Dane Lewis

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So far Dane Lewis has created 603 blog entries.

Plain Sailing (Not Sinking) for Life Together, Part 2

In our previous post, we asked, “What caused the Titanic to sink?” In this post, we want to ask the “who” question, as in, “Who was the one most responsible for the disaster?” This is also known as the “blame” question. Now obviously, the captain should shoulder the bulk of the blame (after all, he was the captain); and his executive officer did absolutely nothing to help save the day, but neither of these gentlemen would be at the top of my list. My number one target to blame is the ship’s radio operator, Jack Philipps. Long before there was a crisis with an iceberg, Jack was dealing with a crisis of his own. See, the day before the Titanic sank, the radio went out, and that meant he was way behind. Thankfully, the radio had been fixed, and that was a very good thing. Now back in the day,

Walking Worthily in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 4:1-16. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Plain Sailing (Not Sinking) for Life Together, Part 1

Here are seven simple ways the Titanic disaster could have been avoided. Build it with a double-hull. Single hulls save money. Double hulls save lives. Use steel rivets, not weaker wrought-iron rivets (40% of the 3 million rivets used to weld together the hull’s steel planks were inferior).  Seal the top of the watertight bulkheads. Watertight bulkheads are great if the water is shallow, but if the water gets deep and you haven’t sealed the tops of the bulkheads, water will just flood over the top, making a watertight bulkhead a waterfall bulkhead. When in dangerous waters (especially where you cannot see too far ahead of you), slow down or stop completely. In other words, don’t continue going at near maximum speed. Other ships in the North Atlantic that night took this advice to heart. None of them sank. Once you see an iceberg dead ahead, turn the ship immediately.

Prayer in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 3:14-21. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Worms in Life Together

They’re back. Worms. Thousands of them. All slithering about in our backyard. There are big worms and little worms, fat worms and thin worms, disgusting, slimy worms and more disgusting, slimy worms. And they are literally everywhere, meaning you can’t take a step without ending up with worm mush on your shoes. That’s not completely true. They are everywhere, but as soon as you get too close, the worms scamper back into their holes like pieces of spaghetti being sucked up by Lady and the Tramp. Be alarmed. Be very alarmed. There are worms everywhere. And nobody knows why. For months, our worms stayed underground, just trying to stay warm.  But an early spring has changed their minds about going topside; and when it rains, it’s like it’s spring break. According to most experts, worms come out after a rain because it is easier to move about when the surface

The Mystery in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 3:1-13. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Carving Out Some Alone Time for Life Together

Jack Adams made this helpful distinction: “If it's free, it's advice; if you pay for it, it's counseling; if you can use either one, it's a miracle.” Today, we want to talk about the miracle of free advice, so let’s start with a quiz. Which of the following is good advice and which is worthless twaddle? If it is good advice, say, “amen,” after reading the statement. Here we go. . . . “Never insult the alligator until after you have crossed the river.” “Never do anything you wouldn’t want to explain to a paramedic.” “If you find a toilet in your dream, don’t use it.” “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.” We are looking at chapter 3 in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship. It is odd for a book on Christian community to devote a whole chapter to being

The Church in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 2:11-22. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Worship for Life Together

It’s February. Even though our winter has been incredibly nice by any standard you may suggest (except skiing), all of us are ready to move on to spring. And that is why Groundhog’s Day is such a big deal. We all want Punxsutawney Phil to come out of his burrow, fail to see his shadow and announce that spring will be early this year. That is, unless you live in Canada. If you live in Canada, you don’t care what some Pennsylvanian rat in a hat thinks. You’ll get your weather prognostication from Wiarton Willy, thank you very much! But that’s also true about many other locations because there are at least NINE groundhogs in the weather-predicting business. We already know of Phil in Pennsylvania and Willie in Ontario, but there is also Staten Island Chuck, Dunkirk Dave (New York) Jimmy the Groundhog (Wisconsin), General Beauregard Lee (Georgia), Buckeye Chuck

Grace in Ephesus, Part 2

This sermon is based on Ephesians 2:1-10. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Scripture for Life Together

