Anyone feeling anxious these days? When fear, anxiety, and worry get the best of us, we can find ourselves immobilized and unable to act. We might even behave in ways that are immoral. But fear doesn't have to control us. In this message, Rev. Brandon Blacksten explores how Jesus' disciples responded to fear and what we can learn from their example.
When we go through events like a global pandemic, we desperately want things to be different than they are. Yet if we don’t learn to take life as it comes, we will always be waiting for our real lives to begin, and God’s desires for the world through us will go unrealized. In the stories of the Babylonian Exile and the early church, the Bible teaches us how to take life as it comes so that we can experience the abundant life that Jesus offers to all.
Americans are fond of the Bible, but most rarely read it. We lead busy lives, and the Bible can be a difficult book to understand. But when we read the Bible, we encounter the living Word of God--Jesus Christ--and we learn to walk with him. In this sermon, Rev. Brandon Blacksten shares practical ways you can approach the Bible to encounter God in its pages.
The beginning of marriage is exciting, but it's also challenging--particularly when you realize your spouse's habits, expectations, and dreams are much different than your own. And when children enter the picture, everything else goes out the window as we just try to get by. But when we clothe ourselves with the character of Jesus, we can learn to navigate difference and conflict so that we're able "to love and to cherish" one another for a lifetime.
The season of Christmas lays bare the deepest longings of our heart, and in a world of violence, division, and suffering, we’re desperate for hope. In the 8th century BC, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the birth of a ruler who would establish peace and rule with justice and righteousness, and who continues to give us hope today.
For some moments, "Wow" is the only word we can muster. Yet we find it difficult to stop and notice the beauty of the world around us. When we practice stillness with God and cultivate our sense of wonder, we can experience the glory of God that suffuses the world and gratefully pray, "Wow!"
We all want to be more grateful, but it's often difficult. Yet when we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God, we can't help but feel grateful. And as we develop a rhythm of thanking God, gratitude fills us with joy and changes the way we experience the world.