There once lived a lion who believed he was superior to all others. He was so proud of his mastery over the animal kingdom that he decided to make sure all of the other animals knew that he was, indeed, the king of the jungle.
So sure of his superiority was this lion that he skipped all of the smaller animals and went straight to the bear. “Who is the king of the jungle?” The lion asked the bear.
The bear stuttered and stammered a little as he said, “Well, y-y-you are, Mr. Lion.” Click on 20170319 Giving up superiority to read/download the sermon.
Whenever we go into new situations, we tend to carry with us the expectations of our past experiences, even when we know, or at least should know, that they will be very different.
For example, a business traveler to Mexico got quite the shock when he experienced the hotel showers. On the faucet handles he read “H” and “C.” Past experiences told him what to expect, H for hot and C for cold. However, as he turned up the H and felt the icy blast of cold water, he realized that his expectations were misleading. The primary language in Mexico is Spanish, not English. The C on the faucet stood for “Caliente,” which means hot! The H, on the other hand, stood for “Helado”, which means cold!
We all have expectations about everything. It’s another one of those basic human defining characteristics. Expectations are based on past experiences and they color every part of our lives, even faith. Click on 20170312 give it up expectations to read/download this sermon.
When I was a kid, we had a big console style TV that was the center of our living room experience. And we had two remote controls—me, and my brother! I remember dad telling us to go stand at the TV while he decided what we were going to watch, and he’d say, change it, change it, change it… leave it there! Thankfully back then, there weren’t that many channels or I might have spent my whole childhood standing by that TV.
Today of course, there are many more channels and many more remotes. In our house we have at least 7! One for the TV, one for the sound system, one for the cable box, one for the blu ray/dvd player, four for the Nintendo wii, and one clicks on our Amazon Fire box. The Fire is how we watch television programming these days. Forget channels. We just choose exactly what program we want to watch—some free programming, and then of course the on demand stuff we can pay extra for if we want to watch a still-in-the-theatre movie.
Why? It’s all about control! Click 20170305 Give up control to read/download the sermon.
Have you ever had a mountaintop experience? Have you ever felt so close to God that you could feel God’s presence or hear God’s voice? Have you had a defining moment? Perhaps it was a conversion experience, or something else. Click on 20170226 Transfiguration to download or read online.
Is heaven for real?
In the movie Heaven is for Real, filmmakers invite us to consider that question.
The movie is based on the book by the same name, where Todd Burpo tells the story of his son Colton’s self-proclaimed visit to heaven.
Colton was three when a ruptured appendix sent him to the hospital. The doctors work on him and things get pretty bad while he is in surgery, and they tell his parents to expect the worse. Click on 20170219 Heaven is for Real to read/download the sermon.
It was July, and a pastor was brand new to her church. After the service, everyone agreed she had preached an excellent sermon. The next week, she preached again, and a few people noticed that her sermon sounded a little bit like her first sermon. The third week, several people noticed that this week’s sermon sounded just like the last two. Finally by the fourth week, everyone was convinced that the pastor had preached the exact same sermon all month long.
The people were concerned and someone brought it up to the new pastor. “Why on earth do you keep giving the same message?” Click 20170212 LOVE to read the rest,
In 1981, Harold Kushner wrote a book called “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”1 Kushner was writing an answer to his own personal tragic story. His son Aaron was diagnosed with a rare life robbing, early aging disease when he was three, and he died two days after his 14th birthday.
Aaron’s illness and death caused a crisis of faith for Kushner, who was a rabbi and a man of God. So he wrote this book, for people “who have been hurt by life.” He wanted to help them find a faith that could help get them through their troubles… instead of faith making things worse. Click 20170205 When bad things happen to download/read the sermon..
On Friday, the International Holocaust Day of remembrance, the entire world paused to remember those who were murdered during the Nazi regime in World War II in Germany and Eastern Europe. Click 20170129 Welcoming the Immigrant to download/read the sermon.