Showing posts from May, 2011

The Greatest Prayer - Week Five - "Our Daily Bread"

This week I am continuing my line by line sermon series on The Lord's Prayer with "Our Daily Bread."  Every installment of this series has re framed the lines of the prayer in such a way that we've hopefully gained a better understanding of what they mean.  This week, our "take away" is pretty simple:  Life without the Bread of Life is no life at all. 

Let's get into it.

I love the smell of baking bread.  It makes me think of my grandmas.  I don't know why exactly.  Neither one of them baked bread all of the time.  I just have these memories, though... 

My dad's mother was an old farm girl from Colorado.  The bread she baked was thick and yeasty and you would smear it with margarine and jelly and eat it like cake.  The smell of it would fill the whole house when she baked a loaf or two. She would always cut me a slice right out of the oven.  I can still see the steam spiraling up into the air from those pieces of bread that she would hand to me…

Judgement Is Coming... On Saturday

When I was a kid I went to fundamentalist Baptists churches, and we occasionally would have "revivals" where visiting preachers would come and deliver some out-of-town fire and brimstone to the faithful.  One of these preachers was a guy by the name of Darell Dunn.  Dunn was an "expert" on the "Second Coming" of Jesus.  He was convinced, based on a complicated mathematical process, that "The Rapture" (an event that many Christians believe will occur that will "snatch" away Believers from this world into the next) was going to occur in 1980---or 1981, I forget which.  Obviously, he was wrong.

I often wondered what happened to Darrell Dunn, and through the magic of the Interwebs, I found him.  He is still preaching on the Second Coming, and I am sure he has an idea when that will be.  You can visit old Darrell Dunn online HERE.

Lucky for Darrell that back in 1980 the Interwebs didn't exist.  He'd be a laughing stock... or more o…

The Greatest Prayer - Week 4 - "Thy Will Be Done"

This week I'll be preaching the fourth installment of the sermon series, "The Greatest Prayer" a study on the Lord's Prayer

We've been going line by line through the prayer so that we can gain a better understanding of what we are praying when we pray the Lord's Prayer.  I told my congregation this past week that my hope was that we would become a church full of people who are not just "saying" the Lord's Prayer, but a church of full or people who are "praying" the Lord's Prayer.

The fourth line of the prayer is "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  There's a burning question imbedded in this line of the prayer that anyone who believes in God has asked at one time or another in their life: "How do we know God's will?" 

Like we have done with each of the preceding lines of the Lord's Prayer, we need an explanation of what we are really praying when we pray, "Thy will be done...&quo…

A Manifesto of Starting: Seth Godin's "Poke the Box" A Review

Image by Moriartys via Flickr
First, let me say that I like reading Seth Godin's books for three reasons:  1) They are full of awesome nuggets of motivation 2) He writes like Rob Bell

which looks something...

like this.
3) His book titles are just messed up.  "Poke the Box???"  Are you serious?

But you see, Seth Godin tries things.  He isn't the kind of guy that sits around and talks about the things that he's going to do when he has more time, money, wits, wherewithall, you name it.  There is, according to Godin, a difference between successful individuals and organizations and those that aren't: "The winners have turned initiative into a passion and a practice."

He lists some imperatives that you need if you are going to be successful or have a successful organization:
1.  Be aware of the market, of opportunities, of who you are
2.  Be educated so you can understand what's around you.
3.  Be connected so you can be trusted as you engage
4.  Be…


At one point I sort of envisioned that this blog would be a place where I was able to pour out bite sized nuggets of life lessons and theological reflections that occurred to me from time to time.  It became a repository for a lot of book reviews (which I am hopelessly behind on doing---I think I have like 20 or more to review, which is daunting to say the least) and my sermon blog. 

Not that these are bad things to write about...  I just seem to find myself behind the eight ball more often than not, especially of late. 

With all of the demands of being the Senior (and only) pastor of a large congregation, a husband, and the  father to three boys I've discovered that I don't have a lot of time for creating bite-sized nuggets of life lessons, theological reflections or even book reviews. 

On top of everything else, I am going back to school to work on my doctor of ministry and I have a couple of papers to write beforehand. 

So why am I telling you all of this? 

Here's why…

The Greatest Prayer Week 3 - Thy Kingdom Come

When I was a kid I used to like to go to Burger King.  This was in the days before the Happy Meal, and Burger King pretty much flogged McDonald's when it came to kid friendly crud because they gave you a paper crown to wear.

I would wear my paper crown with pride even after I left the BK.  As my mom ran errands and did her thing around town with me in tow, other children would stare at me in jealousy because they knew I had just eaten at BK.  I felt like... well, royalty.

Wearing a paper crown sort of does something to your psyche when your five years old.  At least it did to me, which may tell you way too much about my psyche.  At any rate, I felt different.  There were all the poor children shuffling through the grocery store without a crown and then there was me.  King.  Ruler of all that I surveyed.  I could sit in the grocery cart and wave to them with that sort of backhanded wave that kingly people wave. 

The crown, however, was paper and prone to falling apart quickly.  An…

The Greatest Prayer Week Two - "Hallowed Be Thy Name"

I am continuing my sermon series on the Lord's Prayer this week---moving into the second line of the prayer: "Hallowed Be Thy Name."

As I pondered that line this week, I asked myself "What's in a name?"  Naturally, I googled to find a good website that revealed the meanings of names.  I picked because I liked the title. Why don't you click on it, and enter your own name just to see what it says.  I'll wait.

Were you surprised?  Was it pretty much what you've always known?  Most of us have a pretty good idea what our names mean.  It's not something that we walk around shouting from the rooftops, nor do we plaster it on tee-shirts and wear them every where we go.  We just sort of know what our names mean.  I bet that you probably can't even remember when you first learned the meaning of your name.

But you did.  Someone told you, I bet.  You may have read it somewhere, but almost certainly before you could read you wer…

"I Should Have Known He was a Christian."

The other day my wife went to our local Books A Million bookstore.  She was looking for something that she couldn't buy on her Kindle for half of the price of a regular book.  While she was standing at the counter talking with the clerk a man in his early 60's stormed into the store and up the counter.  He was angry and rude.  "Where is THAT BOOK ON HELL?" He demanded in a loud voice.  The clerk was taken aback, but began to explain that they had tens of thousands of books and that he was going to have to narrow it down a bit. 

The angry man revealed that he went to one of the local large Southern Baptist Churches in the area and that his pastor wanted the entire congregation to read this particular book which had been written by a young pastor who was a "heretic."  My wife who had just finished reading the book in question--Love Wins by Rob Bell--told the clerk which book the man was looking for. 

The store did not have it in stock and the man grumbled lou…