Archive for September, 2021

Sermon 09-26-2021: “The Wisdom from Above and the Devil’s Three Biggest Lies”

September 30, 2021

Scripture: James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

Some of you will be surprised to learn that I do have a second dog. Her name is Neko—a black terrier mix. We rescued her eleven years ago. Some of you have seen me walking her. If you drive by our backyard she’s usually in it. Unlike our spaniel, she is not especially affectionate. Let’s say she’s sitting on one of the cushions of the loveseat. And I sit down on the other cushion. She will literally jump down off the loveseat and then jump up on the sofa—on the other side of the living room! To avoid being too close to me. I try not to take it personally.

But it’s a good thing she doesn’t want or need much affection from us humans, because when we show her any—just patting her on the head—and her brother Ringo sees us doing it… Uh-oh… he’ll come running over and chase his sister away or sort of force himself between Neko and us… As if to say, “Don’t give her something that you’re not also going to give me! That’s not fair!”

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Sermon 09-19-21: “Words Are Your Most Important ‘Work'”

September 23, 2021

Scripture: James 3:1-12

Back in 2009, I had the pleasure of chaperoning a youth mission trip to the Navajo Reservation in the Four Corners area of New Mexico. This is near the spot where the “four corners” of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah meet. One day, when we weren’t working, some Navajo guides led our group by horseback down the side of a steep, rocky mountain into a beautiful canyon down below. And I don’t know how else to describe the terrain—as someone who is unfamiliar with desert places out west… But it looked to me… like the real-life version of the old Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons. 

Remember when Wile E. Coyote would run off a mountain cliff, and then be suspended in air for a few seconds before going splat at the bottom of the canyon? Those were the kinds of mountains, cliffs, and canyons I’m talking about!

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Sermon 09-12-21: “Faith Without Works Is Dead”

September 15, 2021

Scripture: James 2:14-26

Last week in my sermon I talked briefly about investor Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest man in the world, and his pledge, several years ago, to give away tens of billions of dollars to charity. At the time he said, “There is more than one way to get to heaven, but this is a great way.”

As I’ve said before, there are only two problems with this statement: First, there’s only one way to get to heaven, and second, no amount of money—even the tens of billions of dollars that Buffett pledged to give away—can begin to purchase salvation. The debt that we owe to God on account of our sin is infinitely more than that!

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Sermon 09-05-21: “How to Fulfill the ‘Royal Law'”

September 15, 2021

Scripture: James 2:1-13

Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author, and some of you have probably read his book Outliers. At least one of my kids had to read it for school. Outliers is the book that says you have to practice at something for 10 thousand hours before you become really, really good at it… before you master it. So, for example, the Beatles became the great band that everyone knows them to be today because they spent 10 thousand hours playing live music in the clubs of Hamburg, West Germany, in the early ’60s… long before invading America.

But here’s some bad news… for me, at least: By my rough calculation, yours truly has only spent about 700 hours of my life preaching sermons… so… that explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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Sermon 08-29-2021: “Hearing and Doing God’s Word”

September 2, 2021

Scripture: James 1:17-27

Some of you saw this on Facebook, but Lisa and I moved my son Townshend into his dorm room at Georgia Tech last Saturday. Saying goodbye to him wasn’t quite as hard as our experience three years ago, dropping our daughter off at her college in central Florida for the first time. But she was going to be nine hours away! 

But dropping Townshend off was still hard. I miss him! But we dropped him off last Saturday, and I’m happy to say that he had already made a reservation to visit a nearby church in Atlanta the next day—you have to make reservations to go to this church because of seating limitations due to Covid… Anyway, he liked the church a lot, and he made an appointment to have coffee with the associate pastor. So I’m excited for him. I’m eager for him to find a church home near Tech’s campus. 

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