thrive UMC Blog

Questions We Didn’t Ask

Last week we started reading the story of Jonah, whom God called to prophesy in the foreign city of Nineveh.  But instead of going where he was sent, Jonah gets on a boat and heads the opposite direction.  And then this big storm rises up while they’re on the boat, and it turns out that’s

23 Jan 2019
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The Hardest Words to Say

1 The Lord’s word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: 2 “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention.” 3 So Jonah got up—to flee to Tarshish from the Lord! He went down to Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went

16 Jan 2019
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Christmas Aftermath

For a number of years now, I’ve felt like the week that follows Christmas day is the Stephen Baldwin of December: given its predecessors, it’s just kind of a let-down.  I mean, here we have the whole exciting season of Advent dedicated to building up our grand Christmas expectations; and that season is typically characterized

31 Dec 2018
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Splitting Heaven

Before we get to our scripture reading for today, I just wanted to ask you all a couple of quick questions.              My first question is this: How many of you have made any kinds of preparations for Christmas?For those of you who made Christmas preparations, how many of you were hoping that some kind

19 Dec 2018
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Prophet’s Peace Unwelcome

Already we’re in week two of Advent, which is a season of waiting and expectation.  And I think for those of us today, it’s hard to imagine the degree and the sheer intensity of the expectancy that the Jewish people were enduring. Remember,by the time Jesus was born, the last remnant of the 12 tribes

12 Dec 2018
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Widow’s Hope

Ruth 1:11-18, 4:13-17 Today begins a new season of Advent. It’s the time of the year where we both anticipate and celebrate the event of the incarnation.  Remember: the one God of the highest heavens became a human being, some two thousand years ago, and dwelt among us, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

05 Dec 2018
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Over Giants and Kings

16 So Joshua took this whole land: the highlands, the whole arid southern plain, the whole land of Goshen, the lowlands, the desert plain, and both the highlands and the lowlands of Israel. 17 He took land stretching from Mount Halak, which goes up toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the

28 Nov 2018
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Writing Over a Messy Past

6 Now Jericho was closed up tightly because of the Israelites. No one went out or came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “Look. I have given Jericho and its king into your power, along with its mighty warriors.3 Circle the city with all the soldiers, going around the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry

20 Nov 2018
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Not Alone

Joshua, 4:10-19, 5:1 10 Meanwhile, the priests carrying the chest were standing in the middle of the Jordan. They stood there until every command that the Lord had ordered Joshua to tell the people had been carried out. This was exactly what Moses had commanded Joshua. The people crossed over quickly.11 As soon as all the people had finished

14 Nov 2018
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Making God’s Word Unapproachable

3 Joshua took down the camp early in the morning. He and all the Israelites marched out of Shittim and came to the Jordan, where they stayed overnight before crossing. 2 At the end of three days the officers went through the middle of the camp. 3 They commanded the people, “As soon as you see the Lord your God’s chest containing

07 Nov 2018
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