Teach Me To Pray (2)

Hallowed be thy name…

The prayer we know as “The Lord’s Prayer” is prayed by millions of people every day. But though we may be able to recite by heart, do we understand what means? 

What was Jesus trying to teach his followers when he taught them these words as a model for perfect prayer?

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Ryan Phipps
Teach Me To Pray (1)

Our Father who art in heaven…

The prayer we know as “The Lord’s Prayer” is prayed by millions of people every day. But though we may be able to recite by heart, do we understand what means? 

What was Jesus trying to teach his followers when he taught them these words as a model for perfect prayer?

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Ryan Phipps
Advent Four: Rejects

In one way or another, we all know what it feels like when we don’t fit in.

As a species, we are a people of tribes. We’re all looking for our place and our people. And that couldn’t be truer when it comes to faith and spirituality.

When Jesus enters the world in The Christmas Story, we see that he encounters much of the same. He didn't really "fit" anywhere.

What does that have to teach us about finding our own place in the world today?

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Ryan Phipps
Advent Two: Pagans

We become keenly aware of just how differently we think and believe from others when we celebrate any kind of religious holiday— and Christmas certainly falls into that category.

Should our beliefs about the birth of Jesus cause divisions among people? If they do, it may just be that we are misinterpreting the true meaning of Christmas altogether.

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Ryan Phipps
Advent One: Virgins

At face value, the story about the pregnancy of Mary, The Mother of God sets up the perfect conditions for a shotgun wedding. Her pregnancy was wholly unintended— a complete surprise.

What can we learn from the unplanned surprise of Jesus coming into the world, and what does it say about the nature of God, altogether?

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Ryan Phipps
Conflict Resolution

The Holidays are here.

During this time of the year, many of us spend time with family and friends. With some of them, there are deep tensions and it takes lots of work to remain calm. How can we better handle conflict when it arises, especially with those closest to us?

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Ryan Phipps
Broken Things

Life, for a select few of us is a series of successes, wins, and monumental achievements. But for the rest of us, it can often feel like a series of breaks, disappointments, and losses.

Where is God in our brokenness?

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Ryan Phipps
Ask Anything: Sexuality

In the conclusion of our series, "Ask Anything," we're addressing a question that has divided the church over the years. The question— Is it a sin to be gay? Like it or not, it's a question that, sooner or later, we have to answer for ourselves. After all, how we answer it impacts the well-being of millions of people.

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Ryan Phipps
Ask Anything: Existence

Why do we exist?

What is the purpose of you? Of me? Of us? Why are we here? What should we do? Where are we going? What does all of this mean?

These are some of the oldest questions in the world. Mankind has been asking them ever since we began to think.

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Ryan Phipps
Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe you’ve been the recipient of accolades that feel, are underserved. Maybe you fear disappointing a manager, a supervisor, or a colleague because you feel that you don’t have all the skills that they thought you did. The terror of who we really are being found out has a name— Impostor Syndrome.

How do we live more authentic lives? And more importantly, how do we let our faith shape our opinions of ourselves?

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Marishka Brown
Ask Anything: Transcendence

How do I experience more of God in my life?

That’s a big question. And an important question. It points to something in us that we all long for, even if we’re not aware that we’re longing for it— experience. Not just the knowledge about something, but the experience of something.

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Ryan Phipps
Ask Anything: Tradition

What role do the Historic Christian Creeds play in our lives today?

Many subscribe to the creeds solely on faith. But the same God that made a world in which 2 and 2 always equals four and where water always freezes at a specific temperature also made our brains. Is it wrong for us to use them?

Should we just faithfully accept what a creed says without questioning it?

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Ryan Phipps
Ask Anything: The Afterlife

The interesting thing about the times that we live in, is that there’s probably no stream of modern Christian thought that doesn’t touch on the topics of Heaven and Hell in some way, shape, or form. And It has to. After all, generations of employing Heaven and Hell as motivators for governing the behaviors of people have become (regretfully) necessary compartments of belief whether we want to think about them or not.

So what happens when we die?

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Ryan Phipps
Ask Anything: The Voice Of God

How do you know if God is speaking to you?

If someone ever comes up to you and says, “God just told me to (fill in the blank).” should you listen to them?

One of the more impactful passages about this topic from scripture is a passage that gets very little attention, and it’s unfortunate because it has some important things to say about discerning the voice of God.

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Hindsight

For every painful experience in our lives, we often see lessons in hindsight. We gain a glimpse of what this is all just might be about. Our frustrations, our failures, our false starts, and even our frayed ends are not without meaning.

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Perfection

The desire for perfection drives all of us to a degree. Some of us might feel that perfection is something to be obsessively pursued at all costs. Then there are others for whom the idea of perfection is a bit less intense. It may not torment us, but we carry around a certain level of guilt about being less than we think we should be in our lives.

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Secrets

We all have things in our lives that we are professionals at hiding. Things so traumatic that the very thought of another person finding out about them is a terror far greater than we are able to endure. 

How do we break out of the cycle of shame that we carry about our secrets?

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Lost Time

For a rare few of us, life has panned out just as we’d hoped it would. We got the education we wanted, the job that we wanted, the partner that we wanted, the family that we wanted, the pension that we wanted, and now we look back on a life that, for the most part, is a success story.

Then, there are the rest of us.

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Ancestry

Does God punish us for the mistakes of our ancestors? And if so, are we doomed to repeat those mistakes in our own lives or is there something that we can do to break the cycle?

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Ryan Phipps
Falling Forward: Betrayal

If you were raised in the church, you might have been taught to think of Samson as an impulsive, self-centered, morally reprehensible person whose undoing was the result of a long list of horrible choices. But is that the real lesson of the story?

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Ryan Phipps