“Everything happens for a reason.” Right? Or does it? Maybe things just happen. Maybe things happen that God doesn’t desire to happen. Years ago, before I was a pastor, I remember having a conversation with someone who was leading a Bible Study who said, “My favorite verse from the Bible is, “God helps those who help themselves.” I didn’t have the heart, or courage, at the time to tell him that wasn’t in the Bible. Neither is there a verse that says, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Certainly, there are many things that aren’t in the Bible. The bigger question is are the things we believe about God truly reflective of the God that is revealed in scripture, who comes to us in Jesus. Many simple phrases that are repeated often by well meaning people (maybe sometimes by us) may sound Christian, but aren’t really the full story of who Jesus teaches us God is. 
Now the point isn’t to blame or shame anyone who has thought or said these things in the past. After all, life can get pretty complicated sometimes and at first glance it is easy enough to agree with some of these ideas but at Vinje we are going to dive a little deeper into what is really true. When we are able to explore how these phrases are only partially true it allows us to not only reach a better understanding of who God is, but helps us navigate complicated situations with our faith. Things may not be as simple as we would like them to be, but we trust the Holy Spirit will lead us to a better understanding of truth. 
This fall at Vinje we will examine some of these well-known phrases that we’ve all heard before. They each contain a certain element of truth about God, but then also manage to really miss the point of who God is and how God works. Because of that we will call them “Half Truths” and we will explore one of them every week at worship starting on September 12. You can join us for worship on Sundays or Wednesdays for this series; or both since there will be a different preacher on the same topic each week. Come a examine these ideas and dig into scripture as we develop a better idea of the full truth behind God and what God is up to in our world. 
Pastor Justin