Mary and the Good Samaritan

Have you ever noticed the connection between the story of the Good Samaritan and Mary listening to Jesus (while her sister frantically rushed around the house)? Luke, led along by the Holy Spirit, put these stories right next to each other (Luke 10:25-42). In one instance, the religious guys were too busy to give any attention to an obvious ministry need right in front of them. In the other instance, the religious sister was too busy to notice the “one thing that mattered” under her own roof. In one instance, a Samaritan took time – much time – to make sure an injured...

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A Prayer for My Kids on the First Day of School

Father, As you well know, my children start school today. New year. New school. New friends. New teachers. New lunch room. New hallways. New grade. There’s a big part of me that is glad and thankful for all of this. There’s another big part of me that is anxious and scared. I am grateful for the summer we have had. I am grateful for the incredible school system. I am grateful for the teachers. I am grateful for the brand new facility. I am grateful for a few familiar faces. I am grateful for the education they are receiving. I...

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Pay Attention to Your Reaction

At the end chapter 9, Luke records four different reactions by potential Jesus followers. First, James and John want to call down fire from heaven when they see that they, nor Jesus, are welcomed by Samaritans. They were being rejected. The Sons of Thunder reacted by wanting to live up to their name and bring destruction from the sky (see Luke 9:51-56). Second, a very zealous man was told by Jesus to think twice before following Him. Being with Jesus wasn’t about comfort and ease and “the good life” (see Luke 9:57-58). Third, a man’s reaction to Jesus’ invitation to...

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Sermon Illustration: What if You Stopped Believing in God?

I recently read this article from Relevant magazine about the Christian music group Gungor. A comment Lisa Gungor made about her husband, Michael, stopped me in my tracks. In the article, Lisa talks about how her husband stopped believing in God. She proceeded to share how surprised he was about how his life didn’t change after he made his “atheist” declaration. Here’s the quote: “He didn’t become a different person,” Lisa recalls. “I think there was this idea in my head that once you don’t believe in God, now he’s gonna cheat on me and murder people. What [is he]...

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Why Do You Follow Jesus?

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.'” John 6:26 Take a few moments and evaluate your prayer life over the past 6 months or so. Evaluate the content of your prayers. Whether you prayed once in 6 months, or 3 times a day. What do you pray? When you communicate with God, what do you talk with Him about? Now. If someone were to ask you, “Why do you follow Jesus?” what would you say? Seriously. Consider it. Why do YOU...

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So My Dad Wrote a Book

Growing up in the home of a veterinarian is . . . umm. . . interesting. Before the days of cell phones, the main telephone in our home was the kitchen. That made for some funny/gross/sad/bizarre/can’tbelievewhati’mhearing moments while eating supper. Friends and family of my dad have pleaded with him for years to write down some of his unbelievable vet stories and capture them in a book. Well, he has. It’s called What a Way to Make a Living: Tales of a Small-Town Veterinarian. The title says everything you need to know. There is no “one quote” that sticks out...

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So My Mom Wrote a Book

Yep. My mom regularly blogs and writes articles as a travel writer here. But she also wrote a very interesting book on being a missionary. It is full of Pearsonality (see what I did there?) as only she can tell it. It’s called Telling it on the Mountain: 52 Days in the Life of an Improbable Missionary. One of the favorite things my momma likes to do is “tell it.” It may be good. It may be bad. It may matter. It may not. But one thing she’s gonna do is “tell it.” I promise you that. My parents were...

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So My Sister Wrote a Book

This is LOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGG overdue, but my big sister (Laura Baggett) wrote a book. It’s good. It’s short. It doesn’t take up too much time or clutter (you’ll get why that’s funny when you download and read the book). It’s a very helpful and strong challenge – especially for people like me who just have a bunch of stuff and don’t want to get rid of it. It’s called Making Room for Jesus: Getting Rid of Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical Clutter. One of my favorite quotes: So often, when I’m angry or frustrated, it’s not because of what someone else...

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What are You Going to do About It?

5 So when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” 6 He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.” (John 6:5-7) Have you ever been forced to stare down the barrel of an impossible situation? Have you ever been faced with an overwhelming circumstance? A cancer diagnosis? An impossible spouse? A lost neighbor? A difficult boss?...

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Sermon Illustration: Poking and Prodding at Human Longings

In preparation for this week’s message on Jesus feeding the 5,000 from John 6 (sign #4), I came across some incredible quotes from a chapter in Winn Collier’s Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions. See if you don’t agree: Jesus steadily asserted that our most profound hunger and thirst, the cravings that exert a compulsive influence over the person we become and the life we pursue and the dreams we clutch, can only be satisfied by eating and drinking him. During his ministry, Jesus poked and prodded at base human longings, suggesting that, properly recognized, they all point to God. We are hungry for...

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