Luke 11-15

Continuing our journey through the book of Luke!

Jesus teaches us how to pray, verses 1-13
Luke shares his version of the Lord's prayer, and it's pretty similar to the one we find in Mathew. The focus is still the same:

1. God is both father, yet is holy and other than this world. It is important to remember that God can be both of these things, because, well God is God.
2. We need to trust God with our past, present, and future: forgive our sins - past. Give us each day, our daily bread - present. Lead us not into temptation - future.
3. We are told we need to ask for forgiveness and to forgive! This is a key part of God's design for the world.

The Sign of Jonah, verses 29-32
This seems like an odd story, what is the sign of Jonah that Jesus is talking about? Jonah was in the belly of some sea beast for three days and nights. This part is foreshadowing Jesus death and resurrection. It is also a condemnation of the Pharisees who will not repent and turn to God because of Jes…

Luke Chapters 6-10

Shall we continue our journey through the gospel of Luke?

Luke 6:1-11 Jesus Stirs Up Trouble
This is a quite remarkable passage as Jesus, a Jewish man, challenging the law about the Sabbath, "Why are you breaking the Sabbath law?" Is what the Pharisees ask him (Pharisees were not an official part of the priesthood but were focused on keeping the law. They believed that the reason the Roman's were oppressing them is that certain folks were ignoring the laws. This is one reason that Jesus makes them really angry). The point here is that Jesus cares more following God and having a heart for God than the law itself. Our cautionary tale today is that we need to focus more on following Jesus than on fulfilling what we think is 'religious.'

Luke 6:12-16 Jesus Choose the disciples
Just want to take a moment that before Jesus makes a big decision before he chooses his team, he spent the whole day in prayer! We should definitely model this practice of going to God before dec…

Thoughts from the first five chapters of Luke

Last week I challenged people to read the book of Luke over the next month, and I am very excited about that! I am now realizing the challenge, however, of blogging over 5 chapters of the Bible! I am going to hit some highlights, feel free to comment below if you have thoughts or questions.
First of all, Luke is actually book 1 of a saga that also includes Acts! Many people call it Luke-Acts because it was probably meant to be read as one continuous story (hmm maybe we should read acts together next...). 
Chapter 1 "I have also decided to write a carefully ordered account for you, most honorable Theophilus."
Theophilus is probably an honorific and it means friend of God or beloved of God. It is debated whether the book is written to an actual person or to all believers whom Luke is calling friends of God.
The story of the birth of John the Baptist recalls stories in the Hebrew text that are similar such as Sarah and Abraham with the birth of Isaac (Genesis 18) and Hannah with…

A New Challenge!

A new year and a new challenge! In addition to getting back on track with my blogging, I am adding in a challenge for you and me. At Rockbridge Church, we are in the middle of a sermon series "The Bible Doesn't Say That" where we look at some popular Christian sayings that are not a part of scripture. That got me thinking that we need to spend more time in scripture so that we know what is actually in scripture! So here is my challenge and I will be participating too: read the gospel of Luke over the next month. I will be using my blog to discuss a portion of it each week with you (on Tuesdays). I believe in starting with a gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) because they are the foundation of everything that we believe as Christians. If you would like to read along, here is your reading plan:

By January 30 - Chapters 1-5
By February 6 - Chapters 6-10
By February 13 - Chapters 11-15
By February 20 - Chapters 16-20
By February 27 - Chapters 21-24

I am excited about goi…

Jesus' Down-to-Earth Love

I am very excited to begin our Advent series based on Mike Slaughter's and Rachel Billup's book called Down To Earth (Mike used to be the pastor at Ginghamsburg Church as lead pastor, Rachel is Ginghamsburg's Executive Pastor). This book has inspired our sermon series as we look at Jesus' down to earth qualities: love, humility, lifestyle, and obedience. This week we focus on Jesus' wonderful, world-changing love!

If I were to write the book on my expectation of who the son of God would be, that person would probably look like Alexander the Great, Augustus, or Winston Churchill. Great leaders who, according to human standards achieved great things. Yet, what they did pales in comparison to Jesus. He was born to a poor family and was a refugee from a powerful tyrant who desired his death. He walked everywhere he went and never wrote anything down. And he definitely never used force or violence to achieve his goals. Jesus saved our planet of this by world-changing, l…

Be the Church Sunday

It was early in my ministry career and I came across an idea in outreach magazine: cancel worship and get out into the community to do projects. It seemed like a great way to both love neighbor as you love yourself AND to make disciples.

Fast forward to my appointment this year as the pastor at Rockbridge Church and it just so happens that Rev. Wade Killough, the founding pastor at Rockbridge, had started a Be the Church Sunday. The idea was the same! One more reason that I love my appointment at Rockbridge and that we are such a good fit.

It may seem like a crazy idea, to go out into the community on a Sunday morning! What if people get mad that you don't have worship? What if a visitor shows up? Why are we doing this? I wanted to take a few moments today and explain BTC, why we do it and why you should participate!

1. Be the Church Sunday is a gathering of local churches in Cedar Park and Leander. For 2 Sundays out of the year, we live out our call to serve others by leaving the…

When faced with evil.

I have to say that when I first heard about the shooting in Sutherland, Texas, that I started to panic. What if this were to happen to my church (for those that don't know, I am the pastor of Rockbridge Church in Cedar Park)? I still have not figured out the answer to that question, and honestly, whatever the answer is, I hope I never have to put it into practice. Right now my heart is broken for this small Texas town and First Baptist Church. My heart is broken for the families who lost loved ones, especially those who lost children to this horrific attack. My heart is even broken for this young man who chose to execute people in a church. My heart breaks for our country that has more gun violence than it should.

I am not going to get into any policy suggestions because frankly, I do not know the answer to how we stop having nearly as many mass shootings as we have days in the year. I do want to be a part of the solution. So I am going to pray, invite dialogue and see where we ca…