The UNtriumphal entry of the unexpected king – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 1

Picture an inauguration or coronation ceremony. What images come to mind? Grand balls. Flashy banners and decor. Lavish parties with bountiful plates of food and dignitaries dressed to impress. The goal is a display of power, wealth, and victory. Today I want to give you a totally different picture of a coronation that would ultimatelyContinue reading “The UNtriumphal entry of the unexpected king – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 1”

When God leaves you (and what to do about it) – Characters: Samson, Part 4

How close do you feel to God? Do you know if he is a part of your life? Is it possible that he has left you? Today we read that God leaves Samson. Yes, you read that right. God leaves Samson. Is that wrong of God? Is God allowed to do that, based on theContinue reading “When God leaves you (and what to do about it) – Characters: Samson, Part 4”

How to live Christianly in the world – Titus 3:1-8, Part 2

In the first post in this series on Titus 3:1-8, I introduced the series saying that so often we Christians talk about the good news of Jesus by focusing on its implications for life after death. While it does apply to the eternal realm for sure, what we notice in a letter like Titus, isContinue reading “How to live Christianly in the world – Titus 3:1-8, Part 2”

The one word that should define church leaders – Titus 1:5-9, Part 2

What one word do you think should define church leaders? In part 1 of this week’s posts on Titus 1:5-9, we learned that Paul had sent Titus to the Island of Crete to appoint leaders in the churches there. So what kind of people should Titus be looking for to be leaders of the church? Continue reading “The one word that should define church leaders – Titus 1:5-9, Part 2”

How to learn the truth about ourselves (What I learned on sabbatical, Part 3)

One of the major events that Michelle and I participated in during sabbatical was the EC Pastoral Assessment Center (PAC).  It was that experience that led us to consider a sermon idea.  But first let me explain PAC. PAC is basically the starting point for people who are exploring the possibility of becoming pastors inContinue reading “How to learn the truth about ourselves (What I learned on sabbatical, Part 3)”

Why Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land (and the important principle we can learn from it)

Have you ever been penalized for something that you did, and though you deserved it, you felt that punishment was too severe?  Have you pleaded your case asking for grace, for mercy, for another punishment?  That’s a tough spot to be in.  You know you were wrong, and yet you feel the discipline is harsh,Continue reading “Why Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land (and the important principle we can learn from it)”

Steps to become humble (yes, you can become more humble!)

I learned something surprising this week.  I was studying humility for my summer sermon series on Spiritual Exercises (spiritual disciplines).  What surprised me is that humility is not simply a state of mind or a belief.  It starts there, but it doesn’t stay there.  Humility, Jesus in particular showed us, and the biblical writers tellContinue reading “Steps to become humble (yes, you can become more humble!)”

Two things Christians should fight for

Paul tells Timothy to fight the good fight.  Generally Christians are not supposed to be fighting.  So what fight is Paul talking about?  He calls it a good fight.  Not too many fights could be described as good ones. Life can feel like a fight.  Have you ever felt that way?  Life seems too hard sometimes doesn’tContinue reading “Two things Christians should fight for”