Archive for July, 2022

Sermon 07-24-2022: “Three Encouragements for Praying Boldly”

July 27, 2022

Scripture: Luke 11:1-13

In last week’s sermon, I talked, in part, about prayer. I said that Jesus seems to emphasize that prayer—contrary to popular belief—is not supposed to be difficult; it’s supposed to be easy. And if you were here last week, you’ll recall that I said that even so-called “bad” prayers are infinitely better than no prayers at all. 

But in today’s scripture, Jesus shows us what a good prayer looks like: a perfectly good prayer, in fact. The prayer that we call the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus likely taught his disciples this prayer on many occasions. The prayer in Luke is a little shorter than the more familiar version of the prayer that he offers in Matthew’s gospel, in the Sermon on the Mount. But the pattern of the prayer is the same. 

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Sermon 07-17-2022: “What Can We Learn from Squabbling Sisters?”

July 18, 2022

Scripture: Luke 10: 38-42

We were on vacation last week, and my son Townshend’s girlfriend, Lydia, joined us for part of the trip. And I’m not saying I should have felt this way, but I felt a tiny amount of pressure to “be on my best behavior.” It’s same pressure you feel when company is coming over for the first time, and you want to make a good impression. With your close friends and family, being on your best behavior is no longer important. They know you already—they know both the good and the bad… And if, after getting to know you so well, they still want to be your friends… well, they must love you enough to overlook or at least tolerate your many faults.

But Lydia doesn’t know me that well… so for about three days I wanted to fake her out. For example, I wanted to make sure that she didn’t notice how grumpy I can often be; that she didn’t see me snap at Lisa in anger; that she didn’t hear me accidentally use salty language—as I confess with shame that I sometimes do.

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Sermon 07-03-2022: “The Who, the Why, and the How of Mission”

July 18, 2022

Scripture: Luke 10:1-20

When I was in college, I was first a writer and later an editor of The Technique, Georgia Tech’s student newspaper. Yes, some of us at Toccoa First earned Ph.D.s in nuclear engineering from Georgia Tech. And some of us worked for the student newspaper… So… Potato, po-tah-to

But one time we had an English professor—who was himself an editor of a national jazz magazine—come and talk to us about how to write newspaper articles. There’s no journalism school at Georgia Tech, keep in mind. And he said that the most important thing about writing news stories is that you need to try to answer the five W’s: Who, what, where, when, and why? And how?

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