Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 408 blog entries.

In This Corner, the Bad Guys

Let’s start off this new series with a short quiz. Simply identify the bad guys in the following lists: At Thermopylae, was it (A) the 300 Spartans or (B) the Persians? In Star Wars, was it (A) Luke, Leah, Hans and Chewy or (B) Darth Vader and the Empire? At Atlanta, was it (A) Sherman and the Union forces or (B) Hood and his Confederate army? In Get Smart, was it (A) Max, 99 and the agents of Control or (B) Siegfried and the agents of KAOS? At Little Big Horn, was it (A) Custer and the US Calvary or (B) Crazy Horse and the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians? At Hastings, was it (A) William-soon-to-be-the-Conqueror and his Norman Army or (B) lying King Harold and his Saxon army? In the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, was it (A) Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and the beloved Boston Bruins or

The Revolutionary Gift of Grace for Women

This Mother's Day sermon is part of our "Paul and the Revolution of Grace" series and is based on Galatians 3:26-29. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: At River’s Edge, we talk a lot about grace. We talk about saving grace, amazing grace, irresistible grace, unconditional grace, common grace, pure grace, unmerited grace, enabling grace, sacrificial grace, sustaining grace, superabundant grace, and marvelous, infinite, matchless grace. And we warn about cheap grace, falls from grace and children who were not born on Tuesday (because only Tuesday’s child is full of grace). But talk, like some forms of grace, is cheap. And sometimes, we use the word without knowing exactly what it means or how it works itself out in our lives. And sometimes, we forget how revolutionary grace was back then and how revolutionary it is today! In this series, we

The Lament: Praying the Psalms

Heather Dubrow opens her book, Genre, with a spectacular illustration. She writes: “Assume that the following paragraph opens a novel entitled, Murder at Marplethorpe”: “The clock on the mantelpiece said ten thirty, but someone had suggested recently that the clock was wrong. As the figure of the dead woman lay on the bed in the front room, a no less silent figure glided rapidly from the house. The only sounds to be heard were the ticking of that clock and the loud wailing of an infant.”  So, what type of book are we reading? I’m already looking for clues as to who killed the woman because we are obviously in the midst of murder mystery. But what happens if we read the same paragraph with a different title, something like, The Personal History of David Maplethorpe. Suddenly, everything changes. The clock is no longer a clue as to when a

The Revolutionary Gift of Grace

We begin a new teaching series this week with an introductory sermon based on Galatians 1:1-5. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: At River’s Edge, we talk a lot about grace. We talk about saving grace, amazing grace, irresistible grace, unconditional grace, common grace, pure grace, unmerited grace, enabling grace, sacrificial grace, sustaining grace, superabundant grace, and marvelous, infinite, matchless grace. And we warn about cheap grace, falls from grace and children who were not born on Tuesday (because only Tuesday’s child is full of grace). But talk, like some forms of grace, is cheap. And sometimes, we use the word without knowing exactly what it means or how it works itself out in our lives. And sometimes, we forget how revolutionary grace was back then and how revolutionary it is today! In this series, we want to look at how

The Lament: The Imprecatory Psalms

As you read this, unspeakable evil is being perpetrated against Ukrainian people by Russian invaders. It is hard for me to imagine such horror being committed, especially against civilians. The Russians are using all sorts of military options to crush Ukraine: tanks, missiles, heavy artillery, rockets, warplanes and warships. Here’s my question: what weapons do we have to fight this evil? Paul answers that question in 2 Corinthians 10. There, we read (vv. 3-4): “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” Let me be honest, Paul’s words here sound less than helpful. I want a legion of angels at our disposal. I want access to plagues of locusts and flies and boils and hail. I want fire to rain down from heaven, and I want the earth to open up and

The Lament: Psalm 13

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is deeply disturbing. I love Ukraine. I love its people and its culture. In fact, my two-weeks in Ukraine changed my life. And now to watch Ukrainian cities being destroyed, its people butchered and its land turned into a wasteland is unbearable. In fact, it is pure evil. So, here’s the question: what can we do about it? When we lived in Miami, we didn’t live in the nicest of apartment buildings.  In fact, it was necessary, when you took out the trash, to throw rocks at the dumpster before you got too close so that whatever critters were inside could bolt before you opened the lid. And call me crazy, but I could live happily ever after without having another dumpster rat snarl or hiss at me. Now, that thought alone was pretty terrifying, but I never really considered what else might be out

The New Creation Revolution Solution

Our Resurrection Sunday sermon is based on John 20:11-23. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A

A Resurrection Quiz

How well can you support your belief in the resurrection of Jesus? Let’s have a quiz to find out! Below are 20 questions about the evidence used to support the claim that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. These are all things you could use to answer a friend if they asked you, “Why do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?” Let’s face it, if you don’t know any of the evidence, the only response you will be able to give is to sing the old, old song, “You ask me how I know he lives, he lives within my heart!”  And honestly, no one wants to hear you sing an answer. Okay, it’s quiz time. How well do you know your evidence for the resurrection? As always, no cheating, no calling a pastor and no wagering. We begin!  Mark’s source for the resurrection account is very interesting

First Mission: The Path to Peace

Our Palm Sunday sermon is based on Luke 19:35-44. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A

