Praise The Lord!

To come and sit in a Sunday service, when all is well, and listen to a well-manicured service and sermon, is no real test. It is in the ragged and rugged experinces of life that we discover what really inhabits our hearts. Praise that comes from the prison is more powerful than anything that can ever come from a platform in a church. The story of God’s people is one of the coexistence of joy-filled praise and an adversity filled life. This is where faith gets real. 

Dealing With Controversy

A former mentor used the term, “Spit-in-your-face” culture in in reference to a time when Facebook and rampant conspiracy theories were not a thing. Today they are and the damage done by our inability or unwillingness to understand one another, is inestimable. This is a sermon on dealing with controversy. 

Settling Short of God’s Promise

Some people are never satisfied.  Achievements and acquisitions fail to meet aspirations and fuel that insatiable desire for more.  The problem is that more is never enough. Others are too easily satisfied and lack motivation. The middle ground may be the best. The sermon today references the story of Abraham’s calling and traces his faith to his own father, a man who dared to move forward without a clear picture of what lay before him. Abraham, in answering God’s call, finished a journey that his father had begun. For all of us, God’s story continues to be written.  It is bigger than any one of us, individually. Today, perhaps more than ever, it is important that we don’t stop short of what God has for us.

Knowing God

We get to know some people quickly and deeply.  Other relationship are paced more slowly. Generally if we are to truly understand another person it requires two essential ingredients.  Time and proximity. Jesus built a relationship with hsi disciples in this way.  For 3 1/2 years they were together, 24/7. At the end he told them he was leaving “for their good”. And then their relationship with Christ took on a new trajectory.  They knew the heart of God.  The Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to them as they never knew him in flesh and blood.  The sermon is a look at the difference between a casual relatioship with Christ and an intimate one.


Mark Sumner installed some cupboards for us this week, along with a counter top over our washer and dryer. I was the unskilled labor, an extra set of hands. Two of the most elusive aspects of carpentry, to me, seem to be the idea of square and level. To ignore these is to guarantee that at some point you will have problems. It will catch up to you. Contentment is just as important to a life.  In its own way, it is “square and level”.

As I edited my sermon from last week, I reevaluated what needed to be said and what didn’t, what really contributed to the overall idea and what was superfluous or unrelated. I reminded myself that there are times when I feel as though I hit the nail on the head, in preaching and other times when I miss it all together. I am content however that God uses our best attempts and our weakest.  What He holds, He uses as He sees fit.  My prayer … as always is that you could hear the message beyond the sermon.