God Needs You … We Need You

They say the church is no longer needed today. That it has long served its purpose.

They say the church is just an ancient thing. That its teachings and beliefs are no longer relevant.

They say the church’s mission is no longer worth it. That no one is paying attention anymore, so the church would be better off just not trying.

Do you really believe any of that? Continue reading “God Needs You … We Need You”

Sunday Sermon: Samuel’s Call

Every nation and people group have formative stories that describe the lives and rise to influence of some of their most influential leaders. Some of our greatest leaders, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, have as part of their narratives stories from their childhoods, such as chopping down a cherry tree or living in a log cabin. They are as much a part of their legacy as their individual achievements.

Such is the case for many of the stories we will look at from 1-2 Samuel during this sermon series looking at the Life of David. They are the collection of the formative stories for Israel that were assembled in its present form around the time of the Exile. The stories of 1-2 Samuel describe how Israel moved from a group of tribes into a nation led by a king. They tell how David, a shepherd from Bethlehem, became the great military, political, and spiritual leader of his people. Continue reading “Sunday Sermon: Samuel’s Call”

Sunday’s Sermon: Resolution 2015 – Call

Nine years ago I had the greatest Jimmy John’s sandwich I have ever eaten. No other Jimmy John’s sandwich has compared to that one. 

What made the sandwich so great had nothing to do with the sandwich itself. It was your typical delicious Jimmy John’s sandwich. What made the sandwich great was the conversation that took place during the meal. Nine years ago this month, I sat at a Jimmy John’s in Chapel Hill, N.C., with my sandwich and chips, to tell one of my pastors that I felt a call to ordained ministry.  Continue reading “Sunday’s Sermon: Resolution 2015 – Call”

Sunday’s Sermon: Resolution 2015: Follow

Since moving to Kentucky in 2007, there is a lot I have learned about our great commonwealth. I have learned that a Derby Pie is a unique combination that must be tasted to be appreciated. I have learned that Lexington is not only the “horse capital of the world,” but also the “traffic jam capital” as well. I have learned that you can tell when someone is new to the state by how they pronounce “Louisville.”

Yet of all the things I have learned about Kentucky, probably the most significant is this: we love our sports. Sports is part of the culture in Kentucky. From the youth basketball courts to the college basketball games, we love to take in sports and talk about them daily. Go to McDonald’s in Lawrenceburg on any morning and you are guaranteed to hear people either talking about the next Kentucky game or a recent high school contest. 

We love to get involved in sports. We love to watch the athletes and cheer for our favorite team. We get excited when our team wins and we get frustrated, for example, when a certain team dressed in Gold and Blue decides not to make a basket against Texas. We love our sports.  Continue reading “Sunday’s Sermon: Resolution 2015: Follow”

Purposeful Waiting

funny-pictures-auto-421780A couple of days ago there was a photo that made its way around the Internet. In this particular photo was a picture of a turkey having an intense conversation with Santa Claus. The turkey wanted to remind Santa that November was his month and that Santa would have to wait until December. This turkey was not interested anyone else grabbing the spotlight.

It was a funny photo, but think about how appropriate it is for us. We are approaching a very busy stretch run that takes us through the end of the year that already seems to be underway. The Holiday Sprint from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day where our calendars are filled and we have a long list of things to do. They say this is the “most wonderful time of the year,” and it is, but we’re often too busy to really enjoy these two months. Continue reading “Purposeful Waiting”

Living Our Calling

This week, we had the blessing of having my grandparents with us to help us begin to organize and get ready to move. It was great having them here and having their help with Noah and also with boxing up some of the things we do not regularly use.

Of course, having them here reminded me of many great memories I’ve shared with them through the years. The times my grandfather would drive me to all my wrestling tournaments and watch patiently as I would struggle to advance. The long drives in their huge van to Florida to see family. The many times my grandmother would try, almost unsuccessfully, to get me to do my part in picking up around the house. Continue reading “Living Our Calling”

The Sacrament of Identification

Throughout my life, there have been many words used to describe me. Some of these words are funny. Some of the words are personal. Some are words that attempt to identify me through my work or passions.

I’ve been described as a son, a husband, a father, a public theologian, a writer, a pastor, a preacher, an editor, an advocate, as gregarious, a nerd, a poor golfer, a sports fan, and very competitive, especially when it comes to board games.

These are all adjectives that are part of who I am. Each of us here have adjectives that describes aspects about us. Words that shine a light on who we are, where we’ve been, or where we believe our lives are going.

We are fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, workers and retirees, veterans, leaders, and so much more. I am sure we could go on. Each of these adjectives are special and define so much about our lives and what we hold to be important. Continue reading “The Sacrament of Identification”