Tag Archives: faith

Reclaiming Genuine Piety

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                               Luke 18:9 – 14

Some of the most spiritual-sounding people in the world may sometimes be far from genuine. When faith becomes self-centered, all about “Jesus and me”, and there is no interest in reaching out to other to minister to their needs or to share the gospel, then the individual’s faith is flawed at best and totally false at worst.  These people may not realize it, but their inward-turned faith actually has become a form of self-worship rather than worship of God. Continue reading

A Fresh Start

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                       Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

 Last week we heard of God making a fresh start with Noah and his family, following the great flood.  In the following chapters of Genesis, we learn how the descendants of Noah spread over all the earth and developed cultures and languages of their own.  In time, the world is as diverse and as varied as it had been before the flood. . . . and just as corrupt.

As was the case with Noah, God looks around and finds that not everyone in the human race is corrupt.  There are pockets of virtue.  There are still those who try to be faithful.  Among them is a gentleman from a distant land, named Abram.  One day, out of the blue, God taps Abram on the shoulder and asks him, “How would you feel about moving?”    Continue reading

Well, That Was Interesting

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                   Genesis 9:8-17

 If we take the time, it can be fascinating to compare the ways in which Christians and Jews understand many of the stories in the Jewish Scriptures, what we refer to as our “Old Testament.”  We find that our understandings of the nature of God can vary considerably.  For Christians, steeped in a long tradition of “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” we tend to favor a God who never changes, and who remains constant throughout all of history and, therefore, throughout the Scriptures.  In contrast, Jews have no problem with a God who learns from experience, who may even make mistakes, but only once.  Theirs is a God who is not afraid to experiment, to dabble in trial-and-error, and to learn and grow. Continue reading

Semper Paratus

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                               Mark 13:24-37

The Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus, is often interpreted as “Always Prepared,” probably because we associate it with the well-known motto of both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Semper Paratus really means “Always Ready”. . . . .   Continue reading

With Open Eyes

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                Luke 24:13-35

As we study the scriptures, sometimes our familiarity with the text can actually keep us from seeing what’s really there or from gaining a new perspective. We start to listen or to read, but then we realize that we already know this story. . . so our minds fill in the details and we don’t realize that we aren’t really paying attention anymore. We’re just hearing the same story that we thought we’ve heard for years and years. Same old, same old. Continue reading