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Yes, I know I’m south of the Mason-Dixon and that that word carries a lot of baggage here. Well, if it got your attention, then I hope Sunday’s message will as well. You see there is another pile of baggage that many of us carry because we don’t discriminate. Got your attention yet?
Sunday, we’ll take our fourth look at how “Bad Things CAN Make Good Relationships” and focus on two passages from scripture that are difficult to hear. First, in Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus focuses on ‘false prophets’ and how destructive they can be to our life and faith. Next we’ll look at 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, 13, (yes I know we just looked at this passage a couple weeks ago – It bears a second look) and discover how we might unload some of this baggage. Difficult relationships are often so because of the people with whom we are in relationship and we may not be able to fix them.
My hope is that you’ll begin to understand that there may be people in your life that have dropped this baggage into your life and are forcing you to carry a load that God did not intend for you to carry.
This may be the most difficult sermon I ever have to preach and perhaps the most difficult to hear. But I fear that it may also be one of the most important. I hope you will be at church on Sunday to hear it.
OK, so basically we are all a bunch of chickens. Most of us would rather run across the road during rush hour than have a confrontation – especially when it comes to those with whom we are in the closest relationships. We avoid confronting loved-ones who’ve hurt us because we can remember and we know how well it’s worked in the past. We’d rather not go there again . . .
Well, I have some “Good News” to share: It doesn’t have to be that way! I believe the Bible offers us a means to make it helpful for our relationships when we confront those we love who’ve hurt us. This Sunday we’ll look at Matthew 18:15-20 as well as Ephesians 4:14-15 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, and discover God’s method for successfully confronting the problems, and the problem individuals, that trip up our relationships.
Seriously! It really works and it’s a lot simpler than you might expect. I guarantee that you haven’t heard anyone preach a sermon like this one before. Of course, you might say that about any sermon I preach . . .
It’s REALLY difficult to forgive! Especially if the one who wronged you is someone you trust deeply. Sometimes the hardest ones to forgive are the ones closest to us. They are, by design, the ones we trust the most.
What if I told you that sometimes it’s helpful for relationships if we are unforgiving? What if you learned that most everything you understood about forgiveness was wrong? And what if the “wrong stuff” was what you learned at church?! And what if that wrong stuff had devalued your relationships . . .
On Sunday, we’ll look at Matthew 18:21-35 (a passage right out of the mouth of Jesus himself), Acts 2:38 and 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, to see if we can discover how forgiveness is supposed to work and how unforgiveness can help our relationships.
Don’t believe me? Well, I dare you to join us this Sunday for a message that will give you a perspective on scripture that you may never have heard. Tragically, you should have probably heard it a long time ago! The good news is that it is never too late to start anew with folks you love.
Relationship are difficult! Even on Valentine’s day. Whether with our spouse, our children, our neighbors, our co-workers, or a variety of others, we seem to run into trouble more often than we avoid it. The problem is that problems happen in relationships! And few of us are well equipped to deal with them.
Well, in my usual “crazy California dude” way, I decided to look at relationship problems from a different perspective: Why cant the problems we face in relationships be turned into helpful things? I believe I’ve found direction, right from the mouth of Jesus, on how to use things that usually cause problems in relationships as helpful tools.
On Sunday, we’ll look at Matthew 5:21-22 (a passage right out of the Sermon on the Mount) and other Old and New Testament passages (Proverbs 29:11, James 1:19-20, and Ephesians 4:26) to find out how ANGER can be helpful for ALL your relationships. (I see that look on your face, but it works – really!)
Don’t believe me? Well, I dare you to join us this Sunday for a message that will give you a very different perspective on how God can help us to use Anger as a positive force in our relationships – all of them! I also encourage you to invite that friend or neighbor you’ve been thinking about. Continue reading
This Sunday we conclude our series on the Seven Stumblingblocks to Spiritual Success with a message on Lust. Yes, I actually said it: LUST! So, this will not be your normal sermon this week . . . Just sayin’. Needless to say, some of the content will require a PG rating, but what do you expect, we’re talking about LUST!
