When we think of God’s power helping us, we can feel that it’s something for the distant future. Jesus teaches it’s for today, right now, at this moment. “I AM the resurrection,” He said. You can access everything you need to get you through every moment given to you. Text is John 11 Podcast 88
Sheltering in Place Week 3
Jesus was quick to point out the wrong ways of thinking and responding to suffering. He invites us to follow His new way of living in a broken world. Our choices, decisions, and responses will be influenced by how we view God, ourselves, and others. It's no wonder Jesus said, "You live in the world, but you're not of the world." The text is John 9 The healing of the blind man.
Sheltering In Place Week 2 Podcast 87
During times of crisis, all our insecurities rise to the surface. All the things we rely upon suddenly feel shaky. Jesus addresses the need of the human heart to drink deeply from the Living Water that he freely gives. Podcast 86 Text John 4
Sometimes we are left wondering about people, God, or situations, and there is no clear answer simply because we are asking the wrong questions. We can learn a lot from Nicodemus' conversation with Jesus. Jesus corrects Nicodemus before he asks his question. Jesus discerns Nic is off track before the conversation begins. The text is Gospel of John 3 Podcast 85
Being tempted isn't always an enticement to do something wrong it could just as quickly be avoidance, denial, minimizing, withdrawing, or procrastinating. Subtler forms of temptation are equally effective in breaking relationships and causing us much trouble. The text is Matthew 4. Jesus' wisdom, when tempted. Episode 84
When your not sure how God is leading, wait. Peter, James, and John had trouble listening to God so you are in good company if you wonder why guidance isn't more precise. Many things get in the way of listening especially when we disagree with what we hear. Fortunately, God doesn't seem to have difficulty repeating the message until we get it. The text is Matthew 17. The Transfiguration. Podcast 82
Jesus challenges a rich young man to let it all go and give it all away. Impossible? Impractical? Yes, Jesus would say, but such is the price of freedom and joy. Alone you cannot do this but with God’s help there’s no telling what you can do. Mark 10:17-31 The rich Young Ruler- It’s not about the money! Podcast 17
Pretending you are a good person or a happy, successful, or content person doesn't help bring us to a place of peace with ourselves and others. Jesus' Way always leads to integration. The first thing that needs to be dropped is pretense. Jesus teaches that being truthful with ourselves is the first step toward living an authentic life. Matthew 5:21-37 Sermon on the Mount Podcast 81
True love always protects the wisdom of the Bible teaches us. If you do not feel protected, it is not true love regardless of what someone tells you. Fake love hurts. Good, healthy parents always protect their children, marriages, and partnership built on safeguarding all in their care, thrive. We were designed to be a preserving quality in the world. "You are the salt of the earth," Jesus declares. When we are in line with God's ways, we will always preserve and protect. Podcast 80 Matthew 5:13-20
Have you ever said something you wish you hadn't, clicked the send button prematurely, or blurted out your opinion when no one asked for it? From binge-watching Netflix to yet another bowl of ice cream, self-control is not encouraged, taught, nor admired. West Coast US living is all about excess, everything has to be bigger and faster. Jesus offers an entirely different way, which leads to true contentment and freedom from the multiply addictions that highjack our peace of mind. Text is Matthew 5 Podcast 79
We all have a calling, according to Jesus. A calling isn’t merely for pastors, nuns, monks, and religious professionals. A calling drives you forward and gifts you with a sense of passion, direction and, purpose. A calling keeps you on track when the going gets tough. Jesus teaches his first students (and us) what that calling is. Text Matthew 4 Podcast 78
What does it mean to follow Christ? There's a phrase Jesus used often; he said, "Follow me." What does he mean by that? How is it possible if he's not here? The whole idea of the following implies we are going somewhere. Where is that somewhere? Text is John 1:29-42 Podcast 77
I entitled this talk the "forgotten" power of baptism because it seems to be relatively easy for followers of Christ's Way to get worn out, distracted and tired all because we forget of the promise of power, gifted to us, by Christ himself. When we feel overcome it can often be a sign we are trying too hard and going solo rather than staying in partnership with Christ. This talk gives an overview of baptism and why it is so important. The scriptures covered are Mark 1:9-11 and Romans 6 Podcast 76
When you are not happy at Christmas, fear not, you are in good company. Christmas isn't about happy families, gifts, finding the love of your life, landing the right job, or any other happy endings the Hallmark movies tell us. The real Christmas story paints a picture of all not being well in the world, along with a profound lack of peace, and yet God gives the gift of assurance in a most unlikely way. Podcast 75 The text is Luke 2:1-14
We filter everything through our perspective. It's a habit that comes naturally to us, and it's a habit that needs to be broken, according to Jesus. We can second-guess ourselves, doubt our actions and decisions even when we are right on track. The greatest prophet that ever lived, Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist, struggled with self-doubt. Jesus' advice to his cousin, John, is the same advice he would give to each one of us. "Don't take things personally." Don't take offense. Podcast 74. Text Matthew 11:2-11
