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Showing posts from October, 2007

Painting Shadows: A Reflection on Genesis 39:1-12

Read previous post in this series You cannot change the past. Changing the past is like painting shadows, it can’t be done. Hindsight is 20/20, but looking back while moving forward will get you killed. Sadly, that’s what most victims do; they look back almost compulsively while trying to move forward. Every future relationship is interpreted by the mistakes made in the field of regret . Someone made you feel cheap, now you are, and you give yourself to the lowest bidder. Someone you loved died senselessly. Now you live senselessly waiting to die. Someone broke your trust. Now you do not trust and choose to surround yourself with untrustworthy people. If your mind won’t release the pain, blast it with chemicals, dull the senses, escape reality. Now you are addicted to killing memories, painting shadows, and slowly destroying yourself. Just because something bad happened in your past does not give you an excuse to make a bad decision in the present. The field of regret does not defin

Sermon: The Prayer Meeting, Talking to God Together

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We all need a group of people we can pray with. But we have all been to prayer meetings that lacked any real spiritual power. How can we become a part of a powerful prayer meeting that truly connects with God? How can we move from praying “around” one another to actually praying “with” one another? Being in a group in which everyone prays IS NOT necessarily a prayer meeting. In the prayer meeting of Acts 4 the believers “talked to God together” with one accord. How can we possibly get a group of people to pray about the same thing? Listen to audio of "The Prayer Meeting, Talking to God Together." Podcast available through iTunes.

Sermon: Praying for Forgiveness

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Are you certain that when you pray for forgiveness that God answers your prayer? Do you find yourself asking for forgiveness for the same sins over and over again? If I ask God to just forgive me in general, does that cover it, or do I need to actually name my sins one by one? The prayer for forgiveness is a prayer we need to get right. In Luke 18 two men go to the Temple to pray. One man prays for forgiveness and leaves the Temple right with God. The other man prayed, but he was basically just talking to himself. This story, as well as three conversations with God from the Old Testament (Cain, Jeremiah, and Ezra), teach us about God’s attitude about our sin and how we should approach Him in asking for forgiveness. Listen to the sermon "Praying for Forgiveness." Also available through iTunes Podcast

Fields of Regret - A Reflection on Genesis 37:12-36

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Read previous post in this series. The idea that a good God can use the evil of trauma as well as the trauma of evil, either one equally well, and make it work into something good is an irreconcilable thought. It is hard to understand why God would even choose to allow evil. If God is good, why doesn’t He intervene before we become victims? We are vulnerable. He is almighty. Joseph has a cool coat that shouts “boss’s kid.” I worked with a guy who was the boss’s son once. There is no need to bore you with the details of the experience. But if I could have sold him into slavery on the black market I probably would have. Maybe Joseph had it coming. Maybe I have issues. But the typical boss’s kid is na├»ve to the fact that all the other employees loathe his father’s favoritism. The boss’s kid thinks all the other guys love having lunch with him. What he doesn’t understand is that in their minds they are pricing him for the black market as they enjoy a sandwich. The boss’s kid doesn’t wor

Sermon: The Christ in Joseph - Joseph, Beautiful Victim Series (Conclusion)

Some people help us understand the Gospel by the way they respond to suffering. Joseph was one of those people. Unbeknownst to him, in the way he responded to the trauma of his life, he shared Christ with his long lost, abusive brothers. The suffering of the victim provided salvation for the villains. From the life of Joseph we learn that God can take the abuse and trauma of your life and use it to give you the greatest opportunity to share Christ with others, especially with those who may have contributed most to your suffering. Listen to sermon audio of “The Christ in Joseph.” This is the final sermon in the series. Also available through iTunes podcast.

The Seminary Football Team

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After eleven years I have decided to go back to seminary. Eleven years ago I sat on an apple crate in the middle of an orchard praying about seminary. I was dealing with a call to a church. The church was in Tennessee, I was attending seminary in Louisville, Kentucky – tough commute. I felt like God was calling me to the church, so I finished the semester and left seminary in 1995. The next year I became pastor of the church God called me to when I was in the apple orchard. My time with those people was incredible. I will tell you about them some other time. God waited until I was very married, had two daughters who can ask terrific questions, way short on time, and I couldn’t afford it to tell me to go back to seminary. It seemed perfectly logical, so now, after a decade, I am back in seminary. Now I have something else in common with my seven year old, we’re both in school. I am attending the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary extension center here in the ‘ham. My daughter att

Sermon: Conviction - Joseph, Beautiful Victim Series

Whether it be the sin of long ago or a sin that has been going on for a long time, why can’t God just let it go? If it is something that has long since been forgotten or something that does not seem to be harming us or anyone else, then why deal with it? God has a way of taking seemingly harmless sin and making them hurt in our conscience. Conviction is the process by which God awakens our sin calloused soul and making the penalty and pain of sin become fresh in our mind. Joseph uses a series of circumstances to prod the conscience of his long lost brothers. After 20 years, sin forgotten becomes fresh in their conscience. Listen to sermon audio of "Conviction." Also available by iTunes podcast.