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Booking Passage To The End Of The Line

December 10, 2017

Isaiah 7:10-16

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.

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The Red-blooded Redeemed

November 26, 2017

Ecclesiastes 11:7-10

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

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Thanksgiving and the Art of Improvisation

November 19, 2017

Psalm 33:1-3

Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
    make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

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What Falls in My Yard

The beautiful sugar maple standing tall in the dooryard of your house is yours.  Its sap, its shade, its bark and branches, its trunk and treetop view; they’re all yours.  What’s also all yours is every lovely little leaf turned golden yellow and candy apple red that the wind shakes loose every autumn.  What becomes of all those leaves anyway?  Surely they don’t all fall in your yard.

I spent a good bit of time this weekend raking up in front and behind the house.  As I was making piles and wrangling tarps, the thought entered my mind: “I wonder how many of the leaves I’m laboring over fell from neighbor’s trees and I wonder how many of my leaves are making work for my neighbors?”  I thought about it some and concluded that there’s no telling exactly.  But I’m sure the number isn’t none.  Everyone in our neighborhood shares a little of their fallen foliage with everyone else.  It would be nearly impossible and more than a little silly for me to traipse up and down the street endeavoring to collect all my wayward leaves.  And I certainly wouldn’t expect the Joneses to come over and claim their runaways from out of my shrubs and fence lines.  The burden of autumn is just a collective one I suppose.  This is kind of how it is in a church family.  No matter the season, we all have troubles and trials that we are dealing with.  Most of these are burdens that we alone must bear.  But like the wind, the Spirit will often direct some of my troubles to your dooryard to share with me and some or yours to mine.  The burden of the world, for the church, is a collective one I suppose.  And I love the Lord for it.  “Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I’m part of the family, the family of God!”

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Sea Legs for Sailors

November 12, 2017

Proverbs 3:21-26

21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.