The following are sermons:
Fathers and Mothers and Children in Israel
The Bible provides many examples of how not to parent, and some on how to parent a child. Many cases offer us limited insight. How did Mordecai raise Hadassah (Esther) to be willing to risk her life to save her people? How did Daniel's parents prepare him to be faithful in captivity in Babylon? How did Moses' parents prepare him to be faithful in the court of Pharaoh? And, of course, how did Joseph and Mary raise Jesus to withstand the full weight of tradition and go up onto the cross in contradiction to all the world?
In the cases mentioned, we know next to nothing. What we do know is that the parenting was successful. These children became heroes of faith.
We may surmise one other thing as well; all successful parenting is parenting in which one or both human parents cooperate with God in raising the child. There is no Christian parenting without the help of God. Parenting is not a stand-alone operation. If successful, it is done in the help of God.
If this is true then how do we parent in the help of God? How do we raise children side-by-side with the Ultimate Parent?Read more...
And Jesus said to them, 'Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?' (Mark 14:48 ESV).
I want to meet you today in a story. Catch the setting. It’s dark. There are trees. There are disciples, groggy, sleep-slime in the corners of their eyes. Not in Jesus' though; He's not been sleeping; He's been praying. A flutter of sound rises in the distance. It increases. A group is approaching; it sounds like a small mob. There--a dim light; then more. Bobbing torches play against trees and shadows. One gait is familiar.
The picture is from the mount of Olives, the place we all know as Gethsemane. This is it. This is the rendezvous. This is where there is a convergence, where Jesus is captured, and where we stand only a few hours from the closing Golgotha scene and His pierced, nail-scarred hands.
We are here to process this event together. Imagine it: capturing Jesus.Read more...
Ship of Cages
Nine years ago I stopped for fuel in Dexter, Missouri. Joe stepped out to the pump. When he saw my California plates, we fell into conversation over gasoline prices. He said, “All of my life I've never been more than 70 miles from home.” With food, television, and shelter, 65 year-old Joe was good to go.Read more...
West from Nod
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were cast out, east of Eden (Genesis 3:24). After murdering his brother Abel, thei son Cain was exiled to Nod, east of Eden (Genesis 4:16). They had to leave the Creator’s garden. They would have preferred to return, but could not; He had barred them. Humans had chosen another leader; now there were consequences. As His crowning act, God had made man for righteousness. Made in the divine image, our race wa now distorted. Satan rejoiced! The first graffiti had been sprayed in God’s garden.
How will our Maker complete His original plan? How will man journey again, this time west from Nod?Read more...