Posts Tagged ‘Ronda Rousey’

Sermon 03-06-16: “Believing the Word”

March 11, 2016

John Sermon Series Graphic
As hard as it is to believe, when we find ourselves in a place of utter helplessness—when we’ve reach the end of our ropes and realize that there’s nothing else we can do to help ourselves—this is often, surprisingly, an amazing place to be! Because this is the place where God’s grace meets us! This sermon explores this idea and more. Enjoy!

Sermon Text: John 4:43-54

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

Growing up, my friend Andy had a street sign hanging on his bedroom wall. It identified a street near where we lived; I don’t know how he got it or where he got it. But the sign hung on his wall, right next to the Christie Brinkley swimsuit poster. It was awesome—and the street sign was pretty cool too!

But I’m sure the people from the county who put the sign up originally didn’t want my friend to have it—in part because the county paid for it, and they had to replace it with a new one. And besides, the purpose of a sign isn’t to be displayed on the wall as a piece of art, as part of the decor of a teenage boy’s bedroom; the purpose of a sign is to point to something, to identify something, to give information about something. If you hang the sign on your wall because you like the way it looks, you’ve missed the point of the sign.

And that’s what these Galileans in today’s scripture have done. They’ve missed the point of Jesus’ “signs,” which is John’s name for the miracles that Jesus performs. So of course, as verse 45 says, the Galileans “welcome” Jesus; they roll out the red carpet for him; throw a parade for him when he returns home to Galilee. Why wouldn’t they welcome him like this? The local boy has made them proud; he’s done well. After all, did you see what he did a couple of weeks ago at the Passover festival in Jerusalem? Unbelievable… All those miracles he performed! And the way he drove away those merchants and money changers in the Temple! But especially the miracles! Everyone’s talking about the miracles! And he’s one of us! He’s a hometown boy!

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Sermon 09-06-15: “Fight Songs, Part 1: Our Shepherd”

September 11, 2015

Fight Songs

Psalm 23, among the most beloved passages of scripture, is also one of the most misunderstood. While the imagery of sheep and shepherd seems peaceful and bucolic, the poem is set in the context of danger and death. After all, within the shadows of the canyon are dangerous predators who want to destroy the sheep. Their shepherd is their only protection. What does this say about those of us who follow the Lord our Shepherd? Will he protect and provide for us even when we find ourselves in the “valley of the shadow of death”? 

Sermon Text: Psalm 23:1-6

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jarrod Haschert is one lucky man! Over social media last week, Haschert invited Ronda Rousey on a date. He asked her to accompany him to the annual Marine Birthday Ball at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. And Rousey, the undefeated mixed martial arts champion, the woman that Sports Illustrated called the “world’s most dominant athlete” in any sport, said yes. Even though she hadn’t yet met or even spoken to the the marine, she said “yes”—as a show of support for our troops.

marine

Maybe you’ve never heard of Ronda Rousey, but it’s fair to say that at least millions of guys around the world consider Rousey “hot,” and most of them would dream of going on a date with Rousey… Although few of them would have the guts to do what Haschert did!

Ronda-RouseySo Rousey is going to go to this dance, and she’ll be wearing a formal gown, and she’ll be beautiful, of course. But don’t judge by outward appearances. Because even though she’s not a large woman, by any stretch, she could easily kill most men with her bare hands, I’m sure. Honestly. She’s tough, strong, quick, agile… and did I say tough?

But you wouldn’t know this by looking at her! Looks can be deceiving.

And when it comes to Psalm 23, this most beloved psalm, looks can also be deceiving. I mean, when we think of this image of the shepherd leading his sheep to lie down and rest beside “still waters,” doesn’t it seem like one of the most peaceful, calm, restful word pictures in all of scripture? Read the rest of this entry »