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Lent: Learning to be Human

Last Wednesday, I sat with Sunni Mercer's artwork in the City Pres balcony for a while. The sculptures and words written with each one took to me to places I usually run away from. But that day I sat with them. I allowed myself to feel what I usually shut off, and I found myself in tears as I talked with Jesus about it. I realized then that I spend a lot of time and energ...

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Ashes, A Series of Lament

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday; an important day in the life of the Christian Church. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent a 40 day journey that takes us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels (synoptic: to be seen together) and are absolutely consistent in their account of the specific journ...

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What Do We Do With the Bible?

Over the years, the Bible certainly has created controversy. It has been used as a weapon, a history book, a science book, and a book of philosophy and ethics. Some have said that by reading the Bible, they have received special/secret insight from God that no one else has received (the Hebrew word for this is, "HOGWASH!"). It has been polarizing when it has been used for ...

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God Loves Magicians (Or, What is Epiphany?)

Epiphany: 1 (capitalized): January 6; observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi 2: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being 3a (1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3): ...

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Why We Might Cancel, BUT We Will Never Close

If you didn't yet already know it, I can be a little cynical about Oklahoma winter weather. My cynicism came from a place. A location. A spot. It came from being raised in Mason City, Iowa. Mason City is in Northern Iowa just 30 minutes south of the Minnesota boarder. Snowstorms in Iowa were great days especially if there was ice. I had a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette that wen...

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Far as the Curse is Found

Ezekiel 34.17-31, Isaiah 9.1-7; Philippians 4.4-9* Some of the best words in all Christmas music are ones we rarely get to sing. Most hymns have four verses, and Joy to the World is no exception. Usually we sing the first and fourth verses, and if we're feeling generous enough to sing three verses we'll throw in the second one. But not very often do we get to the third ve...

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We Didn't Want to Start a Church

Two years ago, several of us started thinking and praying about a new church in Midtown, Oklahoma City. On a couple of occasions, we received emails of concern after talking about this new church. These concerns got us thinking. They were constructive. They came from a place of love. They were sociological, theological, denominational, and even practical concerns. There w...

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Not Symptom Management

Isaiah 62, Luke 1.5-25, Matthew 3.1-12* By Rev. Michaele LaVigne Last Thursday, I was in a car accident. I was waiting to turn left into the parking lot near Cuppies and Joe on 23rd St, when a nice bearded guy slammed into me with his Volkswagen. Neither of us had passengers with us, and no one was seriously injured. But, by the time my car was being towed and the police...

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The Advent Song

Psalm 97, Isaiah 43.1-13, Luke 1.67-80* Fear is a big thing with God; have you noticed? Gongs of calamity ring out all over the place in scripture and today destruction, hopelessness, exile, oppression and injustice are seemingly everywhere. But a consistent, gentle refrain weaves its way through the clashing gongs and clanging cymbals: Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. ...

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On Advent and Santa

As a person with a theological education I understand that one can become heady and lack the ability to practice faith in the real world. But, as Christians we must remind ourselves that our theology should inform the way we live practically. Therefore, it is really important that we be very careful about what we teach to our kids as those messages become rooted deep in th...

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