Showing posts from June, 2013

Samuel: A Study In Character - Week One "Hannah's Prayer"

For the next several weeks our preaching team will be preaching and teaching on the life of Samuel, the great Hebrew prophet from the book of 1 Samuel .  This is part of our ongoing journey through the Old Testament ---a journey that is bound to surprise even the most "churched" church-y person. Our study of Samuel is entitled, "Samuel: A Study in Character."  Samuel was called by God to lead the people of Israel during a critical time in her history.  The people of Israel had begun to desire to be like the other tribal peoples around them, who were led by "kings" or more specifically "elected" kings who were chosen by the gods, recognized by the religious leaders of the tribe and then affirmed by each of the tribal leaders themselves. The people of Israel had worshipped God as king up to this point, so this was a serious departure from the covenant they'd been living under for hundreds of years.  But the Philistines (tribes from the

Ancient Stories: Ruth A Study In Faithfulness Pt. 2

This week I am concluding the short sermon series that we have been working for the past few weeks---a series entitled "Ancient Stories."  And I am also wrapping up a two-part sermon on the book of Ruth . So, let's pick up where we left off last week...  We learned two things essentially in last week's sermon:  First, the main theme of the book of Ruth is chesed  or "faithfulness," and Second, that that step toward God (who is absolutely faithful) is a step in the right direction. This week we'll build on that foundation as we discover the following: Only the faithfulness of God can transform emptiness into hope. As we left Ruth in the first part of her story, she was basically homeless living with her mother-in-law in a foreign land with no prospects.  Her husband was dead, her father-in-law was dead---there were no men to provide for her safety and security.  I know this sounds jarring to our ears, but Ruth lived in a world where widows wer

Ancient Stories: "Ruth: A Study In Faithfulness Pt. 1"

This week I'll be continuing the sermon series "Ancient Stories," which is taking our congregation through some of the great stories of the Old Testament .  Each of these studies has taken us deeper into the text than most of ever got when we heard about these stories in Sunday School---if you were a church-going sort of person back in the day.  So that's why we've labelled this series, "Sunday School Remixed."  I hope that like me you've learned something new each week of this series... Which brings us to the next story we'll be exploring: The Story of Ruth .  I can honestly say that aside from some youth talks back in my old youth ministry days, I have never preached a sermon from the Book of Ruth, so it's high time that I remedied that very series oversight. In fact, we're going to take our time with this story, and break it down into two parts.  The first part of this sermon will cover Ruth 1:1-22: You can click here to read the

Ancient Stories Week Two: Strength Beyond Strength

This week I am continuing the sermon series "Ancient Stories" by exploring one of the great, dramatic characters in the Old Testament :  Samson.  The story of Samson encompasses Judges chapters 13-16, which I will leave for you to read on your own---and I encourage you to do just that, because it's awesome reading. What I'm going to do here and in the sermon itself, when it's preached live and in person, is to offer an overview of the story of Samson, rather than read the whole thing, which would take a really long time and make my sermon even longer than usual.  You're welcome. We've labelled these sermons, "Sunday School Remixed," because nearly all of the installments of this sermon series are familiar stories that most church-y people have heard before.  And the story of Samson is one that definitely sort of sticks in your imagination when you're a kid.  Even if you don't know the whole story, you know that the story of Samson is