The First Eight Greek Words in the Gospel of Matthew

I am fascinated by the opening line of the Gospel of Matthew,

Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάμ.

Biblos geneseos Jesus Christ son [of] David son [of] Abraham

Matthew starts kicks off the New Testament with an echo of Genesis 1…that this is the Genesis of the story of Jesus who is of the right royal and ethnic lineage to be the Christ. That is profoundly simple and has been right under my nose my whole life.

We are Pastors, Not Prosecutors…Helping People Deal with the Ferguson Decision

As social media gets it deluge of people who think they know exactly what happened in the Michael Brown/Office Wilson grand jury, let’s be reminded that in times like this we are pastors, not prosecutors. We aren’t here to prosecute either side. We are here to walk alongside the wounded no matter which side ofContinue Reading

Thanksgiving and What Ancient Letters Teach Us About Being Thankful

It is no secret that ancient letters had a particular format much like we think of the format of personal letters today. I am not going to get into all of it right now but you can read more about that here if you are interested – Ephesians: Purpose, Background and Structure. One of theContinue Reading

4 Words that Connect Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 1 and Ephesians

Dueteronomy 6:4-9 is one of the most popular passages in the entire Old Testament. Those verses serve as instruction about intentionally passing on faith to the next generation before the Hebrews enter the promised land. There are four words in Deuteronomy 6 that are later echoed in Psalm 1 and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians…IContinue Reading

In Home Thanksgiving Bible Study

Many churches will cancel Wednesday evening Bible classes next week due to Thanksgiving. Instead of having class, we are giving out an in-home Bible study for people to do on their own or as a family. I am uploading it here in case that is of any help to any churches or people who areContinue Reading

Leadership, Clarity and When To Plan the Fifth Step…

We often can’t see what will happen at step 5 until we are on step 3. But we often hesitate to take step 1 until we think we know what step 5 is. So go ahead and plan…be responsible and give it your best shot but also realize that step 5 cannot be seen clearlyContinue Reading

The Unusual Question the Sailors Asked Jonah and What it Tells Us About God

Read these verses from Jonah 1:4-8 and see if you pick up on the unusual question they ask Jonah, Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.Continue Reading

Democratizing the Priesthood

In 1 Peter 2:4-10 Peter shares some thoughts about our identity in Christ. One of the things he says in those verses is that the recipients of his letter are a “royal priesthood.” He is not saying the elders are or the ministers are or some special class of people. Peter is saying that ChristiansContinue Reading

God has Better Plans…How God Snatched Victory From the Hands of Defeat

Over the past few months we planned a couple of events to impact our community. We had spent countless hours planning, preparing, praying and getting things ready. The first event, our Fall Festival, went off without a hitch. We had several hundred people from our community at the building and families had a great timeContinue Reading

Fear Driven

How many of choices, votes, habits, relationships are driven by fear? How many decisions to follow Jesus and baptisms are a vote against hell rather than a vote for Jesus…fearing what might happen if we don’t? How many things do we do or buy or think about because we think there is scarcity and weContinue Reading