anticipating the Day (When God Will Act)

In the birth of the baby born in Bethlehem in the days of King Herod we find the fulcrum of every human hope and every diabolical fear. What the poets and prophets hoped and prayed for, and what the principalities and powers feared and fought against, is what the birth of Jesus brought into the world.
12/3/20170
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The Kingdom Prepared for You

Those who treat the unlucky souls who have fallen into the cracks of society as worthy of dignity and respect, compassion and provision, are seen by Jesus as co-conspirators in his Kingdom. The Kingdom of Jesus is heaven’s insurgency against the inhumane regimes of beastly empire. Those who treat the minimum wage worker, the undocumented refugee, the sick with a pre-existing condition, the convict serving a life sentence as a human being worthy of love, are welcomed by Jesus into the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.
11/26/20170
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Feel the Falseness

“The first precondition of being called a spiritual leader is to perceive and feel the falsehood that is prevailing in society, and then to dedicate one’s life to a struggle against that falsehood. If one tolerates the falsehood and resigns oneself to it, one can never become a prophet. If one cannot rise above material life, one cannot even become a citizen in the Kingdom of the Spirit, far less a leader of others.” –Vladimir Solovyov in his eulogy of Fyodor Dostoevsky Can you feel it? It’s all around you. But can you feel it? The falseness — the falseness that prevails in society. Most are so sedated they never even suspect it. Some sense it, but cannot name it. It takes a prophet to name it.
11/19/20170
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The Crux of Discipleship

“How can we live in the midst of a world marked by fear, hatred, and violence, and not be destroyed by it? To live in the world without belonging to the world summarizes the essence of the spiritual life. Our true house is not the house of fear, in which the powers of hatred and violence rule, but the house of love, where God resides. Through the spiritual life we gradually move from the house of fear to the house of love.” –Henry Nouwen
11/12/20170
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36th Anniversary: Love Alone Is Credible

Hans Urs von Balthasar said, "Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed.The first thing that must strike a non-Christian about the Christian’s faith is that it is too good to be true." And even Christians are hesitant to believe that the deepest essence of God’s being is co-suffering, self-giving, never-ending love. Yet this seemingly inconceivable truth about the love of God is the pinnacle of scriptural revelation.
11/5/20170
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Beyond the Wittenberg Door

Here we are now, five-hundred years down the road—five-hundred years beyond the Wittenberg Door. And finding ourselves half a millennium beyond the Wittenberg Door, how should we now think about the Protestant Reformation?
10/29/20170
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Who Are You?

If you are a follower of Jesus you are not what you do. You aren't what people say about you or what you say about you. You are not what your haunted past says about you. These all belong to your old self, your false self. If you are a follower of Jesus, you find your true self in Jesus. Through baptism we have died to our old self and now our life, our new self, is hidden away with Christ in God. Who am I? I am Christian. I am a fellow follower of Jesus. I am a full-functioning member of God’s family. This identity supersedes all other identities. Before race, nationality, and gender, I am Christian. Before family identities, I am Christian. Before political affiliation and ideology, I am Christian. Fight the temptation to trade away your Christian identity for anything else, because your life, your true self, is hidden with Jesus.
10/22/20170
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Blowin' In the Wind

A well respected, established pharisee and religious leader comes to Jesus under the cloak of darkness. Why? What is his fear? What does he want with Jesus? Can we begin to understand the life giving work of God through the story of Nicodemus? Jesus comes to bring long awaited changes to a weary and wounded world. His work to transform the world is accomplished through transforming people. Stories of transformation like the story of Nicodemus, reveal a God who cannot be tamed or controlled. Like the wind - the Spirit of God is blowing in new life, new seasons, and new perspective. Are we willing to open up and receive it?
10/15/20170
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What About the Book of Revelation? Q&A

Q&A Session from the message "What About the Book of Revelation?"
10/11/20170
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What About the Book of Revelation?

What is the book of Revelation? It's basically four things:1. Revelation is a prophetic interpretation of the cataclysmic events of the AD 60s/70s.2. Revelation is a prophetic critique of the Roman Empire.3. Revelation is a prophetic exposé of the idolatry of empire and civil religion.4. Revelation is a prophetic portrayal of the eventual triumph of Christ.
10/8/20170
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What About Hell? Q&A

Q&A Session from the message "What About Hell?"
10/4/20170
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What About Hell?

Jesus’ teaching on hell is basically this: If you refuse to love, you cannot enter the kingdom of God and will end up a lonely, tormented soul. But hell in its popular and pagan misconceptions has been a blight upon the beauty of the Christian gospel.
10/1/20170
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What About the Violence of the Cross? Q&A

Q&A Session from the message "What About the Violence of the Cross?"
9/27/20170
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What About the Violence of the Cross?

The sacrifice of Jesus was not a payment offered to an offended deity bound to an economy of appeasement. That is a pagan and ugly distortion of who God is—the God whom Jesus called Father. The ugly violence of the cross is entirely attributable to human structures of sin, while the beautiful forgiveness of the cross is entirely attributable to God’s extravagant love and mercy.
9/24/20170
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What About Old Testament Violence? Q&A

Q&A session from the message "What About Old Testament Violence?"
9/20/20170
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What about Old Testament Violence?

In responding to the the troubling question of genocidal violence in the Old Testament and its alleged divine endorsement, we really only have three options:1. We can question the morality of God.2. We can question the immutability of God.3. We can question how we read Scripture.
9/17/20170
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What About the Wrath of God?

