Posts in Mount Olivet UMC
Earn All You Can

How we earn money is a clear and accurate indicator of our priorities. We might speak out in favor of honest work that others should be doing but do we follow the same prescription in our own businesses? We can earn by following the footsteps of someone else but at some point we have to begin living into the calling G-d has place on our lives because what you are called to will look different than what your mentor has been called to. We can preach about Sabbath and ethical practices but if we are not observing them ourselves our true commitments become more apparent.


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God Bless America... Said Jesus Never

More often than not the phrase is used in a cavalier manner. I do not doubt the sincerity of the hymn being sung in worship and prayed corporately or individually. The problem with this phrase arises when it is used without the acknowledgment of the blessings G-d has already given to America.

Hasn’t G-d already blessed America?

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The Bible Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It... Said Jesus Never

The Bible says a lot of things. It is a collection of books telling the story of the people of God. It is a book of covenant, heartache, promise, lament, renew, and hope. But “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it,” creates a problem.

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Preach the Gospel and When Necessary Use Words

The Gospel is not a habit or practice. It is not a list of mission trips must-dos or daily prayer journal habits, but instead, the Gospel is a history. Proclamation of the Gospel is the declaration that something happened on a tree on a hill over 2000 years ago and that three days after that something happened something even greater happened.

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Half Truth of Pentecost

What we proclaim is unmerited and irresistible new life and that we are not the source of that new life. There is nothing we can do to help ourselves corporately or individually experience the unmerited and irresistible new life given to us by through the promise of Christ and by the Holy Spirit.

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The Underwhelming ‘Meh’ of Easter

The ending of The Gospel of Mark does not fit the new life, new hope feeling we enjoy each year as we use Easter to signal the return of new life in spring. On a  day when we expect to feel the overwhelming presence of the risen Christ, the ending of Mark’s Gospel is entirely underwhelming.

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Dueling Parades

To challenge the empire, to be the counter-cultural voice, to put on a piece of political street theater, requires you to be willing to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere while it lasts because if you challenge things enough if you push the empire enough the empire will push back

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Jesus Throws Out a Demon

Because there is so much going on in this story, and the writer of Mark wrote such a condensed account of the ministry of Jesus, and on top of that uses misdirection, we miss it. The people in the synagogue did not miss it. Yes, they were astounded by the spirit being cast aside but they knew what was going on. They saw something different happening.

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Jonah, Jesus, and the Street Preacher

But what happens when God incarnate is the one calling us to repent and believe? It is easy to blow off the street preach as we walk out of Starbucks or to flip the channel when the slick-haired televangelist begins preaching. It’s easy to not make eye contact with someone on the street or turn off the television and go play with our kids. It is easy to write off the story of Jonah, but what are we to do when Jesus calls upon us to repent and believe?

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