J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

A Novel in One Sentence – A Christmas Exhortation to All Fathers

The pain of many.

The pain of many.

What value would there ever be in any book whose introduction is longer than the story itself? Well, believe it or not, this is not a marketing ploy. I pray this book is engaging and affecting to the soul. It is succinct purposefully to make a point.

And ironically, this sentence took me more time than some of my prior books (that may not be a good thing). But this all came together while thinking through several recent, revealing events (more on that in a minute).

When you read this sentence, you will discover that it is themed around a hurtful father. Thankfully, I can say that theme is not my story, but it is much of my life. As a pastor, there is almost no greater wound that I see must be addressed than the family wound. So many people spend their days with the echo of their father’s mocking words in their ears or the memory of his disapproving glance in their minds. Men and women, even children, are so often driven by a need to either disprove their father or to disdain him, and so much wreckage lies between.

These truths became heightened in the past few months, and ultimately moved me to start writing, after watching two very different cultural tent poles.

My wife loves “Gilmore Girls”, and I joined her recently on a Netflix binge. In the series, Lorelai Gilmore works to establish a life in the attempt to distance herself from her disapproving mother and father. All the while, there are hints that she would love a random, “Well done.”

In one poignant scene, she returns home with her ex-boyfriend (the father of her daughter) for dinner with her and his parents. Awkwardness and pleasantries abound until his parents accuse Lorelai of ruining their son’s life and derailing his chances of going to college. Finally, Lorelai’s father stands up to defend her. This appears to be the moment in which Lorelai has dreamed.

Afterwards, there is a powerful scene where she goes to thank him, but this moment hurts her all the more. He wasn’t defending her. He was defending the family name. She defeatedly slinks out of the room knowing that she will never win her father’s approval.

Oddly enough, the other cultural tent pole that spurred my thinking came by watching “Christmas Vacation”.   In one famous scene, Clark Griswold spends the day decorating the house so that they can have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since…well, you know the line.

So, as Clark prepares to turn on the Christmas lights, he brings the entire family out to see his creation. He plugs it in, and nothing happens. There is a wonderful clanging symbol of side-effect in the background that perfectly summarizes his feelings.

Clark’s father-in-law, Art, responds by saying, “I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.” Clark is crushed. Yet, he is not going to give up.

Finally, Clark gets the house to light once his wife realizes that they needed to flip a light switch. The entire neighborhood dims as Clark’s home takes off in light.

Clark is proud.

Clark is triumphant.

However, Art comments that the lights don’t blink. Clark resigns with a, “Thanks for noticing.”

Seeing these images pushed me to attempt to articulate the pain of many.

Thankfully, this is not every person’s story, but a Father’s words are powerful. His words of affection are restorative. His words of pain are damning, and the efforts to heal the lack may take a lifetime.

That healing is my joy to proclaim as the Gospel of Jesus declares an ending from the Heavenly Father of, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Those words are desperately needed and hopefully attractive. I hope you search them out after this reading.

Gordon Duncan

Ah, the stubbled father who thinly hides behind the humor of personal arrows and laughs at the wounded’s cry for dignity, delegating it to sensitivity.

A Final Word…

As I was wrapping this project up, I began the Amazon research necessary to have it published. I then discovered that there is a wonderful movement surrounding the single sentence expression. I found there brave men and women seeking to articulate what is or what has been in their hearts.

This tiny tome is not part of those works as it was created in complete ignorance of those efforts, but it is a contribution of sorts as I hope it is a collection of words with which many will resonate.

Ultimately, I pray this sentence is redemptive in that it will free up someone to understand their own heart and move towards reconciliation either earthly or heavenly.

Thanks.

 

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December 19, 2014 Posted by | church, family worship, gospel, men, mission, missional | , , , , | Leave a comment

“Family Philippians” Available Everywhere

familyphilippiansIntroducing, sharing, and explaining our faith in Christ to our children is the desire for many parents.  How do to that is not always that easy.  Additionally, the structure of families is not always consistent.  Some families don’t have children.  Some families include grandparents, many have step-parents, many are solo parenting, and a few have both mom and dad.

In light of all of those intricacies, how in the world do we introduce and deepen the faith of our families?

While each of the described above deserves its own book, this one is designed to help families with children.  And since, the makeup of those families may look different in every household, we will typically just address “parents” and allow you to customize it as you read it.

But the central idea is to create a simple, easy to approach book for you and your kids.  So towards that end, “Family Philippians” was created.

As you work through these pages, you and your family will walk through these steps.  Each chapter will give you a section of Philippians to read, there will be a brief paragraph to explain and deepen an understanding of the passage, there will be a few questions to answer, and then, there will be a guided prayer time.  At the end of the book, you will have covered the every verse of Philippians.

