Genesis 1 (50 Days – Day One)

In Devotionals, Genesis by Matt0 Comments

You may not know, but there is a fierce debate over Genesis 1:1. In this day of amazing scientific breakthrough, it is easy to look at the first words of the Bible and pick a fight. In one corner, skeptics will ask legitimate questions of God’s Word… Why does the Bible say the earth and universe were created at the …

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The Signature of Jesus #1

In Books, Faith by Matt0 Comments

Recently I was given a book to read by one of my good friends, Gregg Freeman.  He wrote this on the inside, “To Matt, my brother in Christ.  May the power of the Cross found within these pages, impact you as much as it has me for the cross of Christ.” Now, I don’t read every book someone suggests, but …

John 6 – Part One

In Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

A few weeks ago, my good friend George Ortiz spoke for the first time at our church…George is an up and coming student pastor at Lakeside.  He called me the night before and we talked about this very passage from which he did a great job speaking the next day. From that message and our conversation, this is what I …

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John 5 – Ansley’s Beliefs

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt2 Comments

As a Christian who grew up in the church, I find that sometimes the most encouraging passages to read are those that deal with salvation.  In the midst of a world full of Christians who constantly tell you how to live, how to serve, how to work, it’s nice to hear Jesus set the record straight again – just believe. …

John 4 – Did Jesus Ever Baptize Anyone?

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

Hey I have a quick question for you bible junkies…did Jesus ever baptize anyone?  I know in chapter 3 of John it says… They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” -John 3:26 …

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John 3 – “Inclusivity”

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

First, let me write down some questions I have as I read this chapter… 1) Jesus says to Nicodemus “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (v.3).  For the Jew, what did the phrase “kingdom of God” mean? 2) Jesus starts relating being born again to the wind in …

John 2 – Jesus Goes Postal

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

Hope that title doesn’t offend you.  Here’s the passage from John chapter 2… 13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple …

John 1

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

One cool thing I learned today…that “in the beginning was the Word (logos)” The Greeks held that the universe was kosmos, an ordered place.  What lied behind universe and ordered it was reason, or logos.  To speak of Jesus in this way was to help them understand better exactly who he was in relation to God.  That Jesus is the …

Next Book: John

In Commentary & Questions, John by Matt0 Comments

With Becky in and out of the hospital as we prepare for our second child, Andrew, to be born, I have been longing to get back at digging into God’s Word.  I’ve been away for a couple of months now, so I’m out of practice.  I’ve decided to go to the Gospel of John for the next month or so. …

New Tunes From Lakeside!

In Church, Music by Matt1 Comment

Our band at Lakeside recently recorded a few tracks for you to enjoy!  Download them below (you can right click and select “Save Target As” on windows) Light of the World Winter Snow Precious Promise

Mark 15

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Mark by Matt0 Comments

We’ve met Caiaphas, Pilate, and Barabbas, the central figures in the cast of Calvary. Let’s close with a supporting actor whose role may be the most fascinating of all. Our essay today will be a bit longer than usual, but the story is worth the telling. The Bible records that “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander …

Boldness and the Inside of the Cup

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Luke by Matt0 Comments

I have two thoughts to share with you from my reading in Luke 11 today… 5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to …

A means to an end – Luke 10

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Luke by Matt0 Comments

In Luke 10 Jesus sends out 72 disciples into the various towns in the region to perform signs and wonders and preach the good news.  They were given power from on high to do such things, and were filled with joy when they returned… 17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your …

Don’t look back…

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Luke by Matt0 Comments

Here was part of my reading today… 57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man …

The Synagogue Ruler

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Luke by Matt0 Comments

I want to make my thoughts clear today without offending anyone so hopefully you can see the deeper meaning behind what I am writing without me spelling it out for you.  When you hear of the word “Pharisee” or “Sanhedrin” or any other Jewish leader title in the New Testament, what do you think of?  For me, I admit I …

Some thoughts about Simon

In Faith by Matt0 Comments

Earlier today I was reading about a certain Simon who was a Pharisee and who invited Jesus into his home.  I was intrigued by the story and wanted to know more about him.  I wanted to know if he was the same Simon who took Jesus cross for him.  Turns out…he wasn’t.  However, in my research I ran across some …

Luke 7 – Part Two – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In Faith by Matt0 Comments

John the Baptist had been waiting for the Messiah to come.  He heard the calling to prepare the way for him and began preaching about his soon arrival.  Then, a man named Jesus shows up.  He heals the sick, makes the lame walk…even brings a child back from the dead.  So what does John do?  Well of course he has …

Garfield’s Thanksgiving (and Romans 7)

In Faith by Matt0 Comments

Just had to share this little clip from Garfield’s Thanksgiving.  Ansley and I watch this about 3 times a week and reading through Romans 7 it just came to mind a lot.  Read it yourself and I’m sure you’ll draw the same connection!

Slaves to righteousness

In Church, Faith by Matt0 Comments

I was reading Romans 6 today. The chapter talks about dying and being resurrected in Christ and identifying with him in this way.  Yet I found something today I’ve not seen before… “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are …