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Messages (23)

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way. - John chapter 14, verses 30 to 31, NRSV Did you notice the very end of this passage? Right there at the end. It seems innocuous enough. Rise, let us be on our way. Three words in Greek. "Let's go." "Let's get this show on the road." Read in a greater…
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.Ecclesiastes 9:7, NRSV If you were speaking to a new Christian, what Bible book would you have them study first? Many people believe the answer to this question should include a focus on Proverbs because it talks about wise conduct, and who among us couldn't be accused of acting a bit foolishly at times? Or in my case, a lot foolishly at times. Wisdom is important. It's so important the Bible has three books of it, and while they…
By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. - Hebrews 11:11, NRSV Who, what, why, where, when, and how? We just discussed nones and dones last week and the fact that they really do need some answers, and that we need to answer them as authentically as possible. There's a catch, though. The nones and dones aren't the only ones who want answers. We do, too. We sometimes ask, "What's this whole thing about?" For whatever reason, we may not ask it very loudly,…
First of all, you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” 2 Peter 3:3-4, NRSV Have you ever wondered if the scoffers were right? I mean, if you take it at face value, they have an excellent point. After all, we’re sitting here amid an en masse departure from the church by younger people. They’re being joined by people who have long been deniers…
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians chapter 6, verses 12 and 13 Do you have a bucket list? Maybe it's something like running with the bulls or visiting someplace monumental. Going to a really great concert, or event. The Super Bowl, maybe?…
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. The fourth chapter of Hebrews, verse twelve I had this dream once that I was a frog. But not just any frog, I was a frog lying on my back, which sounds fantastic some days. Just kicking back, all Kermit the Frog style, Rainbow Connection playing in the background. Sounds amazing, right? Except this wasn't that. I wasn't sitting beside some stream or kicking…
Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.Acts 20:28 I’ve asked repeatedly how our church became such a mess. I've asked it so often you are probably getting tired of me posing this question. So I guess I should really give an answer already. It all boils down to human nature displayed in place of God's character. We're very aware of how I haven't been a saint as the world defines it. While at…
For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his faithful ones. The righteous shall be kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37:18. As I began writing this sermon, it occurred to me that All Saints Day was the Friday before I would preach this message. The Sunday I preached this to my congregation at Brimfield United Methodist Church was All Saints Sunday. It wasn't much of a stretch to start the This Holy Fight series on saints. And honestly, it makes sense because fights, holy or otherwise, always have a target…
To the one who conquers, I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. - Revelation 3:21,NRSV Did you ever play king of the hill as a kid? I wasn't a large guy when I was little, but I think this is how I discovered my knack for wrestling, as well as some rather sneaky strategy skills. The basic premise of the game is simple. You get one person or a team atop a hill, and you have to knock them off. For the people…
“When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.””‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:18-19‬ ‭NRSV‬‬ Some of you who are a bit older know the song, “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.” It’s the most utterly annoying earworm you could imagine, and it just keeps going on and on. I won’t repeat it here because I don’t want to get it…
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