November 21st, 2021
I grew up in Southern California. When I was young, I tried very hard to learn to surf. I never became much of a surfer: I was tossed around badly by the waves. We look at the Book of James where we are told that our faith must not be weak, like a wave blown by the wind. In Ephesians, we are told that our faith must not be tossed to and fro by waves. We look at the use of ocean waves as a metaphor for the intense power that our faith must be able to withstand.
November 14th, 2021
Many people are turned off to Christianity because they have been taught a narrow, limited "Old Testament" notion of God. They believe that God is punitive, cruel, self-indulgent, even pompous - the ultimate Hollywood celebrity. What these people do not know is that the Christian God is indeed the God of the Old Testament (as well as the New Testament), but that God is both high and low at the same time. Our God will become humble in order to reach down and help us.
November 7th, 2021
My wife and I were recently driving up into the Rocky Mountains when we came across a 700 pound bull elk standing in the road, blocking traffic. He calmly stared down the driver of the first car in a long line of cars all waiting for that elk to move. We must be like that elk in the road, making ourselves seen, showing the world what it means to live like a true Christian.
October 31st, 2021
When Paul and Barnabas were evangelizing in Lystra, they were mistaken for Greek gods - Zeus and Hermes. The people wanted to worship them accordingly. But Paul and Barnabas know that only God can be worshipped, and so despite the fact that this puts them at great physical risk, they refuse to be taken as gods. We look at the issue of how we, today, tend to worship celebrities. They have become our pagan gods.
October 24th, 2021
Paul, before he is shipwrecked on the shore of Malta, tells the centurion who is guarding him that they will all survive - but only if everyone remains aboard. We look at this true story as an allegory: for us to survive as the faithful, we must all remain onboard. Just as Paul remained dedicated his entire life to spreading the Word, we must withstand to pressures of our post-Christian world and maintain our faith.
October 17th, 2021
I came across a man who was suffering from the long term neurological effects of a rattlesnake bite. But this man actually viewed this incident as a very positive event in his life. I use this story, plus the story from Acts where Paul is bit by a deadly viper, to discuss our ability as Christians to use bad situations to grow our faith in God - and our faith in people.
October 11th, 2021
Many adults have grim memories of being raised by alcoholics who were not present emotionally for their children. A common theme among adult children of alcoholics is that they have a very difficult time showing love and concern for their alcoholic parents as they age and become infirm. I use the example of one such woman who was struggling with her relationship with her mother to discuss the freedom we can obtain when we have full trust in God.
October 3rd, 2021
When I was a in my early twenties, I had a job as a programmer. We worked in a subbasement. One of the other programmers, Tommy, another young guy, had to have full length casts on his legs for eight weeks. We used to have "Tommy races", where we saw which team of two could carry Tommy up and down the stairs the fastest. I use this story to discuss the joy that we can feel when we serve other people.
September 26th, 2021
Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, but there was more that the Israelites needed to be taught, and this added material that Moses preached to the People of God is called the Book of the Covenant. I use the example of a drug user who died during surgery to motivate a statement made in this part of Exodus, which says that a righteous person should never be put to death.
September 20th, 2021
We look at Revelation, at the promise of a New Jerusalem, where there is no evil and everything is refreshed, to consider this: at any time we want, we can enter the new Jerusalem. This is because God always forgives. God always lets us wipe the slate blank and start totally over. I learned this lesson myself in my life.