Showing posts from August, 2013

Radiant Expectation

This sermon will be the very first preached at Radiant - a new worship gathering for young adults that is being launched by my church on August 26th...  I've attended thousands of church services in hundreds of churches, listened to more than my share of youth talks, Sunday school lessons and whatnot, not to mention all of the chapel services I attended at the Christian schools I went to, and I can't even begin to tell you how many of them included a moment where the pastor or preacher would preface whatever they were about to tell me with these words... "The Bible says..." The trouble with beginning our conversations about faith, God , Jesus and Christianity with those words is that they have a way of coming back on us.  "The Bible says..." a lot of things.  And one thing I've discovered over the years is that not many Christians I know came to know Jesus because they were blown away by the words, "The Bible says..." Now, don'

Unlikely Hero Part Three: "Incident At En Gedi"

This week I am continuing the sermon series on the life of David, entitled, "Unlikely Hero."  The passage of scripture we'll be exploring contains an interesting story that teaches us what it means to truly forgive those who have wronged us.  This is a story of how David was being pursued by Saul who wanted to kill him and how David spared Saul's life... Let me begin by asking you a couple of questions... you don't have to answer them right away---at least out loud. "What's the worst thing that has ever been done to you by another human being?"  I know it's not the easiest thing in the world to think about that kind of stuff---especially on a Sunday morning when you're supposed to be feeling all warm and fuzzy in church.  But try to think about it anyway. Then ponder this question... "Did you ever really forgive them?" No... I mean really  forgive them. Read 1 Samuel 24.   It's too long to cut and paste into this

Unlikely Hero - Week Two: True Friendship

This week I am continuing our sermon series on the life of David with the story of David and Jonathan ---perhaps one of the most dramatic and enduring stories of true friendship in the Bible. And it's a story that's made even more compelling by the fact that they were such unlikely friends. I looked up "unlikely friendships" on the interwebs and this is one of the first images that came up: I'm pretty sure this is breaking a whole bunch of rules.  You've got a pit bull, a cat and a bunch of ducklings all hanging out together. I think that it's sort of an understatement to describe these friendships as "unlikely." But it undoubtedly would be an overstatement to call the friendship of a pit bull, cat and baby ducks as "enduring."  Something tells me that if  either the dog or the cat missed a couple of meals, this photo wouldn't be so darned cute.  But that's just me. Who is your "best friend?"  And what make

Unlikely Hero - Week One: "Giants Fall"

If you had to list the top five most well known stories in all of the Bible , the story we're studying this week would be one of them. All you need is two words---two names, in fact---and all of your memories of when and where you first remembered hearing this story just might come rushing back to you:   David & Goliath . It happened just then, didn't it?  You had this rush of familiarity when you read it.  Even if you didn't really attend church all that much when you were a kid, the story of David and Goliath is one of those stories from the Bible that just sort of transcends church. I don't remember the first time I heard the story, but I remember where I heard it: the Fairfield Road Baptist Church in Greenville, SC ---in a tiny classroom that was in the basement.  My Aunt Sylvia was my Sunday school teacher, God rest her. The thing about these very familiar stories is that we think we know everything about them.  In fact, pastors often avoid some of