Dying to Live: A Sermon
Preached on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri. Click here to listen to the audio. Luke 9:18-27 We are launching a new sermon series today titled “Because of Christ, everything has changed.” This series is the second in a series of sermons related to our Setting Sail visioning process. Over the past two years we have prayed and dreamed together about what God is calling us to be and do and now we are launching out in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit, setting sail in obedience and anticipation of God’s dreams…
Front Porch Conversations
There are many people who have passed that I would like to sit with on a front porch, rocking slowly in two red adirondack chairs. We'll shoot the breeze over some fresh-squeezed lemonade, my Great Grandma Weaver's sugar cookies on a table between us, still warm from the oven.
He likes me. He really likes me.
Maybe if we believe God not only loves us but genuinely likes us, too, than maybe we would lighten up on the self-hatred.
Several years ago, I was packed in a church van sitting next to an adorable little boy named Cole who was probably three or four years old. He was in his little booster seat with a portable VHS player and we were movies buddies. I’m sure his mom packed a few movies for the never-ending hours across the abyss known as “Kansas” but Cole wanted to watch only one movie – “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island”. And Cole not only wanted to watch only that movie; there was one particular two-minute clip that we had to rewind and watch over…
Embracing the Adventure
It is unfortunate that it often takes bad times or painful experiences to sometimes wake us up to beautiful things around us. Like an extra long winter makes us euphoric for the sun and a little warmth. Or like a crazy busy season of work leads us to crash and slowly remember the joy and necessity of rest or spending time with family. It is unfortunate but it is also good. Because I don’t know that many of us would ever voluntarily shout “ENOUGH” and jump off the crazy train in order to frolic in green pastures and to smell…
"Abba, I Belong to You."
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook or read this blog regularly, you know that I often quote Brennan Manning. Apart from my parents, no one has had more impact on my life as a follower of Jesus Christ than Brennan. I will forever be grateful for his transparency and his passionate witness to God’s crazy, reckless and extravagant love for all of us ragamuffins. I actually started this blog post last Thursday and Brennan went home to Jesus on Friday. It seems fitting to post it today as a thank you to Brennan but more importantly, as a…
If Church was like an AA Meeting
From The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning: On a sweltering summer night in New Orleans, sixteen recovering alcoholics and drug addicts gather for their weekly AA meeting. Although several members attend other meetings during the week, this is their home group. They have been meeting on Tuesday nights for several years and know each other well. Some talk to each other daily on the telephone; others socialize outside the meetings. The personal investment in one another’s sobriety is sizable. Nobody fools anybody else. Everyone is there because he or she made a slobbering mess of his or her life and is trying…
Love Me Tender
I’m not comfortable talking about myself. I like to keep things light and close to the surface when it comes to me. I’ve always joked that one of the reasons I do well with youth ministry is that I never have to worry about personal questions. Teenagers are at the stage of life where they are naturally egocentric. It is what it is and I love it as far as our relationship goes (I want them to be more thoughtful of others, of course, but it works perfectly for me.) It is incredibly rare for one of my youth to…
This Sunday I’m preaching on the story of the Prodigal Son (or as I prefer to call it – The Story of the Love-Crazy Father). It was the assigned text for this Sunday and also happens to be my favorite parable told by Jesus. For most of my life, I focused predominately on the prodigal son. Because I get him. I am him. Most of my faith journey with God has consisted of me sneaking back to the pig pen to stay the night because I feel like that is where I deserve to sleep and exist. I felt so…
One Thing that is Certain
If someone were to ask you, ‘What is the one thing in life that is certain?’ you would have to answer, ‘The love of Christ.’ – Brennan Manning This truth is the one thing that helps me the most in life. When I start to get out-of-whack with hopes and expectations in people or ideas, God brings me back to this truth – the one thing in life that is certain is the love of Christ. Not parents, not family, not friends. Not knowledge, not adventure, not money. Not self-understanding, not significant others, not possibilities. The foundation of my life…