Ideally, each chapter should take no more than 10 minutes, but hopefully, that investment will last a lifetime.  As you undertake this adventure, please know my prayers accompany your efforts, and I would love to hear from you about how it all goes.

Thanks,

Gordon Duncan

You can find “Family Philippians” as a pdf download here, and also at

Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle
Nook

September 29, 2013 Posted by | church, church planting, family worship, gospel, men, mission, missional, publishing, ruth, self-publishing, training men | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anticipating Christmas All Year Long

I spoke with someone in Garner the other day who bemoaned the way people acted during the Holiday season.  He said, “Yeah, Christmas is when people act the way that they should be acting all year long.”

Sadly, this is true.  Around Christmas, people want to feed the hungry, clothe the chilly, and gift the needy.  I’m so thankful these actions occur, but what would cause us to do them all year long?  I would humbly offer that the solution is understanding to a greater depth Jesus’ incarnation.  Bear with me as I use my seminary degree for a moment.

Jesus’ incarnation is God becoming human, enduring pain and suffering, enduring persecution and death while innocent, and then rising triumphantly to new life.

Practically, that means that God entered into our suffering to alleviate it.  If we could get that, then we would make greater efforts to mirror our Savior each day of the year (not just in December).

The services at Sovereign King during the holiday season are intended to engender that kind of appreciation of the life and death of Christ.  We will begin a series entitled, “Anticipating” that will focus on the people in the Bible who anticipated Jesus’ arrival.  What we hope these services will accomplish is to give a greater sense of Jesus’ incarnation and teach us to mirror Him in anticipation of His return once again.

I invite you to join SK this season not just for one service (for which we would be thankful) but for the entire series.  Attend as much as you can; not for our benefit but for your own.  Give you, your children, your family, or whoever it is that you do life with a clear consistent celebration of Jesus’ birth.  But of course, if you can only attend once, we would love to have you.

Below is a list of our services for the season including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.  We look forward to seeing you, and if you would like to know more about SK, Jesus, or living a life of anticipation, feel free to contact Gordon at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com

Sunday, November 27th @ 10:30am – Luke 1:5-25:  Elizabeth Anticipates

Sunday, December 4th @ 10:30am – Luke 1:26-38:  Mary Anticipates

Sunday, December 11th @ 10:30am – Matthew 2:1-12:  The Wise Men Anticipate

Sunday, December 18th @ 10:30am – Matthew 2:13-23:  Herod Anticipates

Saturday, December 24th Christmas Eve @ 5:30pm – Luke 1:46-55:  Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

Sunday, December 25th Christmas Day – Luke 2:1-20:  The Shepherds Anticipate

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Sovereign King’s Biggest Day – December 5th, 2010

On December 5th, Sovereign King Church is going to celebrate perhaps its most significant day since her inception.  Let me tell you about it, and my hope is that you can join us for any or all of events of that day.

To begin, December 5th marks the beginning of our celebration of Advent.  It will be the kickoff of our “Voices Carry” series that will explore 5 voices that spoke of Jesus’ birth in the scriptures.  Our Christmas services are always joyous and celebratory, and we would love for you to join us.  We know that many of you have commitments to your own church, but if you could join us at all in December, we would love to have you as our guest.  Services begin at 10:30pm.

Following the service, we will have about 5 minutes of business to take care of as we officially vote in our very first class of Ruling Elders.  These men were nominated from among the congregation, trained for 9 months and passed both written and oral exams.

Then, we are going to have a massive lunch at our church space.  Our after church meals are always a great time to catch up and have fun, and it will be the first that we have had in our new worship space.

Following the meal at 2:30pm, we will be joined by members of other PCA churches as we will have an official ordination service for these new elders.  They will be prayed for, charged, encouraged, and set apart for ministry in the church.  This will also mark the moment where our church moves on from being a church plant to being what we call a particular church (one with its own, fully established Biblical church government).

But what if you can only come for the ordination service?  Won’t you miss some great food?  Nope, because after the service, we are going to have a dessert bar so all of our friends from churches across the state can celebrate with us.

It is going to be an amazing day, and we would love for you to join us for any or all of the events on December 5th.  If you have any questions, contact Gordon Duncan at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or call at 919-412-8161.  Also, if you would like to help with food, contact Kristine Stead at kstead@nc.rr.com.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Leftovers For Breakfast – Another Helping of Sovereign King Love Feast Photos

One last serving of photos from the Sovereign King Love Feast.