Is there a point to all of this? When life is confusing, the ancient prophecy of Isaiah reminds us all is well. God has a plan and purpose in all things. The Biblical prophecy of Isaiah paints the unimaginable picture of the Peaceful Kingdom. We may not be able to see the plan, it may look hopeless to us, but throughout the course of history, God weaves the thread of this reign of peace throughout the ages to the end of time. God invites us to follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace. Text Isaiah 11 Podcast 73
Our minds travel effortlessly to the past. We can reminisce, long for, or regret the past. We can fantasize about the future, worry about it, and overly plan for it, but Jesus cautions against this way of living. They are all distractions that can lead us away from what God desires to show us today. Text Matthew 24 Episode 72
Tension, pulled in opposite directions, the dilemma of two ways, two paths we've all felt it. Sometimes a lot can hang in the balance of a decision. Whether the decision we make is big or small, our peace of mind is unsettled until we make a choice. In Episode 71, CP looks at Pilate (the Roman official that ordered Jesus' death) wrestle between two ways of living in the world. Text John 18
Yes, we know it’s wrong, but hate might be our first natural response toward someone who has hurt our loved ones or us. Having an enemy takes a lot of energy. Jesus offers us another way to respond to those who have damaged us. The text is Luke 6. Episode 70
From the beginning of time, people have struggled with shame, humiliation, and fear, which naturally enough leads to hiding. Since the Garden of Eden, we have attempted to hide from others, ourselves and God. Jesus' gazes upon Zacchaeus, looked past the shame and confusion and healed Zacchaeus at a depth Zacchaeus never dreamt possible. This pattern is the way God works with us. The text is Luke 19 Episode 69
Comparison is a common thing. We compare ourselves to others and judge how we stack up against another. It is an unhelpful practice, Jesus teaches, because it quickly leads to criticism, stunts our personal growth, and renders our judgments as inaccurate. The text is The Gospel of Luke 18 The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Episode 68
I'm praying, and nothing is changing!
Not unusual, Jesus would say. Prayer is not giving God a to-do list so that your problems will be solved quickly. Viewing prayer in this way is just a set up for severe disappointment and disillusionment. However, in regards to prayer, Jesus does commend persistence, tenacity, and resilience. Text is Luke 18 and 2 Corinthians !2:7-9 Episode 67
Most of the healing that God does in our lives is a private matter. Over time, when we are ready, God reveals areas of brokenness so that we can be healed and set free. In the account of the healing of 10 lepers, Jesus heals all ten from their skin disease, but only one is 'made whole.' Only one person is ready to go deeper and receive more. The text is Luke 17. Episode 66
Yes, it is possible to live without resentment, Jesus teaches. You have what it takes to learn how to live without carrying around a lot of past offenses, betrayal, and disappointment. It's about learning how to use the little bit of faith that you have to propel yourself forward and leave the past behind The text is Luke 17 Episode 65
It's the last thing you'd advise an ambitious young person. Contentment is the key to success; the great teacher and apostle, Paul instructs young Timothy. Contentment is certainly not something most of us are born with, but it is something that can be learned and chosen, even when life is not going as planned. The text is 1 Timothy 6:6 Episode 64
Jesus taught more about money than any other subject. Why? Could it be because we have more trouble with money and possessions than any other issue? It doesn't matter if we have too much or too little the power of money can take over and influence our whole lives. Jesus tells a parable in Episode 63 that reveals the wisdom that can free us from fear, greed, and the overall domination of money. The text is Luke 16
Everyone goes through times of grief and loss. A vital relationship disintegrates, a beloved pet dies, we can't leave behind the past, we don't get the job we want, we get sick, and soon grief becomes a daily companion. We feel sad and overwhelmed. Jesus gives us two parables (stories) about how works God with us when we feel lost. Episode 62. The text is Luke 15
Jesus warned, if you're hesitant, distracted, or half-hearted, wait until you are sure before you follow. There's no point in starting and then give up when the going gets tough. The unpopular demands of Jesus. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, obedience Jesus didn't make it easy for people to follow His way of living in the world. The text is Luke 18
In hindsight, we can see where we went wrong. Now what? Jeremiah, the prophet is shown how God is like a potter who works with us like clay. God can take our most significant mistakes and reshape them in such a way that good can emerge. The text is Jeremiah 18 Episode 60
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. In Episode 59, Jesus encourages us to let go off others' expectations of us and take on new roles that are more life giving and less restrictive. The text is Luke 10:38-42, which describes Jesus' correction of Martha, who allowed the needs of others to cause her great resentment.
