Author: Jonathan Dodson

  • Bombarded by so many facts every day, it can be challenging to know how much weight to assign each one. Pulled by many commitments, it can be difficult to know where to spend our time. In all this flux, St. Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians offer clarity and hope. Written to establish the church in faith, hope,…

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  • Our 10 Year Anniversary was way better than I anticipated. Not that I expected it to be disappointing, or a drag, but our Sunday gathering seemed suffused by a subterranean power that lifted spirits and riveted minds. God tipped his hand in the first line of our Call to Worship: Oh sing to the Lord…

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  • Every summer City Life observes the cultural rhythm of Austin by slowing down. We don’t offer City Seminary classes. City Groups often have a more relaxed and out-and-about rhythm. You get the idea. But is slowing down enough to counterbalance anxious parenting, busyness at work, and inner restlessness? How do we flourish? The Psalms wrestle…

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  • On Sunday we dedicated eight children. It was a fun, memorable morning, but what exactly is child dedication? Why do we do it? What is Child Dedication? The practice of baby dedication is based on a precedent in the Old Testament, followed by Jesus when he was presented to the Lord in the Temple (Luk…

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  • The Gospels claim Jesus rose from the dead, which can be hard to believe. But if it is true—that Jesus walked out of death—wouldn’t that change a lot? What does the resurrection change? Quite simply, it should change everything. If the power of sin, death, and evil can be overthrown, then the resurrection changes the…

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  • In an age of activism and information it’s easy to commit one of two errors. We can latch onto a cause of the moment in order to feel as though our life counts. At least we’re doing something that matters. Or, overwhelmed by the volume of causes and issues in the world, we retreat from…

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  • Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas. We “prepare” for Christmas in many ways: throwing parties, reliving nostalgic family memories, remembering lost loved ones, the joy of giving, the anxiety of pleasing others, and the flurry of Christmas shopping. But what would it look like to prepare your heart and mind for the greatest wonder of all,…

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  • Our world can often feel askew, upside-down. How can things be righted? How do we get in touch with what God is doing? The Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? What is he doing in this world? And where is he going with it? We explore all of these questions in our recent message, The Doctrine…

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  • 26 Dead. 14 were children. A pregnant mother. All worshippers of our Lord, gunned down. Sin is senseless. Evil is sin in overdrive. A parasite that feeds on the good, evil should be despised. This is part of lament: “Let all their evildoing come before you,     and deal with them as you have dealt with…

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  • Division is in the air. Differences over gender, race, and religion, to name a few, make the internet boil and people snap. But division is not something that should mark the Church. Of all people in the world, the Church should be the most unified. We possess both the responsibility and resources to display compelling…

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  • With controversy raging in our society, it’s easy to be caught and blown about by a cultural gust. Emotions can quickly soar high and plummet low. When we react to controversy, we may say something we shouldn’t, resort to social media instead of loving interpersonal action, silently steam, despair, or experience paralyzing inaction. St. Paul’s…

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  • With controversy raging in our society, it’s easy to be caught by a cultural gust and be blown about. Storm-tossed by every wind of doctrine, our emotions can soar high and plummet low. Regrettable actions can follow or stunned, inaction may set in. How do we find stability in turbulent times? We need something deep,…

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