A guest post by Rebecca DeLucia, Next Generation Pastor  In 2015, I was teaching second grade at a small Christian school and our Bible curriculum for the year walked through Genesis and Exodus. During our Bible Reading Plan this week I was reminded of an activity we did together. As a class we were discussing Exodus 3:13 in which God tells Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” and I asked these 7 and 8 year olds what they thought I AM

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe. We often encounter Biblical characters at a crossroads in their lives.  They are brought to our attention at a pivotal moment in which they either rise to God’s calling or fall to their own misgivings and fears.  These crossroads raise questions regarding the “right” decision or why we are in this situation at all.  I am often reminded of Mordecai’s advice to Queen Esther (Esther 4) when she struggled to handle a difficult situation (paraphrased)

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe The reading for last week included Psalm 24.  Although it immediately follows the most famous Psalm, apart from a verse or two made popular by a variety of worship songs, Psalm 24 is not one of my “go to” Psalms.  It made me wonder what else I was missing right around Psalm 23.  Psalm 22 is a plea for help in the midst of nearly unimaginable suffering.  It is perhaps best known for containing a direct

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe. As we enter the book of Romans in our Bible readings, I am struck by one of the opening items in Paul’s greeting.  He starts his letter with “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God”. In particular, I was drawn to Paul’s statement that he was “called” to be an apostle.  Most of us know the story of Paul’s conversion and Christ’s direct intervention

By Rebecca DeLucia, Next Generation Pastor Over spring break last week my 5 year old nephew came to visit. We took him to the Planetarium and the show we saw was about two kids searching for answers about space. Questions ranged from, “How far away is the sun?” to “What is it like to be an astronaut?”  The final question they needed to answer was, “What makes Earth so special?” It cutely used the answers to

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe There may be no more poignant reminder of the ways by which we cross paths with our Savior than the story of Simon of Cyrene.  His intersection with Christ was unlikely and under the most unimaginable circumstances. Cyrene was approximately 800 miles from Jerusalem – a journey that would take approximately one month to complete by land.  It was a pilgrimage that was likely only undertaken a handful of times over the course of a

A guest blog by Shawn Blythe The events of the Thursday before the crucifixion centered around the Passover meal that has come to be known as ‘The Last Supper’.   The events of that evening were among the most momentous events in all of history was going to happen but, apart from Jesus, no one—not even those directly involved—had a clear understanding of the implications.   While we typically focus on the attendees of the meal, there are a number of others who

A guest post by Shawn Blythe. The first chapter of Mark introduces us to the first apostles that Jesus called.  They were two sets of brothers who were fishermen.  We all know them as James, John, Simon and Andrew and some may recall the story of their calling from our childhood Sunday School classes.  Over fifty years later, I can still picture one of the color drawings in my children’s Bible depicting the scene. But what is perhaps easily overlooked are the

Some of what is in the bible is pretty surprising. There are stories that are hard to wrap our minds around, history that is tough swallow, characters that are all too real) that we can all recognize ourselves in them), and rules that seem completely alien from our modern life. And then there’s the Psalms. In our bible reading plan, we entered into a few Psalms last week. The book of Psalms captures a wide range of situations, human emotions, and responses

a guest blog by Shawn Blythe The first book of Peter is not a particularly easy read.  There is a lot of talk about suffering and encouragement for us to submit ourselves to others.  Nobody likes to be told to submit and few people like to suffer. To be fair, Peter is not exactly breaking new ground here as the basic theological precepts are also covered by others – most notably by Paul in his letters to the Ephesians and Colossians.  But

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