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Showing posts from January, 2018

Sermon, "Why: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" Job 1:6-22, Romans 8:18-28, 31-32, 35-39

Sermon 1/28/18 Job 1:6-22, Romans 8:18-28, 31-32, 35-39

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

One of the most challenging questions of faith that people have is the question of suffering. This question comes in a variety of forms: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is God punishing me or my loved one? If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world? If God is all-powerful, why didn’t God prevent this terrible tragedy? How can we say God is loving if God lets such evil things happen in the world? These are all variations of the same basic faith questions about good, evil, suffering, and the nature of God. Wrestling with these questions and getting nowhere is a stumbling block to the faith of many who seek to be disciples of Jesus. It’s often very personal experiences that bring us to the center of this struggle. You cannot get very far in this life without experiencing for yourself or a loved one suffering that feels senseless, baffling, and so hurtful you cannot imag…

Sermon, "Why: Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayers?" Luke 11:1-13

Sermon 1/21/18 Luke 11:1-13
Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers?

Are you a praying person? Do you feel like God answers your prayers? Have some of your prayers gone unanswered? As a young teen, I experienced the most powerful sense that my prayers meant something to date. I was at Camp Aldersgate, attending Senior High Creative Arts Camp. Our director, Bobbi, was pregnant, in her first trimester. She was a bit older than a “typical” first time parent, although honestly I say that from my teenage perspective – I’m not sure how old she was really, and I’m sure she was younger than I am now. But I know she was very anxious about the pregnancy. And while we were at camp, she experienced some spotting, and she had to leave to go to the hospital and get checked out, and it was clear, she was distraught and fearful. We were a small group of Creative Arts campers that week, and we pulled together, and we prayed, and prayed, and prayed for Bobbi and her baby. And when Bobbi came back from the hosp…

Sermon, "Why: Why doesn’t God speak to us like God speaks to people in the Bible?" Genesis 12:1-9

Sermon 1/14/18 Genesis 12:1-9

Why: Why doesn’t God speak to us like God speaks to people in the Bible?

            Today we’re beginning a new sermon series called “Why: Asking Tough Questions of Faith.” Each week, we’ll be exploring together one of the faith questions that seems to be a question that many people had, questions that I’ve heard throughout my ministry, questions that Christians have struggled with for generation upon generation. We’ll wrestle with these questions together, and see what we can learn from the scriptures, from God’s direction, from our experiences, and from each other. I have to warn you right at the start that I can’t promise to give the answer to these questions we’ll wrestle with. If they were easy questions to answer, they wouldn’t be questions that people have wrestled with over centuries. But we’ll do our best to be thoughtful and inquisitive and turn to our best sources of wisdom as we try to find God’s voice, God’s direction when it comes to challeng…