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Simple Fear

The book of Ecclesiastes is filled with words of wisdom, filled with ideas about what it means to survive your own poor choices, and, ultimately, filled with one major idea about what it takes to live a life that is full.

READ Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

"The end of the matter; all has been heard..."
This is not a statement of opinion, nor is it an open door for future discussions about what is going to be stated next... Rather, it is a full statement of fact, intended to let the reader (or hearer) know that what follows this statement is to be considered the end-all, be-all statement on the matters that have been discussed previously. When you read back through the book of Ecclesiastes, you find that Solomon covered everything under the sun (quite literally, he states that throughout the book). It is the basic concept that everything else has already been discussed and talked about ad nauseam. In other words, as the statement goes, "I have said all of these things to say this on…
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Simple Peace

"God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing." - C.S. Lewis

In studying the peace of Christ more fully and closely over the past weekend, it has come to my attention in a earth-shattering way that I have no idea what it means to be completely at peace. For far too long, peace was nothing more than a word I tossed around while teaching or preaching to those who I felt did not understand it. However, what I have come to realize is that the one who was tossing that word around did not have the slightest grip on what peace actually entails.

READ Philippians 4:4-9

Over the weekend, Dan Winkler lead a study on the "Peace of Christ" found in the book of Philippians. Our study centered on Philippians 4:4-9 and he put in front of our eyes five commands given by God if we claim we desire His peace:

1) Rejoice
2) Be Known For Gentleness
3) Don't Worry About Anything
4) Let Your Requests Be Made Known To God
5) Meditate…

Simple Education

"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not let that open to us. He did not intend to." - C.S. Lewis

How many great teachers can you name? I am certain there are a few that come to mind when I ask you to think about the educators who invested in making you the person you are today. For some, it could be that third grade teacher who spent extra time making sure you were prepared for the standardized tests by having you and other students arrange for tutoring in the areas where you were struggling (looking at you, Mrs. Stevenson). For others, it might be that fifth grade teacher that caught you cheating, punished you appropriately, and then taught you one of the greatest lessons you have ever heard... "Scott, this is not who you are intended to be... you are made to be something better th…

Simple Faith

Read Psalm 46 today... multiple times...

In this psalm, God is described in a couple of different ways: 1) A fortress or a protector and 2) A ruler... Too many times in my own personal life I have tried to move God out of the decision making role in my life because I believe that I have a better idea or a better grasp on the things that are happening. The thing is, what almost always happens is that I look back and see wreckage that could have been avoided had I simply followed what I knew to be God's will for my life. The reason I feel that way? Because we serve a God who has promised to protect us and defend us against the wiles or plans of the evil one... The one caveat being that we must follow His rule without question. Here in this psalm we see this played out as God is declared to be our fortress and our helper, but in the end of the psalm (v.10), the reader is reminded by God Himself to be still and know that He is God. Why trust an unknown future to a shaky decision maker?…

Simple Humility

"Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Isn't it interesting that this quote comes at the end of a section about how the children of Israel serve as our example of how NOT to be wholly committed to God? What do you really think was their issue? Was it bitterness, was it anger, was it disappointment, or was it their pride and their believing that they were more important than they actually were? As I read another popular passage of Scripture, James 4:10 - "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.", I see that it is also at the end of a section concerning how NOT to behave. In the case of the passage in James, we have our eyes opened to the fact that all of our problems stem from a loss of focus. Instead of seeing God as our all-knowing, all-powerful Creator, we treat Him as just another voice in the crowd. Humility is not beating yourself up constantly so that everyone can visibly witness you…

Simple Obedience

Read 1 Peter 3:18-22

"18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.​"

The ESV uses the term "suffered" where other translations use the more blunt term of "died". I believe the ESV to be more impactful here because when you consider what Jesus went through to offer us salvat…

Simple Silence

Silence… It can be the most uncomfortable of moments and yet can provide you with the greatest opportunity for growth
Silence… It can create the most awkward of situations and yet can provide you with the truest sense of peace you will ever know
Silence… It can destroy a relationship and yet can open the door for God to heal the brokenness
Silence… It can give a sense of rejection and yet can also create a sense of belonging
Habakkuk 2:18-20 “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols! Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
Silence… before the Lord Almighty… Silence… in honor of His power and might… Silence in awe of His glory…
But what do we do when we feel that our pra…