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Articles on this Page
- 10/22/17--05:01: _Peace in the Madness
- 10/29/17--05:12: _Finding Faith In th...
- 11/05/17--05:12: _Why Me? The Legacy ...
- 11/12/17--05:27: _Celebration of Faith
- 11/19/17--05:32: _Words of Strength
- 12/03/17--07:55: _Is There Really a God?
- 12/10/17--05:04: _What’s God Up To?
- 12/24/17--05:04: _The Birth of God?
- 01/07/18--05:05: _O the Places We’ll ...
- 01/14/18--05:47: _WORD Of the Day: Th...
- 01/21/18--04:10: _WORD of the Day: We...
- 01/28/18--06:03: _WORD of the Day: Or...
- 02/04/18--03:56: _Word Of the Day: Re...
- 02/11/18--04:57: _Discipleship: or Mi...
- 02/18/18--04:11: _Never, Never, Never...
- 02/25/18--04:37: _Never, Never Give U...
- 03/04/18--04:57: _Never, Never Give U...
- 03/11/18--05:48: _Never Give Up: Doin...
- 03/18/18--05:11: _Never Give Up: Hope
- 03/25/18--05:23: _Never Give Up Celeb...
- 10/22/17--05:01: Peace in the Madness
- 10/29/17--05:12: Finding Faith In the Past
- 11/05/17--05:12: Why Me? The Legacy of Faith
- 11/12/17--05:27: Celebration of Faith
- 11/19/17--05:32: Words of Strength
- 12/03/17--07:55: Is There Really a God?
- 12/10/17--05:04: What’s God Up To?
- 12/24/17--05:04: The Birth of God?
- 01/07/18--05:05: O the Places We’ll Go … Vision 2018
- 01/14/18--05:47: WORD Of the Day: The Word of God
- 01/21/18--04:10: WORD of the Day: Welcome
- 01/28/18--06:03: WORD of the Day: Ordained
- 02/04/18--03:56: Word Of the Day: Relevant
- 02/11/18--04:57: Discipleship: or Misery Loves Company
- 02/18/18--04:11: Never, Never, Never Give Up: Your Dreams
- 02/25/18--04:37: Never, Never Give Up Learning
- 03/04/18--04:57: Never, Never Give Up Fighting
- 03/11/18--05:48: Never Give Up: Doing Good
- 03/18/18--05:11: Never Give Up: Hope
- 03/25/18--05:23: Never Give Up Celebrating
We live in what seems like a mad, mad world. We’re under threat of nuclear war (deja vu from the Cold War years), violence across the US is up up up, and the politicians are more interested in their rhetoric than they are in doing their jobs. And then there’s Christianity that says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Yeah, like that’s going to happen! This week we’ll explore the question Does Christianity really have the answers to personal peace?
It’s easy to think that faith is something we “think” about. “I believe in Jesus” is pretty easy to say, but if we’ve been in church much, we know there’s a whole lot more than that to it. For one, our own faith was built on the backs of others who invested in us. And, in turn, we’re investing in the faith of those who will come after us.The truth is, our faith is building the future. But what kind of future will that be?
Sometimes it seems like people in the Bible did some of the strangest things. To the dismay of all his neighbors, Noah built a huge boat in his own backyard. Abraham packed up everything he owned and left his perfectly good home to go live someplace … he just didn’t know where someplace was going to be. Crazy people? Some might think so. This week we’ll be checking to see if there was a method for their madness.
The Bible says that “Faith without works is dead” and “You show me your faith by your words, I’ll show you my faith by my works.” Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve looked at some of the heroes of the faith and the ways their faith have impacted us to this very day. And today, you and I have the opportunity to impact the faith of those who will come after us.
It’s about that time … the most gift-givingness time of the year. A time when everyone has so much to do that nobody has time for much of anyone or anything else. And yet, it’s the gifting season. Many people – perhaps most – are more concerned with giving the exact right gift than they are about getting the right gift. But God has given each of us the exact right gift. The question is, what will we do with that gift? In this week’s traipse through the scriptures, we’ll see if we can figure out what God has in mind for us.
Once upon a time, almost everyone believed in God … or at least they believed in “a” god. But in today’s culture, the number of people who either don’t believe in God or are unsure whether or not there’s a god is on the rise. As we march towards Christmas and the culture war about keeping Christ in Christmas and the “reason for the season,” it seems fitting to ask the question … is there really a God?
Last week the terrorists continued to terrorize. Nations continued to make war. There were multiple murders and rapes and kidnappings. Drug use was rampant. Nearly 17,000 families were torn apart by divorce in the US alone. And poverty, homelessness, and hunger was still rampant. It kinda makes you wonder what God is doing these days. And though we joke about Nero the Roman Emperor playing the fiddle while the city of Rome burned around him, this is no joke. What’s God up to these days? Just where are all those good and perfect gifts? In the midst of the Christmas season that’s supposed to usher in hope, peace, joy, and love, we’ll wrestle with this question as we continue our series on Who Is God??
The church makes a lot of hoopla about the birth of Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem. Angels, shepherds, kings, choirs, carols, and trees lit up with lights. It can all seem a bit over the top for a birthday. Unless, of course, it really is the celebration of the birth of God – but that doesn’t make a lot of sense either. In the final sermon of the Who Is God? series, we’ll wrap it all up by exploring who this Jesus guy really is.
