‘Heartbeat of Southside’

Pentecost

  • June 8, 2020

Hands up – who knows what the word “Pentecost” means?  Anyone?  Anyone? I didn’t think so.  It’s not a word you use in every day, casual conversation.  It’s not even a word you hear very often in Church conversation either.  That stings a bit for someone like me who really enjoys church liturgy and the Christian calendar. Literally, Pentecost means “fiftieth day.”  If you recall from these past weeks, I’ve mentioned how the season of Easter lasts 49 days, which means that Pentecost marks the end of Easter.  It is a reminder that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead wasn’t an […]

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WEIRD

  • May 4, 2020

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.  And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.  The tombs also were opened.  And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and […]

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TOGETHER

  • April 3, 2020

Lockdown.  Shelter-In-Place.  Isolation.  Self-quarantine.  Who knew these would be terms in our vocabulary this time last month?  There’s one thing I can tell you about all those words – they all stink.  Postponing our weekly meetings and worship services due to the Covid-19 situation was extremely difficult for me to recommend to our church council.  And not just because of the 4th Commandment.  It’s because God made us to be physically together and near.  Involved in each other’s lives.  “One anothering” one another.  Ironically, our God-given design and desire for us to be together is a main reason why I […]

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SHOES

  • March 2, 2020

     The Apostles Creed begins with the declaration, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.” Christians all over the world have been reciting that statement of faith ever since the 8th century (an earlier version goes even further back to the 4th century).  It’s familiar even to those who aren’t Christians.  There’s something very basic and familiar about believing in the God who is Almighty and who created everything.       It’s probably because the very opening verses of the Bible tell us about God who existed before everything and lays out the […]

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LISTENING TO JESUS

  • February 1, 2020

     Between now and Easter, we will follow Jesus through Matthew’s account of the Gospel.  Maybe it would be more accurate to say “listen to Jesus” rather than follow Him because, in Matthew, Jesus talks a lot.  If you have one of those Bibles that highlights the words of Jesus in red, it’s easy to see that Matthew really wants us to hear Jesus.  One reason why he chooses to do this is illustrated in what happens to Jesus right after he’s baptized.      In chapter 4, we’re told Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the […]

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LONG STORY, BIG BOOK

  • January 9, 2020

When I was growing up, I remember being able to watch just about any baseball game and see Rollen Stewart.  You’re more likley to know him as the “Rainbow Man” or the “John 3:16 Guy”; that’s because Rollen would attend sporting events wearing a rainbow-colored wig, position himself so that he would be seen by the TV cameras, and hold up a handmade sign that simply said “John 3:16.” Despite Rollen’s very complicated and sad life, he did accomplish popularizing that one verse from the Bible.  It’s quite possible that folks who have little to no knowledge of the Bible […]

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IN THIS WAY

  • December 7, 2019

We’ve officially entered the time of year when traditions rule the day.  Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, large parts of our holiday season are already determined for us by traditions.  Those holiday traditions may be one of the reasons why many anticipate and enjoy this time of year.  Traditions are expected, well-worn, and free of unpleasant surprise; therefore, they are a great source of comfort in a very unpredictable world.  In a strange way, they empower and encourage us, giving us a sense of control in life we crave but very rarely get to enjoy. When Mary was betrothed […]

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“SING”

  • November 6, 2019

     October 31st is Reformation Day on the Christian calendar.  It’s the day we remember and celebrate how God used people like Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Peter Martyr, and Heinrich Bullinger (among many, many others) to rediscover and recover key Biblical truth that had been lost due to errors and abuses within Roman Catholicism.  When you hear about the Protestant reformers, it’s usually about how they taught that God saves us through our faith in Jesus Christ and Him only – and that all of this is the work of God’s grace.  However, what you may not know is […]

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GRATEFUL…STILL

  • October 1, 2019

     When it nears the end of the month and I get the email reminding me that I need to submit my article for our church’s newsletter, I often wonder what everyone would like, want, or need to read in this little space on a page.  I wonder what things I could write that would be informative, useful, helpful, or encouraging for us as a church for the month ahead.      As I’m on Day #2 of hip surgery recovery, I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t have a lot of informative, useful, helpful, or encouraging […]

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SWITCHAROO

  • September 3, 2019

      Recently during our Thursday evening Bible study, we took a look at Genesis 37:3-4 which says, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.  But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.”  The reaction of Joseph’s brothers seems understandable; they wouldn’t be the first siblings to resent another because they are “Daddy’s favorite” or “Teacher’s pet.”  However, as we […]

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