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March 29, 2015, 5:34 PM

Let Me Be the Donkey!


Mark 11:1-11

All three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) make it a point that the donkey Jesus choses to ride into town on is one in which "no one had ridden."  I've never broken in such an animal before... but I have heard that sitting upon a donkey or horse that has never taken a rider can be "quite the experience."   One would likely be launched into the air... praying that gravity is kind in its choice of a landing spot. And yet with Jesus, the colt  of a donkey upon which He rides is quiet, obedient, and responses easily to His commands.   Very un-donkey-like if you ask me!  It displays the nobility of a white steed without any of the pride. There were a lot of reactions to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem that day:

The Crowds:  They spread their cloaks in the road, and shouted "Hosanna!"

The Disciples:  John 12:16 says indicates that they were puzzled by the whole spectacle.

The Curious:   John 12:18 says that many went out to get a look at Jesus.

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March 22, 2015, 4:14 PM

Reconciliation Day


Genesis 33

Last week we left Jacob walking in the morning light after his life changing encounter with God. He has a confidence in him that he never knew he could have. And there will be more surprises ahead for him… for… This. Is. His. Reconciliation Day!

Years ago he left town with just the staff in his hand and the clothes on his back. And though He has made a good life since then, something has been holding him back. That something was the need to go back home and make things right with his brother Esau.

But as we have learned… and is repeated in this chapter’s text… Esau has rounded up a welcome wagon consisting of 400 men. 400 armed men. Hell’s angels on horseback.

The hairs on the back of Jacob’s neck had to have been standing straight up as he enters into this meeting with his brother. He pushes his family out in front. (Least favorite wives and their kids in the front… thanks a lot dad!) And then he himself steps toward his brother…

He is now staring… in the face… the challenge of reconciliation.  And amazingly...   <Read More>
 

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March 16, 2015, 5:28 PM

Who Is It You Are Really Fighting?


Genesis 32:24-32

Have you ever experienced a “water shed” moment in your life? An invisible line in your walk with the Lord, that after crossing, you were never the same again.   It usually comes out of a stirring from the Lord… sometimes at the heels of a time of questioning.

For some of us, it came at the moment of conversion. We had thought that there was no way we could ever believe in Christ, but the questions nagged us so long, that we came to faith in Him.  For others of us believing seemed to be as natural as breathing… we were baptized at age 9, and have always taken part in church life. But then a crisis hits our life and we were rocked to the foundations of our beliefs. And we arrive at the watershed.

In today’s story, Jacob has come to this decisive moment. God wants him to return to the land… but he will not come back there as the same person <Read More>

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March 8, 2015, 2:42 PM

Schemes or Trust?


Genesis 32

When was the last time that life left you frightened?  You had made a pact with yourself to place complete trust in the Lord in the past... but then "this thing" happened.  And it stopped your heart like an intruder having just leapt from your closet.  Do you have the strength to face this latest fear?

Jacob resolved in Chapter 31 to return home.  Waiting there is a brother that had threatened to take his life.  Jacob has resolved to face his fear... but is still scared out of his mind.  God sends him a little encouragement.

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March 1, 2015, 2:23 PM

Going Back to Move Forward


Genesis 31

How does one find a way forward when they feel stuck in the mud?  Robert J. Morgan tells the story of Jim Conway who was feeling a bit "stuck" in his situation.  Morgan explains:  "At midlife, a man begins to realize his body is not as strong as it is used to be, nor his wife as young. He often feels like a failure at work because of his accomplishments fall short of previous expectations. He’s caught between generations, having to care for aged parents just as his children are lurching through the teen years. When the kids graduate and fly the coop, it sometimes hits the father harder than the mother. Then come the college bills. All of this hit Conway like a sucker punch."

Conway remarks:  “I had literally come to the end of my rope. I was ready to leave everything and run away. I crawled into bed that November night and hardly slept as I made my plans. I was awake through most of the night, detailing specific steps that I would take as I left my present life and ran away to start another life…”  (Robert J. Morgan, From This Verse, February 27th.)

As tempting as running away might seem... there is a better way:  Going back to go forward.  Jacob is a prime example of this from chapter 31... <Read More>

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