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Archives for July 2018

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Telling a Story [4/23/18]

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Last week, Daniel and I drove down to Oakland to meet with two other pastors. Kyle has been leading a church planting project called Oakland Communion that has gathered a group of urban professionals interested in Jesus, justice and real community. Many of them are new to Oakland and there for professional reasons. Bernard pastors The Way in Oakland. He is a native Oakland...

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I Love My Church [4/30/18]

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There are places we dread and maybe can do without: a visit to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), a regular check-up at the dentist, or a trip to the market to buy groceries for the week. Contrary to popular demand, well, you can't just do without them. These are places we go not necessarily because we want to, but because we have to. I can't imagine anyone saying, "I...

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Whirlwind Wedding [5/7/18]

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On Friday afternoon I began a whirlwind adventure. I received a phone call from an old friend who was in a heck of a bind. The call came from the rehearsal dinner for his daughter's wedding scheduled for the next day. He quickly informed me that the pastor who had prepared the couple to marry was having his own family emergency in the ICU and they were without a pastor for...

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A Mother's Day Reflection [5/14/18]

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These words were spotted on a church marquee for a Mother's Day sermon, "If evolution is true, how come mothers still have only two hands?" For all the amazing moms who have had more sleepless nights than they wish to remember to care for an ailing child, or wrestle with little ones to get them dressed and ready for school, or have had to reheat a cup of coffee four time...

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A New Logo [5/21/18]

A few reflections on a new church logo. The idea of a logo is ubiquitous in our culture. Everyone knows what a logo is. It's a swoosh. It's the shape of a soda bottle. Its a couple of golden arches. We are consumers and when we think logo we think brand identity. We think brand loyalty. We think celebrity endorsement. We are a symbolic society and ever more so with the ad...

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Ash Valentine's Day [2/14/18]

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This excerpt appears on pages that list a number of blog posts....

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What Are You Giving Up? [2/19/18]

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What are you giving up for Lent? Not as much time on Instagram? Less selfies? Perhaps snacking less? Netflix? Sharing your true feelings and writing them out instead of using emoji's? Checking your phone every 2 minutes? Sugar? Soda? I guess the list is endless. Many people have some idea that Lent is about giving stuff up, but may not know much more than that. My persona...

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Christian Seasons [2/26/18]

Christian Seasons

A few reflections on the practice of keeping Christian seasons and the celebration of Lent If you have ever found yourself in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo or Canada on Boxing Day or something of the sort you begin to realize that the way we organize our time, the calendar that we keep and the holidays that we celebrate say a lot about who we are. We don't often stop to think ab...

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Lent & Baptism [3/5/18]

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Lent is typically a season of prayer, repentance, fasting and self-denial. It is a time often associated with the "giving up" of something so that we can turn away from whatever has distracted or derailed us from God. However, Lent has to be more than just a deprivation from our favorite foods, or shows, or our electronic devices. The rhythms of Lent encourage us not just ...

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Blood & Guts Lent [3/12/18]

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"Lent is the season of blood and guts and flesh. It is the supremely anti-Gnostic season." [Peter Leithart*] From the very beginning of Christianity there has been a strong tendency for people to "spiritualize" Jesus' teaching, his mission and particularly the meaning of his resurrection. You no doubt have come in contact with some version of the teaching that the physica...

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Reworked Hymns, Homes & Seasons [3/19/18]

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Anyone in the market for a new home can either: reject what they see, purchase the home as is or remodel it so that it meets the needs of your family. Two summers ago, HGTV (Home Garden TV) became one of our favorite channels to watch as a family since adding cable television to our home. There's something fascinating about a home improvement show that takes a rundown hou...

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Passion Week [3/26/18]

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This week is a very special week in the Christian year. Holy Week or Passion Week is the week leading up to the resurrection celebration on Easter morning marking the events of the final week of Jesus' life before his crucifixion. The week begins with Passion/Palm Sunday and ends with the "three days" (also called the Triduum, from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter D...

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40 Days of Wonder [4/2/18]

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"We are an Easter people" is still ringing in my ears from this morning's sermon. I'm not sure if there's anything more telling or a better descriptor of who we are than this: "We are an Easter people." It provokes a sense of profound and deep faith, one that tells us that we are connected in someway to something that happened to someone so long ago. That what happened two...

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Easter People in a Good Friday World [4/9/18]

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What a celebration! On Easter Sunday Grace Sacramento hosted 119 people at our first ever Easter service in our own facility. Friends, family and visitors from the neighborhood worshiped with us as we welcomed four individuals and families as new church members and celebrated being "Easter people in a Good Friday world!" Afterwards we hosted hundreds (we don't know exactl...

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My Limited Perspective [4/16/18]

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In the midst of a discussion on the Stephon Clark shooting in Sacramento, a fellow pastor looked my way and asked me for my take as an Asian-American. There were two tables in the room with a handful of pastors, but only one Asian-American. Me. At first, I didn't know what to say. It's not that I hadn't thought about it. It's not because I didn't have an opinion about the ...

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