Trouble in the family? Or conflict at work or Church? The division is necessary and expected. Jesus taught if you are committed to living out what you believe to be a life of integrity and truth, you will not necessarily be affirmed by those around you. The text is Luke 12 Episode 58
No, you have enough faith; Jesus teaches. The issue is learning how to use the little bit of trust that you have. In Episode 57, C.P looks at the life of Abraham and Sarah, who go down in history as having great faith in spite of their many weaknesses and failures. The text is Hebrews 11.
Of course, you have unfulfilled desires, your human. The danger comes when we attempt to fill our emptiness in the wrong way with the wrong things or people. In Episode 56, Jesus uses the parable of the wealthy farmer, to show us how to get back on track. The text is Luke 11.
Jesus’ students ask Him for teaching on how to pray in episode 55. Jesus begins by saying the most important thing about prayer is knowing who you are praying to. Prayer isn’t for God’s benefit. God does not need our prayers. Prayer is for our benefit. The text is Luke 11
Sometimes the very things we avoid are the things we need to meet head on in order to secure peace of mind. In episode 54, Jesus’ well know parable of, The Good Samaritan, reveals layer after layer of insight how to live in this world.
The text is Luke 10:25-37
Healing comes in many forms. It maybe physical, emotional or spiritual but everyone struggles with brokenness; it’s part of the package of being human. In episode 53, CP, looks at the healing of Naaman and the various stages he wrestles through. The pattern of Naaman is the same for us if we desire to experience more of the inner peace and freedom God promises us. The text is 2 King 5
When Jesus’ students are rejected they want to get even, defend themselves and payback. We all have different coping strategies and they are not all helpful. In episode 52, Jesus teaches his disciples and us an entirely different way to respond to rejection. The text is Luke 9:51-56
The misuse of power is common. Everyone who has worked for a bully or lived in an oppressive environment knows, first hand, about the misuse of power. Institutions, families, churches, schools, and companies can all dehumanize and oppress people if power is abused. In this 51 episode Jesus show us when confrontation is the only way. The text is Luke 8:26-39
Jesus is always reading the subtext, looking below the surface and exposing our real problems so we can be healed and set free. In episode 50, Jesus has a conversation with, Nicodemus, and reminds him it’s not just a little change he needs in his life. It's not just a tweak that’s needed here and there. Nic needs to be born from above. Jesus explains how a spiritual rebirth is necessary for everyone if we desire to leave behind old unhelpful ways of living/thinking and access what Jesus called ‘abundant’ life. Text is Gospel of John 3:1-17
Sometimes we can get in the way. We rush on ahead figuring out the best thing to do or say ignoring the need for extra help and guidance. Jesus, said to his students, “Wait, until you are clothed with power from on high.” Whatever, ‘clothed with power,’ looks like, the first step is for us to get out of the way and wait so we can see what God is already doing. The text is Acts 2 which describes the day of Pentecost. The gift of the Spirit empowers the people of The Way to take on the world. Episode 49
When people turn against you, disagree with you, when you're misunderstood, it does not mean you are in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. You can be in the right place and still be seen as wrong by those around you. Today, we look at lessons from Paul and Silas, the first leaders of the early followers of The Way (of Jesus living life). The text is Acts 16. Episode 48
Asking the wrong questions, looking for answers in the wrong places, are common mistakes we can make. Jesus reminds his students that what we need is not specific answers to our questions. What is truly needed it’s a way of perceiving and looking at the problem that brings greater truth to the situation. The Text is Acts 1:1-11. Episode 47