Success doesn’t come easy anymore, if it ever did. We make New Year’s resolutions because we know we have to at least try and change our lives. We try to find some sort of balance between our work and families. And too often work feels more like we’re on a hamster wheel rather than a stairway to success. What if a church actually had answers to life’s toughest questions? What if success was literally just around the corner?
What is the Bible … really? How does a dusty old collection of 66 (or is it 73?) books, letters, and poems that was written over 2000 years ago have any relevance to our lives today? Sure, there are those undying principles like “Love your neighbor,” but every religion has that aphorism. But Christians claim it’s a special, holy, God-inspired, instruction manual for life. At Raytown Christian we’ve gone so far as to say its writings guide our every decision. This week, we’ll explore why we find the Bible so important to us.
He clearly didn’t fit in. His clothes were less-than clean; his hair less-than combed. His vocabulary was salty and education hadn’t been one of his closer friends. Whenever he opened his mouth, it became immediately apparent that he wasn’t from around here. His accent alone was enough to set him apart. But there it was: the sign said, “Everyone welcome.” He probably wondered what that meant. Perhaps he pondered whether everyone meant everyone. This week: What does it mean to be welcoming when someone clearly doesn’t fit in?
I remember the Revell model that drove me nuts. It was a plastic scale model of a Huey helicopter and I was excited about building it. The plans would walk me through the building process step-by-step. Except the scale model’s tiny little plastic engine was missing a part. An essential part. Without it, the engine couldn’t be seated properly in the body, which meant that there was nothing to attach the rotor blades to. What use is a helicopter without rotor blades? The Bible tells us that God has a grand plan and that you are uniquely created as a part of that plan. You’ve been created and chosen. You are essential. You are ordained by God for greatness.
For nearly 1500 years, the church Bible was literally chained to the pulpit. First, every Bible was pretty expensive, since they were individually hand copied. Second, every Bible was written in the language of the saints, and by saints I mean clergy. Although the common person spoke Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and so on, the church only spoke Latin. Father Martin Luther tried to change that, but at great cost. Over the centuries, lives have been lost by men and women who gave their all to ensure the Bible was readable and relevant. But are the commands and the promises relevant to us today? Does the church have relevant answers, or are we dispensing the equivalent of Old Wives’ Tales?
What’s the #1 best proven way to become wealthy? Believe it or not, it’s not by going to school and getting the right degree, though that won’t hurt. It’s not by listening to Dave Ramsey and attending Financial Peace, though that makes a lot of sense too. No, the best, most proven way to become wealthy is to hang out with the very wealthy. As you do, their thought patterns and behaviors will rub off on you. Hang out with them long enough, and it’s likely you’ll become wealthy too. For the church, there’s something to be learned here ...
Dream thieves are everywhere. Some teacher said, “You’ll never amount to much.” An ex-boyfriend or girlfriend scowled, “You’re not worth it.” Some boss said, “You just don’t have it in you.” And now the mirror says, “Who do you think you are?” Every advertisement tells you that you’re not good enough unless …” and who can afford all those “unless-es”? You had a dream … once upon a time. This week in The Conversation, we’ll talk about it.
There’s something attractive about being a Life-Long Learner. However, 80 percent of US families did not buy or read a single book last year. Maybe we’re all getting our information from Facebook! They say, “You gotta learn something new every day.” They also say, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” On the other hand, we’re all enjoying a religion that’s about 2000 years old. There can’t be too much “new” to have to learn. Right? In this week’s Conversation, we’ll explore why it’s so important that we never give up learning.
It all depends on your generation. Rosa Parks. Nelson Mandela. Gandhi. Occupy Wall Street. People standing up for what they believe is right. But for every person who stands up for what is right, there are others trying to maintain the status quo and trying to debunk those who would say otherwise. This week The Conversation looks at the questions: What is right? Who decides? And what’s our moral obligation?
How good is good enough? Does it count if I fudge a little here? Shade the truth a bit there? Upsell myself so I look better than I have? Does the end justify the means? If we’re too good, people resent us. No one likes the one who breaks the curve or sets the new production standard. It makes us all look inadequate. Just do enough to keep it real, isn’t that the ticket? This week’s Conversation takes a cold hard look at the Goody Two Shoes in our lives and asks, “Do we really want to be that person?”
Hope. It kept POWs alive in Vietnam. Hope. It kept Martin Luther King marching for freedom. Hope. It’s a powerful emotion that is at the bottom of healing – and without it, healing is too often completely impossible. Hope. And yet, hope is not a very good strategy. Behind hope there lies something intangible. In The Conversation this week, we’ll look under the hood of hope to see if we can figure out how it works.
For every Tigger, there seems to be a dozen Eeyores. For every optimist, there are three realists and nine pessimists. If you want to have a good time, there are always some people who will try pour cold water over it all. There’s so much bad news that we hardly know what to do when good news sneaks up on us. Ever wonder why that is? This week’s Conversation takes a stroll through the valley of the shadow of death to see if there’s anything worth celebrating.