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Showing posts from July, 2020

Choose or Lose

Stan Caffy was about to get married. So, he and his fiancĂ© figured it was time to do a bit of house-cleaning. They cleaned out both of their garages and gave everything they didn’t need to a local thrift store. The items discarded included an assortment of clothes, bicycles, tools, computer parts, and a tattered copy of the Declaration of Independence that had been hanging in Stan’s garage for the last decade. What Stan didn’t know was that particular copy of the Declaration of Independence was a rare manuscript made in 1823. A man named Michael Sparks spotted it in the thrift store and bought the document for $2.48. Sparks later auctioned it for $477,650. Jesus told stories similar to this one. They were stories that his audience two thousand years ago could identify with no less than we can today. Listen for God’s word to you from Matthew 13:44-58… 44  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells

Waiting for the Kingdom

One night we sat in a restaurant which shall not be named and waited for our dinner to be served.  We wondered how a restaurant with such poor service could even stay in business. I don’t think anyone likes to wait. And yet waiting is a constant part of life. Some waiting merely poses an inconvenience, other waiting is truly painful. Years ago, the young husband of a friend of mine had a stroke. Her husband went into the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at the University of Virginia. They had an 11-year-old son and a 5-week-old daughter. The kind of “waiting room” my friend was in then is not the sort of place any of us ever want to be. Waiting to see if and how a loved one recovers from a sudden accident or health-endangering incident is one of the greatest emotional pains of life.  It is situations like this that make us cry out, “Why God?” While the next three parables in Matthew 13 do not address that “why” question directly, they do each deal with the topic of waiting. T

The Parable of the Sower

Have you ever tried to start a lawn from scratch? I did once. We had just bought our first house. It was in a housing development in a nice suburb. Included in the price of the house was a small amount of sod which some men came and laid in our front yard shortly after we moved in. But the back yard was completely unfinished. Our lot had been in the midst of a forest which had been cleared for our house, and others, to go in. The lot was leveled as much as possible. In fact, the back yard, while completely dirt, looked nice. But then the rain came before I had a chance to plant grass seed in the back yard. The contours of the yard completely changed. One corner fell off precipitously. I figured I better get working fast. I bought some grass seed and went to work. I was amazed, however, on closer inspection, to discover how many rocks were still there in our back yard. So, I went to work with a metal rake and other tools purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I got rid of as ma

Rest for the Soul

According to tradition, when the Apostle John was leading the Church in Ephesus, in Asia Minor, during the first century, his hobby was raising pigeons. It is said that on one occasion a man passed John’s house as he returned from hunting. When he saw John playing with one of his birds, he gently chided him for spending his time so frivolously. John looked at the man’s bow and remarked that the string was loose.  “Yes,” said the man, “I always loosen the string of my bow when it’s not in use. If it stayed tight, it would lose its rebounding quality and fail me in the hunt.” “And I,” said John, “am now relaxing the bow of my mind so that I may be better able to shoot the arrows of divine truth.” Whether it is historically accurate or not, the story makes an important point. Sometimes we just need to hang loose. Today I want to talk with you about soul stress, and how to find rest for your soul. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says… Come to me, all you that are weary