Hungry for Change

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When we lived in Russia back in the mid 90's Russia was in the midst of dramatic change. Everything was changing, politics, money, world concepts, people ... everything! We got to see a nation in the midst of transformation. It wasn’t easy for them either. When they changed their currency it (from our perspective) was so sudden that people went to bed with lots of money only to wake up with nothing. Imagine if you woke up this morning and were told that the $100 bill you have in your mattress is now only worth a dollar. That’s not an exaggeration. The politics were changing, too, at least on paper. Those who were communists were still communists, but they changed their name to capitalists. Another big change was their concept of the world. Throughout the cold war Russians had been given a dismal picture of the rest of the world, especially the Western world. Everything, as far as they knew, was chaotic and impoverished while Russians lived on a very high standard. When the world opened up to them they were amazed at how the rest of the world really was. Watching people change during that time was an amazing thing.

Oh, Give Me A Home Where The...

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The year is 1860. We’re in Saint Louis, Missouri. Upon talking to people who have been to the other side of the river we’ve decided to embark on a new life. Being from the east, our only knowledge of what is before us is what we have been told. Those who have been have recommended a guide—he’s not just any guide he is "the guide." He settled the land, he knows the ropes, he has not only ridden the trail, he blazed it. Our lives are at stake and so we will only follow the best there is. We want someone we can trust. We have decided by his resume, the evidence of previous trips, and the testimony of others who have followed him that we can trust him. Having put our trust in him we sign on to his party of pioneers. The first thing he does is set down some rules, some laws, if you will.

It's Not Easy Being Green

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Kermit said it’s not easy being green. He struggled with that thought throughout his song. He didn’t get the attention that light sparkling on the water gets or like the stars in the sky and was often passed over as just an ordinary thing. He blended in with all the other green things when he would rather have been red or gold or something like that. In the end, however, he came to the conclusion that it’s okay to be green. It’s the color of spring, it can be big like an ocean, important like a mountain or tall like a tree. "Green is beautiful," he says, "and it’s what I want to be."

To: You, From: The Holy Spirit

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There was chaos and then there was life. That’s how it all began. What was before the beginning I cannot even begin to explain. The Bible opens up with the declarative statement, "In the beginning God (Deity) created the heavens and the earth." The heavens refer to what we look into when we look up - the place the birds fly and the place of the sun, moon and stars. For me it is a little difficult to say that God, in the beginning, created the heaven in which He dwells because He was already there and wherever God dwells is heaven; but enough of those semantics.

What I want to deal with is this concept presented in Genesis:

The Kingdom of God: It's a Topsy Tervy World

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Upside Down

If you have to turn your bulletin upside-down to read this, then you are beginning to get the point I want to get across. One of the things that makes the Bible so offensive to our perverted forms of humanity, or might I say, our inhumanness, is that its teachings are often absolutely contrary to the inclinations of the flesh. Paul warns us in Galatians that we cannot walk (live) according to the flesh and walk with the Spirit at the same time; so we have to choose. Jesus gave a similar teaching when He said that we cannot serve both God and mammon (things of this world). He taught that if we intend to enter into the kingdom of God we must be born again ... born of the Spirit. Paul continues that thought when he says that we must be renewed or transformed by the Spirit of God.