The Latest & Greatest from River of Hope

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Confirmation Sunday

Yesterday, these 9 young men and women stood in front of their families and talked about what a life of faith means to them. What it looks like in their daily lives. Their mentors and parents also stood to talk about what faith looks like in their lives too. [Read more…]

Bathsheba, Me Too

Sermon from Sunday, October 21, 2018

Scripture reading (click the link to read): 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9;

Listen to the sermon right here:

Shadow boxing with Matthew 1 – Week of October 14, 2018

Today is the day we begin reading the book of Matthew – one chapter a week, reading the same chapter once a day, picking up pen and paper (or turning to a keyboard) and writing down your questions, your thoughts, and seeing how they change over a week’s time.

Full disclosure: Matthew is not my favorite book in the Bible. Out of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the 4 books called the Gospels which means Good News), my favorite is Mark and then comes Luke and then John and, if I must put it on the list, Matthew. So I’ve got to shadow box with it. I’ve got to contend with it because it does have Good News to share and I wonder if I will have ears to hear it in a new way through this practice of reading it one chapter at a time, slowly but surely.

Feel free to SOAP this reading, if it helps you get into it in new ways.  What’s SOAP?

S – Scripture.  Read it. What stands out to you? Underline it or write it down.

O – Observations. What do you think this scripture says about God? About you? Write one part in your own words.

A – Application. How does this apply to your life right now? How does it bug you or comfort you?

P – Pray. What do you need to say to God or hear from God?

Glad to be with you on this journey through Matthew. I can’t do  it alone!

10 Commandments Sermon

“I’ll Be Your Mirror” is one of my favorite songs by the Velvet Underground. It’s a plaintive song of one singing to another that they will reflect the beauty of the other because they simply can’t see it themselves.  “Please put down your hands, cuz I see you,” she sings.  The song ends with the overlapping “Reflect what you are/I’ll be your mirror.”  What if we saw the 10 commandments as a mirror?  [Read more…]

Steady Eddy

River of Hope recently gathered its leadership together to look down river for what is next.  We “eddied out” as the river rats would say.  We looked behind us at the distance we’ve come. We looked where we are right now. And we looked down stream, all the while asking where God has been and is right now.

[Read more…]

Breathing Lessons

Exodus 19:3-7: 20:1-17 preached in worship on Sunday, September 30

Can you breathe?  On the surface of it, it sounds like a silly question. But I mean, full, deep breaths? Filling your lungs so you can feel your toes and the tip of your head? Full breaths that tell you you’re alive and that there is life in you and around you?  Do you breathe like that? Let’s take a few moments. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Slowly. Deliberately. Close your eyes. Here you are. Right now. Isn’t that invigorating? Isn’t that freeing? [Read more…]

Joseph in Jail

Genesis 39:1-23 – Preached in worship at River of Hope on Sunday, September 21, 2018

In the Bible, there are often headings of chapters put there by the interpreters in an effort to help the reader know what’s going on. Sometimes they are great headings and truly helpful and other times, not so much. I’m going to sum up Joseph’s story and see if you can guess what title I’d give these chapters in the Bible: Joseph is daddy’s favored of the 11 children of Jacob. He even gets a fancy coat so that everyone is clear about that. That’s not fair.  [Read more…]

Noah’s Ark

Sermon for September 9, 2018–Noah’s Ark

Genesis 6:5-22, 8:6-12, 9:8-17

When I think about this story in the Bible, I always have questions. Like, “How could all of those animals fit on the ark? How did Noah feed them all? Did it smell really bad?” or “Were Noah and his family the only good people left on earth? Why did God choose him? Weren’t there other “good” people alive? There had to be, right?”Did you know that the story of Noah’s Ark can be found in the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah? But does that make it real? According to the BBC Documentary Noah’s Ark-The Real Story that I watched on YouTube (and because everything on YouTube is real, this must be true), scientists have been trying to prove or disprove the story for over a hundred years. [Read more…]

Open your heart


Acts 28: 17-30            September 2, 2018

Have you ever felt your heart go dull? Or your ears shut down? What has blocked your vision? When is it seemingly impossible for you to hear Good News as just that – Good News? It’s the situation we find Paul in today. He is under house arrest and yet is still able to preach freely. Yet he’s preaching to folks who cannot hear, whose hearts are closed off.  He’s invited faithful Jewish people and leaders into his home to make the case for Jesus. And they aren’t having it. [Read more…]