The wrath of God is a biblical metaphor we use to describe the very real consequences we suffer from trying to go through life against the grain of love. The wrath of God is understood as divine consent to our own self-destructive defiance. When we sin against the two great commandments—to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves—we suffer the inevitable consequences of acting against love. We can call this the wrath of God if we like; the Bible does, but that doesn’t mean that God literally loses his temper.
9/10/20170
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Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God Q&A

Q&A Session from the message "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God"
9/6/20170
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Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

The hands of God are not hurling thunderbolts from heaven like Zeus of the Greek pantheon. The hands of God have been stretched out in love where they were nailed to a tree. The nail-pierced hands of God now reach out to every doubter and every sufferer, revealing the wounds of love. The hands of God are not hands of wrath but hands of mercy. To be a sinner in these hands is where the healing begins.
9/3/20170
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Broken Halos

Seen my share of broken halosFolded wings that used to flyThey've all gone wherever they goBroken halos that used to shineAngels come down from the heavensJust to help us on our wayCome to teach us, then they leave usAnd they find some other soul to saveSeen my share of broken halosFolded wings that used to flyThey've all gone wherever they goBroken halos that used to shineBroken halos that used to shineDon't go looking for the reasonsDon't go asking Jesus whyWe're not meant to know the answersThey belong to the by and byThey belong to the by and bySeen my share of broken halosFolded wings that used to flyThey've all gone wherever they goBroken halos that used to shineBroken halos that used to shineBroken halos that used to shineBroken halos that used to shine
8/27/20170
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Us and Them

Us and themAnd after all we're only ordinary menMe and youGod only knowsIt's not what we would choose to doForward he cried from the rearAnd the front rank diedAnd the general satAnd the lines on the mapMoved from side to sideBlack and blueAnd who knows which is which and who is whoUp and downAnd in the end it's only round 'n roundHaven't you heard it's a battle of wordsThe poster bearer criedListen son, said the man with the gunThere's room for you inside"I mean, they're not gonna kill ya, so if you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won't do it again. Dig it? I mean he get off lightly, 'cause I would've given him a thrashing - I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but really...I mean good manners don't cost nothing do they, eh?"Down and outIt can't be helped that there's a lot of it aboutWith, withoutAnd who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?Out of the wayIt's a busy dayI've got things on my mindFor the want of the priceOf tea and a sliceThe old man died
8/20/20170
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Way Down We Go

Father tell me, we get what we deserveOh we get what we deserveAnd way down we goWay down we goSay way down we goWay down we goYou let your feet run wildTime has come as we all oh, go downYeah but for the fall oh, myDo you dare to look him right in the eyes?'Cause they will run you down, down til the darkYes and they will run you down, down til you fallAnd they will run you down, down til you goYeah so you can't crawl no moreAnd way down we goWay down we goSay way down we go'Cause they will run you down, down til you fallWay down we goOh bab-bab-yeahWow babyBabyBab, down we goYeahAnd way down we goWay down we goSay way down we goWay down we go
8/13/20170
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Trusty and True

We've wanted to be trusty and trueBut feathers fell from our wingsAnd we've wanted to be worthy of youBut weather rained on our dreamsAnd we can't take backWhat is done, what is pastSo fellas, lay down your fears'Cause we can't take backWhat is done, what is pastSo let us start from here'Cause we never wanted to be lusty or lewdNor tethered to prudish stringsAnd we never wanted to be jealously tunedNor withered into ugly thingsBut we can't take backWhat is done, what is pastSo fellas, lay down your spears'Cause we can't take backWhat is done, what is pastSo let us start from hereAnd if all that you areIs not all you desire,Then, comeCome, let yourself be wrongCome, it's already begunCome, come aloneCome with fear, come with loveCome however you areJust come, come aloneCome with friends, come with foesCome however you areJust come, come aloneCome with me, then let goCome however you areJust come, come aloneCome so carefully closedCome however you areJust comeCome, come alongCome with sorrows and songsCome however you areJust come, come alongCome, let yourself be wrongCome however you areJust come
8/6/20170
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Everything Now

Every inch of sky's got a starEvery inch of skin's got a scarI guess that you've got everything nowEvery inch of space in your headIs filled up with the things that you readI guess you've got everything nowAnd every film that you've ever seenFills the spaces up in your dreamsThat reminds meEvery inch of road's got a signAnd every boy uses the same lineI pledge allegiance to everything nowAnd every song that I've ever heardIs playing at the same time, it's absurdAnd it reminds me, we've got everything nowWe turn the speakers up till they break'Cause every time you smile it's a fake!Stop pretending, you've gotEvery inch of road's got a townDaddy, how come you're never around?I miss you, like everything nowMama, leave the food on the stoveLeave your car in the middle of the roadThis happy family with everything nowWe turn the speakers up till they break'Cause every time you smile it's a fake!Stop pretending, you've got
7/30/20170
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Out of the Pit

The psalmists and prophets come to understand that God abolishes primitive ritual sacrifice in order to establish as justice actually doing God’s will. This is what we see in the life of Jesus. Jesus was faithful to embody God’s will even to the point of shedding his blood as he forgave sinners. Jesus did not shed his blood to pay off God in the form of a ritual sacrifice. That’s not what God wanted. Jesus shed his blood in faithful obedience to his Father’s will, demonstrating divine forgiveness even as he was crucified! As Jesus told the sacrifice-obsessed Pharisees, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” God desires lives marked by mercy, not the sacrifice of victims. Jesus’ death was not a ritual sacrifice of appeasement but the supreme demonstration of God’s mercy. Jesus did not shed his blood to buy God’s forgiveness; Jesus shed his blood to embody God’s forgiveness! This is the gospel!
7/23/20170
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Harps On Willows

In the Psalms the largest single genre is the psalms of lament. But American Christians are loathe to lament. We are schooled in denial. It's part of the pathology of a superpower that sorrow must not be shown. But if we refuse to lament, we refuse to be healed.
7/16/20170
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The Prayer Book of Jesus