No Way Out

The last couple of weeks the news has been dominated by hurricane Harvey. I’m sure we’ve all seen pictures of boats full of children being towed through the flooded streets of Houston. We’ve been inspired by stories of strangers cooperating together to help those more unfortunate than themselves. As divisive and cantankerous as our culture and public discourse has become, seeing all the volunteers, contributions and how people have come together in the face of disaster shows us that there still is hope for our society.

The Good Confession

(Prepared for a sermon based on Acts 8:1-8)

You don’t have to follow the news very closely to realize that persecution against Christians is on the rise. We used to think that persecution was something which happened only in distant lands. However, we’re seeing a rise of opposition to Christianity and Christians right here in our own country. Some of the things said on the Internet and on social media are vicious and cruel. People can even lose their jobs for not condoning socially accepted evils.

What’s A Father For?

(Given on Father’s Day)

Today is a day our culture sets aside to honor fathers. All across this nation families will gather and do something special with or for Dad. This is right and good for Scriptures tells us that we ought to honor our parents.

Since this is a day to honor fathers perhaps it would be good to take a few moments and ask ourselves what the role of a father is. What are fathers supposed be? How are they supposed to interact with their children?

Transformed

(Written to go along with a sermon on Philippians 3:17-21)

Have you ever had the experience of not recognizing someone you know very well because you saw him in a place you didn’t expect to see him, or she had her hair styled differently or was dressed differently than normal? It can be embarrassing when you act toward someone as if he were a stranger only to discover that he’s a friend.

Paid In Full

(To go along with the concept Paul expresses in Philippians 4:17-18)

Without debt, society as we know it wouldn’t exist. For many of us debt is such a common part of our lives that we really don’t give it much thought. Almost all of us carry credit cards. In fact, many of us rarely use cash any more. Every time we use a credit card – we incur a debt. Very few of us paid cash for our houses. Our mortgages are simply another form of debt. Many have other forms of debt, also – such as car payments or student loans. 

Breaking Down the Wall of Hostility

(Prepared for a sermon based on Philippians 2:1-4.)

In 2007 my father and I took a trip to India. One of the things we did was visit a church in the city of Amritsar. The people there loved the Lord. They were enthusiastic and sincere in their faith. Unfortunately, they weren’t very mature spiritually and their leadership was rather weak.

It Is Finished!

(Written to go along with a sermon on Philippians 1:1-8. The thought comes from verse 6.)

Do you sometimes find it difficult to finish or complete a project? I often find it hard to do so. For example, there’s a small sailboat propped up on sawhorses in my back yard that I’ve never quite gotten around to finishing.

Recognizing The Body Of The Lord

(I wrote this meditation to go with a sermon titled “Christians Are The Body Of Christ”)

The church at Corinth had a problem. It was badly infected with the “Me First” virus. In 1st Corinthians chapters 1 through 3, Paul pointed out that the Christians were squabbling over whose conversion was the most valid or authentic. They were also fighting about who was the wisest.

In chapter 4 they were bragging about how superior they were to Paul.

He Broke Down The Wall

(I gave this talk on a day the preacher spoke about Christians being brothers.)

In our culture there is a lot of emphasis on race and ethnic origins. Even when you fill out some form which is totally unrelated, they ask you what race you belong to. All too often people use the politics of race to divide and seek power for themselves. Instead of emphasizing what we all have in common, they use race to stir up division and dissension.

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