Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:28-29

“After this I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions. I will even pour out my Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, yesterday we talked about the fact that much of the Old Testament does not apply to us as followers of Jesus. If you stuck with me for most of Monday’s full sermon I explained the concept there in a little more detail but with the Ten Commandments in view rather than the proclamations of the prophets. Context shift aside, the point is the same: Most of the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us. It details the old covenant God made with Israel which was fulfilled in Christ and replaced with the new covenant to which we are liable in Him. That’s the rule. This verse is one of the exceptions.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Joel 2:27

“You will know that I am present in Israel and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. My people will never again be put to shame.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

My wife and I used to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition every single time it was on. We loved that show. The premise was that in each episode a different family got home makeover that involved completely tearing down their old one and building an entirely new one in its place. It was always such tearjerker of a show too. The producers were generally really good about picking families who were particularly deserving of the gift they received. The homes themselves were always amazing and I rarely finished watching an episode without thinking to myself at least once: Why couldn’t it be me getting that?

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:13

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent of two or more, you’ve been through this experience before I imagine: One of your kids does something ugly to another of your kids. What do you do? You make them apologize for what they did. And what do they do? If your kids are like mine, they look disgusted at this instruction, and quickly mumble a meager, “Sorry,” whose inflection makes clear they’re not really sorry at all. And that’s okay, because the exercise of apologizing when you’ve done something wrong is what’s really important in that moment. But relationally speaking, that kind of apology doesn’t accomplish very much. It doesn’t with God either.

Read the rest…

A Slower Pace

This week was part five of our series, Simplicity: Finding Contentment in a Busy Life. Last week we started getting more practical about how to live a life of simple contentment in some specific situations. We started with our stuff. This week: Our time. In a world that is busy and chaotic and stressful, when we feel the pressure of life pushing in on us as we run from one thing to the next, how can we slow things down? With an ancient practice that is often misunderstood. Keep reading to find out what that is and what we can do with it.

A Slower Pace

Do you remember going on vacation as a kid?  I remember several different vacations we took.  I remember seeing Disney for the first time and marveling at the magic found there.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw Old Faithful erupt, or gaping in awe at the artistic wonder of Mount Rushmore.  Long will I treasure seeing the history of our nation preserved in the various Smithsonian Museums, sitting in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building, and walking the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg.  And the feeling of being small while standing at the base of the giant redwoods in King’s Canyon, California is one that will ever give me perspective on just how big the world is.  I really was privileged to get to go and see a lot of our incredible nation when I was growing up. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Joel 2:12, 14

“Even now — this is the Lord’s declaration — turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning…Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him, so you can offer grain and wine to the Lord your God.”
— ‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:12, 14‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

On occasion our youngest will do something ornery. He’s only five and a pretty sweet kid, so it’s not like he ever does but so much to get into trouble. But every now and then he’ll get out of line. Often on these occasions, we are more amused by what he’s done than upset and so we really aren’t looking to punish him. When he knows this he’ll grin really big at us with a little light in his eyes. He does this because he knows what’s coming. We smile back at him and say, “It’s a good thing you’re cute.” That’s a little like what we see here.

Read the rest…