Skip to main content

Life Lessons from Matthew



We've had a great summer here at Grace! I've been very impressed with our worship attendance. Thank you for your faithfulness in worship participation! We experimented this summer with a sermon series and special Bible study both focused on the Book of Genesis. I think the dual focus helped attendance in both the class and worship. The sermon series ends this week with the completion of the Joseph narrative (Genesis 45); the Bible study ends in a couple of weeks.

Our next worship series kicks off on Back to School Sunday, August 13: "Life Lessons from Matthew." Here's an outline:

August 13: Matthew 14:22-33
August 20: Matthew 15:10-28
August 27: Matthew 16:13-20
September 3: Matthew 16:21-28
September 10: Matthew 18:15-20
September 17: Matthew 18:21-35
September 24: Matthew 20:1-16

One of my favorite Christian authors is John Ortberg. Years ago he wrote a fun book called If You Want to Walk on Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. It recalls the amazing story of Peter and the other disciples on the boat in the middle of a storm. Already terrified, they really freak out when they see Jesus walking on the water toward them-- only they think he is a ghost. Jesus tries to assure them, but Peter is not convinced: "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water" (Matthew 14:28). Jesus simply says, "Come." Could you do that? Maybe after learning more about Jesus' vision for our lives, we'll have courage to step out of the boat.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…