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Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master

Author

Joe Reed

Follower of Jesus, husband of Michele, father of the greatest kids, associate pastor at Lewis Lake.

Just a quick note:

This Sunday afternoon the Common Slaves are organizing an evening of worship by means of song and preaching, followed by gathering together around a meal. We are delighted to have Pastor Kevin Sorenson from Albion Evangelical Free Church in Albion, MN opening for us the Word of Life. We are always delighted when we are able to partake of the beauty of the facility and warmth of hospitality provided by Lifespring church, the sweetness of brotherly fellowship provided by the saints assembled, and awesome privilege of entering together as children of God into the presence of our Sovereign and Gracious Father and Glorious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the power and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Here are the pertinent details, and we hope you can join us:

Time/Date: 4:30PM, January 26, 2020
Place: Lifespring Church, Crosby MN

Surprise!

The children of your bereavement
will yet say in your ears:
The place is too narrow for me;
make room for me to dwell in.’
Then you will say in your heart:
‘Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
exiled and put away,
but who has brought up these?
Behold, I was left alone;
from where have these come?’”
Isaiah 49:20-21

We experience plenty of various and sundry heartaches in this world, and while I wouldn’t say hearts were made to be broken (because the opposite is almost certainly true), it’s hardly a risky proposition to say given enough time (usually not very much is needed), every heart gets broken. Continue reading “Surprise!”

Tell Me A Story

“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.”

Deuteronomy 6:20-23

“When I was a little boy of about six I used to drive the horses and rake hay, and a couple of times we hit a ground hornet’s nest and those horses would take off like a shot straight ahead, running as fast as they could until they couldn’t run anymore, and there I was just holding on for dear life trying not to fall off.”

My wife’s Grampa is eighty-eight years old, going on sixty. Tomorrow if it doesn’t rain like it’s supposed to he plans to put up some sixteen foot 1×12” shiplap on the roof deck of a pole barn he’s building. “Gotta get all my scaffolding under a roof,” he says.
Continue reading “Tell Me A Story”

Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet

I remember having one of those “light bulb” moments listening to one of R.C. Sproul’s lectures from his series The Consequences of Ideas, in which he made the simple but salient point that correlation does not necessarily prove causation. His example was vivid: Every morning a rooster crows. Shortly afterward, the sun comes up. We conclude that crowing causes sunrise. Of course, only a birdbrain blames a rooster for a sunrise that wakes him up too early. 

Continue reading “Fighting the Sunrise with a Hatchet”

Bulverism

“You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this, the only real issue, by busily explaining how he became so silly.”
– C.S. Lewis

I can scarcely imagine what Lewis would have thought of Twitter.
Enjoy the introduction to Ezekiel Bulver. Might sting a bit.
I did. It did.
jr

C.S. Lewis on Equality

Unable to find my copy of The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses by C.S. Lewis, yesterday over my daily cup of ramen noodles I poked around on YouTube for a recording of it, and stumbled across this gem on Equality I’d never read before. Lewis’ thoughts from the ’40’s merit careful consideration as we approach the 20’s. Equality is a big deal, and if we’re not careful to define what & when it is & isn’t, it can be a really bad deal. If you’ve got nine minutes to spare (and the fact that you’re reading this indicates you probably do), give the cat videos a rest and check this out instead

Mock On!

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

preface: I felt like writing something tonight, but wasn’t sure what to write. So I opened my embarrassingly large folder of unfinished articles and random thoughts and came across this one begun (and abandoned) on November 17, 2017, when Alice was in her fourth or fifth week of radiation. It seemed like a project worth finishing, so hopefully two years late is still better than never. Oh, and Dad, you worked really hard for a lot of years teaching me not to mock stuff, and I promise I’m getting better in general. Hope you’ll be okay with this one.
-jr

Because of our current family situation with Alice, I spend a lot of time these days pondering life, but to be honest, a lot more time pondering death. For the last 20 years I’ve never steered my mind away from thinking about death; it is coming to a boy named me at some point, and I’d just as soon make my peace with that, and understand the best way to manage whatever time I have until that day comes. And now, facing what feels like the inevitable departure of my dear daughter, death at least feels like it’s standing at our doorstep. I hope it turns around and goes away – but even if it does, it’ll be back. Maybe not for decades, but it’ll be back, and for all of us at some point. It is, after all, appointed unto us once to die. Continue reading “Mock On!”

The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting

a funeral homily

Since I never met Jeff, and all of you gathered here knew him well, I find myself in the awkward position of being the only person in the room who didn’t know him, and also the one doing all the talking. What I do know about Jeff is that he died at the young age of fifty-seven of early-onset dementia, so I wanted to take a few minutes to direct our minds to the Word of God and ponder with you the subject of forgetting. Continue reading “The Ugliness & Beauty of Forgetting”

I’ve (finally) updated the “What I’m listening to” page with various and sundry shiny things that have caught my eye, to tragically confuse and conflate the senses.

Thanks to those who have shown interest in and picked up Alice in the Palace.

The pastors and churches associated with the Common Slaves get together every couple months to worship and fellowship together, and we are doing so again this Sunday evening, June 30, 4:30PM at Quamba Baptist Church. Pastor Ken Carlton from Providence Community Church in Crosslake, MN will be opening the word for us. Join us if you’re able!

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