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Faith Unscripted is about faith, spirituality, and our inner life. There is so much hatred and misunderstanding in the world today. Faith reminds us that what unites us is far more profound than all that divides us. God has made each of us in His image. We are all brothers and sisters, all children of the creator and Father of us all. God has created each of us lovingly and given us a unique mission to accomplish in our lives. This podcast explores the connection we have to The Wisdom That L ...
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In this special episoce for the Jewish High Holy Days we discuss the meaning and importance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are important for all believers, and what we can learn from these beautiful commemorations of the New Year and the Day of Atonement respectively
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How Christians and other people of faith should engage in the debates and struggles of our times?. Believers must be involved in the world, but they must be engaged in a thoughtful and informed way. With so much spin and deception, how can we inform ourselves well enough to understand the issues? What do we need to know about the issues, and oursel…
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While teaching in the Synagogue on the Sabbath, Jesus encountered a disabled woman. He spoke to, touched, and healed her when he saw her. The people who witnessed this healing praised God. The synagogue leader, however, criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. That leader, too, needed healing from his rigidity and legalistic thinking. He needed…
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"It is the Father's great pleasure," Jesus tells us, "to give us the Kingdom." God LOVES to give what is most important, and all we have to do is accept the gift, and value it more than the stuff we accumulate. We should sell that and give to the poor - we should, ourselves, in other words, be find great pleasure in being generous. Then we will tre…
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"I have come to bring fire," Jesus tells his disciples, "and how I wish it were kindled." "I have not come to bring peace but division." With this warning, we must be prepared, be ready, and don't be afraid. We are not used to Jesus speaking about the division His message will bring, but he warns us that discipleship will not be easy. We can't expe…
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On August 15th, Christians around the world celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary. What does that mean, and what is the significance of Mary for the Church and our spirituality? Today's episode explains the Assumption's meaning, a belief dating back to Apostolic times. But what does it mean for us? Why did Carl Jung, the great Swiss psychi…
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Roxanne Watson received a lifesaving heart transplant 12 years ago. Since then, she has been a tireless advocate for organ donations, recruiting thousands of new donors. When Roxanne received her transplant, Roxanne received not only a new heart but a grateful one. She is thankful to Michael, her donor, and his family. She is grateful to God, the a…
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Greed is a terrible thing - it destroys families and it destroys lives. Jesus' Parable of the Rich Fool is a cautionary tale for all who are simply good business people, but miss the bigger picture and the greater challenge of life. What makes a good business person a fool? Well, you can read the parable or listen to this podcast to hear what Jesus…
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What is our relationship with God? Who are we as we stand before Him, and how do we come to know the One before whom we stand? The sacred texts of the Judeo-Christian tradition answer these questions - or at least they point to an answer. God is the creator, the Lord, and sovereign of the universe he created by speaking it into existence. So majest…
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We hear, in Luke 11, that Jesus' disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray. They did not ask for a prayer to say but for teaching about prayer. Jesus teaches them to pray to God as "our Father." We are the images and children of the God who creates, rescues, and redeems. The essence of this prayer is relationship. The God who created the unive…
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Jesus grew up a pious Jew among faithful Jews, keeping the Law of Moses and following the traditions of His people. We are witnesses of our faith in Christ, which means we must stand apart from the world's values. As Jesus was a healer, so must we heal others by practicing generous forgiveness. I hope you will find this episode of Faith Unscripted,…
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If we want to do what Jesus would have done in any situation in life that confronts us, we must first know how to live as Jesus lived. How did he live? The Gospels tell us clearly: Jesus was prayerful; he lived with kindness and compassion for the least, the vulnerable, and the marginalized. Jesus was generous: he gave his life to save us. This epi…
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Knowing what we should do at any moment requires us to understand who we are. Agere sequitur esse, the Latin saying goes: what we do flows from who we are. Discernment is critical to our self-knowledge, which, in turn, guides us in our life choices. In this episode, I hope to deepen our understanding of the tools of discernment available to us as b…
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What makes us who we are? How does our "hard work" contribute to our successes and failures? Do we make ourselves, or are we made by the circumstances of our lives? What is our God-given purpose? We reflect on all of this, plus some great callers and conversations in this episode of Faith Unscripted.…
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Martha was a doer. When Jesus came to her home, she wanted everything to be just so! She cleaned, swept, cooked a fine dinner, set a beautiful table, and prepared the guest list and the seating arrangements. It was a lot of work. Meanwhile, Mary, her sister, sat at Jesus' feet, drinking in every word the Master spoke. It didn't seem fair to Martha …
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A listener recently asked about the problem of evil: why does a good God allow good people to suffer, and conversely, why do evil people prosper.? One of the best answers to this set of questions is the one found in the Book of Job. Job is part of the Wisdom Literature found in the Hebrew Bible. In it, we see Job, a man we know to be just and godly…
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NASA's new telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, allows us to look deeper into the Universe than ever before. What does it teach us? We see more, but do we see more deeply. In Psalm 19, David, the Poet King of Israel, reflected on the heavens as he saw them thousands of years ago. His insight is still fresh and beautiful: "The heavens declare,…
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What must I do to inherit eternal life; who is my neighbor, and how big is God? These are seemingly simple questions. To test Jesus, an expert in the law asked Jesus the first two questions. The great pastoral theologian Henri Nouwen was asked the third question by Megan, the four-year-old daughter of Nouwen's friends, the Christensens. In response…
