Sherwood Oaks Blog

Tom Ellsworth

I Am Not Ashamed

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

In writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul concludes the introduction to his letter with these verses (Romans 1:16-17 NIV): 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel...

Advent and the Cross

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

We’ve just celebrated the birth of Christ and in just over a week, Mark 15 reintroduces us to the moment of his death. That may seem oddly out of place but in reality it is a most appropriate connection. The whole purpose of his mortality wrapped advent was to fully experience our lives so...

But Even If He Does Not...

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

But even if he does not…Those are some of my favorite words in the book of Daniel. At a glance they don’t seem very inspirational until you understand the context. King Nebuchadnezzar, always looking for a chance to blow his own horn, erects a statue and commands everyone to bow in...

Proverbs 31

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

I cannot read or think about Proverbs 31 without immediately thinking of the American holiday Mother’s Day. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard it read on that particular Sunday and a most appropriate passage it is for that occasion. More than a holiday reading, it should...

Ezra 9

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

In the 9th chapter of Ezra, the priestly leader is made aware of a great problem among the remnant of Jews who had returned to help rebuild the city of Jerusalem and re-inhabit the land of Judah.  Many of them – contrary to God’s commands – had married spouses from...

Stay Away from Moab!

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

Ruth 1 & 2 When Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon and Kilion moved away from Bethlehem to escape the local famine, they chose the godless neighboring nation of Moab for their new zip code.  If Bethlehem was home to a famine of food, Moab was home to a famine of faith.  All three of the men...

In the Beginning

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

In the beginning God created... Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created…”  (Genesis 1:1)  Could the Bible open with a more succinct and yet all-encompassing statement?  Just five English words but in one sense those five words sum up everything we need to...

The Eyes of A Child

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

Christmas is always best viewed through the eyes of a child.  Each December when I set up our nativity scene I smile to remember a Christmas when our oldest daughter Emily was very young.  I had placed our nativity scene in its rightful place, with the sheep and shepherds outside...

Time Matters

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

By this time, I suspect you are wondering if you are going to get everything done before the 25th.  Each time you hear how few shopping days are left until Christmas, you tense up.  When you realize you just missed the biggest sale of the year, your enthusiasm sags.  Is it really...

The Gift of Peace

Posted by Tom Ellsworth on

Among the songs of Christmas that ring with the theme of peace, one grew out of a period of history that was anything but peaceful.     One of my favorite songs is a truly American Christmas carol, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Tragedy struck the Longfellow family...

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