210- End With a Beginning

“How is a sermon supposed to end?”

At the end of Jesus’ most famous sermon, there is no invitation to convert to a religion. There is no demand for money or support. He doesn’t even close with a prayer or a song. 

Join me now as we conclude our 25-week series of the Sermon on the Mount. As we see beyond the simple metaphor that he uses to illustrate that there is a right and a wrong way to build our lives. Perhaps the most durable, lasting foundation for life is actually something beyond our ability to describe in words.

209-The Authenticity Test, Part 2

“How do we know if we are being real?” Last week we looked at the litmus test for authenticity in others. Today we explore the test for ourselves.

Think about this question. How can you determine if you are reflecting your true inner self or if you go through life wearing a persona, a fake ID, and hoping others don’t find you out?

In today’s podcast and post, we take a look at what many scholars have called the most horrifying verse in the bible. Join me now as we see beyond perfunctory religious “fronting” and discover the one thing that proves our authenticity.

208- The Authenticity Test

“How do you know if someone is truly being real with you?”

What is your litmus test for authenticity? If you are like most people, you focus on a person’s deeds or misdeeds. But do they really tell the whole story?

In today’s podcast and post, we examine the passage about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Join me now as we see beyond the fake ID, into our many pseudonyms, as we discover that becoming authentic is marked not by ascending, but by first descending.

206-The Big Answer to Seeking and Knocking

“Is God some kind of cosmic vending machine?”

We are all people in need. As such, it isn’t uncommon to ask for a little help now and then. At times of need or doubt we may offer a prayer to get help from a power greater than ourselves. But how many of these go unanswered? 

In today’s podcast and post we arrive at the Apex of the Sermon on the mount. If you’ve ever wanted to ask God why he didn’t answer your prayer, then you are in the right spot. Today Jesus reveals the answer to this burning question as we learn to see Beyond Everything.

205- When Judgement Becomes Hypocrisy

“Have you ever wondered why we are all so judgmental?”

It true. We cannot drive down the road, go to a public place, visit a new city or even do our favorite pastimes without passing judgement on others.  Given the fact that we deeply resent being falsely judged, why do you suppose that we are so critical of others? Why don’t we recognize our own hypocrisy?

In today’s podcast and post, we see beyond the admonition “Do not judge.” Join me now as we explore the only counter-measure powerful enough to free us into a life of peace and acceptance: ophthalmological surgery.

204- Don’t Worry About Your Life

“How much of each day do you spend worrying about your life?”

Are you constantly drawn into the feed of politics, news events, market fluctuations, and the state of the world? What happens if things don’t get better? What is your plan should everything go to pot?

These questions help us realize that we spend quite a bit of time worrying about our life, and the marginalized around us worry about where they will live, what they will eat, or what they will wear. So how can Jesus say, in the Sermon on the Mount, “Don’t worry about your life.”? It seems impossible given the state of our world.

In today’s podcast and post, we look closer at this counter intuitive strategy for how to live in our tumultuous world without anxiety. Join me now as we see beyond our distractions and get a glimpse of the freedom from living without worry.

202-Accumulating Stuff or Treasure

“What if you could have a piece of wisdom that could fix nearly every problem in your life? Would you want it?

This might sound incredible, but many of us reject this vital key to life because we prioritize the wrong things. In today’s podcast we continue our look at the Sermon on the Mount and we review a principle that is easies to see through the lens of money.

Join me now as we see beyond our debt and finances into the principle that if followed, can transform not only our lives, but the world around.

201- Fasting NOT Performing

“Have you ever met someone who admits to being a hypocrite?”

Of course not. Hypocrites are always other people, right? In today’s podcast and post we examine yet another way Jesus calls religious people hypocrites; through fasting. Fasting in our modern world is usually employed for health and dietary benefits, but historically it has been a religious practice.

Join me now as we see beyond fasting at the real problem behind our hypocrisy and I offer a fasting challenge that will allow us to see that hypocrisy is not someone else’s problem, its ours.

199-Praying NOT Performing

“What does it mean to pray like a hypocrite?”

If we’re honest, how often is prayer something we have to endure? How often do our minds wander? How often does praying make us uncomfortable? We’ve encountered prayers so long and verbose they have sermons within them. We see demonstrative prayers, sometimes standing in circles at restaurants, or bowing on blankets in airports, or threatening with a loud speaker in public venues. To whom are such prayers directed; God or everyone around? Jesus calls it hypocrisy. 

In today’s post and podcast we continue Jesus’ deconstruction of religious acts of righteousness and see beyond praying as performance. Join me now as once again we enter our hidden place where God dwells but religion can never come.

198-Giving NOT Performing

“What does it mean to be a church going hypocrite?”

When I was a church going pastor, I worked hard to distinguish myself from those who said one thing and did another. I wanted the world to see that there was a different way to do the faith. There was, but I couldn’t see it until I finally learned how to give without being hypocrite.

In today’s post we explore our charitable giving and expose the dirty secret that institutional religion doesn’t want us to see. Turns out Jesus is no more impressed with our modern churches than he was of the temple.  Join me now as we see beyond what motivates us to give and expose why we prefer the lesser reward of recognition to something more hidden.