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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Power of the Movement

https://vimeo.com/789780976 In Matthew’s telling of the temptation, the devil tempts Jesus three different times. He tempts him to quench his hunger by showing how powerful he is by turning the stones into bread. He tempts him to prove his invincibility and claim as the Son of God, to throw himself down from the highest point of the temple in the holy city. Until finally, the devil takes him to a high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil tells Jesus, “All these I will give you, if you fall down and worship me.” Three tests

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love and Serve Humanity

Today’s Monday Morning Joe falls on a hollowed day for me, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today is a day, we all collectively around the United States, honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Dr. King’s sermons highly influenced my theology and spiritual growth. He left a unique legacy built on challenging systems that kept people from advancing. He spoke out for worker’s rights, civil rights, human rights, voting rights, racial equity, financial equity, and for peace. Dr. King became publicly known for his “I Have a Dream”speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Follow the Star

There is an epilogue in the Christmas story that leads us into the life of Jesus. It is the visit of the magi or the visit of the wise men.  The wise men, or magi, are priestly sages from Persia. They are not kings, they are astrologers, watchers of the stars. They were familiar with the stars, and they knew that stars are predictable, forming constant patterns that never change. Because of their familiarity, it was obvious to them when something didn’t fit the pattern, a falling star, a meteor streaking across the sky, or a star rising out of

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love Awakes

During my third advent season as a pastor, Disney announced the release of a new Star Wars trilogy. It was a dangerous thing to do for a Star Wars fan like myself right before Advent was to begin. I felt like I was left with no other choice but to create an Advent theme around the new trilogy’s first release: The Force Awakens. I found my notes from that year the other day and I must admit that I had a good laugh. All four messages were borrowed from the original series from a New Hope Discovered to Joy in

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Finding Joy

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year, we are told. I know for some; Christmas can be a difficult time of the year filled with loneliness, depression, isolation, cold days, long nights, trauma, missing loved ones. It may seem strange think to take a moment and think about the theme of joy during difficult circumstances; but my memories tell me that joy can be found in the midst of suffering. Memories are a big part of Christmas for me. I have been fortunate enough to have wonderful memories of Christmas and one of my dearest memories takes places

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Waiting for Peace

The second week of Advent in the Christian church usually centers around the theme of peace. Peace on earth and goodwill towards all. As the old hymn proclaims, “Peace on earth, can it be? Years from, perhaps we’ll see the day of glory, the day when men of goodwill live in peace again.” Peace is a hard concept to talk about because peace carries different connotations for different people. Peace for most, peace is the absence of conflict, war, strife, and noise. Peace is quiet and renewing. It is gentle knowing that all will be well. A friend of mine

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: The Importance of Hope

This week in my faith tradition, we make a turn towards Christmas and enter a season of waiting called Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, followed by the 12 days of Christmas. It is a time of preparation, a time in which those who believe prepare themselves for the birth of Jesus.We wait at the manger with the shepherds, waiting for the arrival of this little one that will bring light into the world. During this time, we focus on four specific themes of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love. Churches

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Navigate the Darkness

We all have a movie scene, lyric, quote, or something similar that lives rent free in our heads. For me there are two: One is from Casablanca, and the other from the LOTR Two Towers. As the uruk-hai descend on Helms Deep, Theoden falls into hopelessness. He had hoped the stronghold would hold out and not fall, but as the hoard beats down the door, and death’s stench fills the room, he cannot help but let his hope fall into despair. He says, perhaps to know one, “So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?”  Aragorn responds,

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Shine the Light

I grew up in a culture that encouraged shining our light so others would see the goodness of God’s love. But that same culture got nervous when your light attracted a certain type of people or when it challenged the status quo. Being a light in a dark world can be scary because it shines on all the things we wish to keep covered up. It reveals that not all is perfect, that we all may need some grace, some kindness, and some compassion, and perhaps in need of a savior. And when you shine your light, the same people

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: We all have a Responsibility

What does scripture say about responsibility? https://vimeo.com/768144451 Here are a few key verses on responsibility to care, respect, and to be honest with your neighbors: “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.” Exodus 22:21-22 “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:34 “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the

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MONDAY MORNING JOE: Power of the Movement

https://vimeo.com/789780976 In Matthew’s telling of the temptation, the devil tempts Jesus three different times. He tempts him to quench his hunger by showing how powerful he is by turning the stones into bread. He tempts him to prove his invincibility and claim as the Son of God, to throw himself