“You can hear God,” Jesus said. Listening isn’t the problem it’s the moving to the doing that often trips us up. In Episode 46, we look at Jesus’ teaching on guidance, leading and listening to God, all of which we were designed to do. The text is John 10
We’ve heard the saying, “Just get over it?” Well, what happens when you can’t? What happens when you are stuck with just a bad memory? This is the situation the disciple Peter finds himself in two weeks after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus specifically targets his bad memories and gives him another way to think about his loss. God does the same thing for us. Episode 45. Scripture text is from Gospel of John 21:1-19
Doubters get special attention from Jesus in this 44th episode. When you feel full of doubt, shame or fear take heart, you are in good company! The first followers/friends of Jesus, didn’t just feel like failures they actually were failures in the sense that they did not respond to extreme challenge they way they hoped they would. After Jesus’ death he makes a point of visiting them to put them on the right track. The student Thomas gets specialized attention.
No person, no circumstance, no challenge is beyond God’s help. “I make all things new,” Jesus said. All things? Apparently, it’s not just Jesus that got raised up that first Easter morning. The invitation to us, is to come and ‘experience’ this restoration for ourselves. This energy and power that brings life to the deadest and most hopeless of places is accessible to us. Matthew 28:1-10. Episode 43
When we are confused about how to deal with a challenge, Jesus teaches, choose the way of love, but it's a particular kind of love that doesn't necessarily come easily nor naturally. Jesus, on the last night with his student/disciples, before he was arrested, reminded his followers of the most important teaching. Yes, it was learning to love, but it was a particular kind of love and it had nothing do do with being nice and agreeing so we can avoid conflict. Episode 42. The text is John 12:1-17
Unmet hopes, desires and dreams can leave us in the place of always wanting more, unsatisfied with what we have and disillusioned about life. In episode 41, Jesus models for us a life free from the emptiness of never having enough. Luke 19:28-40
It’s tempting to defend yourself but there is another way to live. In episode 40, Mary, Jesus’ friend, models for us what true freedom looks like in the face of disapproval from others. The Text is John 12:1-8
No doubt, Jesus would agree with you. He would say, we misunderstand God much of the time because we assume God operates the way we do. In episode 39, Jesus tells the parable of The Lost Son. The text is Luke 15.
Jesus, on many occasions, challenged His listeners by questioning their assumptions. In episode 38, we hear Jesus teach on how we stop gaining new insight and understanding into ourselves, challenges we face, or problems we tackle because we are oblivious to our own unproductive thinking. The text is Luke 13:1-9
Courage is moving ahead in-spite of fears and apprehensions. In episode 37, CP, looks at the example of Jesus who models what courageous living looks like. He invites us to follow his example, regardless of the challenges we face. The text is Luke 13:31-35
In this 35th episode, CP looks at the nature of testing times and temptation. The number one temptation in the North America today is anxiety and worry. When we look at Jesus’ temptation in the desert (Luke 4) we learn from Jesus how to respond to the testings we face every day.
In this 34th episode, CP, looks at the subject of prayer. Do we pray so that God will change our circumstances? Jesus prayed and his troubles didn’t disappear so why bother with prayer? When we look at Jesus’ praying, we see Jesus being changed by prayer not the challenging circumstances He faced. The text is Luke 9. The Transfiguration.
