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Showing posts from February, 2018

Peter and Stage 2 Faith

There’s a scene in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar that sticks with me more than it seems to do with others. It is the set-up for the Last Supper, but- of course- the disciples don’t know that. They’re eating and drinking together, reminiscing about what they thought being an apostle would entail. Harmonizing, they sing, “Always hoped that I’d be an apostle/Knew that I would make it if I tried/Then when we retire, we can write the gospel/So they’ll all talk about us when we die.” (Ah, yes, apostles- a gospel message should always leave people talking about the writer. This tells us that they still didn’t understand what Jesus was about.)
When we, the present disciples and apostles, examine our forbearers in following Jesus, we have information they did not have. In the depiction in Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as the depictions in some of the gospel accounts, Peter, James, John, and their brothers in faith continued to expect that Jesus would turn out to be the Messiah of their …

Noah and Developing Faith

This is the first in a six-part sermon series in the stages of faith. The stages of faith have a couple components. James W. Fowler mostly famously wrote about stages of faith, but others have contributed to the body of knowledge. They came about as a result of psychologists and sociologists, with theologians, coming to understand that our faith does not remain the same through our entire life. In the past 150 years, we have come to understand, scientifically and otherwise, that the way children and adults grow and change has an impact on how they think, on their emotions, and how they react to the world. Everyone understands that they currently are not the way they were when they were four.

However, for a long time, faith was treated kind of like the multiplication tables- separate and apart from any kind of higher math. Simply memorize a basic set of facts and one knows all that is needed to be faithful. Faith or spiritual development, though, is just like our physical, emotional, p…

Unthinkable, But Required

I am a pastor of a small church- a church full of people whom I love and whom I greatly trust that God loves. On Sunday mornings, there may be any number of children and older people, this includes my own children and some of their best friends. 

I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do if someone came in and began shooting. I've analyzed what I could throw, how quickly I could get to any part of the sanctuary, and how much time I could buy for others by engaging with a shooter- hoping that my death through that engagement would buy others time to attack unseen, hide children, or escape.  I move my cell phone around in the sanctuary- to be within my arm's reach- so that my last act prior to engagement would be to call 911. I worry about if I don't have time to do this and I may not, but it's part of my mental plan.  I am a gun owner. I'm an okay shot, better than okay at close range. My husband has asked me, on more than one occasion, to keep a gun…