127 results for tag: blog


Scandalous Grace (part 2) – Greg Albrecht

Genesis 27:1-45 - Jacob deceives Isaac for his blessing   The story of Jacob's deception centers on God promising a reversal. God essentially told Rebekah, Jacob and Esau's mother, that Jacob would receive the blessing the older brother, Esau, should have had. Amazingly, the life of Jacob after he had deceived both his father and his brother was an ongoing saga of deceit and conflict. When Esau realized that he had been duped and deceived, Jacob had to run for his life to escape Esau's anger. The story of Esau and Jacob is an illustration of God's scandalous grace, a grace that reaches into the murky depths where right and wrong seem to be ...

Just Wondering – Greg Albrecht

I was recently challenged by someone whose religion causes them to believe God the Holy Spirit to be an “it” rather than a divine Person.   Their mannerisms as they “taught me” reminded me of mansplaining - the current term that women use for men who patronize them, adopting a condescending conversational tone as if they are empty headed, immature children.  After I listened to this person “setting me straight” I said I had a few questions – they of course had to allow me to say something, since I had listened to them, and “questions” sounded good because it may have seemed I wanted clarification.  Indeed I did ...

He Cares For You! Greg Albrecht

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Paul wrote these words when he was in lock-down – the power of the mighty Roman Empire insisted he “stay safe at home.” Paul was social distancing whether he liked it or not.  He was in prison, or at the very least under house arrest. He had good reason to be anxious about everything in his life yet he said, “Do not be anxious about anything…”  Paul was an intelligent man. He had a ...

Scandalous Grace – Greg Albrecht

Keynote Passage: This is the account of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, ...

Will You Get Enough Right Answers? Greg Albrecht

Will You Get Enough Right Answers? My driver’s license is expiring in a few weeks. In the past, my license expired every five years and the state of California automatically renewed it and sent me a new one in the mail.   But now, knowing I have passed the exalted age of 70, and apparently completely oblivious of the legal implications of age discrimination, the good people of California have determined that I and other old codgers like me must have my vision and knowledge tested to see if we are worthy of sharing the road with all the careful, cautious and patient younger drivers we encounter every day. I made an appointment and showed ...

Reforming Grace – Greg Albrecht

For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."—Isaiah 57:15 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.—Matthew 23:12 Over 490 years ago, on the day now known as Halloween—October 31, 1517—a young Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther posted 95 theses, or statements, on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These 95 issues were a summary of what this young, courageous priest ...

Between Religious Rocks and Life’s Hard Places – Greg Albrecht

  Don’t you just hate it when you are in church, and the preacher finally utters those sweet words of promise—“and in conclusion” —but your idea of a conclusion and his are like ships passing in the night? When you hear the words “and in conclusion,” you heave a sigh of relief and start dreaming about beating the lunch crowd at your favorite restaurant, but the preacher keeps going on and on and on.    Okay, I’ll make this brief (that’s another thing that preachers like me say that drives me crazy because when they do I know it will be anything but brief ).   In the “Introduction” to my ...

How Free is Free Will? – Greg Albrecht

Red Pill or Blue Pill? How much choice does any individual human actually have? We speak of "free will"—but how much of a choice to accept God's grace does anyone have, given the brainwashing and propaganda to which they are subjected? How much of a choice to accept God's grace does a young boy in a radicalized Muslim school have? How much of a choice to accept God's grace does someone have who is ensnared by some ultra fundamentalist church, where performance-based religion rules? Being in Christ is a divine invitation to an eternal relationship, open to everyone. But being in Christ is not an automatic, divinely bestowed or imposed ...

The Master’s Voice – Greg Albrecht

by Greg Albrecht "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was ...

I Want to See (Mark 10:46-52) – Greg Albrecht

By Greg Albrecht— For the last time during his earthly ministry, Jesus was en route to Jerusalem. He had only a few days left in his earthly life—with every step he took toward Jerusalem he knew he was that much closer to the awful pain and suffering that awaited him. The road took him through Jericho, a city located about 17 miles northeast of Jerusalem. It was just before Passover—one of the three times in the year when pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts of the old covenant. So the road was crowded with travelers, and as a result there were many others alongside the road—small businessmen and entrepreneurs, as well as ...

Does God Forgive AND Forget? Q&A with Greg Albrecht

  Q: While attending a Bible study one night in a church I used to attend the pastor stated, "when we ask forgiveness of God, he does forgive us but he never really does forget." He was "clarifying" Hebrews 10:17. The pastor said, "After all, he is God, he knows everything, it would be impossible for him to forget." I find myself angry at this minister even today and I haven't seen him in years. I believe God does forget—however in the back of my mind this minister's comments still haunt me. Please, tell me, does God forget or not?   A: I think I know what the minister may have meant. Part of what he may have been trying to say might ...

Have You Forgiven God? – Greg Albrecht

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."—Isaiah 55:8-9 A few years ago I officiated at a funeral service for someone I had never known. I interviewed people who had known the deceased, and in the process I found out some dark and disturbing things. What do you say at a funeral when you can't find anyone who ever knew the person who has anything good to say about them? What can you say at a memorial service when surviving friends and relatives are having a difficult time forgiving God ...