What keeps you up at night? Do you ever have the problem of not being able to sleep? I usually have this problem when I am processing what has happened the day before or when I look forward to the next day. Tonight is no exception. It has been a long day and I was very tired, but after about three hours of sleep I woke up and could not go back to sleep. I tried to, but couldn’t. So I figured I might as well do something instead of looking up at the ceiling above my bed. Continue reading
This is my last sermon on Prayer for Lent. I hope you all have enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed preaching them. This last sermon is one of my favorites. Be blessed as you read it.
Prayer: The Ministry and Mission of Love – Luke 22:39-46
Is the world as it should be? Do you like the world that we have made? What would you change about it? Before I begin I just want to make sure that we are on the same page. The world is not how it should be. Fear grips our world and humanity that lives in it. Fear of the unknown. Fear of disaster. Fear of others. Fear of not being happy. Fear of not living to the fullest. Fear of death. Fear drives our way of life. Because of this fear we live our lives secluded and shut off from anything that we fear. We only let people in to our lives that we have tested and know they would not harm us. Even then, these people who have passed our tests might harm us on accident. Even though we trusted them once the trust is broken, the damage is done and the testing of trust starts all over. Continue reading
Well it’s that time of year again. A time of excitement, sadness, intensity, tears, and a time for choice. Of course I’m talking about March Madness baby! You probably thought I was going to say Easter, but I tricked you. Yup, it’s March Madness. Every year at this time college basketball becomes the center of attention and many people gear up to watch a marathon of basketball. If you are like me I make a bracket every year. Even though my bracket is blown up the first day, because I am not very good at choosing who will win, I still make a bracket. In fact I got my wife to make a bracket along with my kids. (For my kids bracket I had them choose between 1 or 2 for their picks.) Since I am so bad at picking teams I make two or three brackets hoping I pick a winner. Do any of you do this? I guess it makes me feel better if one of my brackets does well. What I basically do is “hedge my bets.” There might not be a problem doing this for March Madness, but this kind of attitude is not a good one to have when it pertains to God and yet we have this attitude more often then we want to admit. Continue reading
Prayer: Lord, Teach Me More – John 15:12-17
In 1959 a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller debuted on the music charts sung by The Clovers. The song’s title was “Love Potion No. 9.” The song only made it to #23. The song is about a man who can’t find love and so turns to a Gypsy who gives him Love Potion No. 9. After he took the potion he started kissing everything in sight which led to him kissing a cop, who then took his potion. There was some controversy over the song which is why it probably did not do well on the charts. Since the lyrics express the man kissing a cop, the song was banned by some radio stations. Anyway, this song would later influence a movie with the same title in 1992 starring Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan. Both the song and the movie point out a very interesting concept. You cannot force love. No potion will bring true love. Only the freedom of choice brings about true and perfect love. I bring this up because love is an essential aspect of prayer that we must choose to learn. Continue reading
Prayer: Lord Teach Me… – Luke 11:1-4 & 18:1-8
Would anyone like to come up and pray for us before we get started?
How did you know what to pray for? Where did the words come from? Were you thinking of the words as you came up? Were you hoping that you said the right things? You probably wouldn’t know it, but I bet a lot of people have these thoughts in their heads. As a pastor you think that I could just pray on the spot no matter what is going on. This is both true, but a little misleading. Sometimes when we pray in groups my mind will wonder toward the time that I will pray. I think of the wording and the intentions of my words. I think of what others have not said. I consider how my prayer will speak to others in the group. The problem with this is my mind is not completely focused on prayer. Now my heart is focused on prayer, but my mind isn’t. Now this does not happen all the time, but part of prayer is learning what to say. Continue reading