In this episode, CP, looks at Jesus’ teaching on knowing God’s will and discerning God’s ways. We were created to know God’s ways. We practice learning how to get out of they way and cultivate an ‘internal’ space, so we can receive new information. "Blessed are the pure in heart they shall see God." Matthew 5
In this episode, CP looks at Jesus’ wisdom on why we need to learn how to love our enemies. It’s for our benefit, not a test from God that’s impossible to pass. Learning Jesus’ way of love frees us from carrying the burden of unforgiveness , resentment, severe disappointment and pain. Luke 6:27-38
How do we know God is speaking to us? How can we tell the difference between our thoughts and God’s leading? In this episode, CP takes an example from ancient Israel. God corrected the ancient people and guided them toward making drastic changes that changed the course of their lives. God speaks to us today in similar ways. Nehemiah 8
Why was Joseph chosen to raise Jesus? What was special about him? He is called a, “righteousness man” which means he has learned to do the right thing even when he has many other choices that no one would question. Lessons from Joseph, Christmas Part 2
In this episode, CP looks at spiritual truths from Mary, Jesus’, mother. “She’s not blessed because I’m her son,” Jesus said, “She blessed because she follows through in spite of the tension she feels. Lessons from Mary, in Christmas Part 1.
Jesus first miracle was turning water into wine. It’s an unusual way to being an ministry, don’t you think? The writer who recorded the first miracle, John, would say, changing water into wine is only the beginning. Wait until you see what He can change in you! Text Gospel of John chapter 2.
We all desire changes in our lives. Some of us would like more courage, some long for less anxiety, some of us wish we could get on better with those around us. We can dedicate ourselves to change our ways, and bad habits, and yet find ourselves failing time and time again. Jesus shows us another way to live. It’s a way that taps into God’s power to make the changes rather than rely solely on our own strength and self discipline. The text is Luke 3:15-22. (The personality descriptions are all from Enneagram study.)
Wisdom Rather Than Knowledge Is What Is Needed
Wondering what to do in the New Year? Decisions, direction, dilemmas? In a world where knowledge on every subject can be googled in seconds The Magi invite us into a journey that leads to true wisdom. What can we learn from The Magi? Who were these wise ones that stand around our nativity scenes every Christmas?
When You Lack Trust, Faith And Belief Take Heart It’s Really Not All Up To You. What can we learn from Zachariah? Quite a bit we will find out. When we feel like a bit of a failure, when it comes to our spiritual lives, take heart, it’s really not all about you anyway. Relax God has you covered. The Text is Luke Chapter 1
Admitting Your Are Wrong Is the First Step In getting it Right. AA Calls it Step 5. John the Baptism called it repentance. Jesus taught ruthless honesty with ourselves and others leads to deep healing and freedom. There is no shame in being wrong. Luke 3:3 John’s Message of Repentance.
When life becomes overwhelming we all fall into habitual, patterned ways of coping and relieving pain. Some of these ways actually make matters worse. In this passage, Jesus targets three common areas we all struggle with. Jesus gives us new ways to find strength, in this often overly challenging world we live in. Luke 21:25-28
Ten people are healed by Jesus. One healed man returns to thank Jesus for the gift of healing. Jesus points out to his students that his gratitude gifted him with a deeper level of healing the other's missed. Jesus teaches us that gratitude is so powerful it can heal and restore us in ways we have previously unexperienced. The text is Gospel of Luke chapter 17
Elijah is asked to go to the place he would prefer to avoid at all costs. When he goes he finds God’s provision in an most unusual way. It’s a pattern we will see in our own lives. It’s the way God works with us and our fears. 1 Kings 17
Jesus asked this question on more than one occasion. The question was, "What do you want me to do for you?" We may think we can answer that quite easily but we soon find out the question itself can reveal and uncover our deepest needs and desires. The text is Mark 10:46-52 The story of the healing of the blind man Bartimaeus.
Too Bossy or Not Bossy Enough? We tend to lean to one side or the other but in the end Jesus teaches it's all about why we do what we do that counts. Jesus teaches his students another way to respond to life rather than the common way of manipulation or passively following. Dealing with the need to have things done our way is the topic. Whether control is overt or quiet and hidden Jesus offers an alternative way to live. The text is Mark 10 35-45
In this episode, Jesus teaches his disciples (and us) the importance of learning how to develop permanent, trusting, life giving relationships. It takes courage to make significant changes to a relationship that drains you of energy and joy but the benefits are life changing and lead to a new found sense of well being and happiness. The Text is Mark 10:2-16
In this episode, Feeling Threatened, Celtic Preacher looks at Jesus advise when we feel threatened by someone. The disciples (students) of Jesus come across someone they really dislike and would like to shut down his ministry. It’s turns out, that when all is said and done, his students feel inadequate and threatened. Jesus teaches them (and us) how to deal with people and situations that make us feel inadequate. The text is Mark 9.
