“The Man After God’s Own Heart?” 2 Samuel 11

My Senior year of high school I went with the band on a trip to New York City. We got to do all the quintessential New York things, we went to the Statue of Liberty, we saw a Broadway Musical, we bought knock off handbags and watches from an Eastern European man in poorly lit back alley. The thing I was most excited for, going in to the trip, was that we were going to be in the audience at the Today show, which meant we were going to have a chance to meet America’s weatherman, Al Roker. Continue reading ““The Man After God’s Own Heart?” 2 Samuel 11″

“The Runt of the Litter,” Judges 6: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 32-34

I want to share a story with you that isn’t originally mine, it comes from the Children’s Minister I served alongside for the last few years in my previous life. She talked about how, in her home growing up, there was a specific chair in the house where she and her brother were sent for “time out” when they misbehaved. Now around this chair there was something, I cannot remember if it was a shelf or a cabinet or closet or what, but there was some kind of storage space that you could only really see and access from the chair. And so she started, during the times she was not in trouble, hiding pieces of candy in the “time out” area so that they’d be there when she got sent there next. Continue reading ““The Runt of the Litter,” Judges 6: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 32-34″

“A Woman Like…That,” Joshua 2: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 31

I have learned way more about ancient Middle Eastern prostitution than I ever thought I would this week. It would have been weird week to have someone shadowing me. But when you try to do research on Rahab that’s what comes up. That’s the defining characteristic that we’re given about Rahab, both in Joshua and in Hebrews she’s referred to as Rahab the prostitute or the prostitute Rahab. She is the great-grandmother of King David, she’s one of four women mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, she’s one of two women who gets mentioned by the author of Hebrews as a hero of faith, and yet she’s still remembered as Rahab the prostitute. Continue reading ““A Woman Like…That,” Joshua 2: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 31″

“The Late in Life Parents,” Genesis 18: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 8-12

What makes something funny? What makes people laugh? Those are questions that I’ve always been interested in. I was in high school during what I’ve decided to declare the golden age of Comedy Central. You know how people of a certain age like to talk about “back when MTV had music?” Well I grew up back when Comedy Central actually had stand-up comedy, and I loved it. I loved watching stand up, there was a time when I told myself I was going to become a stand-up, like seriously enough that I looked into classes and open mics and things like that. I ended up not going through with it, but I never shook that fascination with humor and laughter. Continue reading ““The Late in Life Parents,” Genesis 18: 1-15, Hebrews 11: 8-12″

“The Walking Partner,” Genesis 5: 21-24, Hebrews 11: 5-6

Last week was Trinity Sunday, a date in the church calendar where special attention is called to the Trinity, to the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You may have seen on Facebook or other places online, illustrations for Trinity Sunday involving Fidget Spinner, some of which were jokes and some, I’m afraid, might not have been. You may also have noticed that we didn’t say much about the Trinity last week, I certainly didn’t try to preach on it despite the fact that I like the church calendar and try to emphasize important dates when they come up, and the reason for that is simple: the Trinity is complicated. It’s a difficult concept for us to grasp, it is certainly a difficult concept to condense down into a coherent twenty minutes, and I didn’t want to try because I’m not convinced that Gardner-Webb can’t still take my degree back. Continue reading ““The Walking Partner,” Genesis 5: 21-24, Hebrews 11: 5-6″

“Little Brother,” Genesis 4: 1-10, Hebrews 11: 4

This is a strange story, isn’t? Whether we’ve grown up in church and heard it our entire lives or are new to faith and just getting exposed to it, it is a story that leaves us with more questions than answers. It doesn’t start out confusing, in the beginning it seems fairly straight forward. Adam and Eve get sent out of Eden and proceed to try to make the best out of their new life by starting a family. The kids grow up, one becomes a farmer and the other becomes a herder. Now this is one those places where the time and place we live in may make us miss something important. Continue reading ““Little Brother,” Genesis 4: 1-10, Hebrews 11: 4″

“12 Guys in a Crowd,” Acts 2

I wanted to call this sermon “12 Random Drunks.” I chickened out at the last minute. That’s what has always grabbed my attention on Pentecost. Giant roar of wind, flaming tongues descending, that’s all well and good but what in the world kind of society are we dealing with when the assumption is that twelve people are drunk at nine in the morning at a religious festival. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s day have religious purposes in theory too. Continue reading ““12 Guys in a Crowd,” Acts 2″