And the Points Don’t Count

When our boys were growing up, we tried to expose them to as many different sports, music, theater and academic adventures as possible. We figured it was better to let them sample a wide variety than to force them to specialize in one thing. Your results may vary, but that seemed to work well for us and our guys.

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(Not Exactly) A Love Story

I have never been very fond of the Bible-as-a-Love-Story approach to scripture. Other than Song of Solomon, it isn’t all that romantic. And whenever I hear the words “love” and “story” in the same sentence, I see two people running in slow motion across a field of flowers, falling into a tender embrace just as the soundtrack crescendos into a flurry of ecstatic violins.

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We Can Do This

Happy New Year! First, thank you for reading, commenting on and sharing the blog throughout 2017. Your thoughts, challenges and encouragement have been a blessing. I am looking forward to – no, that’s not quite right – I am excited about where we’re going next. Our church, Twickenham, has launched an initiative to be in the Word in 2018. We’ve committed to reading the Bible cover to cover, from the Garden of Eden in Genesis to the City of God in Revelation. I am inviting you to join us. But I wouldn’t blame you if you had some doubts.

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More Than Meets The Eye

A great and wondrous sign appeared.

Does that line from scripture seem familiar? Like maybe it’s somewhere in the Christmas story. Does it precede the angel’s announcement to the shepherds that a Savior is born in the city of David? Or the announcement to Zechariah that he and his old wife are going to have a baby who would grow up to be the forerunner of Christ? Perhaps that line goes with the conception of Jesus himself. A virgin becoming pregnant would certainly be a great and wondrous sign.

But that’s not how any of those stories begin. So let me give you a little more of it. A great and wondrous sign appeared . . . in heaven.

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An Unexpected Christmas

The first five words of Genesis 18 pull you to the edge of your seat: The Lord appeared to Abraham. You halfway expect the mountains to quake, the seas to boil or lightening to crease the sky. When God makes unscheduled visits, the special effects can be spectacular. The rest of the verse, though, is considerably less dramatic: Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.

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Jesus Comes Gently

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him, (Matthew 2:1 – 3 NIV).

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A Politician, Producer & an Actor Walk Into a Church

Let’s perform a thought experiment. It’s a Sunday morning a year from now. You arrive early and park in your regular spot at the church – a good distance from the entrance so as to leave the closer spaces for your older members and guests – and make your way across the parking lot to the doors.

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We Are Not Afraid

What’s the opposite of fear? Courage? It is an excellent candidate, but it’s not the answer. Mark Twain said “Courage is resistance to fear . . . not absence of fear.” Ask any hero, “Were you afraid when you charged into that burning building . . . . when you ran toward the sound of the gunfire .

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Honey, I Shrunk the Bible

Kids who grew up hearing Bible stories, and even many who did not, are familiar with Daniel and the den of lions (Daniel 6). A rabble of conspirators, threatened by Daniel’s rising influence, failed to find any corruption or negligence in his service. He made Teflon look like the sticky side of Duct Tape.

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Pilgrims Don’t Sprint

Pilgrim’s Rest is a one-bedroom cabin nestled in a wood, at the end of a long gravel drive that turns off a two-lane country road just outside the wee mountain-top town of Pisgah, Alabama. There is a single grocery store here, Lucky’s Supermarket, a gas station, town hall and a school. A few yards west of the cabin, a little brook tumbles down the mountain and eventually empties into a larger stream.

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Can Harvey Find Forgiveness?

You can elude consequences for only so long. Eventually, like a cheetah chasing a gazelle, they catch up, swat you down and grab you by the throat. Moses told the tribesmen of Gad and Reuben in Numbers 32, “. . . be sure your sins will find you out.” Paul cautioned the Galatians, “you reap what you sow.

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Look for the Helper

Last Sunday, in response to the Burnette Chapel Church shooting, we began our service with Mercy Me’s video, Even If. Then we prayed this prayer:

Holy Father,

We come to you in the name of your Son, the Worthy One, the One who was slain and by whose blood we have been purchased – not by a righteousness we have earned, but in the name of Jesus Christ.

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Is God Punishing Me?

Someone near Houston, TX is wondering. So, too, someone along the Florida coast or on one of the Caribbean islands. Is God punishing me? Us? Is that why Harvey poured 14 trillion gallons of water on Houston? Did Irma wreak her havoc to punish south Florida sins?

But it’s not just violent weather victims who wonder.

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Why Our Members Chose Twickenham

God is doing great things here and we want to be included. So many opportunities to be of service or just get together to get to know and love the people who are already members. We can’t wait to grow roots here.

We came for the children’s program, but we are already in love with the adult classes and the people.

It’s a church family we’d like to invite our neighbors to attend. Its members help and share with those in need.

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