These are the resources that I'm brewing for real Christians like you. Look for digital downloads and products in the days ahead. And for now, feel free to browse the youth ministry, podcast, and preaching content below:
Christian Piatt returns to the podcast to talk about the latest installment in his Surviving the Bible series.
The intersection of faith and doubt is viewed either as a badge of honor for some Christians but for others, doubt has no place.
Is it possible to hear someone blushing on a podcast? What is podophobia? Should we listen to people who wear robes on Sunday? These questions and more on the latest episode of Strangely Warmed featuring your’s truly and the one and only Taylor Mertins.
In a world that is messy and a church that is imperfect, it's easy to let our faith be lost. But that doesn't mean we have to lose God. It means we must consider that perhaps our idealized expectations are wrong.
Everyone has a backstory, and for preachers, that backstory sets the stage for preaching.
The Elephant in the Room according to Taylor Mertins
This episode was supposed to be a collection of interviews about the Commission on The Way Forward. But because no one wanted to go on the record, Jason, Taylor, and I talk about the one thing that everyone wants to talk about but doesn't want to talk about.
In this collection of sermons, you’ll find three United Methodist pastors doing what pastors do, sharing the good news. And trying to help us members of the laity get a healthy dose of some blessed catechism.
We talk about offerings each week during worship as metal plates passed through our sanctuaries. Did you know offerings go back to the Hebrew Bible and were a part of how the day-to-day religious life of Israel was organized?
By purchasing this book you are helping to keep the conversations about faith without stained-glass language going. Proceeds from this book will help cover the cost of servers, websites, and future live event.
While we look at this season of anticipating a birth we have to also remember that Christ has already been born, and we now live as a Church awaiting his return and with his return the fullness of the Kingdom of G-d will be made known to us.
When we are baptized, named and claimed as beloved by our Creator, we proclaim Christ as our Savior and promise to serve Him as Lord. That was a bold profession to make 2000 years ago and it continues to be so today. It is a declaration that Christ is Lord and everything else is secondary. Our allegiance lies with Christ, because of the promises made at our baptism which means the truth for our lives looks different from those who do not make the same proclamation.
The incarnation reveals to us is that while the darkness may seem dark, the Light of Christ always prevails.
The saints of the past and us today have flaws. They, we, fell short of what Christ describes as the greatest of the things we are supposed to do. But in Christ loving us as himself, the saints and each of us are made righteous. What once was thought to separate us from the love of G-d is no more and Christ invites us to join him and the saints around His table. Clothed in the righteousness of Christ through our Baptism into His life, death, and resurrection, and not our own self-righteousness, we are declared holy. The greatest commandments, loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and loving your neighbor is a little less daunting knowing that before we ever attempt to fulfill it, Christ first loved us. Christ fulfilled it for us.
Much of what we do as followers of Christ is based upon mystery. From the basics of how exactly did Jesus turn water into wine or how the feeding of the 5000 actually happen to the sacraments - Baptism and Communion - there is much that we claim to know but what we think we know pales in comparison to the mystery that still remains.
What Jesus said to the disciples shapes our lives as followers of Jesus, individually, and as a community. Discipleship means following Jesus with childlike reliance and living a cross-bearing life that resists the power and prestige we grasp for when our own security is in question.
Quoting Genesis instead of echoing Deuteronomy, Jesus told the Pharisees that the Kingdom of G-d, G-d’s disruptive reign, will empower those previously without power. Social structures designed to keep people groups in their place will be disrupted. This point is driven home further when Jesus double-down, using children, a segment of the population viewed as property, to illustrate what kind of dependency, reliance on G-d, will be necessary to be apart of the Kingdom building work Jesus has begun in his own ministry.
“Hey, excuse me, sir, um could you please move so uh I can get a glimpse of Jesus. Yeah, I’m the guy who took more in taxes from you than you needed to pay, yeah don’t worry I’m still holding onto the money, I haven’t spent it all yet. But could you do me a solid and help a brother out?”
Everything leading up to Jospeh’s rise was counter to the cultural norms. His rise to Pharaoh’s court forced Joseph to enter into the ““culture of now”” and convince them it was time for a change to prepare themselves for what was about to happen.
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.
Andy Root thinks the church's obsession with growing young might be misguided. Joined by Rev. Drew Colby, Jason and I interviewed Dr. Andy Root of Luther Seminary and author of Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with Youthfulness on the latest episode of Crackers and Grape Juice.