SK, EMS, GPD, & Friends

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sneak Peak at the Sovereign King Love Feast Photos

More photos coming tomorrow…

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Worldliness This Holiday Season

I recently finished reading “Worldliness” a collection of essays by such authors as C.J. Mahaney and John Piper. Though small, this book is incredibly practical and theologically sound. It focuses not on the list of things to do or not do to maintain holiness and avoid worldliness, but instead, it offers practical tips as to how we should guard our hearts from drifting into a love of this world. In this area, I would agree with the book. The issue of our love for the world lies not the things we avoid or indulge, but rather the issue of our love for the world lies in what our heart is drawn to or even away from.

CJ Mahaney, in his article, offers a practical guideline as to how we know if our hearts are drifting away from holiness and into a love of this world. He describes it in way: “It begins with a dull conscience and a listless soul. Sin does not grieve you like it once did. Passion for the Savior begins to cool. Affections grow dim. Excitement lessens for participating in the local church. Eagerness to evangelize starts to wane. Growth in godliness slows to a crawl.”

I thought there was great wisdom in this explanation. Each thing he mentions can gradually creep into our lives while we are so often are unaware of its presence. For example, does sin grieve us at it once did or have we grown accustomed to it? Do we worship and participate in the life of our local church out of obligation or passion? Have we lost our excitement for sharing the truths of the Gospel to those who need it or have we by default left it for someone else to do?

These things might not immediately warn us of a heart that is moving toward worldliness, but if they are present, they are evidence of a dimming passion for Christ. If our passion is dimming for Christ, the only remaining passion is for this world. Mahaney warns of not taking these things seriously. He samples a typical response.

We say, “Oh, it’s not serious. I’ve just been in a busy season. Yeah, I’m not as excited about the gospel or the Christian life as I used to be, but I’m fine. I’m still attending church. It’s not like I’ve left God or anything. I’ve just been preoccupied lately. I’ll get back on track soon.”

Mahaney’s response is dead on. We don’t want to admit that our hearts have grown dim in passion for Christ and grown alive in passion for this world. I found this article and the other ones as well just incredibly encouraging and immensely practical. Check it out if you can.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.

December 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Feast

Historically, a Love Feast is a meal shared by Christians as a symbol of thankfulness and love both to Jesus and to those partaking in the meal. Its origins go all the way back to the 1st Century and it was revived by the Moravian Church as recently as the 1800’s. Essentially, it is a celebratory meal where the church invites in friends and families to thank God for His goodness and grace.

This year, Sovereign King is hosting a Love Feast in place of a standard Christmas party, and I think it is going to be incredible.

A few weeks ago, some folks at SK asked me if we could coordinate a Love Feast for our Christmas celebration and open the meal to our friends and the various communities that we serve: EMS, GPD, women’s shelter. I loved the idea and our folks’ initiative. Christmas parties can be a blast but self-congratulatory Christmas parties are a contradiction in terms. When our folks said they wanted to celebrate by serving, I was all for it.

Coordinating with the EMS, all of the children in the women’s shelter will be receiving Christmas gifts. The mothers will also be receiving gifts and will be enabled to buy a few things for their children as well. An Edible Kingdom (that’s an amped up Gingerbread House I’m told) is being created with the goal of being devoured by the kids, and there might even be some singing.

This is one of the events at SK in which I can take zero credit. It was conceived by our folks, planned by our folks, and implemented by our folks. For that, I love them dearly as they so want to share their love of Christ with each other and the community.

If anyone in the area is interested in attending, email me at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com and we’ll get details to you. I think this Saturday is going to be an incredible evening.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

A Time To Remember – Sermon Notes on Luke 1:76-79

Often, when an athlete injures them self, they have to relearn how to do the very thing that they were good at in the first place. You read these stories or see interviews on TV about athletes spending an incredible amount of time working out or relearning how to do certain skills because they have been injured. Now, none of us are professional athletes, but I’m sure many of us can relate to the whole re-learning process.

When I broke my right hand playing softball, I had to relearn how to hold a pencil without it causing me pain. And you know what? My handwriting did not get any better.

When I injured my knee playing football in college, I learned that my running style was incorrect, and so I relearned running so as not injure myself anymore.

The hardest relearning came when I hit my head and injured my shoulder diving into a swimming pool. I had to relearn how to sleep. My entire life, I had slept on my left side, but that was not possible anymore because it was my left shoulder that had to be repaired. Sleeping on that side meant I would wake up in excruciating pain. So I had to relearn to sleep on my right side.

Now, most of us need to relearn something at some point and time. And this relearning serves a couple of purposes. We relearn things because something is keeping us from doing them properly. And in the relearning process, we discover often that we had forgotten to do them correctly a long time ago. