Something New!

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I’ve decided to try something new at the ExploraStory Cafe!

I’m always looking for quality resources that support my journey of faith, and I’m always looking for ways to encourage people to explore new ideas. I believe that God has blessed me with the gift of teaching, and I’d like to share that gift with all of you through this new and exciting expansion!

This afternoon, I added a Menu Bar option that offers “Study Resources” for your use. I’m hoping to add materials that I have created as a part of my ongoing ministry of teaching; and am trusting that people, like you, will take advantage of this new part of the ongoing outreach and faith-building ministry of the ExploraStory Cafe.

This month’s addition is a study guide for Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together” – a great and valuable resource for discussing what it means to live in Christian community. This seven-session study can be used for personal reflection, or it can be used as a study guide for a gathering in your home or in your church. I am sure that you’ll be both challenged and enriched as you learn about: Christian community; routines that support Christian growth; the importance of hymns, prayers and fellowship in the Church; worship; and the basic building-blocks of Holy Communion, Confession and Forgiveness.

I hope that you’ll enjoy this new addition to the ExploraStory Cafe, and hope that you’ll find the resources that I’ve created both helpful and life-giving in your journey of faith.

Blessings!

 

God Wants You Alone!

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We begin our journey through Lent this week.

Some of us have decided to “give up” something for the next few weeks, and some of us have entered Lent with the desire to try something new. Lent is, traditionally, a time in the year when we’re called to be more reflective and to carefully examine our priorities. And, as we travel through these next few weeks, we’ll be drawn to the base of the Cross, and we’ll be challenged to think about what the death and resurrection of Christ means to us today.

We begin Lent with a time of confession. Have any of us loved God with our whole heart and forgiven every single person who’s hurt us? Have any of us never experienced pride, or envy, or apathy? Have any of us never been negligent in prayer? Have we never closed our eyes to injustice, or allowed our deep-seated prejudices to affect the way we think about other people?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once penned a well-known book entitled: “Life Together.” And one of the central themes of that book is “alien righteousness” – a theme that clearly reminds us that, as we share our lives with other people, we can never forget that we are people who aren’t perfect and that we don’t have the right to demand perfection from others. This is an important truth for us to grasp as we live with each other in a fallen world.

Bonhoeffer writes:

“It is the grace of the Gospel which is so hard for the pious to understand. The Gospel confronts us with the truth and says: ‘You are a sinner; a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to the God who loves you – knowing that God wants you as you are; and He does not wants anything from you (some sort of sacrifice or good work). God wants you alone!'”

That’s where we begin our journey through Lent. And in the message, “God Wants You Alone”, we’re invited to enter the Season of Lent with that in mind. Perhaps, instead of moving through the Season of Lent with our list of things we’re willing to “give up” as a sign of self-denial, we can use this special time in the year to focus upon the love and grace and embrace of the Living God – hearing once again: “God Wants You Alone.”

Blessings!