Blogs from our ministers, elders, members, and occasional guests! 

Dwelling on the Book of Matthew

Last week I shared some insights I had found in the Gospel of Matthew.  I intentionally wrote very broadly.  I suggested this gospel was a collection of ANCIENT words that could have some powerful insight for a MODERN church.  You may have read this as an essay that was reacting to a current event here at West Main. It was not meant to be read this way! It was written from a “proactive” stance. I was hoping that as we read Matthew together and interpreted it in our own individual stories, we could find ways that we could apply it in our communal story one day in the future, when tensions do arise. There are no specific and pressing issues of division today, but we would be naive to think they will not come! My article was penned in terms of generality, not specificity. 


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A Necessary Sadness

I was hiking earlier this week in the woods on an absolutely gorgeous day.  Fingers of sunshine fanned the forest trees causing leaves to randomly fall dotting the trail I traveled.  I thought to myself, “How incredibly blessed is my life, how can I possibly feel sad?”  I then thought of all those Syrian refugees who suffer and risk their lives seeking the blessings I take for granted.  I thought to myself, “Terry, you have no right to feel sad.  Think of that Syrian boy who washed up on the shore dead.  Now that child had reasons to be sad.”  But is guilt the way to deal with sadness?


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Dwelling on the Book of Matthew

 

Lately, I have spent some time dwelling in the gospel account of Matthew.  I was reading it in order to seek ways that this gospel may speak to our modern church today. What I found was incredible. In the time spent pouring over these words, the message started to take on a very personal tone. In these words written so long ago, I began to hear a message that seemed to be written directly to me which was in turn applicable to the ministry context I find myself in, amongst the beautiful family here at West Main.


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How Much Does God’s Forgiveness Mean To You?

We all need forgiveness. In one way or another by someone somewhere at some time, we need to be forgiven.  None of us lives the way we ought to live every day in every way.  We all need to be forgiven, yet we all struggle to forgive.  Why is that? 


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Drop Four Anchors and Pray for Daylight!

In Acts twenty-seven, Luke tells the account of Paul’s journey to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.  Under guard of a centurion named, Julius, the apostle, along with 276 men, set sail on the Mediterranean Sea from Caesarea headed for Rome.  The trip at sea is beset by storms.  Paul advises his fellow travelers, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also” (Acts 27:10).  But Julius does not heed Paul’s warning, and despite the tempest at sea, they press on. 


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Be Angry But Sin Not!

We are instructed in Ephesians, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26).  The previous instructions on anger are easier said, than done.  Anger seems easy to feel, but hard to control. 


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Depressed People are Angry People?

I once read that depression is anger turned inward.  I thought at first to myself, “Is not saying depression is anger turned inward blaming the victim of depression?”  I mean it almost seems like piling more weight on an already emotionally burdened person. “You say you are depressed? Well, that is because you are angry at your own self!”


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Anxiety: An Invitation to Experience God’s Love

Scriptures about anxiety make me anxious.  Even as I am reading through the Bible I know certain anxiety verses are coming up.  I can almost feel myself gearing up for what I am about to read. 


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Wasting a Life

“It is a moment of light surrounded on all sides by darkness and oblivion. In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another just like it and there will never be another just like it again. It is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious it is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.”

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Accepting All Sinners–Especially You!

Recently I heard a lecture from a research psychologist who asked the question, “What is the number one cause of human misery?”  The answer offered: avoidance; specifically, the avoidance of feelings that prompt anxiety or fear. 


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