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Posts Tagged ‘Sandi Justad’

We’ve been wondering what it would be like to really, truly, honestly welcome anyone to come to join us in worship. It’s one thing to smile and invite someone in. But we’re thinking about whether our open door still says in some fashion, “You can come in, so long as you plan to be just like us when you leave!” What if the welcome mat said, “There’s something about you that we need. Please share it!” (more…)

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The subject of this week’s Bible Lesson, Everlasting Punishment, reminds me of a story I’m going to tell on myself here. When I was little, I thought sin was more like a monster. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it must be terrible. I knew really evil people were sinners, and that something horrendous would end up happening to them if they didn’t find a way to fix their sins. My Sunday School teacher taught our class that when we stopped sinning altogether, we’d end up experiencing heaven, the kingdom of God. It would be so beautiful and peaceful. Well, the thought of sitting in a rocking chair and observing peaceful, beautiful scenery was terrifying. I’d much rather jump out of trees, and chase fireflies on summer nights than have to sit still for eternity! I had a horrible decision to make – would I keep sinning, even though I didn’t know what it was, and risk everlasting punishment? Or would I sacrifice fun for the sake of eternal stillness? I cried, telling my teacher I didn’t want to be so good yet. (more…)

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One of the points of discussion at the Gathering on Sunday will include the portion of Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” known as “the beatitudes.” They all start with Jesus’ assurance that we’re going to be blessed, or happy. And that happiness is based on seeing things the way Jesus sees them. For example, he teaches that people who mourn will be comforted, and people who hunger and thirst after righteousness are going to be filled. The big question is, “How does that happen?” That’s a question we may want to discuss at the Gathering. (more…)

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