WHO IS JESUS ?   As the Christian calendar turns to the annual celebration of PALM SUNDAY, it is great to reflect on the meaning and message of that amazing day.  It was a bit like a ticker tape parade.  A bit like a rock concert with screaming fans.  There was genuine admiration, emotional patriotism, and a little group hysteria.  Fronds from the palm trees, wraps from their robes…whatever was handy…tossed on the street in front of the donkey which Jesus rode into the city!  Of course some folks frowned, clucked their tongues and shook their heads.  And among the ones cheering, there were those who were jubilant for the wrong reason.  They thought their national liberation was at hand.  Nonetheless, it was a potent moment for that day and place and for those people of Jerusalem.   Read more…

Humble Yourself

If you have been trapped by what you said or ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself.  GO and HUMBLE YOURSELF to your neighbor and APOLOGIZE.  Allow no sleep to your eyes.  Free yourself like a bird from the snare of the fowler”  (Proverbs 6:3-4).  This advice from the Scripture is as relevant today as it was 3000 years ago!  How different our lives would often be if we simply followed this maxim.  Notice the urgency.  Allow no sleep!  Don’t wait!  Notice the condition.  Humble yourself!  Get off your high horse!  Notice the result.  This sets me free!  I have changed my future!  Notice the relationship.  New terms with my neighbor!  Second chance with my coworker or friend or family!  New beginning with GOD!  A simple, sincere apology. Read more…

See the Unseen

Certain professions carry with them a contingency.  They are “on call.”  Many of these have equipment which they need to have READY.  It may be clothes, tools, weapons, beepers or specialized equipment.  They have their things packed…ready for immediate access and deployment.  NOTHING must be allowed to interfere with their readiness and availability.  They never know when they will need it, but they are certain that they will need it.  Therefore, its readiness must be guarded.  When the call comes, that suitcase or trunk or equipment may be their only lifeline.  Their salvation.  Think of SWAT teams, SEAL teams, law enforcement, emergency personnel, fire fighters, Coast Guard, electrical linemen.  Lifeboats on a ship.  Fire extinguishers in an office.  Emergency wash rooms in a lab.  Etc.



What MOTIVATES or ENABLES such an attitude, such preparation, such readiness?


A person in this position has to see the unseenRead more…

Images From Revelations

David Rawley  Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church     


The final (ending) word of the Bible is the “revelation” given to St. John while he was imprisoned on an island fortress for preaching and speaking about Christ.  He tells us that he “heard” and “saw” this vision (Revelation 1:10-12).  The speaker was one “like a son of man”, that very phrase being a self description often used by Jesus.  This person who John saw had eyes as bright as fire and feet as bright as bronze.  The eyes speak of the intensity and purpose of Christ, not the meek lamb going to the slaughter but the risen Lord who possesses all authority.  The feet speak of the dual nature and purpose of Christ, a union of God and man.  Bronze, a union of copper and iron, is malleable but rigid, representing both the strength of God and the vulnerability of man. Read more…

Daniel 1:8-16

How can you follow God and thrive in the secular world at the same time? Almost every workplace Christian faces this question daily, and many find the answer so difficult they are tempted to give up. Daniel, the central character of the Book of Daniel, faces the question under extreme circumstances. Exiled from Jerusalem when the Babylonian empire conquers God’s people, he must live out his life in an environment very hostile to the Most High God. Yet circumstances bring him to a position of high opportunity in the service of the Babylonian king. Should he withdraw from the corrupt and profane Babylonian government and seek a life pleasing to God in an enclave among other Jews? Should he relegate his faith to a private, personal sphere, perhaps praying to God in his closet, while living the life of Babylonian power and influence indistinguishably from those around him? Daniel chooses neither. Instead, he embarks on a promising career while remaining publicly devoted to God. The story of how he navigates these treacherous waters is a guidebook and case study for today’s times.

Trust in the Lord

Of God’s Spirit

Pastor David Rawley, Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church
Each year at Christmas I hear some new objection to the Christmas “celebration”  that is based on an old argument.  Some of our cultural trappings have been folded into the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Therefore, we should reject it and downplay our whole festivity and idea of Christmas within the Christian community.  About the only “Christian” symbol is the star of Bethlehem.  Almost everything else is suspect and has its roots in a dim, dark idolatrous past.  The tree.  The lights. The candy cane.  The romanticizing of Saint Nicholas.  And the DAY.   Especially the Day, December 25.  Everyone knows that the pagans of the Middle Ages celebrated the feast of Saturnalia and the winter solstice and all the revelry and non Christian activity that was associated with the turn of the season toward spring.  Therefore, this argument goes, the churches and Christian community of today have simply put a Christian garment over a pagan corpse and we should not celebrate such nonsense.  We have simply “Christianized” idolatry and this is wrong.  We should be happy about the birth of Jesus, but we should not accommodate or adapt any of these features or symbols into the Christian community. Read more…

One Year And Daily Walk

Daily Bible reading has always been a deep help for spiritual growth. The year may come and go, but you can start a daily Bible
reading plan any day of the year!    Take a walk. Change your wold.

The Cross – No Accident

Pastor David Rawley, Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church

April 12, 2017
The cross was not an accident of history.  Nor was God’s purpose for mankind changed by what Jesus did at the cross.  “God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.”  (Acts 3:18)  “These men did what God’s power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”  (Acts 4:28)  The cross actually


God’s plan to restore mankind to his purpose.

However, this does not lessen the crime of those who rejected and crucified Jesus.  Acts 2:23 refers to those who crucified him as “wicked men.”  So God incorporated the actions of those who opposed him into his own plan and purpose.  He used their evil as he made a way for evil to be overcome.  A resurrection presupposes death.  Jesus could have died in a different way, perhaps an accident or sickness.  But it was not the residual effects of the “fall” (accident, entropy, disease) that Jesus died for.  It was mankind.  So he allowed the hatred of mankind to sign his death sentence.  The reverse of the curse will happen someday, at the future resurrection.  But the forgiveness of sin happened at Calvary and was announced back there at the first resurrection.

I was asked to cut out a wooden moose as a wall decoration.  However, the board made available to me (pine) had a flaw.  A knot.  I was frustrated and almost refused the project.  Than… an idea!  Since I could not hide or ignore the knot, I would use it to my benefit.  I sketched the head around it and that knot became the eye.  Wow!  That stupid knot became the centerpiece and looked very realistic.  I told the moose, “Quit staring at me!”   Somehow, I had incorporated the flaw into the finished product, and it looked great!  That very blemish had become my blessing.

And this is what the Lord did as he turned the hostility and wretchedness of mankind into the greatest blessing and hope ever offered to mankind.  He offers this, also, to each of our individual lives.  Our flaws… forgiven and transformed… covered and converted by his death and resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is history, but it is still making history… in our lives!