Five Reflections from the Story of Ruth

New Hope Church has enjoyed a rich season tracking through the Old Testament book called “Ruth.” It is the beautiful, dramatic, and yet simple story of two widows seeking to find their way past hopelessness, despair, and grief. If you have not done so, let me urge you to read the Book of Ruth, and listen to the eight messages […]

“Walk By the Spirit!”

As the Apostle Paul brings closure to his thoughts regarding love being supreme over and above the fleshly extremes of license and law, he raises a tension regarding how to ensure this love will prevail. Galatians 5:16 and following resolve this tension with profound clarity, and the resolution is the antithesis of self-effort. “Walk by the Spirit,” the apostle pens, […]

If Jesus Did Not Rise . . .

John 20:11-18 tells the story of Mary Magdalene who, upon discovering the empty tomb, is unsure of what has happened and is clearly panicked by the idea that the Lord has been “taken away” (John 20:13). First she must deal with Jesus’ death, and now the possibility that someone has stolen his body, perhaps as some cheap stunt. Whatever hope […]

Set Upon the Spirit

The Apostle Paul declares in Romans 8:6, “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” I very much want that “life” and “peace” of which Paul speaks—that daily calm reflecting a meaningful connection with something bigger than me. Or Someone. Who is the “Spirit” about whom Paul […]

Living Above & Beyond with Extravagant Rejoicing

This post finds us continuing our series and Bethel Church’s special season entitled, “Living Above & Beyond,” an opportunity to mature as followers of Christ, with the goal of becoming the church that lives above and beyond material slavery, spiritual complacency and small-minded eternal vision. We want to raise our spiritual bar; indeed, we must and will, through the power […]

“Rest” or “Rant” – Again

Utterly preoccupied with those worries likely shared by most others on the road, worries such as work or finances or family or politics or whatever else one could add, I found myself muttering to God for some relief when suddenly I glanced upward from the traffic and noticed a large neon sign at the Flying J truck stop situated at […]