The Last Blog I’m Giving on Giving

Giving advice is all around us. Some good.  Some bad.  Some terrible.  Consider: “The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. He also accepteth gifts from a grouch.”  --Catherine Hall “You should give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving.” --unknown “Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.” --Elizabeth Bibesco “Do yer givin’ while you’re livin’, so you’ll be knowing’ where its goin’.” --unknown “There is no grace in a gift that sticks to the fingers.” --Seneca “You’ll never be as lazy as the guy who named the fireplace.” –unknown Okay, the last quote wasn’t about giving, but I found it encouraging.  And when you talk about giving, you want to be encouraging.  Today, I want to encourage you by answering the question, “What does giving do for us?”  As it turns out, it does all sorts of things. First, giving,

By |2017-03-04T11:40:32+00:00November 21st, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , |

Survey Says. . . .

Okay, it wasn’t scientific or carefully designed; but it was interesting and, at points, quite telling. I’m talking about the survey we took at River’s Edge as part of our 14th anniversary celebration.  If you weren’t here to celebrate with us, shame on you.  Survey says, “no birthday cake for you!”  But if you were here, my guess is that you would be interested in hearing the opinions of others.  But first let me quote an old Turkish proverb: “If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup.”  I’m not sure how that applies here, but I am sure it does.  So with that in mind, here are seven observations about how we are doing as a church. Insight number 1: 22% of us indicated that they don’t enjoy reading blogs.  That means that almost a quarter of those who took the survey won’t read this article about

By |2017-03-04T11:40:32+00:00November 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

Out on a Limn 161113

This portion of our worship service called “Out on a Limn*” is designed to give a “visual or practical application” of our main theme for a particular worship service. This “Limn” was part of our series, Major Hits of the Minor Prophets, and you can listen to the accompanying sermon, "Just Believing," by clicking here.   *limn–to depict or illustrate visually or in words

By |2016-11-14T11:15:18+00:00November 13th, 2016|Categories: Limn, Sermon|Tags: |

Just Believing

Sermon that passionately reminds us that God is a God of justice and desires that His followers fight for social justice, too. Based on Amos 5:10-15, 21-24. To hear the accompanying “Out on a Limn” and to learn more about this part of our worship, click here.

By |2016-11-14T11:33:26+00:00November 13th, 2016|Categories: Major Hits of the Minor Prophets, Sermon|Tags: , , , |

Who Are You?

I remember my first day of high school like it was yesterday. I remember the chill in the air as I stood at the bus stop, waiting in silence with three or four other kids. I remember feeling lost as I stepped into a building that would occupy my days for the next four years. I remember the first words spoken to me, as I stepped hesitantly into what I thought was the classroom I belonged in: “Who are you?” I remember the first huddle of fellow students I approached. Who are you? I remember the questioning glances and puzzled expressions. Who are you? I remember a single thought, bouncing around in my head and seeming to constrict my heart with its existential urgency. Who are you? Sometimes, we forget what it’s like to wonder about our own identity. After all, we have jobs. We have families. We have responsibilities

By |2017-03-04T11:40:32+00:00November 11th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Jesus and Politics

I’ve never met a Will Rogers quote I didn’t like, and that is especially true about his thoughts on politics.  For instance, "Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees." "Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they're doing. Amen." The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. Most of my life, I have thought that politics was a disaster and it was best to not get too seriously involved.  I was into casual politics.  I would vote and pay some attention to what was going on, but I was committed to not getting too serious about anything and just playing the

By |2016-11-07T11:09:25+00:00November 7th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

State of the Ministry 2016

As we celebrate the 14th anniversary of our church, it is a good time to reflect on God's blessings of where we've been, where we are and also to consider the challenge from God's Word (Galatians 6:9-10) for where we are going in the year ahead. To hear the accompanying "Out on a Limn" and to learn more about this part of our worship, click here:  

Out on a Limn

This portion of our worship service called "Out on a Limn*" is designed to give a "visual or practical application" of our main theme for a particular worship service. In this "Limn," Dane first rehearsed a little of the history of how God blessed our church from our earliest days by directing our steps to the Community Center as a worship space. Then, two of our wonderful volunteers, Beth Shaw and Jesus Caban, gave testimonies of what volunteering means to them at River's Edge. This "Limn" was part of our annual "State of the Ministry" Sunday, and you can listen to the sermon for this service by clicking here. *limn--to depict or illustrate visually or in words

By |2016-11-11T09:38:11+00:00November 6th, 2016|Categories: Limn, Sermon|Tags: , , |

Of Stranger Things

Netflix’ original 8-part series, Stranger Things, was written by the Duffer Brothers (Matt and Ross) and is streaming now on Netflix.  It stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Fin Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown. There’s a saying that you may be the only Bible the people around you read.  I want to take that one step further and say that there are things in popular culture that may be the only theology some people read and even further yet by saying Netflix’ Stranger Things is one of those things.  Now, you may think linking popular culture and theology is a bit of stretch, but it is true.  The great Donald G. Barnhouse (pastor of 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1927-1960 - that’s right, a real pastor!) used to say all of life illustrates Bible doctrine.  And Stranger Things illustrates!  Now, I am not saying that Stranger Things is the equivalent

By |2016-11-07T11:08:04+00:00November 4th, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |

Stolen Blog of the Week

Every once in a while, I come across a blog, article or posting of some sort that I think is engaging.  I may not always agree with everything in it, but I feel it is saying something we ought to consider and think about.  And when I find one of these articles, I feel it is God’s will that I steal it and post it on OUR site.  Now the technical name for this is “annexing,” as in the sentence, “Hitler annexed the Sudetenland.”  But while Hitler did it for political gain, I am doing it in Christian love.  So there. Today, we have two stolen blogs that I would like to present to you for your consideration.  Both are presented in their entirety on their own website without any editing, obscuring or comments from me.  I just provide the links and pretend that I am annexing them as my

By |2017-03-04T11:40:32+00:00November 1st, 2016|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |