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Thursday April 19th 2018

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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Hope Tempered With Tears

Hope Tempered With Tears

Back when I was being trained for pastoral counseling, the spirit of this verse was often emphasized: “Like vinegar poured on a wound, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” (Proverbs 25:20) In counseling, you’re taught a lot about listening, about empathy, but as much as anything, you’re taught not to tell a person in the pit of suffering: “The sun will come out tomorrow!” Most of the time, that’s not what they need to hear. They mostly need you to join them in their [...]

8 Questions: Why Spiritual Self-Examination Matters (sermon audio)

8 Questions: Why Spiritual Self-Examination Matters (sermon audio)

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Jesus once said that his disciples would know the truth, and that the truth would set them free. This sermon asserts that the truth we’re encouraged to know isn’t just the truth about God, but also the truth about ourselves. With as much honesty as we can muster, we must ask: Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want? Is there a difference between what I say I want and how I’m living my life? What does [...]

This Is My Father’s World

This Is My Father’s World

It seemed to me at the time that I had stumbled upon the Last Homely House. And once I’d arrived there, I never wanted to leave. That is…until I got a look inside. As much as the natural world outside the house seemed like Elrond’s Rivendell, the inside felt more like Gollum’s hellish cave. The current resident kept it very dark. Blankets over windows, few lights, low ceilings. The house reeked with the smell of cigarettes and dog urine. The walls were murky, the tile and [...]

My Head Is Bowed

My Head Is Bowed

My head is bowed. Not because I’m praying, but because I don’t want to trip over an unseen rock or protruding root. However, I don’t want to miss the larger view either. I want to look up as much as down. Which, is a good thing. I like this trail. It has natural variation in its straight paths and uphill grades. It moves from the deep embrace of forest to expansive views of the lake. It has a variety of flowers, plants, and trees. It’s long enough to challenge me and short enough [...]

Engage

Engage

It’s 28 degrees, but I’m not feeling it. Ok, I’m bundled up with my winter coat and knit cap, but I’m sitting when I should be moving and am still unaffected by the cold. My dog is at my feet, content to watch meandering cars go by. We’re stationary this morning on a sidewalk of brick, surrounded by quilting and chocolate shops, stores selling crafts and scrumptious food and drink. The light poles are wrapped with Christmas pine, ribbons, lights, and ornaments. Just beyond the [...]

Stop in the Name of Love!

Stop in the Name of Love!

We so often look for God's will on where we should go with our lives. But what about the times we need to stop? My sermon examines Acts 16:6-12 when God told Paul to stop. It reflects on how this account might apply to our own approach to sharing the Gospel with others and to our lives in general. *************************** About John Michalak An author, speaker, musician, and minister, John Michalak has spent more than 20 years equipping others in the areas of life-change and [...]

What’s Your Working Relationship?

What’s Your Working Relationship?

The precious possession of a man is diligence. -- Proverbs 12:27 Do you like what you do? According to recent surveys, most Americans don't. Most of us are unhappy and wishing we were somewhere else. Some of us are lazy. Others are unchallenged. Some can't get along with our co-workers. Others have a mean boss or feel under-appreciated for all they do. In truth, understanding our relationship to work is a fundamental life-question, and if we're not happy with what we do, this might be a [...]

Social Networking & The Golden Rule

Social Networking & The Golden Rule

I've always loved the old Spaghetti Westerns. Clint Eastwood rides into some frontier town covered with dust, mystery, and rawhide testosterone. The Old West town he surveys is riddled with the oddest mix of characters: the snake-oil salesman bellows to anyone within shouting distance that he can cure all their ills; the preacher across the street shouts a solution (more…)

Life Is Relationship

Life Is Relationship

Have you ever heard of Viktor Frankl? He was an author and psychotherapist who died about 9 years ago at the age of 92. Among his other accomplishments, he wrote a great book called Man's Search For Meaning. This book begins by showing the way Dr. Frankl would start out his therapy (more…)