There is nothing like a good quiz, especially when the subtitle reads: 98% of Christians Can’t Pass this Bible Quiz. I have taken at least a dozen of these quizzes, but with mixed results. I’m really good at questions like, “How many fish did the disciples catch in John 21?” or “In what town did Jesus encounter Zacchaeus?” In fact, on one quiz, I managed a 45 out of 45 and received a “Nice Try” for my efforts (Isn’t “nice try” what you say when you only get 20 out of 45?). But then, there are these other questions in these Bible quizzes that leave me scratching my head. For instance, one Christian quiz asked, “What was the name of the carrot on Veggie Tales?” (Can carrots even be Christians?). Or, “In which Texas university is the biggest Bible in the world housed?” (I didn’t even know Texans read the

Grace in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 2:1-10. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Praying for Life Together

Confession is good for the soul. Lots of people I greatly admire, greatly admire Bonhoeffer. You can tell because they have read him extensively. That’s not me. In fact, until I was reading them extensively, I was not really interested in Bonhoeffer or his books. To be perfectly open and honest, this is the very first time I have ever read Life Together. But here is the strange part. I have had a copy of the book in my library for years, but how it got there is a mystery; a mystery I am hoping to solve to my satisfaction in a few seconds. Let’s start with the facts. I have a hardback copy of Life Together that was published in 1954 (originally published in 1939 in German, 1954 was the first English translation). On the flyleaf, there is a stranger’s name stamped (I could be misreading it, but it

Praying in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 1:15-23. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Seven Sins to Poison Community, Part 2

Last week, I argued that one of the great visionaries of the past was the guy who invented pizza (who would disagree with that?). But who was this creative genius? The answer depends a lot on how we define “pizza.” If pizza is simply flatbread cooked in an oven, then the answer is an ancient someone in the Middle East. Everyone (the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Israelites and others) all cooked flatbread in mud ovens. Now, if you think you need something ON that flatbread for it to be called a pizza, then we have a different answer. The ancient Greeks and Romans both topped their flatbread with herbs, spices and olive oil. Now, I would argue that is better defined as focaccia bread, not pizza, but it is a topping on baked bread, so props to them. Plus, a pizza, to be a pizza, doesn’t need a tomato-sauce topping

No Longer in Ephesus

This sermon is based on Ephesians 1:1-14. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids! For instance, take the book of

Seven Sins to Poison Community, Part 1

Who were the great visionaries of the past? I would suggest the following people need to be on that list.  The incredible saint who said “Let’s mash up these beans, run hot water through them and drink it. We will call it ‘coffee.’” Whoever that guy was, he was brilliant!  The genius who looked at some plain, baked flatbread and “saw” pizza and said, “I’m going to make happiness pie.” Words cannot express my gratitude. The deeply holy man who looked at a cacao pod and said, “Let’s make some chocolate!” I love that guy! The person who said, “Dag, I left the cream outside overnight, and it froze. My boxes of cake icing also froze. But what if I added them together? Think about it! Chocolate and frozen cream! Butter Pecan frozen cream! Cookie dough ice cream! You scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Whoever that person was,

Great Art in the Ephesian Church

This sermon introduces our new series and is based on Acts 19:23-29, 32-37. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A SERIES OVERVIEW: ____: If ___ ___ hear ____ ___ the ________, you're going to be  ___ ___ ___ ____ .  You ___ also ___ ___ feel ___ out. You ____ also ____ ____ aids.  I said: “Listen: If you only hear half of the conversation, you’re going to be at a real disadvantage.  You are also going to feel left out. You might also need hearing aids.” But that is what happens whenever we read the letters in the New Testament. We are only hearing half the conversation! And that is not good because you can then misread (mishear?) what the author is trying to communicate. Bottom line: Without knowing the background, you are going to be at a real disadvantage. You may even need reading aids!

Five Movies and Five Foundations

Quick, name your top five favorite scary movies. Okay, let’s have some honesty. First, horror is not a favorite genre of mine; so if you are a true fan, my list will seem wimpy. More importantly, though, scary movies depend so much on “the when” that it is hard to compose a list. When I was a kid, I would certainly include the classics: The Wolf Man (1941; Rolling Stone rates it at #85 on their all-time list), The Mummy (1932; #60), The Blob (Steve McQueen, 1958; #96), Frankenstein (1931; #28) and Dracula (1931; #20). All of those scared me to death. But I also remember being terrified by the monster bird in the movie, The Giant Claw, which has to qualify for the silliest special effects ever.  Today, if I were to make a list, I could include a dozen different movies, but as long as number one was

Believing in Following

This sermon is based on Mark 1:14-20. You can also view each week's sermon/worship service on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ncsq_QNvCv61bIwKUpP5A

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