Tell us plainly

"If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." (John 10:24) Have you ever been having a conversation with someone who's trying to beat around the bush? I don't know that there are many things that annoy me more than that. Just tell me what you want to tell me, don't try to hide it. Sometimes I will ask someone "What's the real question here?" when they're trying to ask me…

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I Need a Shepherd?!

I know very little about sheep. They are cute and fuzzy and make funny noises. I have sweaters because they have donated their fuzziness. They graze in fields. To me, all sheep look alike; I can’t tell them apart. I don’t know any more about the shepherds who take care of the sheep. I always assumed that being a shepherd involved things like feeding them and getting them safely from their pens and…

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Spit-Mud Face Mask

Today’s Gospel passage is one of my all-time favorite lessons to teach with kids - of all ages. It has such a terrific “yuck” factor that it simply captures their attention – and really invites them into the story. It’s the story, as recorded in John, of Jesus healing a man who has been blind since birth. Sounds pretty normal for a Bible story miracle, right? Except for the way that Jesus does it: he re…

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Drawn

“No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.” John 6:44 There is a beautiful truth that is hidden just beneath the surface of this verse; we must be DRAWN to Jesus. God is not behind us with a whip, but in front of us with open arms. But I’m not sure that even this gets to the depth of it. There are lots of reasons that people first…

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We can work with that

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Come, go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with…

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