Showing posts from November, 2013

Advent Week One: The Return of the King - "A Long Expected Party"

When I was growing up in the non liturgical, "low" church Baptist churches we frequented, the season of Advent was not something we celebrated... or discussed... or had ever heard of before.  It was not part of our language.  I suppose this was the case because the powers-that-be in the fundamentalist churches I attended thought things like "advent" and "candles" were too "Catholic" for "church."  I put a lot of things in quotes just then. And while most church-going folk probably won't give a second thought to Advent or it's meaning, I think that it's making a bit of a comeback outside the church.  For example, I just bought a Star Wars Lego Advent calendar at Target, which is the retail chain famous for encouraging it's employees say "Happy Holidays" instead of " Merry Christmas ." Boom.  There are undoubtedly some within the sound of my voice (or key strokes) who might be saying at thi

I Am Second Week Three - Success

This week I am preaching the third installment of the three part sermon series, " I Am Second ," which is based on the program by the same name.  You can find out more about I Am Second at  I Am Second is a program that helps connect people to Jesus in very earthy and messy ways---much like we relate to one another.  It's also bears witness to what can happen in your life when you place Jesus first. What I love about I Am Second is that it uses the real testimonies of people who encountered Jesus and discovered that when they put him first, incredible things happen.  Many of the stories that you find on the I Am Second website are from celebrities and athletes, but there are more than a few from ordinary people with extraordinary testimonies. Our study these past few weeks has taken us to the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life and through some incredible stories of transformation.  In each of the stories that we've studied, people encountere

I Am Second - Week One: "The Power of Story"

This week we are beginning the first of a three part series, featuring " I Am Second ," a unique program that is designed to help connect people to Jesus in a very earthy, messy, awesome way. So what does it mean to say "I Am Second?"  For me it means that I am constantly being reminded of my place in line when it comes to the things that truly matter.  It's a new way of knowing and being known---which is the fundamental desire of all human beings, really.  It's a new way of living life to the fullest, free from the burdens of doubt, fear and the expectations of others.  It's a new way of being defined by the relationship we have with Jesus... not by religion. Jesus didn't come to live, die and be raised from the dead to form a religion.  I know that sounds kind of heretical to say---but there you go.  I have a t-shirt that has the word "Heretic"emblazoned on the front of it.  I was wearing it when I met Andy Stanley , the pastor of on

I Am Second Week Two - "Struggles"

This week I am preaching the second in a three-part sermon series based on the " I Am Second " program.  This program is designed to connect people to Jesus in earthy, messy and awesome ways.  I describe it like this because that's the way human beings relate to one another, and to the world---and the way that God tends to want to relate to us, when we are paying close enough attention to see it. As I see it, the I Am Second program invites us to a new way of knowing and being known.  It invites us to begin living life to the fullest.  It invites us to a new way of being defined by a relationship with Jesus, not by religion.  And the stories that we're studying over the next several weeks demonstrate the kind of transformation into this new way of living and being that occurs when people encounter Jesus. In fact, this particular sermon is going to focus on a story of dramatic transformation when a man who is plagued by a host of demons comes face to face wit