Tag Archives: Discipleship

Wrestling with God, Seeking Justice

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The Transcript:

Our texts this week comes from Genesis 32 and Luke 18.

Genesis, Jacob wrestles with  God through the night and in the morning he asks to be blessed. Jacob’s name is blessed and is transformed (changed) to ‘Israel’ meaning ‘one who has wrestled with man and God and has prevailed’. But, he also walks away with a limp.

In Luke, Jesus tells a parable about an unjust judge, who doesn’t have fear or reverence or awe or respect for God nor does he for humans. But, because of the tireless persistance of a widow he does the right thing in her case.

I was home this last week in Arizona and I simply posed the question to my sister (Amanda), ‘do you wrestle with God?’.

She said “All The Time”.

I said “you know, I wonder how often we wrestle with God about who we are, who we’re called to be, and what we are called to do”.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Sermon Summaries


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Discipleship: Neat Box or Muddled Mess?

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Our texts today comes from 1 Kings 19, Galatians 5, and Luke 9.

All our texts are about discipleship whether its the call into, the challenges of, or the importance of stick with discipleship. We live in a time when people may say ‘I consider myself to be Christian and believe in Christ’, yet their lives don’t mirror the teachings of Christ. And increasingly, the world is demanding ‘don’t tell me your a Christian, but show me’. That is discipleship.

We live in a time when we are expected to take your lives, divide it up, and to neatly organize it OCD labeled boxes. One box may be “Religion” where we keep our beliefs and our practices and where we try to confine God, Godself.  Other boxes may be “Family and Friends”, “Work”, “Politics”, and “Play”, but as convenient as that may seem when we do that our boxes seem to be in tension with one another. We seem to be two-faced, hypocrites, and unauthentic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Sermon Summaries


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Expectations Meeting the Counter-Cultural Jesus

I made a mistake last Sunday. I mentioned that the disciples had been arguing about who was the favorite and asking Christ to favor them, but last week the disciples seemed to “get it”. Well, I thought we had already had this text. The asking Christ to place them in positions of favor is our text today. But, that is ok. It reminds us that discipleship is not always a linear progression or growth… sometimes we take a few steps back.

We are in the year of (the gospel of) Mark. Mark is the “simple” gospel, there is not much added detail. In (the gospels of) Matthew and Luke, the added details theologize, or add a theological significance to, the narrative. But, Mark is extremely intentional in structure and loves to “sandwich” narratives in order to pound the desired message into our heads. We are in such a sandwich.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Sermons


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The Shared Burden of Discipleship

Text: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

A final recap of this discipleship “mini-series”:
Discipleship is our participation in the Triune God’s dance.
Discipleship has the unpleasant reality of risks, including opposition, isolation, and conflict.
Discipleship demands that we feed, tend, and love the entire creation, including all people.

This picture of discipleship is not glamorous and has not been shown in the best light. However, I want each of us to pause and take a deep breath. I want you to breath in the gospel and hear Christ’s words again:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Sermons


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Feed & Tend: The Demands of Discipleship

Text- John 21: 15-19

Let’s recap:
On Trinity Sunday, I mentioned discipleship as our participation in the Trinity’s dance.
Last Sunday, I shared the unpleasant realities of discipleship.

This Sunday, our texts are easier to embrace but perhaps not easier to live.

Can you imagine this conversation between Christ and Peter? I can.

Christ asks, “Peter, how much do you love me?”
Peter replies, “I love you a lot.”

“Ok, Peter, prove it.”
“Anything, Lord, just name it.”

“Peter, feed and tend my lambs and sheep?”
“But, Lord, what lambs and sheep? You are not a shepherd.”

“Metaphor, metaphor, metaphor. Remember, Peter, I am the Good Shepherd. The people are my lambs and my sheep.”
Peter, embracing his name by being as dense as a rock, “Of course, who all are your people?”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Sermons


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The (Unpleasant) Realities of Discipleship

Romans 6: 1b – 11
Matthew 10: 24 – 39

Last Sunday (Trinity Sunday), I suggested that our participation in the Trinity’s dance was discipleship. Well, discipleship is the reoccurring theme this morning, next Sunday, and the Sunday after that.

Our text this morning, however, does not paint a glamorous picture of “accept Jesus and all your problems will magically disappear”. Our texts, instead, are painting an unpleasant, yet realistic picture of “follow Jesus and your hardships may multiple”. But, perhaps we should pause and take a few steps back.

Matthew’s tenth chapter opened with Jesus summoning the disciples, who he gave the authority (or power) to exercise unclean spirits and to heal all illness; but with great power comes great responsibility. These disciples are personally responsible for Jesus’ mission of proclaiming the gospel, the good news, to the lost sheep. Yet, Jesus warns them that this mission is not always easy or pretty, but instead of sugar-coating it he offers the down-and-dirty worse-case-scenario. We enter the text at this “reality check” of a discipleship guided by the gospel in opposition to our worldly powers (that be).   Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Sermons


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The Toil + Fruits of Discipleship

Text(s): Galatians 5:1, 13-25 and Luke 9:51-62

In the memories of the recent past the heart of Gilbert was agriculture. During the 1920s, the town of Gilbert was internationally recognized as the “Hay Capital of the World”; however, the agricultural presence diminished throughout the decades. As a country girl and a farmer’s daughter to whom Gilbert is home, I cherish those precious moments of admiring the fields and dairies while traveling Elliot Road; however those moments are gone with the wind.

Agriculture is “more than cows and plows”, a slogan of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America. Agriculture has been transformed through out the eras with the development of progressive techniques and the invention of agricultural machinery. American agriculture in the 18th century survived by the calles upon the hands of the farmers and their horsepower, and the horsepower was four-legged not miles per hour. However, during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, American agriculture has been blessed with progressive machinery including the plow, the reaper (or harvester), and the gasoline tractor. The American farmer, in the year 1994, embraced satellite technology, which enabled the modern farmer to track and plan their farming practices. However, the challenges toiled and the products reaped have remained untouched by the hands of time.

Christian Discipleship, likewise, has been transformed throughout the eras with the establishment of the churches and the spiritual practices to deepen our faith. With the invention of the Printing Press in 1463, the human experience and the Christian Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Sermons


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