In this episode, Celtic Preacher looks at Jesus' perspective on arguments. The disciples are caught fighting over things they think are important and Jesus steps in to give them a new perspective. As usual, the wisdom of Jesus is timeless and makes perfect sense for us today, 2000 years later. Jesus teaches us how to minimize the suffering conflict causes in our lives.
In this episode we will look at Jesus' teaching on finding, what he called, abundant life. We can waste a lot of time and energy following the wrong impulses, motives and energy. It’s worth paying attention to our patterns. If we keep ending up in situations we don’t like, situations that deplete our energy, are not life giving and keep us from moving forward, have we contributed to this outcome in anyway? It’s easy to get stuck. In this lesson, Jesus teaches a new way of living that can save us from our old ways of doing things. The text is The Gospel of Mark chapter 7
Life is messy, complicated and sometimes desperate measures are called for. Persistence is needed and requred for such times. Jesus gives us an example of what trust looks like in this passage. When Plan A fails and we have no Plan B what are we to do? Jesus delights in a frantic women's persistence and uses her as an example of great faith. Matthew 15
How does Jesus respond to criticism and what can we learn from him? We have all been on the receiving end of other people's misinformed judgements. In this episode, Celtic Preacher, looks at Jesus' response to the religious leaders' inaccurate judgements of his students/disciples. Rather than react to others in anger, withdrawal or depression, Jesus shows us another way. The text is the Gospel of Mark Chapter 7
Most of us can identify things we would like to change in our lives. In this healing story Jesus shows us that the problem we identify as needing "fixed" may not be the problem God is ultimately concerned with. Jesus targets brokeness that is not so obvious- even to ourselves. In this episode we see how God's healing works in our lives. The text is Mark 5 Episode 10
It's not always easy to know what the next step is? Life is complex and answers are not always clear. In this teaching, God, asks the ancient prophet, Elijah, a question that puts him back on track. It's a question that can help us all, thousands of years later. Sometimes, all we need is a good question to set us on the right course. In this episode Celtic Preaher loos at the ancient Hebrew scripture, 1 Kings 18, and Elijah the prophet's struggle with depression and a lack of a sense of direction, which reveal life lessons for today.
Regret, second guessing yourself, questioining a decision you've made, are all common challenges. How does God meet us during times of regret? What spiritual lessons can we learn from our ancient foremothers and fathers when they questioned their decisions to head out into new territory? Exodus 16
Life's tests and challenges are not about passing nor failing, according to Jesus teaching. Jesus tests his student, Philip, to show Philip something about himself. The spiritual principal Jesus teaches is that testing times in life show us something we need to know about ourselves. Episode 7
Celtic Preacher looks at the teaching of Jesus and learns from him how to live with a broken heart. After Jesus cousin dies we see how Jesus copes with grief. We all suffer from various losses; sickness, divorce, empty nests, loosing a job, gving up on a dream... how can our spiritual lives strengthen and help us during times of loss?
"When I am weak I am strong," St Paul said. It was an unusual thing to say 2000 years ago and it's just as strange today. Paul learned how to live with a problem that never left him. He learned how to live in such a way that the pain never dominated his life nor took center stage. How can we learn to do the same?
Lessons of living in a fearful world. Celtic preacher looks at the miracle of Jesus calming the storm and asks why would that help me? How does Jesus help us through the storms in my life- especially when the storm seems to remain! I mean, when you think about it, it's not like you pray and everything is just fine, right?
What is going on when we wait/move ahead/pray and nothing seems to change at all? How can it be that there is still no change no matter what we do? Celtic Preacher looks at the Parable of Seed that Jesus told. It answers questions we often wonder about. "Why is nothing changing?" "Where is God working in my life?" How can I see God's work in the world? Off course it's not quite what we expect as is the case of most of the teachings of Jesus.
"I still haven't found what I'm looking for," could easily be Adam and Eve's song. We find them filled with disappointment when they reached for the forbidden fruit. What is it about us that keeps reaching for things that simply do not satisfy? In this first episode we will look at the ancient passage in Genesis and see ourselves doing again and again what Adam and Eve did in Paradise. Why do I always want more?