Why Lent?

pray and fastYesterday was Ash Wednesday which marked the beginning of the Lenten season. The United Methodist Church describes Lent this way:

During Lent, we enter into a season of preparation, self-reflection and repentance when we seek to literally “turn around” and realign our lives and focus toward God. It is a time to give up things as well as take on new life-giving practices, helping us rid ourselves of distractions and our own selfish desires. By doing so, we seek to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

You can check out the page I took that quote from here.

Lent is a penitential season (thus the ‘turning around’) and is a time when historically, the church has fasted. So, why do I participate in Lenten fasting and prayer? Here are three reasons. Continue reading

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Podcast: What Are We? – How Are You Growing?

whatpodWe are in a sermon series examining the question, “What Are We?” This week we look at the question, “How Are You Growing?” If we are to be disciples of Christ, then we should expect that we are growing.  We are always changing, always moving towards something, the question is are we growing in Christ or not?

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Fifty Shades: An Old Story Told Poorly

50Apparently there is a new sexy movie called “50 Shades of Grey.” It is something about bondage, physical and emotional domination, and kinky sex, from what I gather. To be honest, the appeal of this particular movie is beyond me, but it is real. Therefore, I wanted to encourage people to think through whether or not they ought to support such a story.

I’ll probably come off as some sort of prude, Luddite, moralist, but I’ll state this anyway. It absolutely blows my mind that in an age when we trumpet equality for women, a story that is so anti-woman could gain so much traction in our society. I did my due diligence to understand the story by reading the appropriate Wikipedia articles (among other things), and let’s be honest, the story is not complex enough to warrant anything deeper, right? The conclusion I drew was that the appeal to the story is not simply the sexual aspect, but instead it is the age old fantasy of a woman being able to tame a powerful man. It is the desire of a female to be desired by someone who has power and control. It is the twisting of the nurturing heart of a woman to try to nurture goodness out of evil. Christian Grey, then, serves as the foil for the protagonist’s working out of her feelings of powerlessness in a world where the powerful rule. Plus sex. Continue reading

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Podcast: What Are We? – What About Us?

whatpodWe are in a sermon series examining the question, “What Are We?” This week we look at the question, “What about us?” We are the church.  We have a mission to make disciples.  So, what does that mean for us in our specific time and place?

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Podcast: What Are We? – What is the Point?

whatpodWe are in a sermon series examining the question, “What Are We?”This week we look at the question, “What is the Point?”  And in doing that we look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20.

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