John said, "One is coming who is mightier than I ... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Fire is purifying. When Jesus baptizes you with his Holy Spirit, he burns up the ugly, useless chaff in your heart. That can be painful. It burns things up that we don't want touched. Nothing is sacred to the flame if it is contrary to God's will in your life. It's going to burn up and sear your precious sins. And it might get so hot that some of us won't be able to stand it and we'll try to stomp out the flames and hinder the red coals from catching again.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love Bethany Peerbolte Christopher Keating George Reed
For July 21, 2019:
Teamwork by Tom Willadsen — The US Women’s Soccer Team dominated the competition in the World Cup, winning their second consecutive title. The team demonstrated a deep personal commitment to every player on the team —everyone was important. Could we reimagine the relationship between Mary and Martha as one of a team rather than adversaries?
Elizabeth Achtemeier said that one of the greatest errors of young preachers is their desire to tell people that it is very easy to know the will of God. It is so easy, she said, to preach in black and white, to declare either this or that, with no shades of gray in between.
Bonnie Bates Mark Ellingsen Ron Love Bob Ove Bill Thomas R. Robert Cueni Frank Ramirez
Amos 8:1-12 I’m a baseball fan and this is the middle of baseball season, so I thought this might be an appropriate and helpful story. An umpire named Babe Pinelli once called the legendary Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with disapproval at the call, Ruth turned to the umpire and angrily said, “There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was a ball, tomato head.”
On our first visit to Malta many years ago, we stayed in the rural south of the island. At that time there were few hotels and those were situated farther north, in St Paul's Bay and Sliema. The south was agricultural country, where a friend of ours happened to have part share in a "villa". The "villa" turned out to be a small farm house.
Farming at the time was very primitive, with the farmer walking over his field behind a hand-held plough. All has now changed, of course, but then it was just like a throw-back to Biblical times in the Middle East.