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Photo Credit: JayLaffin via Compfight cc

Given that the podcast is now on iTunes I figured it was time for a new installment. The fifteenth, to be exact. In this episode I talk about the need for those who will come alongside the people of the world and tell them the old, old story of the gospel in a new and living way, just like Jesus did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. So open your Bible to Luke 24 and dive in.


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What’s new?

July 14, 2015 — 3 Comments
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Photo Credit: MynameisDM via Compfight cc

Good news!

The In Search of the City podcast is now live on iTunes. I’m hoping this will increase exposure and make it easier for certain people to listen. Go check it out when you get a minute, and if you have time, leave a rating or review. From what I know this will help get the word out.

Also, have you noticed the new In Search of the City logo? Just scroll up a few bars if you haven’t seen it yet (Email readers: you may need to allow images in your inbox to make the logo appear in your browser). I thought after three years it was time for a fresh look, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the new design. Continue Reading…

One Day

June 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

This is a simple poem I wrote in memory of my dad on Father's Day. Perhaps it will resonate in some way with you. If not, maybe you'll just think it is nice. Either way, I offer it here for your reading pleasure along with a musical adaptation of Psalm 23.

memories

ONE DAY

You took your leave from us five years ago.
So long, it seems.
But you are still with me. I sense you.
I have memories, yes, but the sense is stronger. Deeper. The memories only serve to heighten it.
You are still with me, as much, or more, than before.
Yet I miss you. Continue Reading…

As you can probably tell from the recent slow-down in blog production, I've been busy. Work, family, garden--you know, all those things you stay busy with yourself. But I ran across this quote from Karl Barth (shared by a friend on Facebook) that I thought you might enjoy.

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Photo Credit: RvB3nS via Compfight cc

“I have been asked to reply in a kind of testimony to the
question what Jesus Christ is for me. The request jolted me at
first, for I felt reminded painfully of the earlier question of
Pietists and the present-day question of theological
existentialists. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: Oh Kaye via Compfight cc

Once, I was part of an informal group of Christians who came across another informal group of Christians who were meeting in a different part of town. Upon finding one another, we began to cross-pollinate and attend one another’s gatherings. Eventually someone floated the idea that we should merge our respective groups and meet together as one, if only on occasion.

So we tried, and we failed. We had some good times, but in the end the merger just would not “take.” This despite the fact that there were people in both groups who had a passion for unity and for the Church to assemble around Christ alone.  Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: powelli via Compfight cc

It’s been a while, but a new episode of the podcast is finally ready.

The subject this week is “The blessedness of the un-offended,” or “How to be hurt without being offended.” It is a brief and engaging look at the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist.

Here are the scriptures referenced in this episode: Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: royalflusher via Compfight cc

For years I have dreamed of a new New Testament, one that immerses the reader in the first-century story more than any other Study Bible or commentary has yet to do. I’m pleased to see the recent move toward more Chronological study Bibles and “Story” versions of Scripture void of chapter and verse, but I still feel like the best is yet to come.

A few people are moving in this direction. Frank Viola has written his Untold Story of the New Testament Church (I even hear there is a new version in the works). Gene Edwards did some work along similar lines before him. Bill Heroman is working like a dog between deliveries (he’s an amateur historian/truck driver) to delve into first century history, memory chronology, narrative theory, ect. Then of course there is a plethora of scholarly material one can use to piece together various strands of early Christian tradition. But again, I still feel like the best is yet to come.  Continue Reading…

Here is another article from my foray at House2House magazine on the practice of giving among Christians in simple church settings.

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Photo Credit: Lubori via Compfight cc

It goes without saying that the practice of giving is good. “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” the Lord is attributed by Paul as having said (Acts 20:35). Certainly we can all agree on that.

It is tempting, however, once you have discarded the obligatory “ten percent” mindset of institutional Christianity, to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” and forgo all intentional giving. But this tendency is mostly reactionary and is not characteristic of the Spirit of Christ.

Sure, “tithing” (as commonly taught and practiced) is not a New Testament concept. In fact, there is not a shred of evidence that the first century churches practiced a ritual weekly offering of ten percent of their income. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Compfight cc

You are probably familiar with Jesus’ teaching on the vine. Here is the passage from John’s gospel:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:1-6)

Last week, as I was pruning a peach tree in my backyard, this passage came to mind. I always enjoy pruning a tree or shrub, and I find that meditating on Jesus’ words while doing so provides deeper insight into their meaning. Continue Reading…

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Photo Credit: CDReilly via Compfight cc

“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.” — Jesus

It’s been a while since my last podcast, but a new episode is fresh off the press and ready to go.

In this message I explore the two types of people to whom Jesus said the Kingdom of God belongs, and what that means for us today. I also talk about the two ways Scripture says that a person can “see” and “enter” into the Kingdom of God.

This episode is shorter than previous ones. I hope you enjoy it. Continue Reading…