Morning Musing: James 1:2

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Years ago I read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The book was a combination of science fiction and medieval adventure. It should have been an easy sell for a great book. And it did end strong. But it took me just shy of forever to get into it. The beginning was as slow and dry as anything I’ve ever read. Most often, an author starts a book with some kind of compelling, attention-grabber that will get you quickly engaged and hungry for more. Similarly, if you’re going to include something hard in the book, you save that for later after the audience is already engaged with you. Not James. He socks us in the nose from the moment we get started. What are we supposed to do with this?

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The Resurrection Changes Everything

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Resurrection Sunday! We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead in style at First Baptist Oakboro. I wish you could have been there with us. Using the words of the apostle Paul to the believers in ancient Corinth as our guide, we spent some time reflecting on just why the resurrection is such a big deal. Also, this is running earlier today than it usually does and is in place of the usual Morning Musing. This will be the only post this week. It’s Spring Break in our house and we are enjoying some time away. See you next Monday!

The Resurrection Changes Everything

So, I love Monty Python.  That may tell some of you more about me than you wanted to know.  Meanwhile, others of you are thinking, “Who’s Monty Python?”  Monty Python was a British sketch comedy troupe popular in the 1970s.  The most famous member is comedian John Cleese, who has since had a pretty good film career in a whole variety of movies.  In addition to several different TV series, they also released a handful of movies.  The most well-known of these was Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Personally, I’ve watched that one enough times that it’s not very much fun to watch it with me because I say most of the lines right along with the actors all while laughing hysterically.  You can borrow my copy if I’ve gotten you curious.  In any event, one of their most famous sketches is called “The Spanish Inquisition.”  Let me play a little clip of this for you. 

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Corinthians 15:6-7

“Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Why make such a big deal about the resurrection? Isn’t it enough to simply believe it happened and not worry so much about whether it was a real, historical event? I mean, in a world of modern understandings of life and death, defending the supernatural is no mean feat. Couldn’t we get by simply focusing on the powerful idea of the resurrection? Ever wondered anything like this? Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: John 20:19

“When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? That’s one of those big questions that doesn’t seem so big until we really think about it for a minute. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then the whole of the Christian faith collapses into a giant heap which, frankly, isn’t worth even trying to rebuild. Of all the apologetic questions people ask about the faith, this one is by far the most significant. So again, how do we know? 

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The One Thing

This Sunday I focused my attention specifically on the graduates we were honoring.  If you’ve got a graduate in your life, this is a great message to share with them.  Even if you’re not a graduate, though, this is a message you need to hear.  In what follows I offer an answer to the question of how we can be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have in an increasingly non-Christian context.  Thanks for reading.

The One Thing

I don’t know about you, but new things always make me at least a little bit nervous.  I thrive in environments that are stable and consistent.  I can tolerate a little bit of change…a very little bit of change…but it’s got to be within preset limits.  Beyond that, I’m outside my comfort zone.  Perhaps the most nervous I have gotten at various points in my life is when I have started a new job.  I remember starting work at OfficeMax in seminary.  The first week was nice because I got to sit in the back office and take training courses on the computer.  They were functionally meaningless since I didn’t remember any of them once I left the room and in any event I learned everything I needed to know while I was actually doing it, but I did get to spend the whole first week hiding out.  Once I hit the floor, that’s when things got scary. Read the rest…