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love and Serve Humanity

Today’s Monday Morning Joe falls on a hollowed day for me, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today is a day, we all collectively around the United States, honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Dr. King’s sermons highly influenced my theology and spiritual growth. He left a unique

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Follow the Star

There is an epilogue in the Christmas story that leads us into the life of Jesus. It is the visit of the magi or the visit of the wise men.  The wise men, or magi, are priestly sages from Persia. They are not kings, they are astrologers, watchers of the

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love Awakes

During my third advent season as a pastor, Disney announced the release of a new Star Wars trilogy. It was a dangerous thing to do for a Star Wars fan like myself right before Advent was to begin. I felt like I was left with no other choice but to

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Finding Joy

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year, we are told. I know for some; Christmas can be a difficult time of the year filled with loneliness, depression, isolation, cold days, long nights, trauma, missing loved ones. It may seem strange think to take a moment and think about

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Waiting for Peace

The second week of Advent in the Christian church usually centers around the theme of peace. Peace on earth and goodwill towards all. As the old hymn proclaims, “Peace on earth, can it be? Years from, perhaps we’ll see the day of glory, the day when men of goodwill live

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: The Importance of Hope

This week in my faith tradition, we make a turn towards Christmas and enter a season of waiting called Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, followed by the 12 days of Christmas. It is a time of preparation, a time in

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Navigate the Darkness

We all have a movie scene, lyric, quote, or something similar that lives rent free in our heads. For me there are two: One is from Casablanca, and the other from the LOTR Two Towers. As the uruk-hai descend on Helms Deep, Theoden falls into hopelessness. He had hoped the

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Shine the Light

I grew up in a culture that encouraged shining our light so others would see the goodness of God’s love. But that same culture got nervous when your light attracted a certain type of people or when it challenged the status quo. Being a light in a dark world can

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: We all have a Responsibility

What does scripture say about responsibility? https://vimeo.com/768144451 Here are a few key verses on responsibility to care, respect, and to be honest with your neighbors: “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.” Exodus 22:21-22

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Power of the Movement

https://vimeo.com/789780976 In Matthew’s telling of the temptation, the devil tempts Jesus three different times. He tempts him to quench his hunger by showing how powerful he is by turning the stones into bread. He tempts him to prove his invincibility and claim as the Son of God, to throw himself

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love and Serve Humanity

Today’s Monday Morning Joe falls on a hollowed day for me, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today is a day, we all collectively around the United States, honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Dr. King’s sermons highly influenced my theology and spiritual growth. He left a unique

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Follow the Star

There is an epilogue in the Christmas story that leads us into the life of Jesus. It is the visit of the magi or the visit of the wise men.  The wise men, or magi, are priestly sages from Persia. They are not kings, they are astrologers, watchers of the

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Love Awakes

During my third advent season as a pastor, Disney announced the release of a new Star Wars trilogy. It was a dangerous thing to do for a Star Wars fan like myself right before Advent was to begin. I felt like I was left with no other choice but to

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Finding Joy

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year, we are told. I know for some; Christmas can be a difficult time of the year filled with loneliness, depression, isolation, cold days, long nights, trauma, missing loved ones. It may seem strange think to take a moment and think about

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Waiting for Peace

The second week of Advent in the Christian church usually centers around the theme of peace. Peace on earth and goodwill towards all. As the old hymn proclaims, “Peace on earth, can it be? Years from, perhaps we’ll see the day of glory, the day when men of goodwill live

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: The Importance of Hope

This week in my faith tradition, we make a turn towards Christmas and enter a season of waiting called Advent. In the Christian tradition, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, followed by the 12 days of Christmas. It is a time of preparation, a time in

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Navigate the Darkness

We all have a movie scene, lyric, quote, or something similar that lives rent free in our heads. For me there are two: One is from Casablanca, and the other from the LOTR Two Towers. As the uruk-hai descend on Helms Deep, Theoden falls into hopelessness. He had hoped the

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: Shine the Light

I grew up in a culture that encouraged shining our light so others would see the goodness of God’s love. But that same culture got nervous when your light attracted a certain type of people or when it challenged the status quo. Being a light in a dark world can

Read More »

MONDAY MORNING JOE: We all have a Responsibility

What does scripture say about responsibility? https://vimeo.com/768144451 Here are a few key verses on responsibility to care, respect, and to be honest with your neighbors: “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.” Exodus 22:21-22

Read More »