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Bulletin Blurbs


I recently discovered an article entitled, “McChurch” that was really challenging, but not in the way the author intended. The article was written out against the modern state of the Church in the United States and the way that Christians are simply abandoning truth to go where they hear something they like. It conjured memories of many Bible classes that I have listened to throughout my whole life—lessons where we as “true Christians” were contrasted to those dastardly denominationals. We were exhorted for holding to truth, standing firm, and being bold. We were a real church, not a “have it your way” social club.

But, then I got to thinking. Sometimes we are guilty of the same things. Often, we are wonderful at listening to things we do well and condemnations against things we don’t struggle with. But far too frequently we as individuals are guilty of this “McChurch” approach to our faith. We avoid reading the challenging passages demanding us to be peacemakers, and instead yell our opinions on social media. We avoid the passages calling us to radical and self-sacrificial love, as we choose to harbor hate toward others. We withhold our eyes from passages that call us to live with philoxenia (love of the other), while fleeing from those we feel are broken. Radical giving, true sacrifice, merciful living, complete forgiveness, and Christ-like kindness are often overlooked in our haste to make Christianity far more manageable. But that kind of faith is not real.

Christ wants my faith, not mcfaith.

~ Bishop








































































































Good morning!

Once again, I’m happy that all of you are here this morning! As you read this, I am likely in Henderson, Tennessee for the annual FHU Lectureship. I look forward to seeing you in person again this time next week! It’s always an encouraging thought to know that, though I’m 716 miles away, we’re both worshipping the same God on the same day. Though we’re apart, we’re all part of the same family.

It’s hard to believe we are already a month into this New Year. It seems like every February, I have that overwhelming feeling that time really goes by too quickly. I want to express what we discussed last Sunday at our youth devotional. Often in our New Year, we discuss new beginnings and how, if the last year was not our best, we can “turn over a new leaf” this New Year. Well, now we’re 1/12 into the year 2014, and my guess is we’ve all fallen to a sin or temptation at some point. We’ve all proved that we aren’t perfect. Luckily, God does not measure time in years, months, weeks, etc. like we do. We always have the opportunity to change for the better.

David, after being confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, wrote the 51st Psalm. In verses 10-12, he prays this: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

We, like David, can and should pray this prayer. Unfortunately, we are imperfect. We have a Heavenly Father who understands that, and sent his perfect Son to die for us, so that we have a chance to come back to him, have our hearts made clean, and have our spirits renewed, not at the start of each new year, but whenever it is needed. Isn’t it a blessing to be a child of God?!