This month: Trauma
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Jason Locke

a preacher in Fresno; a husband to Julie; a father to two boys; and pilgrim like all other believers; one who is pursuing God and inviting others along for the journey

Homepage: http://jlockeblog.blogspot.com

Jesus. Love. God. All great one-word messages for the church. Hard to argue against those.

If I had one word for the church, though, it would be something else. Yes, we need Jesus. Yes, we ought to be defined by love. Yes, our allegiance has to be to God above all other powers. I don’t disagree.

As for me, I’d sum up our most basic need with one word. Mission. Most…

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There’s a reason why Jesus told parables and not myths.

An example of a myth is “Beauty and the Beast.” In its simplest form, the story resolves all inherent problems. The tension of the drama concludes in the most ideal fashion. The beast is released from his beastliness and becomes a beautiful prince. Together with…

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In the 1980s the Black Student Association at Fresno State displayed this slogan, “We have a SIN problem, not a SKIN problem.” It’s a true statement that sounds overly simplistic. Skin problems are still here because sin is still here. Some briefly thought we might be living in a post-racial world. We now realize that sin hasn’t gone away—and with it tensions about race have resurfaced with a vengeance. We live in…

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If the Book of Romans is Paul’s most important letter, then we ought to hone in on passages such as Rom 15:4-13. These ten verses summarize the entire message of book: The good news is that ALL are God’s chosen people—both Jews and Gentiles. Glory be to God!

Paul’s universalist-sounding message brings up a key question. If we are all fellow recipients of God’s promises, then how well are we to…

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Does religion divide people? Is it race, socioeconomic status or politics that separates us? Is our world and are the churches that inhabit that world hopelessly divided by things that we are helpless to control?

As a Jew trained by the prominent Jewish teacher Gamaliel, Paul had learned that what divided people was religion. Jews had the Law and were therefore superior. Gentiles did not have the Law and were…

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As we leave behind the acrimonious year of 2016, can I make a plea for unity among God’s people in 2017? Paul made a similar appeal in the first century. His letter to the Romans provides us with clear markers for how to get there. In particular, Romans 15:4-13 is a text that summarizes the complex message of Romans. It reveals Paul’s…

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The Mennonite professor stood in front of his Christian Ethics class at a local seminary. It was the first day of class. “Take out a sheet of paper and answer the following question: What should we have done after 9/11? Quickly write down what you think we should have done.”

Students scribbled furiously for a couple minutes before the teacher interrupted and declared, “I don’t want to know what you…

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To illustrate how far down the wrong path many Christians have gone, consider the following not-so-far-fetched, hypothetical situation: Christian protesters stand in opposition to one another. All carry picket signs that read, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” One group is against abortion. The other is protesting the death penalty. But get this. Each group is opposed to the other’s issues. The pro-lifers believe in capital punishment, while the anti-death-penalty folks are pro-choice. They begin to…

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Can’t wait until my “loving Christian brothers and sisters” weigh in on this issue and trash our president. They’ll no doubt refer to those pardoned as “scum of the earth who deserve to rot in jail.”

This zinger caught my worship minister’s eye in a recent Facebook conversation. She was initially shocked by the words. Her shock turned to sorrow, however,…

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An upside down world? Or an upside down church? Where we sit determines not just our perspective but also decides whether or not we need to be turned upside down in order to effectively live out the good news of the Kingdom.

If you spend any time reading Mark’s Gospel, you can’t help but feel your world being turned upside down….

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