Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 198 blog entries.

Impossible Questions, Part 1

Impossible questions come and go, but asking God, “Why?” lasts forever. And to prove this, a few days ago a friend asked the “why” question: “If there is a God and he is good, why would he allow this pandemic?” Today, in this blog post, I want to answer that “why” question with a definitive answer that details what God is up to. I want to, I really do, but I can’t.  No one can. It’s an impossible question.  Now, that is not to say that we cannot say a few things that might be helpful to us as we wrestle with this question. I can’t answer “why,” but I hope I can give some guidance that will help us navigate these strange waters. First, remember while things today are bad, if the truth be told, things have always been bad. To gain some perspective and wisdom, let’s go back

Don’t Waste This Time (Part 2)

Talk about wasting time. On October 4, 1582, everything seemed so normal. People got up, went to work, had a meal or two and went to bed. It was an ordinary day.  The next day also seemed normal, but there was one huge difference. The date was October 15. They had slept through 11 whole days! Okay, that is not completely true. However, it is true that they went to bed on October 4th and woke up on October 15th.  Apparently, when Julius Caesar made his famous calendar, a calendar which was based solely on the movements of the sun, he miscalculated the length of the solar year (it was actually slightly shorter than he thought by a few minutes). Now, someone had warned him that making a new calendar would be difficult (I think they had said, “Beware the ides of March), but he didn’t listen. As a result,

Rooted in Sin (and Grace), Part 2

This sermon is Part 2 carried over from last week and, like last week, also based on Exodus 32:1-4, 7-8, 15-24. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel during the weeks we cannot meet due to Covid-19 restrictions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: Elie Wiesel once remarked, “God made man because He loves stories.” When you think of all the stories in the Bible, you may be convinced that Wiesel is absolutely right. There are stories everywhere in the Bible! There are stories about sin, about grace, about faith, about a lack of faith, about courage and hope and heartbreak There are origin stories, war stories, love stories, disturbing stories, and funny stories. There are stories about heroes and failures, about kings and ordinary people, about men and women and stories about good and evil. And that barely scratches the surface because the Bible is filled with

Don’t Waste This Time (Part 1)

Paul writes in Ephesians 5 (16-17): “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Now, I don’t know what Paul’s voice sounded like, but I do know that I really like Joni Mitchell’s voice. And even though Paul may have said it better, I would still rather hear Mitchell sing it. See, it is her words (Sorry, Paul!) that I first hear when I realize that I have missed a golden opportunity: Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got til it’s gone. They paved paradise And put up a parking lot. To be perfectly honest, Mitchell wasn’t as concerned about opportunities missed as she was about how people were treating environment (“They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum / And they charged all the people

Rooted in Sin (and Grace)

This sermon is based on Exodus 32:1-4, 7-8, 15-24. SERIES OVERVIEW: Elie Wiesel once remarked, “God made man because He loves stories.” When you think of all the stories in the Bible, you may be convinced that Wiesel is absolutely right. There are stories everywhere in the Bible! There are stories about sin, about grace, about faith, about a lack of faith, about courage and hope and heartbreak There are origin stories, war stories, love stories, disturbing stories, and funny stories. There are stories about heroes and failures, about kings and ordinary people, about men and women and stories about good and evil. And that barely scratches the surface because the Bible is filled with stories. In fact, the Bible would be a very short book if it wasn’t for its stories. But these are not just entertaining tales. Most, if not all, of the stories in the Bible speak to

Rooted in Struggle

This sermon is based on Genesis 32:22-30. SERIES OVERVIEW: Elie Wiesel once remarked, “God made man because He loves stories.” When you think of all the stories in the Bible, you may be convinced that Wiesel is absolutely right. There are stories everywhere in the Bible! There are stories about sin, about grace, about faith, about a lack of faith, about courage and hope and heartbreak There are origin stories, war stories, love stories, disturbing stories, and funny stories. There are stories about heroes and failures, about kings and ordinary people, about men and women and stories about good and evil. And that barely scratches the surface because the Bible is filled with stories. In fact, the Bible would be a very short book if it wasn’t for its stories. But these are not just entertaining tales. Most, if not all, of the stories in the Bible speak to who we

Rooted in Love

This sermon serves as the introduction to our new series and is based on Genesis 1:26-28, 31; 2:1-3. NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, the beginning of this sermon has not been captured; in addition, the audio does not begin until about 26 seconds into the recording. We sincerely apologize for these difficulties. SERIES OVERVIEW: Elie Wiesel once remarked, “God made man because He loves stories.” When you think of all the stories in the Bible, you may be convinced that Wiesel is absolutely right. There are stories everywhere in the Bible! There are stories about sin, about grace, about faith, about a lack of faith, about courage and hope and heartbreak There are origin stories, war stories, love stories, disturbing stories, and funny stories. There are stories about heroes and failures, about kings and ordinary people, about men and women and stories about good and evil. And that barely scratches

