Posts

Showing posts from September, 2013

A Real Bucket List - Luke 16:19-31

How many of us actually spend time thinking of the things we would like to accomplish before we die?  A 2007 movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as Edward and Carter, two terminally-ill cancer patients, actually got many folks thinking about what they would like to before they met their end.  I’ve asked Bill and Paul to share with us a scene from the movie The Bucket List.   Carter:  What are you doing? Edward:  (Looking at a crumpled up piece of paper.)  What is this? Carter:  Come on, give it back. Edward:  What is it? Carter:  (Reaches for the paper.)  Give it back! Edward:  It was on the floor.  I didn’t know it was a state secret. Carter:  (sighs) Well, my freshman philosophy professor assigned this exercise in forward thinking, he called it a “Bucket List.”  We were supposed to make a list of all the things we wanted to do in our lives before we-- Edward:  --kicked the bucket.  Carter:  Yeah… Edward:  Cutesy… Carter:  Anyway, I wrote down things like, “make a million dollars…

Light The Way - Matthew 5:14-16

A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday School presentation. His mother, sitting in the front row to prompt him, gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it didn't help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world." The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud, clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world." This little boy, while missing his line, offered a truth about his mom that echoed the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.  Jesus said to those who had chosen to follow Him, to listen to His words, those that had gathered on that hillside, “You are the light of the world.” This pronouncement that the people of God are the light of the world followed directly after his pronouncement that they were also considered the “salt of the earth.”  We remember from two weeks ago that as the salt of the earth we are called to give seasoning/flavoring to what would other…

Salt Is Good For You - Matthew 5:13

It was 2012 and I heard, for only the second time in my life, the words that many of us men long to hear.  No, it was not Anita saying, “Honey, let’s sit down and watch the game.”  To be honest with you, Anita loves football so much, she was the one who talked me into sitting down and watching football—and I love it, though we have ended up on opposite ends of the AFC.  The words I heard, that I feel many of us, maybe not just men, came not from Anita, but from Dr. George Hamrick, my cardiologist.  The words were, “add more salt to your diet.”  To be honest the complete treatment he recommended was to “drink plenty of fluids and add more salt to your diet.”  You see, where many people are banned from salt because of high-blood pressure issues, I had gone into see my cardiologist with the exact opposite.  Considering the fact that none of the medications that I was, or am currently, taking have an effect on blood pressure, we were sorting out a cause for the fact that my blood pressure…

Blessed: The Persecuted - Matthew 5:1-12

We have been talking for two months now about Jesus turning our world upside down.  Remember, as kids we enjoyed looking at the world upside down, but as grown-ups—not so much because when our world is turned upside down, we want to do everything in our power to get it righted again.  Our world’s get turned upside down not because we've decided to hang off the couch, a chair, a pull-up bar, or even a trapeze.  If we, as youth and adults, find our worlds turned upside down, it is usually because something drastic has happened that causes us to shift our world view.  Either a joyous or tragic event in our lives, such as the birth of a child or the death of a loved one, a promotion or a lay-off at work, to someone reveals to us that what we have thought to be true, just really is not true.  It is this final revelation, this final world-flipping scenario that we have been hearing from Jesus—and the truth of the matter is, society has not changed that much.  The world flipping way he c…