Seriously, lust is not a new problem, but it has significant impact on not only our culture, but on the Christian community as well. So, we’ll take a serious look at a serious problem, it’s effects, and how we can overcome it.
Join us on Sunday and we’ll look at passages from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Matthew 16:24-25, Romans 7:14-19, Philippians 3:12-14, and Romans 8:1-2 to see what scripture has to say about lust and we’ll discuss some of its effects on our lives and our faith. Then, we’ll focus on practical ways to overcome this problem that is crippling our culture and even the Church.
This Sunday we continue our series on the Seven Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Success with a message on Gluttony. Now don’t go thinking that this will be a message condemning fat people! Gluttony, as it appears in scripture, has a much wider context than just what we shove in our mouths. In fact, you might be amazed at the number of thin, healthy, athletic people who are gluttons (and I’m not just talking about “for Punishment”).
Join us on Sunday and we’ll look at passages from Proverbs 23:19-21, Philippians 3:18-19, 1 Corinthians 6:12, 19-20 and 8:8-13, and Romans 12:1-2 to see what scripture has to say about gluttony and we’ll discuss some of its effects on our lives and our faith. Then we’ll look at those same scriptures to find ways God can help us overcome the gluttony that destroys our lives and relationships. Continue reading
This Sunday we continue our series on the Seven Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Success with a message on Greed. We’ll look at the effects of greed on those greedy Wall Street types and how their greedy greed will drive them straight to “H” “E” double hockey sticks! Then we’ll sit back and thank God that we aren’t greedy like those rotten Wall Street bums! Wait . . . that might not be too genuine . . . maybe I’ll have to rethink my approach.
While I’m rethinking my approach, you can read passages from Luke 12:16-21, Matthew 6:16-21, Deuteronomy 14:22-26, and 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. Maybe by the time you’re done, I’ll discover a better understanding of this “Deadly Sin”.
This Sunday we continue our series on the Seven Stumblingblocks to Spiritual Success with a message on Wrath. We won’t be discussing the ‘Wrath of God” . No, we’ll be looking at the “Wrath of Us”. This one might be one that sneaks up on you. You might not think you ever have to be concerned with wrath, but you might change your mind after Sunday
We’ll look at the consequences of wrath on our lives and the lives of those around us. We’ll explore what Jesus says in Matthew 5:21-22, and 18:23-33 and what The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:19-21 and what James says James 1:19-21 to discover ways to overcome wrath before it destroys us and before we destroy everybody else.
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God . . . Deut. 6:13
No wonder we have so much trouble convincing people that God loves them! Who wants a god you gotta be afraid of all the time? And who wants a god who would require that we be afraid?
The problem with the verse above is not that it is an inaccurate description of how we should relate to God. It’s just a REALLY BAD translation of the original Hebrew. The fault lies with King James’ translators’ (and they didn’t even use the Hebrew: they used the Latin, which was translated from the Greek, which was translated from the Hebrew – and rather poorly). A better translation is, “Respect and Revere the Lord.” Another Problem is that current translators get flack when they dramatically change the words in common Bible passages. The result is they are reluctant to do so – even if the common is inaccurate. So most translations you can find will use “Fear”. Give it a try by checking Deuteronomy 6:13 online and then changing the translation and re-searching it. I’ll wait . . .
Sunday, we’ll take a look at this problem and its effects on us. We’ll also look at another familiar passage, John 3:16-21, and discover what it tells us about why being afraid of God is the Last thing He wants.
So join us this Sunday as we complete our fearless march into the “State of Fear”
. . . or else!
No Matter How Tough You Think You Are . . .
Go on and admit it: There are some things you’re afraid of. (Sorry for the dangling participle but I’m trying to overcome my fear of them.)
We are human and, along with our humanity, we are frail. Some stages in life are more frail than others: infancy and old age come to mind but there are less obvious other times. Even the seemingly strong have fears they might not even admit to themselves. It’s not a weakness. It’s a fact of life for us sentient beings.
Sunday, we’ll take a look at some common fears we all share. Continue reading