Overflowing Thankfulness

A few years ago when my children were much younger, I read Winnie the Pooh stories to them and found a quote from the book that has made its way deep into my heart. Perhaps it was the way A. A. Milne introduces real life “adult” lessons through a children’s story or perhaps it’s the Read the full article →

The Mind of Christ

There are a lot of troubling things going on in the news today:  a boat of women and children capsizes while fleeing from Myanmar, tensions between the United States and North Korea are escalating, Mexico City is in ruins after an earthquake, a Guatemalan mudslide kills several people, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico is without Read the full article →

Magnitude and Direction

Recently, among my usual grab bag of sermon illustrations, I mentioned Despicable Me, a movie adored by my boys (OK, fine, and me). The film’s villain is named Vector, because—as he explains with enthusiasm—he commits crimes with both direction and magnitude. Jesus asked his disciples a crucial question: who do you say that I am? Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus 11.20.16 – “An Important Failure”

  In the sermon Sunday, I mentioned the poem by W.H. Auden called “Musee des Beaux Arts.”  In the poem, Auden talks about Pieter Bruegel’s painting, The Fall of Icarus.  In the painting, everyone is turning away from Icarus as he plunges into the sea.  To them, it simply wasn’t an “important failure.” When we Read the full article →

Do Not Fear

Many Americans are reporting that they feel considerable anxiety about the upcoming election. According to the American Psychological Association around 52 percent of people surveyed said the election “is a very or somewhat significant” source of stress. Never have two candidates for president been so disliked, even reviled, by the Americans they hope to convince Read the full article →

The Mission of the Church

Earlier this week, I met a man who emigrated from Iraq with his family.  He explained to me that over there he had a full time job and the ability to support his family, whereas now he is working three jobs and taking night classes just to try to make ends meet.  But he came Read the full article →

What we mean by “Fitting In”

Last Sunday Kolby kicked off a new sermon series called “Fitting In” based on 1 Peter. We carefully selected this book of the Bible for the Church Season at Restoration because the ideas in our Community Group study on Jamie Smith’s book You Are What You Love beautifully dovetail with the message of the Apostle Read the full article →

When You Cannot Pray

Our church has just started reading James K. A. Smith’s book You Are What You Love in our community groups. It is essentially a book about the spiritual power of habit. In the opening chapter Jamie (that’s the name the author goes by) asks a very poignant question: “What do you want?” Jaime points out Read the full article →

There are no solitary polar explorers

Over a decade ago I experienced what I can only call a kind of second conversion. I was a “just me and Jesus” kind of Christian, tired of less spiritually passionate pew-sitters bogging down my my recklessly individualized spiritual walk with God. A wise teacher broke through my personalized approach to Christianity when he said, Read the full article →

Christmas is 12 Days

We are happy to say that it is still Christmas at Restoration! Merry Christmas! On the Church Calendar Christmas lasts from December 25 through January 5—or the twelve days of Christmas. But this isn’t just a quaint bit of history that we remember as we pack away the tree and ornaments. It is an invitation Read the full article →

The Last Purple Candle

Last year, we bought our first ever advent wreath, complete with candles.  At dinner, we light the candles, say a prayer and spend a minute talking about Jesus’ birthday. My little boys aren’t quite ready for the subtle mix of excitement and longing that’s offered in this season.  I’ve been reading our daily office lectionary Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus 12.13.15

Sunday morning we gathered together for a “worship in the park” service outside of Slate. The weather was slightly uncooperative so Kolby has provided the text to his sermon in case you were not able to catch all of it. Jesus is…All-Powerful Even without the candles lit, hopefully you still remember that we are in Advent, Read the full article →

Jesus Is…Human

In our new Advent sermon series, “Jesus is…” we want to redirect our focus from an overly simplified or sentimental explanation of Jesus back to the mystery of the the Incarnation. We found our inspiration for “Jesus Is…” in some of the commonly-held misunderstandings about the identity and nature of Jesus that popped up in Read the full article →

No Mask Required

Last Sunday our church held a service outside in the park. It was a wonderful, cool morning with our church family gathered around the table. In his sermon, Jed talked about wearing masks. How appropriate for the morning after Halloween! The reality is, however, most of us do wear masks outside of our homes. Be it fear or perhaps Read the full article →

10.25.15 Sermon & Bonus Material

Last Sunday Jed spoke about the meaning of the table in our worship and in our daily lives as we continue our “Home Matters” series. So many of the accounts of Jesus’ teachings and encounters with people happen over a meal. And yet so many things keep you and me the powerful companionship that happens Read the full article →

Sweet as Candy

We are just a few days from the biggest candy exchange of the year when, on Halloween night, my little ones race home with great jubilation to see what they have collected during their trick-or-treating. In the midst of the excitement I am not sure what is more satisfying to them:  dressing up and going door to door or Read the full article →

Pray & Sing

Saint Augustine, the fifth century theologian and bishop of the Roman city of Hippo in North Africa, is credited with saying, “A person who sings prays twice.” Congregational singing has always been a part of Christian worship and today a church service is one of the few places where your will find public singing at Read the full article →

Looking for Signs of the Kingdom

I don’t know how you could miss the news today but just in case: the Pope is visiting the United States. Restoration is not Roman Catholic and neither am I but if you think about it historically “all of us” come from the same Christian family tree. And so I am fascinated by the media analysis of the visit Read the full article →