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Showing posts from March, 2011

Do Men Buy You Drinks? - Galatians 1:10 (Ash Wednesday)

My brothers and sisters, tonight we enter the season of Lent.Lent, throughout church history, has been a period of self-reflection.It is a time where we are invited to prepare ourselves for the Easter celebration.It more than looking in the mirror at our physical appearance, for what we see in a physical mirror may or may not be pleasing to the eye.Self-reflection means looking deeper, asking not, “Is my hair the right length; Is this the right outfit for Easter worship; Did I use too much make up; Do I have something from breakfast between my teeth.”We are called to look into our lives and see where we fall short of God’s glory.We do this, first, to acknowledge that we fall short.However, we are called to go beyond mere acknowledgement, and, during Lent, move to repentance…move to the point that we change our lives…move, with the power of the Holy Spirit changing us, to be reconciled to God that we might be able to join fully in the Easter Celebration, knowing that we have the promis…

Protection - Revelation 7

How would you feel if something were done to you that would make you invulnerable?Some of the earliest concepts of this are from Greek mythology, dating back prior to 100 AD.It is the story of Achilles, according to one of the legends of Achilles, his mother held him by his ankle and dipped him into the River Styx (the river that was said to run between Earth—the land of the living—and Hades—the land of the dead).Only the part of Achilles, his heel/ankle area, where his mother had held him, was vulnerable.This kind of power is part of a skill set among the superheros of comic books and movies as well, whether it be David Dunn of the movie Unbreakable, Hancock in the movie of the same name, Superman or Wonder Woman of DC Comics, or Luke Cage and The Hulk of Marvel Comics.Every one of these characters, and they are fictional characters, have some type of weakness, such as Superman and Kryptonite.However, I’ll ask you again, how you would feel if you were somehow, by some power, protecte…

Horsemen and Hope - Revelation 6

My brothers and sisters, it seems that every time we turn around these days some newspaper, television show, or online article is purporting to have seen a sign of the apocalypse…and claims that the days of Revelation are upon us.Around New Years in Arkansas it was thousands of dead fish in the river and thousands of birds falling from the sky.[i]In early February, during the recent uprisings in Egypt, someone claims to have spotted the fourth horseman of the apocalypse on video amongst the protesters,[ii] and later in mid-February, amongst the solar flares coming off the sun, another person claims to have spotted the second horseman.[iii]More recently, there are even comparisons being made to suggest that the nuclear reactor on the verge of collapse in Japan is the dragon of Revelation.[iv]
I share these with you, not because I believe they are signs from Revelation come to reality, but because we are coming to the part of Revelation that usually scares so many people.Even as recently…

The Lion Is The Lamb - Revelation 5

Let’s talk about the weather, for a moment anyway.  There are so many sayings about the weather, especially as it relates the springtime months of the year.  One of the old favorites is, “March winds bring April showers.  April showers bring May flowers.”  As a kid a learned to add, “So what do May flowers bring?”  The first time I remember hearing that, I went deeply into thinking mode and said, “bees, pollen, allergies.”  But no, the answer to “what do May flowers bring” is…drum roll please…“Pilgrims.”  There’s another saying about March.  Anyone know what it is?  “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.”  Now I have to tell you, I was reading an article from the Farmer’s Almanac this past week as I was preparing for this sermon, and they actually said that there is little conclusive evidence that this statement is always true.  And given that of late, the Almanac has a better record than many weather forecasters, I’ll just take their word for it…However, the sayi…

A Glimpse of Heaven - Revelation 4

Giving that we are moving “full swing” into baseball season, I thought I’d share this story with you: There were two old guys, Abe and Ken, sitting on a bench in a park feeding pigeons and talking about baseball, just like they did every day. Abe turns to Ken and says, "Do you think there's baseball in heaven?" Ken thinks about it for a minute and replies, "I dunno, Abe. But let's make a deal: If I die first, I will come back and tell you -- and if you die first, you come back and tell me -- if there is baseball in heaven." They shake on it and, sadly, a few months later poor Abe passes on. One day soon afterward, Ken is sitting there feeding the pigeons by himself when he hears a voice whisper, "Ken... Ken...." Ken responds, "Abe! Is that you?" "Yes it is Ken," whispers the spirit of Abe. Ken, still amazed, asks, "So, is there baseball in heaven?" "Well," says Abe says, "I got good news and I got bad news.&qu…

Laodicea: Don't Get Spit Out - Revelation 3:14-22

It has found its way into so many forms of media as the slapstick bit of physical humor was made popular by Danny Thomas, on the Danny Thomas Show (in fact, it has been called doing “a Danny Thomas”.)I would say that there is probably not one of us in here who have not watched a television show or a movie in which it has happened. I’m not sure what makes it funny, other than we may have at times unintentionally done it ourselves, because it is a little (or a lot—depending on who you are) gross.It is the “spit-take.”It usually happens in a comedy bit where someone takes a mouthful of drink, or a large bite of food, and then, either because someone tells a joke or something unexpected, it doesn’t taste good, or because it wasn’t what the person expected, they spit out and spray that food over whatever or whomever is in front of them. Maybe that’s happened to us…you know, we’ve taken a mouth full of food or a large swallow of drink into our mouths, and then a friend tells an outrageous jo…