Following Jesus in the Way of Hope

This sermon is based on Matthew 13:31-33. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus in the Way of the Cross

This sermon is based on Luke 9:22-26. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus into the World

This sermon is based on Matthew 13:44-46. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus into the Church

This sermon is based on Acts 2:42-47. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus into Peace

This sermon is based on John 14:18-27. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus into the Kingdom

This sermon is based on Matthew 4:17-22. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess is

Following Jesus into Justice

This sermon is based on Mark 10:35-37, 41-45. SERIES OVERVIEW: There are certain things you just don’t do. For instance, you should never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. That’s really good advice. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents a compelling and comprehensive vision of the kingdom of God, but oftentimes we ignore that and embrace a much easier and more convenient truncated version. But there are certain things you just don’t do. If you would never go out on a big date without first brushing your teeth, then why would you claim Jesus and not live out all of his kingdom essentials? So, what are these essentials and how should we put them into practice today? Those are the questions we want to address in this seven-part series we have entitled, “Kingdom Essentials.” If you would never go to a gala ball barefoot, then my guess

Getting a Handle on the Law

This sermon concludes our series, "Getting a Handle on the Messiah," and is based on Matthew 5:17-20. SERIES OVERVIEW: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, not because I was consumed with justice or anything like that, I just liked saying, “I object.” And I thought it would be great fun getting paid for objecting to everything people said. Lots of people object to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They object to the use of Old Testament prophecies that may or may not refer to Jesus (like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53) and the use of verses that seem to be taken out of context (“Out of Egypt I called my son” comes to mind) and references in the New Testament that seem to be forced (take your pick here!). As a result, people object strenuously to the claim that Jesus is the

Getting a Handle on the Spirit

This sermon is based on Luke 4:14-21. SERIES OVERVIEW: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, not because I was consumed with justice or anything like that, I just liked saying, “I object.” And I thought it would be great fun getting paid for objecting to everything people said. Lots of people object to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They object to the use of Old Testament prophecies that may or may not refer to Jesus (like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53) and the use of verses that seem to be taken out of context (“Out of Egypt I called my son” comes to mind) and references in the New Testament that seem to be forced (take your pick here!). As a result, people object strenuously to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. But, I object! We’re missing a key piece of

Getting a Handle on the Word of God

This sermon is based on John 1:1-5. SERIES OVERVIEW: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, not because I was consumed with justice or anything like that, I just liked saying, “I object.” And I thought it would be great fun getting paid for objecting to everything people said. Lots of people object to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They object to the use of Old Testament prophecies that may or may not refer to Jesus (like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53) and the use of verses that seem to be taken out of context (“Out of Egypt I called my son” comes to mind) and references in the New Testament that seem to be forced (take your pick here!). As a result, people object strenuously to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. But, I object! We’re missing a key piece of

Getting a Handle on Wisdom

This sermon is based on Luke 2:42-52. SERIES OVERVIEW: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, not because I was consumed with justice or anything like that, I just liked saying, “I object.” And I thought it would be great fun getting paid for objecting to everything people said. Lots of people object to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They object to the use of Old Testament prophecies that may or may not refer to Jesus (like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53) and the use of verses that seem to be taken out of context (“Out of Egypt I called my son” comes to mind) and references in the New Testament that seem to be forced (take your pick here!). As a result, people object strenuously to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. But, I object! We’re missing a key piece of

Getting a Handle on the Temple

This sermon is based on John 1:14. SERIES OVERVIEW: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, not because I was consumed with justice or anything like that, I just liked saying, “I object.” And I thought it would be great fun getting paid for objecting to everything people said. Lots of people object to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. They object to the use of Old Testament prophecies that may or may not refer to Jesus (like the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53) and the use of verses that seem to be taken out of context (“Out of Egypt I called my son” comes to mind) and references in the New Testament that seem to be forced (take your pick here!). As a result, people object strenuously to the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. But, I object! We’re missing a key piece of

A Community of World Subversion

This sermon is based on Philippians 2:5-11. SERIES OVERVIEW: There’s a lot of talk out there about what the purpose of the church truly is. Some say mission. Some say worship. Some say justice. Some say teaching. Some say this and some say that. But enough talk. Let’s listen. Years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote: “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.” And there it is: The purpose of the church is to form people into little Christs. But how does that happen? It begins in community, and it begins with the cross. Here’s the hope of the church, even if it wasn’t said by a theologian. Dr. Seuss said: “It’s not about what

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