Posts Tagged: "Sermon"

Joyful In Hope

NOTE: I was really excited to preach this sermon today… but when I arrived early this morning at the church to begin prepping for our Drive-Thru Food Bank, I heard a distinct dripping sound and noticed significant water damage in our auditorium. We’re assessing it now, but it’s obviously not safe to hold a service indoors today so we had to cancel. Anyway, here’s my sermon:

Romans 12.12

Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, and faithful in prayer.

Romans 15.13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.

Author Karl Ove Knausgård said,

“There is only one thing children find harder to hold back than tears, and that is joy.”

Last week I talked about the faithfulness of God.

God is faithful. Always and forever.

After the service, a confident little girl (around 9 years old) holding a german shepherd stuffed animal under her arm came up to me and said, “I’d like to talk to you.”

It’s funny how my first reaction was to be kinda scared because, well… church PTSD (I’ve had some bad experiences that started out with those words, “I’d like to talk to you.”

Anyway, this girl was wonderful—she wanted me to know that they’d just moved into their new neighborhood and when they left for church this morning, their car didn’t work.

Their old neighborhood had a neighbor who helped them with their car before.

But today in their new neighborhood, a very kind new neighbor came to their rescue… and they made it to church, just a few minutes late.

She concluded her story by saying, “So, I think we agree. God is faithful.”

There was a pause, and then she asked, “Um, what is faithful?”

I love it. I think she knew in her heart that God can always be trusted because God is always good.

But big words can be tricky.

I stumbled around for a few seconds offering other big and tricky words:

“Reliable. Trustworthy. Constant. Dependable.”

I could see that no light bulb was going off.

So then I said, “God always keeps his promises. He’s always good and we can trust him.

That’s what faithful means.”

She nodded and agreed with me. “Yeah, God always keeps his promises. That’s right.”

“And the devil tried to keep us from getting to church this morning, but God is faithful.”

I laughed and said,… Read More

Shari’s Unscripted Commentary

Each Sunday, when I’ve finished my sermon, Shari joins me on stage for a few moments of unscripted commentary. I get the sense that this is what people most enjoy about the “sermon time.” And it’s not included on the videos we post online…

Interesting thing, that.

Maybe the best bits about church can never be accessed via the internet.

The bread and the cup. Water baptism. Child dedication. Hugs. Standing in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ – shedding tears together, celebrating together. Serving on a Sunday. Those few moments of unscripted commentary.

Anyway, back to Shari’s unscripted commentary…

In my sermon, I had read from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ “The Jesus Storybook Bible” – the story of the Prodigal Son, which she titles Running Away.

“The son takes the money and goes on a long, long journey to a far off country. And everything’s wonderful and perfect—for a while. He can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants, be whoever he wants. He is the boss, he is free!

Sometimes he gets a strange, hungry, homesick feeling inside his heart, but then he just eats more, or drinks more, or buys more clothes, or goes to more parties until it goes away.”

Shari said how she… Read More

Wind of God

- - Uncategorized, Video

This is the sermon bumper from Sunday’s message – part 2 in our Untamed series, “Sails Up, The Wind Is Blowing.” It’s one of my favorites. Kinda felt like there was no need to preach after it – it would have been enough just to let that sink in…

Video & sound editing—Shaun Jones-Morford, voice… Read More

Considering Who Is In Those Pews

In Frederick Buechner‘s book Telling The Truth – The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, he briefly describes a few people sitting in those pews on a Sunday morning…

“In the front pews the old ladies turn up their hearing aids, and a young lady slips her six year old a Lifesaver and a Magic Marker. A college sophomore home for vacation, who is there because he was dragged there, slumps forward with his chin in his hand. The vice-president of a bank who twice that week has seriously contemplated suicide places his hymnal in the rack.

A pregnant girl feels the life stir inside her.

A high-school math teacher, who for twenty years has managed to keep his homosexuality a secret… Read More