Imagine, if you will: The year is 1938. You’ve lived in New York your entire life and, at last! You’re finally old enough to get into the hottest spots around town. You save your precious pennies so you can enjoy a Friday night with friends and you strut into an upscale club for the first time in your life. The world is yours! You look on stage and what luck! The legendary Duke Ellington is front and center, warming up…getting ready to play his first…Continue Reading “On the Immutable Characteristics of God”

So, in case anyone missed it, the world’s on fire right now but we seem to care more about the ability of professional football players to stand during the anthem. While you were sleeping: There was a mass shooting in a Tennessee church. Puerto Rico desperately needs our aid, and it’s not getting it. Mexico desperately trying to recover after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks. Privileged bonehead politician Anthony Weiner Gets 21 Months for sexually propositioning a 15 year old girl. Hindu mass killings…Continue Reading “9.25.17: While you were sleeping… (More NFL Talk)”

Disclaimer: This is not a debate thread regarding contemporary vs. traditional worship. This is a comment about change in the church. So, I was speaking to a friend on the internet this afternoon regarding contemporary worship. He’s a fellow bass player and he was describing the rough transition from a traditional service to a contemporary one at his smallish church. Yes, anyone in church leadership knows…this is a horrible battle. However, in his case, the pastor, the leadership, and basically everyone in any sort of…Continue Reading “On Vision: The Rich Young Ruler”

A Brief History Lesson So, earlier this week, I posted a pair of quotes on Facebook. It got a lot of likes, a lot of sad faces, and one or two comments. “The Secretary of State and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires….Continue Reading “On Immigration”

So, many of you who know me see a post of Jesus guiding Trump’s hand and you think, “He’s lost it. He’s finally lost it. He’s finally went off the deep end, I don’t even…”

Or, rather: “Sweet Lord, no. Oh, heavenly buffaloes (free advertising, pay me), for the love of all that’s good and decent….DO NOT POST A PAINTING OF JESUS GUIDING TRUMP’S STRANGELY FLESH-COLORED EXECUTIVE ORDER-SIGNING PEN, even if it is funny that the intermingled hands do look a little like a Beetlejuice noir-art inspired Triceratops (Michael Keaton and Michael Crichton, free and relevant advertising, pay me).

Triceratops joke aside, my primary problem with this image is threefold (at least to start):

Continue Reading "Make America Paint Again"

Reflections / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • So, I’m beyond disappointed with my lack of info on this sermon. I usually keep everything but somehow the full text is gone. All I have is an outline. I even checked old emails. I emailed the pastor the outline but not the full text.
  • Despite that, an outline is a better memory than nothing, so I’m posting it. Also, I spent 10 minutes on formatting the thumbnail for the blog. Can’t lose all that work.
  • I remember this sermon went exceptionally well. I differentiated between rugged individuality and being the unique you that God calls you to be.

Summary: Well folks, a summary and an outline is all I’m good for on this one. Like I mentioned, though, I’d rather have an outline than nothing. So, here goes. This sermon somewhat reminded me of the scene in 300 when Leonidas removes his armor / helmet / etc before attacking Xerxes. Saul tried to get David to wear sixty pounds of armor and carry a spear when David wouldn’t have been able to do anything with all of that gear. David broke rank and used what he knew and what he had to do exactly what God needed him to do. If David would have tried to do it any other way he would have failed, he would have fallen flat on his face. But, he did things according to the way God had designed, and ended up being one of the best kings Israel ever had.

Sermon Outline: Distinctive

Continue Reading "6.12.16: Distinctive"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • This sermon was definitely my most uncomfortable. I got vulnerable about my brother’s death, which is hard for me to do.
  • The weirdest thing happened after this sermon. An older lady in the congregation came up to me and said she was convicted to get a divorce…thought a sermon on forgiveness…I freaked out. Then she explained. She separated from a man in 1998 and refused to sign the paperwork out of anger so that he couldn’t get remarried. That made more sense, but imagine being nine sermons into your preaching career and hearing, “Yeah, your sermon inspired me to get a divorce!” Ha.

Summary: Forgiveness is a big part of my story. In this sermon I get into the specifics of what forgiveness looked like with the woman who murdered my brother. I talk about how I really never even had a genuine connection to God until I was able to fully forgive. It was also only after I fully forgave that I was able to even accept a call into ministry.

Sermon: Reconciled

Continue Reading "4.3.16: Reconciled"

Reflections / Notes / Summary

Notes:

  • I used a strange example at the end. I had built a little church out of Lego blocks (Hence the bricks in the slideshow background). I had no idea how it would go over. It was one of those things that I knew would either be revolutionary or a total miss. There was no middle ground. I had each member of the congregation take a brick off of the church, representing that each individual is a building block in the church body.
  • The Lego idea went amazing. In fact, months later a man walked up who showed me that he had drilled a hole in his block and kept it on his keychain. He said it’s a daily reminder. When I heard that, it blew my mind. The little things really do make a difference.

Summary: So, this sermon was really one of the first where I broke away from my original church’s style of being totally topical with proof texts. I sat on 1 Peter and let the church chew on it for a while. I kept a running theme going, using construction and masonry examples, comparing us to the bricks we use to build buildings.

Sermon: Knowing Who You Are

Continue Reading "1.31.16: Knowing Who You Are"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Reflection

  • This was an interesting message for me. It was one of the first times I realized so many people end up landing in the same place preparing sermons as so many other people beforehand.
  • This church was a good church to give a message about strong father figures. It went over very well.

Summary: This sermon was intended to look at the role of Joseph as a husband and a father. It looks at the sacrifices he made, which were great especially compared to the cultural and societal norms of the time. From the beginning, the story of the gospel was a messy, gritty story. The story of Jesus started, and ended, with controversy. Joseph is an amazing example of tenacity throughout his brief introduction in the New Testament.

Sermon: Not Your Average Joe

Continue Reading "11.29.15: Not Your Average Joe"

Reflection / Notes / Summary

Reflection:

  • Onelove is a small church in Huber Heights. I met the senior pastor on an Emmaus walk and we became good friends.
  • He invited me to speak a few months after the walk and asked me to give my Christian Action Emmaus talk.
  • Since, I’ve became friends with the senior pastor and the outreach pastor.
  • After the message, I had a conversation with an elderly woman who broke down and told me that God sent me to talk to her specifically. It was an amazing experience and the first time something that specific has happened.

Summary: This story loosely follows the Emmaus Community’s Christian Action talk outline. It is filled with some personal testimony and a large part of my call story. It breaks away slightly from the format of a standard sermon. If anyone reading this has ever been on an Emmaus walk, you understand the way these talks work. 

Sermon: Christian Action

Continue Reading "11.15.15: Christian Action"