Showing posts from December, 2013

What Was Mary Thinking?

On Sunday nights we have been preaching through Proverbs, which can be a very, very difficult book to preach. The proverbs collected have little or no defined theme throughout most of the book. The challenge is to search for similar sayings or verses about the same themes and piece them together into a cohesive group. By doing this we really begin to see just how important certain key ideas, themes, and attitudes are to those who collected these proverbs.
One such group of proverbs that I've been looking into for the past week or so has to deal with the righteous and the wicked. In chapters 10 through 17 alone (less than 1/4 of the whole book) I found about 40 different verses all giving the same hope - the righteous will be blessed by God and the wicked will get their due.

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (10:3)

The name of the righteous is used in blessings,
but the name of the wicked will rot. (10:7)

The wages of the …

Keep Christmas in Christ

I love the holiday season. Halloween through New Year's is just about my favorite time of year. But it's being ruined. People are taking these holidays and completely trampling over their intended purpose.

You might think I'm about to bash the consumeristic society, the greedy mega-corporations, or the materialistic masses who would rather trample over people to get a video game system than observe a day of Thanksgiving and gratitude. You may think that Capitalism or the free market is to blame for my holidays being ruined.

You would be wrong.

The thing is, I am a Christian. The majority of the world is not. They may stake a claim on the title and even observe our holidays, but for all practical purposes the majority of the world is nonreligious. Therefore, it doesn't matter to me if they want to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Festivus. In fact, they very idea of a nonreligious "Freedom From Religion", "God Is Dead", atheistic culture observing h…

The Unfinished Sermon

I'm not a preacher.

I have no desire to do full-time pulpit ministry. But I do preach on occasion - usually every fourth Sunday night, and I fill in as needed when our preacher is away. I enjoy preaching when I do it, but it is not something I could do week in and week out, as least not right now. I won't even begin to move that direction unless I hear God calling me there.

I don't really have a fear of public speaking. I enjoy studying Scripture and drawing out the meanings from the text. I like reading books and commentaries and blog articles to help my insights into God's word. I listen to sermon podcasts - for fun!

But during my short time in ministry I have discovered something. Most people don't know this. Most people will never understand this. But for every sermon delivered, there are multiple unfinished sermons that will never be made public.

When writing my sermons, the absolute hardest part for me, believe it or not, is making sure I have something worth…

The Pursuit (Proverbs 21:21)

Here's a sermon I preached back on November 24. It's based on Proverbs 21:21

Whoever pursues righteousness and love
   finds life, prosperity, and honor.

What Are You Reading?

I think this is the most books I have ever read in a single year. I haven't always kept track, but I'm glad I am keeping a list of the books I have read. I look back on this list and think, I can't believe it was less than a year since I read that book! I am in a completely different place now than I was then. It seems like a lifetime ago.

And that's the beauty of books. Once you read them, you can't unread them. They are with you. You may not remember much from them, but they become a part of you. They are resources you can draw from, memories you can reflect on, and adventures you can relive.

I came across a quote in A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin, recently that has become one of my favorites:
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. A man who never reads lives only one.Jesus: A Theography, by Len Sweet and Frank ViolaWhispers, by Dean KoontzWild at Heart, by John EldredgePirate Latitudes, by Michael CrichtonWatchers, by Dean KoontzPilgrim Hear…