New Here?
     
Bible


Devotion # 4 – Larry Parlsey (Colossians 1:21-23)

The next video from our gathering in NYC features conference chaplain Larry Parsley. Here Larry addresses shame and the curation of blemishes — and from where we draw our ultimate hope:

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Colossians 1:21-23 NIV)

Devotion 4 – Larry Parsley from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Shared Story 4

I had the privilege this past week of attending a field trip with my son’s third grade class. It was held at a place called Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization that sends food to places around the world where children and families desperately need nourishment. We helped assemble, seal, and box the bags […]

Above the Noise: A Word of Comfort in a World of Sound

The ears, Martin Luther said, are “the only organs of the Christian.” His point was not to contradict Paul’s “body of Christ” analogy but that hearing is the most passive of the senses. While the watchful eye and the grabbing hand both suggest a more aggressive mode of action, the ears simply receive whatever comes […]

Ancient Samaritans and 70s Seminarians

It was curious to me that the first Christians didn’t see the parable of the Good Samaritan as a purely ethical mandate. I’m talking about the oft maligned, rarely approved interpretation of the Good Samaritan parable that nearly every early church father embraced. If you dabble in the waters of church history, then you know […]

Shouting Louder (Mark 10:46-52)

This morning’s devotion is taken from Larry Parsley’s book An Easy Stroll Through a Short Gospel: Meditations on Mark. …they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he […]

G.K. Minds His P’s and Q’s: Why Human Happiness Depends on Good Doctrine

I hate to admit it, but I am not a DIY person. In an age where there are countless instructional videos online to walk me through any number of household tasks, I, for the most part, tragically remain a get-someone-else-to-do-it person. Call it what you will — apathy, entitlement, laziness — but it is a […]

NOW AVAILABLE! StoryMakers – Advent

Thrilled to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through the online shop! In addition to Creation and the Flood, children can now journey through Advent with comics, striking visuals, plays, and more. Activities are recommended for ages 6-12.

Advent Comic Series: Joy to the world…! Advent is here and so is our Comic Series. Order one Comic per child and discover the true meaning of the season. This 4-week series takes you through the epic arrival of Jesus. Kids will discover the incredible events that led up to the birth of our Savior. This illustrated comic brings the season of Advent to life.

Advent Pageant: Dive right into the story of Jesus’s birth. The StoryMaker pageant tells the story from the perspective of two shepherds. The story is simple and easy for any group of children to engage. There is plenty of room to add barn animals, angels, and stars as non-speaking roles. Remember to delve in, use your imagination, and have fun!

Advent Guide: The Christmas story can be a little tricky to teach little ones. There are many dramatic elements, miracles, and the appearance of angels, which leaves plenty of room for questions. Our Guide for Grown-Ups does the heavy lifting and will help any teacher or parent navigate the depth of the Christmas story. All you need is one per class or parent.

Advent Starter Kit: Includes all of the above: our seasonal Comic series, a Christmas Pageant, and a Guide for Grown-Ups. The Advent Starter kit has everything you need to share the greatest story shared every year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hopelessly Devoted: First Corinthians Chapter Four Verses Three Through Four

This entry comes from Paul Walker’s “Almost Daily Devotional”:

It’s been said that life is like a courtroom. We find we need to defend ourselves against the judgment and accusation of others. Sometimes that judgment is real; more often, it is imagined. Another person’s “success,” or what appears to be success to us, will cause us to judge ourselves. You know the saying: “you are your own worst critic.” So many of our prison sentences are self-imposed.

St. Paul knew this universal proclivity but also knew the way to commute the sentence. “I care very little, however, if I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me. It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). What Paul is saying is the lens by which we perceive judgment — whether from ourselves or others — is so warped and faulty that it is better to disregard the accusations altogether.

And in any case, the only person fit for the job of judgment is the Lord. And if that is the case, then go ahead and walk scot-free out of that courtroom door. And while you’re at it, put your hand in the hand of the man who said, “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12:47). For He is our only Mediator and Advocate.

“Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.”  (Proper 22 – Book of Common Prayer p. 234)

How Jesus Solves the Trolley Problem

There’s a famous thought experiment called the Trolley Problem that goes like this: imagine you are standing by a trolley track, and an out-of-control trolley car whizzes by. Looking ahead, you see that five people have been tied to the track by an evil moustache-twirling villain, and they will die if the trolley continues on […]

Help Kids Hear the Story: With StoryMakers

Like a lot of children raised in a denomination, I remember my Sunday school classes teaching me about my denomination. There were the seasonal colors, things about the liturgical calendar, and something to do with sheep. To be honest, I was never sure if the goal was to make me Christian or just to make […]

A God’s-Eye View (In the Grip of the Talons): Big Fish, Small Ponds, and the Fisher of Men

Every bus, trolley, and fire truck in my town has a proud slogan blazoned on its doors: “Charlottesville: A World Class City!” No doubt, what is meant to bring a sense of pride to our 40,000 residents is pretty cute to those who live in any actual city. The claim isn’t totally unwarranted: there’s a […]

Memory and the Trauma of History

What does remembering tragedies like September 11th accomplish here and now? What do we channel in remembering, and what dangers are there in it? “Remembering,” I once heard a minister claim, “is the art of the mature.” I wrote it beside the second verse of Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget […]