Post Category: Spiritual Insights

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Welcome to Lent

Since the earliest days of Christianity God’s people have celebrated the season of Lent. One way in which this season is celebrated is through the Rite of Ashes. While traditionally done on Ash Wednesday, the ashes, made from the burning of palm fronds, are applied to the forehead in the sign of the cross as a reminder of our mortality, as a sign of repentance, and a pub...

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Comfort and Joy | Advent 2016

This year at OSNY we are giving special focus to the songs of Christmas. Of course we will be singing them, but throughout Advent we will be studying them as well. We will examine their scriptural foundations, trace their stories of origin, and mine each meter for meaning and truth. ...

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Pride and Middle School Band: A Cringe-Worthy Lesson in Gratefulness

My heart raced. I was sitting in the band room at Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School (“LBJ, All the Way!”), struggling to get comfortable in a hard plastic chair in the old school’s musty bandroom. My hands were sweaty and I closed my eyes, pleading with God in a rapid, unspoken prayer for my name to be called. But truth be told, I wasn’t really praying for my name to...

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People Get Ready

Whenever I hear the phrase, “People of God” two images are immediately brought to mind. The first is of the child’s hand pantomime. The second image is of myself, at a time in my life where I felt divorced from God and very alone in the world......

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Unforced Rhythms of Grace

The movement of this world is a constant melding of minds and relationships. It seems our lives are filled with new information and relentless communication--our devices serving as extensions of our thumbs, tap-tap-tapping away on the touch screen. When looking around, heads are down, earbuds are in and one might notice their emails rapidly filling their inbox as quickly a...

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Running To Die.

What I didn't suspect was that I was being pursued. God was on my trail because he had already made a deal with me through the waters of baptism and I had confirmed the contract a few years later. I wasn't going to get away so easily......

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Hold Fast.

H-O-L-D F-A-S-T. I cannot come up with a more concise directive for how to live the Christian life. Summed up in this phrase is Jesus' greatest commandment: "Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37 NIV). Hold fast....

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How To Have The Best Year Of Your Life

The New Year is all about beginnings. We tend to see this season as a fresh start, a sort of baptism into a better life. We clean out our closets, buy dumbbells, create lists, and make bold declarations about how different things will be. On one hand, the New Year seems to be a time of rejuvenation and change. But as we know all too well, it can quickly become a time of un...

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Temporary Happiness to a Momentary Manager

Life is filled with things that bring temporary happiness to a momentary manager. They are here today, yes, but gone tomorrow for sure. Life changes fast and we cannot manage every detail. We do not have the capacity to truly manage ANY single detail because material riches are not ours......

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Worshiping Control and Holding on to Fear

All my life I have sought to control how I live. I became so enamored with control I sought it every aspect of my life. I really thought I had everything under control. Then came my rude awakening. This time around was about a second chance. This time around it was about being still and knowing God. This time around it would be different....

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Heart Your Hood | Thoughts On Serving Your Neighbor

The carnival was a bit of a novel idea in this city. Living in New York for the past two years, I have come to realize that things here are rarely free. When they are, there is usually a catch involved. Because of this, New Yorkers often have a reputation for being suspicious people, and perhaps there is some truth to that. In a city where we are constantly bombarded by...

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