Showing posts from May, 2014

The Core - Week One: "True Worship"

This week we'll be launching a new sermon series that will take us all the way through the month of June--and will be re-exploring the core values of our church. We imaginatively named this sermon series, "The Core" because we are (as I stated earlier) re-exploring our church's core values: Worship, Pray, Grow, Love and Serve. But there's another, more important reason why we chose this particular name, a reason that reflects the overall theme of our re-exploration: Atoms. Let me explain. You are unbelievable. Let me tell you some facts about you. [the following is liberally borrowed from Rob Bell 's "What We Talk About When We Talk About God "] You lose fifty to a hundred and fifty strands of hair a day... you shed ten billion flakes of skin a day... every twenty eight days you get completely new skin, and every nine years your entire body is renewed. And in the middle of all of this shedding, renewing and changing your body co

The Mission - Week Four: "No Easy Way Out"

This week we are continuing the sermon series that we've been working on for the past several weeks--a sermon series entitled, "The Mission: Living the Christian Life--Like A Christian." Each week we have been wrestling with the question, "Jesus is Risen... Now What?"  And each week we have taken on a different aspect of the Christian life: faith, courage, love and now today we'll be exploring forgiveness. To begin with, I need to state something obvious:  Forgiveness is hard.  It's not easy to forgive when you've been terribly wronged.  I have some experience with these kinds of things. For example, I stopped watching American Idol when Chris Daughtry was voted off the show.  Chris Daughtry was the bizzomb.  I totally had a man crush on Chris Daughtry.  He wore cool clothes and was the first real rock and roll singer on American Idol.  I don't count that Constantin kid.  You might remember the year that Chris Daughtry should  have won

Heaven Is For Real: You Need To See This Movie

Last week I went to see Heaven Is For Real , the newest faith-based film that has been marketed heavily to churches, and church-going folk.  It rounds out a spring filled with similar kinds of movies like  God's Not Dead  and of course  The Son of God.   If you notice I left off Noah , you are very perceptive.  While it's based on the Old Testament Flood account, Noah  doesn't really fall in to the same category as the three aforementioned films.   And it stunk up the screen, so there's that.   So here's the thing, I was prepared not to really like Heaven Is For Real, which is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name.  The film loosely follows the story line of the book, which was a true story of the Burpo family and their son Colton who had a near-death experience and saw heaven, met dead family members and talked with Jesus.   I've seen too many Christian-marketed movies to know that my expectations needed to be fairly

The Mission Week Three: "Sowing The Seeds of Love"

This week we are continuing the sermon series, "The Mission: Living the Christian Life--Like a Christian."  Each week during this series we're wrestling with a question that has plagued Christians for centuries, " Jesus is Risen---Now What? " Our focus today is on love, which I am sure we all can agree is a fairly important aspect of the Christian life.  At least we would like to think we would all agree on this.  More on that later.  But first, I must embarrass myself. This is my Senior photo from 1986: Yeah.  That happened.  Here's the most awesome part---I still have that tie. It's photos like this that beg the question, "What was I thinking ?" Funnily enough... I actually can tell you what I was thinking about a few things:  I was thinking that Van Halen was not nearly as good without David Lee Roth .  I was also thinking that I wanted to be a writer one day.  I thought that parachute pants were fairly awesome when worn with

Help for Dads To Be A Hero On Mother's Day

This post is for the guys--who always need a little help in the sensitivity department...  Just consider it a solid from your old pal, Pastor Leon (with lots of help from our friends at M.O.P.S International)  On Mother’s Day (and sometimes in between) every mom wants to hear, “Thank for you the incredible work you do – I notice you, and I love you.” But the way in which a woman hears that message best varies from mom to mom. Take a look at The 5 Love Languages “cheat sheet” below to see where the wife/mom/grandmother in your life fits. We’ve got great ideas for making Mother’s Day meaningful for the women in your life, no matter what language she speaks. Words of Affirmation Moms who value this love language want to hear “I love you” on Mother’s Day. Capture her heart with a meaningful phone call or hand written letter expressing your appreciation for her dedication to motherhood. Think beyond the card aisle – you don’t have to give a speech worthy of Shakespeare , she just

"Never Gonna Give You Up" - The Mission Week 2

Courage.  I always liked how the Cowardly Lion said that word. "Currrage!"   There aren't too many moments in my life when I get to exhibit courage.  My courageous moments are more ordinary--everyday courage, if you will.  Like that time this woman tried to cut in front of of my family and I at Walt Disney World when we were waiting in line for Peter Pan.  "Hey!" I barked at her. "The end of the line is back there!"  "Oh really?" she said trying to act dumb and not moving.  "Really." I said and sort of shuffled around to block her way.  She mumbled curse words or something at me and went to the back of the line.  I was a hero to like eight people. It felt awesome.  Or the time I was called by a telemarketer at dinner.  "Seriously?" I exclaimed over the phone.  "You are seriously trying to call and sell me something over the phone a DINNERTIME?" Then I hung the phone up with a bang. B