I'm back and filled with gratitude: for the gift of a sabbatical this summer, to be home with family and church family, and for the obvious ways God has been at work in the body and through the staff and elders.A friend who committed to be in touch with me through the summer started his texts with, "Where's Waldo?" And many have wondered, "Where was Keith, and what was he ...Keep Reading
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We near Easter as the disciples neared the resurrection. Indeed, we near our own resurrection as they neared his. Christ has gone, and yet we walk. But like those pinks and oranges, like the stars that break the black, the Spirit now breathes Christ into all the empty spaces....
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:16-18)....
When my life was fainting away,I remembered the LORD,and my prayer came to you,into your holy temple.- Jonah 2:7So prays the prophet Jonah from the stomach of a fish. As a man known for running from God, Jonah got a lot of things wrong. Rebelling against God's command? Check. Forsaking his calling? Check. Choosing hate over mercy? Check. Despite what may have defined his w...Keep Reading
And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'?" (Mark 11:17)Having entered Jerusalem toward the end of his earthly ministry,Jesus proceeded to the Temple and began driving out those who were buying and selling there.In this context, Jesus quoted Isaiah 56:7, a prophecy thatthe latter-day te...Keep Reading
"I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason...Keep Reading
The house of my soul is too small, O Lord, for you to enter.---Make it more spacious by your coming.It lies in ruins.---Rebuild it, O Lord.Some things are to be found here which will offend your gaze.---I confess this to be so and know it well.But who will clean my house?---To whom but Yourself can I cry?Cleanse me of my hidden sins, O Lord, and restore in me a clean heart...Keep Reading
Do we enter into the deep distresses of our hearts when we pray? Or do we hang back emotionally, bringing requests to the Lord from a dutiful distance?...Keep Reading
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught the following prayer, known as the "Covenant Prayer." This prayer is a great example of the kind of "riffing" on the Lord's Prayer we talked about Sunday, touching on many of the same themes. Take a moment to look for the connections. May this prayer encourage you as you pray to our Father this week.I am no longer my own, but y...Keep Reading
This Sunday we begin our new series on prayer by looking at the Lord’s Prayer....Keep Reading
Psalm 130 (ESV)1Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!2 O Lord, hear my voice!Let your ears be attentiveto the voice of my pleas for mercy!3If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,O Lord, who could stand?4But with you there is forgiveness,that you may be feared.It's said that physical maturing is one long separation process. From the very moment a baby is born, it begins l...Keep Reading