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The Declaration of Independence was 246 years old on July 4th, just a few days ago. The men who wrote it gave us not only a magnificent political document, they showed the courage of people desperate for liberty. We must never take their sacrifice for granted, nor forget that the fight against tyranny is never over; it requires the courage of each …
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Luke tells the story (10: 1-24) of how Jesus sent out 70 disciples as an "advance team" to every town and village he was about to visit on his journey to Jerusalem. His directions were as clear as they were unusual: they were to take nothing for their journey. They were to take no toothpaste, shampoo, shoes, or money; instead, they were to rely sol…
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Life is a gift, every moment of it, and we live life in moments - in the present. The past is history, and the future is not yet ours (and may never be), but we love NOW. How can we best appreciate and life this precious gift of life. How can we be "present" to the moment, and thus see the wonder in it. We discuss this and, in advance of US Indepen…
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When Jesus "sets his face toward Jerusalem," he is focused unflinchingly on his mission. He is to go to Jerusalem and reveal God's amazing love by being lifted up - on the cross, at his resurrection, and in his ascension back to the Father. As Jesus' disciples, we too are asked to set our faces on our mission: to take up our cross daily and be livi…
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In Luke's Gospel (8:26-39), Jesus makes his first incursion into gentile territory in the land of the Gerasenes. Immediately upon stepping ashore, he met a man so disfigured by his evil that the man was barely recognizable as human. Yet an encounter with Jesus transformed him into his right mind, his proper self, and a witness to God's love. What d…
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Today, we broadcast from Pella, IA, from the Reformed Church in America's General Synod. So today, we talked a bit about the General Synod about Pella (a beautiful Iowan City) and the question that the General Synod asked of itself and the RCA: What would God have us do? How do we discern, as individuals, the path God is calling us to travel. That …
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What does it mean to be "human," and how do we best care for the human person that we are? Our bodies are temples of God's spirit, and that temple must be honored by tending to our mental acuity: by reading, thinking, reflecting, and exploring. In a world of spin, we need to "think for ourselves." Our spiritual health also needs care, which we acco…
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In this episode we discuss the importance and solemnity of Memorial Day, a day when we remember those who "gave their last full measure of devotion" in the service of their country. We must never forget their sacrifice, nor the precious life that each of those heroes gave to preserve and protect our nation. But we must also be cautions of those who…
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In the early church, the Ascension was an important day, a reminder that Jesus' mission was only complete when he returned to the Father and brought our humanity into the eternal presence of the Father. It is a reminder that the absent one is present to God and has sent us the gift of the Spirit, which IS the power of God within us. The message of …
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What does it mean to be a person of faith in the world? A faith-filled worldview sees God as the Creator and sustainer of all life. He is the author of truth; we are not. He establishes an immutable moral law that we must follow or break to our detriment. Learn more in this episode of Faith Unscripted.…
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Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans. He promised to send "another paraclete" to teach us all things, remind us of everything Jesus taught, and give us the peace that only God can provide. What does this gift mean for us? How do we listen to the "other paraclete?" which is the one like Jesus who will be with us while Jesus is absent? T…
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Recently, there has been terrible violence in the U.S., much of it racially or politically motivated. What can we do to counteract this hateful trend? First, we must recognize that God created all the people in his image. Then, we can reject the voices of division and acknowledge that we are all one: brothers and sisters of the God Jesus called Fat…
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Jesus gives his disciples more than just a new commandment in John 13; he gives them an example of how love in practice looks. He loves His own, loves them to the end, and loves them no matter what. He loves them by serving; he loves them by feeding; he loves them by preparing them for life when he has been "Glorified" and is no longer with them. T…
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In John 2:22-30, Jesus is in the Temple during the Dedication celebration (we know it as Hanukkah). Those who surround Jeusu ask him to tell them plainly whether he is the Messiah. He responds by telling them that he has ALREADY been quite clear about who he is, but they haven't believed him because those around him are "not of My sheep." What does…
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This episode discusses Mothers' Day and the importance of our mothers. Then we discuss the possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and its significance. Finally, the show considers how important it is for Christians to be engaged in the community's life, politically and otherwise.…
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At the end of John's Gospel, Jesus again shows himself to his disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. At first, those disciples had difficulty recognizing him - they were fishing, and he was about a hundred yards away on shore, cooking. When they came ashore, they were afraid to ask him who he was; they KNEW it was the Lord but somehow neede…
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A reflection on John 20: 19-29. On the evening of the first day of the week after Jesus' death, his disciples, such of them who hadn't gotten out of town yet, were huddled in a locked upper room, hiding for fear that the ones who killed Jesus would come after them next. Suddenly he is in their midst: not the broken body of a resuscitated corpse, bu…
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Today we discuss healing prayer, the love of God as manifest in our pets, and the second half of the program discusses the Holocaust as we prepare to celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day. Where was God? And what can we learn as we look back and remember? And remember we must, lest history repeats itself!…
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What is the meaning of Holy Week for us today? As we celebrate the last week of Jesus' life, the Church invites us to reflect on the Passion of the Christ. Our salvation comes at an enormous price! What can we learn from the story of the Lord's suffering and death? We may want to avert our eyes, but the story of Christ's passion is at the heart of …
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In John's Gospel, the week before Jesus' death, we hear about a dinner held in his honor at the home of His friends Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. At the dinner, Mary took a pound of aromatic nard perfume worth a year's wages (in today's dollars, it was worth more than $100,000) and poured it over Jesus' feet, anointing him and drying his feet with her…
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