The Invisible Gorilla

There is an experiment where people watch a video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo) of a group
passing basketballs back and forth. Viewers must keep track of how many times certain players pass the ball. In
the middle of the video, a man in a gorilla suit comes on screen, stands in the middle of the group, raises his
fists and beats his chest, and then leaves. Because people are so focused on counting the number of times the
ball is passed, 50% of viewers don’t even notice the gorilla in the video at all.


Heaven is a Long Hello

Last week was a reminder of mortality. Not only did I officiate a funeral, but a member of a previous church I
served passed away, as well as the father of a dear friend. We know that, unless Jesus returns first, every one of
us will die one day. Everyone we know will pass. There will always be difficult goodbyes.


Unknown Impact

“Where are the other nine?” – Jesus in Luke 17:17
 
I’ve done a lot of funerals in my life, and one thing I heard too often is how we often wait until too late to tell
someone what they mean to us. Someone may have changed our life, and they die never knowing their impact
on us.


Knowing Good and Evil

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” (Genesis 3:5). Satan promises Eve knowledge of good and evil. I recently read a book that pointed out that Adam and Eve already knew right and wrong to some degree. They knew that eating the fruit would be wrong. So, what does Satan mean? Satan is promising they will be like God and be able to decide right and wrong for themselves. But there is another meaning here as well. Eve knew that eating the fruit would be wrong, intellectually, but she didn’t have a deep understanding of what sin meant. The word “know” in Hebrew is laden with meaning. The very next chapter, Genesis says, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant.” The Hebrew word for “lay with” is this exact same word, “to know.” To know something in Hebrew is intimate. Eve intellectually knew about evil, but she didn’t know it intimately.
 


All

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A preacher friend occasionally posts bible trivia questions, and a recent one was, “What is a root of all evil?” The answer is, “money” (1 Timothy 6:10). Deciding to be a bit pedantic, I pointed out that the verse actually says, “all kinds of evil.” My friend responded that the original Greek didn’t have the word “kinds” in that verse. I looked, and sure enough, he was right. To me, there’s a significant difference between “all kinds” and “all.” In that verse, “all kinds” seems to imply that there are kinds of evil that do not find their root in a love of money. “All” implies totality. There’s no exclusions. If you go to a zoo and they have “all kinds” of animals, then one would expect quite a variety of animals. But if they had “all” the animals, then one would envision a zoo with literally every species in existence.


The Weakest Among Us Has a Gift

The story goes that two men were talking. One was a huge, strong fellow while the other was quite
small in stature. The small man was admiring the physical proportions of the other and said, “Boy, if I was as
big as you, I wouldn’t be afraid o’ nothing. Why, I’d go out in the woods and find me the biggest bear there
and I’d tear that big bear limb from limb.”
 


Stand Firm

Abigail played piano with Phyllis first service yesterday, so Jackie and the kids came to support her.
Gabe, our youngest, wanted to walk around with me before service. One congregation member asked his name,
and I told him “Gabriel.” They responded with, “That’s a strong name to stand up to!” And Gabe said, “Well,
I’ve got strong legs!”
 


Mentoring and Discipleship

Discipleship is deeply rooted in the Christian faith. Jesus reached out to large crowds (such as the feeding of
5,000 men), his core disciples (numbering 120 by the time of Acts 1:15), the Twelve, and, finally, the Three (Peter, James and John). Jesus seemed to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Three even beyond his relationship with the Twelve. He took them alone onto the Mount of Transfiguration. All the disciples followed Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane, but Jesus called the Three away from the others to be closer to Himself.


The Tomb is Still Empty

Easter Sunday has come and gone. It’s easy for us to move on with our lives. We have busy schedules. Bills need to be paid, meals need to be prepared, chores need to be done. It’s so easy for us to slip back into the routine of our daily lives. Yet the tomb is still empty. The resurrection we celebrate at Easter Sunday doesn’t stop on Monday.


Weary

I know it may come as a huge surprise to many of you, but I’m not terribly athletic. When I was in gym class in
elementary school, I remember dreading the day we had to run the mile. I would make it to the finish line and collapse on the ground, my lungs on fire, barely able to breathe.