Blog

Negotiating with terrorists

Posted on

I often find myself hanging out in a park next to the swimming pool where my kids swim. This is not a bad thing, because people watching is usually entertaining. You can tell a lot about household dynamics by watching what happens on a playground. I watch the kids interact with each other and with their parents, and I think about my own kids and others I know that are in various stages of growth. Sometimes I smile as I watch. Sometimes I cringe. Sometimes I even shed a tear of empathy or joy. My wife and I got lots […]

Sermon-en

26: Discipleship’s cost and reward, part 3

Posted on

2019-05-26 Jesus in the real world 26: Discipleship’s cost and reward, part 3 Luke 9:37-50 Over the last few weeks we’ve seen that a disciple: counts the cost and learns to say “no” to themselves and “yes” to life with Jesus has a personal conviction about Jesus prays and stays with Jesus looks for the cross of Jesus throughout the Bible learns to listen to Jesus before they speak or act 37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, […]

Sermon-en

25: Discipleships cost and reward, part 2

Posted on

2019-05-19 Jesus in the real world 25: Discipleships cost and reward, part 2 Luke 9:28-36 28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy […]

Blog

Faith, focus, and fellowship

Posted on

    Last week we saw a good case of “foot in mouth disease.” We also saw that disciples value prayer, time with Jesus in the Word, and listening before speaking and acting. As we continue studying Luke 9 this week, we’ll see our need for faith, focus, and fellowship. We talk a lot about “keeping the faith,” but what do we really mean? It is easy to keep the faith during good times and worship services, but what about during the hard times and the mundane? How do we keep the faith then? We focus. We fix our eyes […]

Blog

“Foot in mouth disease,” and its cure

Posted on

Last week,we started answering the question: “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” We saw two big take-aways. The first was learning how to say “No” to ourselves in order to say a better “Yes” to Jesus and His leadership in our lives. We also saw that we must have personal conviction about who Jesus is. The most important question ever asked is, “Who is Jesus?”This is the critical question for us to answer personally, and it is also a very useful question for us to use in our conversations with our friends. In the context of […]

Sermon-en

24: Discipleships cost and reward, part 1

Posted on

2019-05-12 Jesus in the real world 24: Discipleships cost and reward, part 1 Luke 9:18-27 “What does it mean to be Jesus’ disciple?” 18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” A.  A disciple must have personal conviction […]

Blog

a rough patch

Posted on

We’re about to hit “a rough patch” in Luke. Are you ready? One thing about systematically studying our way through entire books of the Bible is that it keeps us from skipping over the hard parts. The parts that we don’t understand, or worse yet, don’t like or agree with. Oh, we could just “take a little detour” and skip over a section or two, but in the end, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice. If we just look at the parts of the Bible that we like or agree with, or if we just pick out a […]

Blog

Cramming for Finals

Posted on

It’s May, and that means for many people (and their parents) it is final exam season. Time to see who’s been paying attention, who’s been putting in the work, and who’s just been going through the motions. As much as we hate them, tests are useful and important. While teaching in China I had a love/hate relationship with final exams. I loved being able to see what my students actually retained. I also hated seeing what my students didn’t retain. The exams brought clarity on who needed to start over with the same material and who was ready to move […]