In our Scripture for today James asks the question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” James was writing to brothers and sisters in Christ, to men and women who were followers of Jesus, and yet he asks, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” Nothing has changed from the day James sat down to pen his letter, almost 2000 years ago, to this day has it? We should still be asking the same question today, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” Let’s read our Scripture for this morning and then we’ll see if we can find the answer. Continue reading “What Causes Fights and Quarrels Among You?
A few weeks ago I pulled the rototiller out of the shed. Kellen and I began tilling up the ground that will soon be our summer garden. Connie and I have had a vegetable garden in our backyard for many years, until last summer. Truth is, I just got tired of fighting the good fight. The years long battle with bugs and weeds eventually wore me out. Every year, without fail, the bugs would sneak into my garden while I was away at work or asleep at night and gnaw on my vegetables without my permission. And then there’s the weeds. I was totally committed to tending to my garden, but I’m convinced there was someone else, someone even more committed to making sure the weeds took over. I just got tired of fighting the good fight. So, about this time last year I waved the white flag, told the little plot of ground in my backyard, “Peace out!” and walked away. Continue reading “Earthly or Heavenly Wisdom?
Call to Hear
Alex Sheen is the Founder of Because I Said I Would. This is a not-for-profit organization that has turned into a social movement reaching more than 150 countries, impacting over 8 million lives globally. Because I Said I Would was the title of Alex’s eulogy message for his father. Alex gave this speech after his father died of lung cancer on Sept. 4th, 2012. Of all the things that Alex had remembered his father for, one thing rose to the top – he was a man of his word. Alex said, “for everything that made my father ‘average’ and ‘everyday,’ there was one thing he did exceptionally well. He kept his promises.” Continue reading “Waiting on the Promise
We are living in the information age. Knowledge about what seems to be an unlimited set of topics is available at our fingertips. We no longer have to travel to a library to learn about what interests us, we can simply Google it. Google can take us around the world to learn about other countries, cultures, and ancient civilizations. Google can lead us down the halls of philosophy, history, biology, the great classics of English literature, mathematics, and biblical studies. Because of Google we can even keep up with Kim Kardashian! Continue reading ““Who Is Wise?”
On December 4, 2017 a fire began in Southern California. The fire broke out in the foothills just above Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and was quickly spread by 50 mph Santa Ana winds. The fire burned for a little more than a month as 2,800 firefighters from all over the country worked day and night to stop it from spreading even more. By the time the fire was contained it had burned more than 282,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures. Continue reading “Teachers Wanted: Beware!
Words. They are so very interesting aren’t they? They’re made up of any combination of one or more of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, but their weight, power, and intensity far outweigh the sum total of their number. There are monosyllabic and multisyllabic words at our disposal for forming sentences, offering opinions, and making statements. You can study a language, including vocabulary, grammar, the sound of language, and how words evolve over time and that will make you a linguist. You can narrow your studies, focus solely on the topic of grammar, and master the knowledge of the structure of sentences, knowing where to place nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. You can possess an extensive vocabulary, master the study of grammar, and have at your command oratorical skills like Winston Churchill or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but you will never tame the tongue. Let’s turn to James 3:1-12 and read together. Continue reading “The Untamable Tongue
Dr. Sinclair Ferguson tells the story. The funeral was not long over when the brother of the deceased man came up to the minister and said, “He’s okay isn’t he? He’s okay?” The minister said, “Well, it depends on what you mean by ‘okay.’ What do you mean by okay?” The brother said, “He’s saved isn’t he?” The man the minister had just buried had not darkened a church door in many, many years. He’d not been known in the community as a Christian believer. He’d not given any signs that he was a follower of Jesus to any of those who knew him. The man said, “He’s okay. You know, once saved always saved, right?” The man reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He took out a crumpled piece of paper and written at the top were the words, “Decision Card.” He showed the minister where his brother had made a decision to follow Christ 35 years ago. “So, he’s okay isn’t he?” “Well,” the wise minister told him, “Why don’t we talk about that some time, but not today.” Continue reading “Faith That Works
It’s Christmas Eve. Little ones are so anxious they won’t be able to sleep tonight. They’ve been dreaming, longing, anxiously awaiting the moment when their wildest dreams will be fulfilled on Christmas morning. We want those we love to know how much we love them so we try to find them the perfect gift, the gift that will leave them breathless the moment it is unwrapped. I’ve heard some stories about some pretty extravagant gifts that have been given during past Christmases. For those of you who are still searching for that one perfect gift, the one gift that will be a heart stopper, a breath taker on Christmas morning, I’ve come to help. Continue reading “Christmas Love: The Most Lavish Gift
“I hope I will get what I want for Christmas. I hope things will work out in my marriage. I hope my children will make wise decisions. I hope my health will improve in the upcoming year. I hope my boss will see how valuable I am to the company and give me a raise. I hope I just bought the winning ticket in the lottery. I hope we can finally get pregnant and have a baby. I hope my team wins the Super Bowl. I hope I can find someone that makes me happy. I hope these bad things that keep coming my way will stop and I can be happy again. I hope…” What are you hoping for today? Continue reading “Hope Without End
You know them. Oh, you may not know them, but you know their names, you read about them, hear about them, and are aware of who they are. They are powerful. Their presence turns heads. They walk the red carpet, are profiled in Fortune and People magazines, and are the talk of those who envy their TMZ lifestyles. Their wealth is the envy of the everyday man or woman. Their good looks, power, and deep pockets garner favors from those who desire to have a relationship with them. They’re given the private dining rooms at the best restaurants and others pick up the tab. They share photos on Instagram and Facebook from exotic places around the world. They are known for their yachts, Aston Martins, $1,000 bottles of wine, and gourmet foods which have never been tasted by folks like you and me. Money opens doors, creates opportunities, and can convince the wealthy that they are somehow different from everyone else. It’s not always the case, but we all know stories of how this is true. Continue reading “Playing Favorites