Digging in Deeper: Matthew 1:20

“But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

What are you afraid of? That was actually a topic of conversation in my vehicle the other day. The list included a pretty standard set of things: spiders, snakes, mice, insects, and the like. Any of those on your list? Perhaps, but I’ll bet you have some other things on there as well; things that are bigger, harder for you to precisely define, and possess more control over your life than any of the cliched list. The good news is, you don’t have to live with this. Joseph didn’t either.

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The Secret to Mattering Most

This past Sunday morning we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called Being Useful. That’s something we all want, isn’t it? We want to be able to confidently say that we have made a difference in the world. Our heart pulses with that beat. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be examining the character that will guarantee we reach our goal in the areas that matter most. I look forward to going on this journey with you. Thanks for reading.

The Secret to Mattering Most

Let’s start this morning with a quick pop culture survey for you.  Shout it out if you know the answer.  What do Dude Perfect, PewDiePie, HolaSoyGerman, and elrubiusOMG all have in common?  They are all YouTube stars.  PewDiePie leads the pack with 96 million subscribers to his YouTube channel.  The other three all sit north of 35 million, with Dude Perfect leading the second-tier pack at over 42 million.  A lot of subscribers translates into a lot of money because of the way YouTube shares ad revenue with its viral video producers.  In 2018, Forbes Magazine reported that the highest grossing YouTube channel was not actually one of the top 10 by subscriber totals, but rather Ryan ToysReview.  This seven-year-old whose channel started when he was four and features him playing with toys…really, that’s it…made him (and his proud parents) $22 million.  The Dude Perfect channel—which is produced by some friends from Texas A&M whose stated goal is to glorify Christ in all they do—made $20 million.  That kind of income allows them to keep making videos like this one as their full-time job. 

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Full Contentment

Having a life of meaning available to us is one thing. Living a life of meaning is something else. One can lead to the other, but the connection is not automatic. In this final installment in our series, Finding Meaning, we talk about the secret of not just having, but living a life filled with meaning and purpose. Keep reading to find out as we wrap up this thought-provoking journey.

Full Contentment

One of the things I have actively encouraged you guys to be doing is spending daily time in the Scriptures.  This is something I’ll keep encouraging and keep encouraging and keep encouraging because of how utterly transformational this practice is to the life of faith.  You simply cannot be a consistent, faithful follower of Jesus without regularly engaging with the Word of God.  It’s just not how it was designed to work.  And so you know that I’m not just saying you should be doing this without actually doing it myself, this past week I was working my way through Genesis 2-3 and I read something there that when I sat down to start working on this message came rushing to the front of my brain.  It was one of those cool times when God makes a connection between two different ideas in the Scriptures written by different authors living in different cultures separated by centuries of time that you just wouldn’t have made without Him.  The original thought struck me enough that you may have seen it on my blog this past week if you follow me there.  All of those entries, by the way, come out of my own quiet time.  If you ever want to know what I’m reading at the moment, it’s all right there for you.  I just want you to know that I’m in this with you. 

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Morning Musing: Genesis 2:7

“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The story of creation has attracted its fair share of attention over the years…probably more than that actually. Most of the focus is on how to understand what the “days” mean and whether we should understand them literally, figuratively, or in some other way. There’s certainly a time and a place for those discussions, and they aren’t without significance importance, but I don’t want to go there in this post. Instead, for just a minute, let’s set aside the technicalities and look at the beauty of what was happening here.

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When Life Feels Empty

This past Sunday we kicked off a brand new teaching series called Finding Meaning. For the next few weeks we are going to walk through some highlights of the collection of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible we call Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes, the wisest man who ever lived records some personal thoughts on his own efforts to find meaning in life. Through his reflections we can learn a great deal about where to find it in our own. First, though, we need a foundation from which to build this structure of ideas. That’s what we did yesterday. If we are going to find real meaning in our lives, where do we start building? Keep reading to find out.

When Life Feels Empty

So…the Patriots won the Super Bowl.  Again.  I’ll just say: They’re really good.  More specifically, Tom Brady is really good.  Bill Belichik is really good.  They managed to bring just what they needed to beat every opponent they faced in the playoffs.  Every time.  Now, the result was the most boring Super Bowl game ever, but I’ll bet you didn’t hear any complaints to that effect in the locker room after the game.  A Super Bowl win is a Super Bowl win even if it’s boring.  The thing that drives so many folks crazy about the Patriots isn’t just that they are really good.  The Los Angeles Rams and even my Kansas City Chiefs were really good this season and they didn’t drive anybody crazy.  The same goes with the New Orleans Saints.  No, the thing that gets under the skin of so many folks is that they’ve been good for so long.  This was the sixth win for Patriots and their ninth Super Bowl appearance just in the last 19 years.  In other words, they’ve been to the Super Bowl basically every other season for the whole of this millennium. 

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