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Articles posted by mattad

If you’re following along with our bible reading plan (and I encourage you to!), tomorrow, we wrap up the book of Acts. As we started Acts, I mentioned that Acts 1:8 (“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”) functions as a sort of table of contents for the book (as it starts in Jerusalem, goes to Judea and then Samaria, and ends in Rome as ‘the ends of the earth’) – but

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe The opportunity to make a difference in any one person’s life can often be a singular event.  We cross paths with somebody only once and then both parties continue along their respective paths.  In some cases, the encounter may be memorable or even life-changing while in other cases the intersection is inconsequential and quickly forgotten. Bernice crossed paths with Paul only once in Caesarea on or around the year 60 AD.  She had already experienced a

At the end of the last sermon series (the Off the Shelf series), I introduced the idea that the story of scripture is the one true story of the world – that each of our own stories (and every other story) finds its meaning in. As that story, it is something like a six act play, where the majority of the 5th act is missing – and it is our role to “improvise” the rest of the 5th act, playing our part faithfully. I first heard

a guest blog by Shawn Blythe We have all experienced the joys and travails of having a houseguest.  Sometimes their departure comes with tears of sorrow that your time together is coming to an end, while other times they are tears of joy for the very same reason.  There are plenty of occasions where Benjamin Franklin’s statement that “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days” seems unfortunately appropriate. Although pre-dating this statement by a significant number of years, Paul would

Well, today’s Valentine’s Day. If you celebrate, I hope it’s a good one. Amanda (my wife) and I did the math this morning: we started dating on Valentine’s Day in 1997…which means we’ve been together for 27 years! So suffice it to say, for us, Valentine’s Day always is something of a special day (it also provides us with one of the best moments from the vastly underrated Ghostbusters II). Love is always something worth celebrating. Yes, I know it gets muddied up with

a guest blog by Shawn Blythe You’re not good enough. These are words that we have all likely heard at one time or another. They are typically a judgment regarding our ability to complete a task, or at the very least an unfavorable comparison with somebody else who can perhaps do it better. They are never words that we enjoy hearing. Whether it be related to our jobs, family or our ministry - nobody likes to be told that they don’t measure

This past weekend I (Rebecca) traveled to Dallas, Texas to visit a friend and was able to attend church with her Sunday morning. As we took a tour of the church I was struck by the universal soundtrack of Sunday mornings: teachers setting up crafts, printers pressing last minute papers, worship tuning and practicing, coffee brewing and indistinguishable conversations - moments of fellowship. Then as we began the service, we recited the Apostles Creed together. I was once again struck

a guest blog by Shawn Blythe. The Bible is full of characters who have clear guidance from God and an explicit mission to fulfill.  Moses had his burning bush, Samuel had his vision in the temple, Mary had her heavenly visitors, and Paul had his conversion experience on the road to Damascus.  But most of his will pass through our lives with less direct clarity from God.  If, like me,  that is your situation, then you will likely identify with the

On Sunday, we kicked off our series called “Between The Trees: the story of scripture and the 5 trees that tell it”. It’s a series that sums up the entire story of the bible, through the lens of these 5 important trees. The first message in the series was about the Tree of Life: a tree that is found in the Garden of Eden, and that gives renewed life to any and all who eat from it. In the sermon, we focused on God’s original

I had a lot of fun over the last few weeks, talking about the bible, what it is, how to approach it, and so on (and I am equally excited to launch our new series - see below). I loved our AMA (ask me anything) time (I hope you did too), and I hope to do more sessions like that in the future. I appreciated all of your questions, and love the fact that you’re reading scripture, pondering, puzzling, and seeking.  Scripture can be puzzling, but

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