Archive for August, 2020

Sermon 08-30-2020: “Who Am I That I Should Go?”

August 31, 2020

Exodus 3:1-14, 4:10-15

When I was a senior in high school, we had the equivalent of a beauty pageant: the “Miss Henderson” Pageant. “Henderson” was my high school in Chamblee, Georgia. It doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a middle school. But… my high school has a claim to fame: It is the only high school in America that graduated not one but two future astronauts. So… Go Cougars! Anyway, at the Miss Henderson pageant were three parts: beauty, talent, and an interview with the judges. And I’ll never forget one of my classmates, named Kim, competed in the pageant… and of course she was wonderful in the first two parts of the pageant… Talented, beautiful… and she was also a good public speaker. She surely had high hopes going in to the question-and-answer portion of the show that she might win… until the judges asked her the following question: “What would you like your legacy to be?” 

What would you like your legacy to be?

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 08-23-2020: “If Jesus Is Who We Say He Is”

August 24, 2020

Scripture: Matthew 16:13-23

Last month, CNN Tonight news anchor Don Lemon got into hot water for saying the following:

“Jesus Christ, if that’s who you believe in, Jesus Christ, admittedly was not perfect when he was here on this earth. So why are we deifying the founders of this country, many of whom owned slaves?”

“Jesus Christ, admittedly, was not perfect”? I’m not even sure what point Lemon was making with this comparison. For example, it would make sense if he said, “Don’t worship the Founding Fathers. Unlike Jesus, whom Christians do worship, the Founding Fathers weren’t perfect.” But obviously he said something very different. I don’t know…

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 08-16-2020: “Dogs Like Us”

August 19, 2020

Scripture: Matthew 15:10-28 ESV

I promise I’m not going to tell a story about Ringo, our family’s beloved English springer spaniel. This time I want to tell you about another springer that we owned back in the ’90s and 2000s—Presley was the dog we had when our three kids were born and growing up. And like all babies, my kids each spent a lot of time sitting in high chairs. And let me tell you… they were slobs. Just no hand-eye coordination at all! They spilled food everywhere! 

So every morning, every afternoon, every evening—for years while our kids were little and being fed by one of us—our dog Presley learned to park himself underneath the baby’s high chair, waiting for every little Cheerio that would fall on the floor—at least a couple of handfuls before all was said and done. 

Or maybe our child would spill a bag of Goldfish on the floor… No problem! Presley was on it! It was wonderful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 08-09-2020: “When God Sends Storms”

August 10, 2020

Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33

Many summers ago, my family vacationed with my in-laws at the beach. We rented a condo, and we arrived at the place before check-in time. So our rooms weren’t ready. Housekeeping was still there. So for a while we hung out in the parking lot, waiting… But then the girls had a great idea: there was a swimming pool next to the condo, so wouldn’t it be fun if the kids passed the time in the pool while we waited to check in?

So after getting all the kids into swimsuits and slathering them with sunscreen, my daughter, Elisa, who was no more than three or four at the time, along with all her cousins, jumped in the pool. Now I should mention here that I was the responsible adult who was supervising the kids, along with my brother-in-law. The women were dealing with checking us in. And moments after Elisa, my three- or four-year-old, jumped into the deep end, this question crossed my mind: “Does Elisa know how to swim? Wait! Elisa doesn’t know how to swim!” So I jumped in after her—in my street clothes—in order to rescue her from drowning!

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 08-02-2020: “Why Does God Wrestle With Us?”

August 5, 2020

Scripture: Genesis 32:1-12, 22-32

I’m not much of a fighter. I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago, when I signed up for Tae Kwon Do martial arts class. My son Ian was taking Tae Kwon Do, and I was often dropping him off and picking him up, so I thought, “Why not take lessons with him? It’ll be good exercise!”

What a mistake! Every class concluded with “sparring.” It was sort of like MMA for kids. This was when you’d put on headgear and boxing gloves and special protective shoes and a chest guard… pair off with another student about your size and height… and start kicking, punching, wrestling, and wailing on one another before the instructor announced the end of the round. 

Read the rest of this entry »