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Showing posts from October, 2013

God's Best to Our Worst

1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 51:10-14             Two years ago, a man called the church and asked to come speak with me. When we met, he told me that his son had died from suicide over twenty years before. At his son’s funeral, the pastor lamented that it was too bad that the man’s son was in hell, using the opportunity (a funeral!) to warn others against suicide. This warning, of course, ignores the fact that most people who are considering suicide feel as though they are in hell already.             So, two years, this man, this grieving father, came to talk to me about heaven. In particular, he had a little booklet about heaven that he had carried around for about ten years. He’d read the slick pages over and over until they were soft and floppy. He wanted to question me about the specifics of heaven. In particular, he was very concerned about the idea that we will be able to recognize other people in heaven.             He felt that if he was able to see who WA

God's Servants Are Never Retired

1 Samuel 3:1-21             Since Samuel is a child when God calls him and his work as a prophet begins immediately, this story usually focuses on that fact alone. We use that information to underline the fact that God calls and works through all kinds of people- regardless of age, experience, or even knowledge of the Lord (see: “Samuel did not yet know the Lord”). Many of us have heard this part of the story lifted up so many times; we begin to miss the other details in the story.             Pretend you never heard this story before. This is entirely fresh to you- as an adult. You have not been hearing about Samuel for 20, 30, 40, 70 years. Instead, you’re hearing this for the first time. What might stand out to you? -        Eli knows who is talking to Samuel. -        Eli is punished for his sons’ misdeeds (or for ignoring them). -        Eli’s call is undone so that Samuel can be called. -        Samuel’s first experience as a prophet is to retire his

I AM is Enough (Sermon 9/29)

Exodus 2:23-25; 3:10-15; 4:10-17             When I was graduating from college, I accepted a position to be the deputy news director of KNOM radio in Nome, Alaska- (KNOM, Yours for Western Alaska). I took this position over offers in for positions in England and in Boston. At the time, it seemed like God had given me many choices and I got to choose from several great options.             Moving to Nome led to loving Alaska. Loving Alaska led to meeting and dating Rob. Marrying Rob led to staying in Alaska. Staying in Alaska led to restricting where I was available for call. Restricting meant that I was available to come here. Coming here meant that we learned to live with and love each other. Living with one another means that I was here to do the premarital counseling for Joyce and Bryan, preach at their wedding, pray during their medical emergencies, frustrate Bryan by my softball ineptitude, have the privilege of baptizing their children.