Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

Sermon 09-07-14: “Bible Heroes, Part 5: Gideon”

September 17, 2014

superhero graphic

The people of Israel were committing idolatry at the beginning of today’s scripture. It’s not that they stopped believing in the one true God, Yahweh, but that they were adding other gods to the mix—in case Yahweh wasn’t enough for them.

Are we so different from them? We may not bend our knee and worship idols the way ancient Israel did, but we commit idolatry whenever we look to some person or thing to meet our deepest needs. What are the warning signs of this kind of idolatry? What can we do to prevent it?

In Jesus Christ, God gives us everything we need to prevent this kind of idolatry, as this sermon makes clear.

Sermon Text: Judges 6:1-27, 33-40

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

Did you hear the news? This Tuesday, Auburn graduate and Apple Computer CEO Tim Cook will announce the first entirely new product of his tenure as Steve Jobs’s successor: the product is the iWatch. Well, we don’t know for sure what it’ll be called, but we know for sure it will be a smartwatch, a powerful computer that you wear on your wrist.


Apple CEO Tim Cook

One consumer technology consultant who’s seen it told the New York Times last week: “I believe it’s going to be historic.”

And I believe I’m going to need an iWatch. But let me explain: as many of you know, I’ve recently rededicated myself to working out, getting “swole,” and at least getting in kind of shape necessary to be an American Ninja Warrior. Why are you laughing? I’m serious. And insiders say that this new iWatch will leave exercise-related products from FitBit and Nike in the dust. It will track all your footsteps, monitor your vital signs, yell at you when you reach for that extra piece of key lime pie. The new iWatch has everything an American Ninja Warrior could want.

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Ash Wednesday sermon: “Failing at Lent”

March 6, 2014


Sermon Text: Matthew 6:25-34

The following is my original manuscript for last night’s Ash Wednesday message.

Matthew McConaughey, who won an Oscar this week for Best Actor, gave an incredibly gracious, sweet, and faith-filled acceptance speech. Among other things, he thanked God, saying, saying, “He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any human hand.” Then he thanked his family in a moving way. Then he said something that was confusing to some people but made perfect sense to me. He said that when he was 15 he was asked by someone who his hero was. He thought about it before answering, “My hero is me… ten years from now.” And that person came back to him ten years later, when he was 25: “So, are you a hero?” and he was like, “No! Not even close! My hero is still me… ten years from now.” So he said that while he’ll never catch up with that hero, he’ll also never stop chasing him.

He was saying this: build your life in such a way that ten years from now you will be worthy of being a hero to your younger self. In other words, if the younger version of yourself could see yourself today, would you be a hero to him or her?

Do you care to take that challenge? Would my 34-year-old version of myself look at me today and think I’m a hero? If not, why not? What about you? Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon for 10-09-11: “Do You Want to Know a Secret? Part 4: The Lost Sheep”

October 13, 2011

The world lost a powerful and inspiring public figure in the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In this sermon, I analyze the “gospel according to Steve Jobs,” especially as reflected in his 2005 commencement address to Stanford University. Millions of people who mourned Jobs’s death responded to that gospel. How does it compare with the true and complete gospel of Jesus Christ? What are we the church doing to help people hear and respond to that?

Sermon Text: Matthew 18:10-14

The following is my original manuscript.

The world lost a remarkable man last week in the death of Apple Computer co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs. It’s no exaggeration to say that, directly or indirectly, my life is better because of his life, because if his creativity, because of his inspiration. I’m thankful to God for Steve Jobs. The company he founded played a formational role in my childhood development—not to mention my interest in computers and technology. Eventually my engineering career owed something to Steve Jobs. My earliest computer experience was playing educational games like “Lemonade Stand” and “Oregon Trail” on an Apple II at my elementary school library around 1979. We had exactly one computer at the school, mind you, so we could only use the computer as a group. We would take turns walking up to the computer and pressing a key or typing a command. That was a big deal back then.

Steve Jobs speaking at Stanford in 2005.

Many years later, when I discovered the Macintosh in college, I was hooked. I mean, I became a fanboy. I drank the Kool-Aid, O.K.? I remember those lean years before Steve Jobs came back to Apple when buying a Mac was an act of faith. In the mid-’90s, I was shopping for a new Mac, and friends would say, “Why are you buying a Mac? Don’t you know that Apple will be out of business within six months?” We Mac users had faith that it would somehow work out. We also had faith in our nearly religious devotion to our computers. This drove PC users crazy.

In the wake of Jobs’s death—and the huge outpouring of grief on the web—I watched, along with many of you, his powerful commencement address in 2005 at Stanford University. Did you see this? Don referred to it in his eNews article this week. It was strong, and I would recommend that all of you read it, because it rings true to me. It also catches my attention as a pastor because Jobs even made a couple of interesting religious statements during the speech. In describing, for example, how his life’s failures and setbacks had somehow worked out for good in his life, he said this:

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