This world is not the way things are suppose to be.  Have you noticed? Our King and Kingdom are from a different place, but He is wanting to partner with us to set up his Kingdom on earth...today!  He taught us to pray, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 5). Our prayer should be to bring heaven to earth, Lord.

As we look at Matthew 13, Jesus would now teach with parables and only in parables (Matthew 13:3; 34). Jesus is going to preach about the Kingdom of God in parables for a decision now.  Are you going to be for me, be my disciple or not?  Parables were told for those who really cared.  They were sometimes "mysterious" and hard to understand for the original listeners or even for us.

What does faithful parenting look like today?

We must be committed - really committed - in four areas answering four questions:

First, we must be committed to a person.  This is commitment to our child(ren). Our children must sense our commitment to them.  This is important because their perception is reality.  They are not projects to work on.  They are a blessing from the Lord. We must love them and have their best interest in mind.

Let's talk politics.  This election year is out of control.  Have you watched a debate or interview with any one of the Presidential candidates?  I don't know what is happening.  I don't fully align with any political candidate or party. I am trying to figure out which political party is the best political party for me.  Maybe you can help me figure it out.  I have written about how to chose a President earlier here.

Which political party believes this complete list?

1.

I have noticed something in my years as a pastor. Are you ready? Here it is.

Most people don't want detailed doctrine; they want legitimate love.  Read that again in the details.

Before some of my friends push back, notice I used the adjectives "detailed" and "legitimate."

Let me explain.

Doctrine

Followers of Jesus looking for a local church home today tend to look past detailed doctrine like Calvinism, Arminianism, Creation and End Times Theology.

Where does morality originate?  

What does it have to do with our world and the presidential race?

The World

Our world is very corrupt, bankrupt and in disarray. Just a quick look at the last few days of news will tell the story. 

Terrorists attacked Belgium this week.  

ISIS is on the move with the purpose of taking over the world.  

Reports of 400 trained terrorists have been dispatched to Europe.  

Governments are ignoring countless millions need water and food around the world.

I have a confession to make. Many times my prayers do not line up with what I read in the Bible.  When I read Paul's prayers for the churches he planted and equipped, I see a pastor pouring out his heart for his people.  These prayers have challenged my heart and have changed the way I am praying for the church I lead.

In Ephesians 3:14-19, we have an example of one of Paul's prayers.  He is in jail, chained to a soldier.

Have you bought your chocolate, flowers and heart shaped candy for your sweetheart yet?  Hurry, it is almost Valentine's Day.  Many believe this is what Valentine's day is all about, but what is the back story.  

Who was Saint Valentine?  

What was his story?  

Brace yourself.  

It might not be what you thought.

The romance and love is not as big a deal as our current culture has made it.  Although Saint Valentine's views of marriage are a big deal in the story.

With nearly a million people were predicted to surround downtown Denver today to see the Championship Broncos travel down 17th Street to the capital building, unity was in the air.  One color prevailed.  The hashtag #UnitedInOrange was one HUGE reality.  The Denver Broncos united a city, even a State around a football game.  Amazing when you think about it.  All the individual differences and walls of ethnicity, economics, politics and even religion fell in a moment.

President Obama visited and spoke at a Mosque this week (source).  This is not unusual, as other President's have visited and spoken at Muslim Mosques in history, but for some reason this got me thinking, praying and studying.

In general, there are two streams of thought in theology that work their way out into the church.  There are Calvinists and Arminians.  These are named after two men who interpreted and see God and Salvation differently.

Calvin (French Theologian from 1509-1564) influenced Reformed Theology and Arminius (a Dutch Theologian living from 1560-1609) influenced Wesleyan Theology (named after John Wesley, English 1703-1791).
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