The Unseen Servant, Part 3: The New Testament Servant

Here’s a truism: It’s not only what you say, but it is what you do with it. See, I could talk about clocks and tsunamis and being superstitious and about selfies and you would not be impressed at all, and rightly so. But look at these brilliant calligrams by Ji Lee from Designwrld (again these are copywritten, so be sure to give credit where credit is due, and for these designs, there ought to be great credit given!). Instead of talking clocks, let’s talk. . . . And instead of trying to define a tsunami to someone, all we have to do is show them this. . . . Are you superstitious? Here’s a perfect way to picture that attitude. . . . And instead of interrupting a conversation to tell everyone you want to take a selfie, simply show them this calligram. . . .  See, it’s not only

First Mission: To Pray Powerfully in Faith

This sermon is based on James 5:12-20. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit back

The Unseen Servant, Part 2

Last week, we featured a handful of very popular logos and asked you to find their “hidden” messages. Here’s a logo. It may not have great brand recognition to you; but once you see it, it jumps off the page. Take a look. What do you see? (It’s protected with a trademark, so look, but don’t steal.)   If you see three letters, good for you! If you see a person with waving arms, even better! If you see a conductor for the LSO—the London Symphony Orchestra—you win! Seeing what the designer intended you to see, even though it may not be perfectly clear, is what the art of interpretation is all about. Case in point, the identity of the servant in Isaiah 53. Last week, we listened as Levine and Brettler wrestled to identify the Servant in Isaiah 53. I found it interesting that they never tried to put

First Mission: To Use Our Wealth Compassionately

This sermon is based on James 4:13- 5:11. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit

First Mission: Be Quick to Repent

This sermon is based on James 4:4-12. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit back

The Unseen Servant

Below are five logos. Take a good look at each of them. We have the Fed Ex logo, The Tostitos logo, The Toblerone Logo, The Goodwill logo, and the Tour de France logo (all protected and trademarked by their companies). Okay, now that you have seen each of these, what didn’t you see? Did you see the arrow in the FedEx logo? Once you see it, it’s obvious. Do you see the two people with the Tostito chip preparing to dip it into the salsa? Now, I can’t unsee it. Do you see the happy bear on the Toblerone mountain? Is it a chocolate bar or a chocolate bear? In either case, it is unbearable; and once you see it, it jumps off the mountain. Do you see that the “g” in goodwill is the same half-face smiling on the logo, but with a different background?  I’ve seen their logo

Isaiah’s Version of the Virgin, Part 3

How do you say something slightly nasty, nicely? Two stories, one about an actress that is nasty; and the other, well, it is also about an actress and, unfortunately, it too is nasty. Miriam Hopkins was more than an American actress. She was highly regarded for her intellectual prowess and for her friendships with many of the country’s intellectual elite. As a result, many actors felt it was their duty to upstage her at any opportunity. For instance, an anonymous starlet, whose prominence was more the result of her looks than her talent, once bragged, “You know, my dear, I insured my voice for fifty-thousand dollars.” Hopkins replied, “That's wonderful. And what did you do with the money?" That was nasty. Ilka Chase was also a celebrated actress, but she also was a fairly-successful author. Green with envy, many of her rivals disliked Ilka and believed she was a fraud.

First Mission: Embracing Wisdom and Peace

This sermon is based on James 3:13-4:3. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit back

Isaiah’s Version of the Virgin, Part 2

What’s in a name? Consider these twelve weird American town names (I’ll not mention any towns in Maryland or in Pennsylvania; Maryland, because no one here will laugh at a town named Accident, and Pennsylvania, because this blog is rated PG-13). Here are my top twelve strange town names. We have Boring, Oregon; No Name, Colorado; Why, Arizona; and Why Not, North Carolina. There’s a Yum Yum, Tennessee; a Ding Dong, Texas; a Zig Zag, Oregon; and a Good Grief, Idaho. And let us not forget, Bugtussle, Tennessee; Fink, Nebraska; Nothing, Arizona; and last, but not least, my favorite, Bitter End, Tennessee! Names are funny things. Our question today concerns the name, Immanuel. We are trying to figure out the identity of the Immanuel spoken of in Isaiah 7:14. I argued in the last post that it is Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Isa. 8:3). Matthew seems to say it is Jesus (Mt. 1:23).

First Mission: Keeping the Tongue in Check

This sermon is based on James 3:1-12. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Imagine it’s 50 AD, and you are riding your camel. You’re headed up to Jerusalem from Galilee, and you’ve lost all your favorite Galilean radio stations. It’s a long ride without tunes, and so you flip the dial to see what you can find. Suddenly, a station comes in loud and clear. . . . “It’s 10 o’clock, and you’re listening to FM 108, ‘all James all the time—all wisdom all the time—all Messiah all the time.’ You might even say, ‘all Sermon on the Mount—all the time.’ And you’re not just listening to some Johnny-come-lately station either. We were the very first. On the air since the mid 40’s. We were there from the beginning to get you to where you want to go. So, sit back

Isaiah’s Version of the Virgin, Part 1

The famous American painter, Robert Rauschenberg once said, “An empty canvas is full.” I think he was crazy, but I am not a big fan of minimalism. But even though I am not now nor ever have been a member of the minimalist art movement, I am a huge fan of a minimalist experiment conducted by Bell Labs in the 1970’s.  In 1971, Leon Harmon wanted to identify the least amount of visual information a picture may contain and still be recognizable.  Harmon took a picture of Abraham Lincoln and divided it into 200 squares with each square shaded a different intensity of gray. The picture is very blurry, very gray with a few darker blobs and consists entirely of blocks; but as soon as you see it, you know that’s Lincoln.  Honestly, it is shocking how little information one needs to identify someone in a picture.  Here’s today’s question:

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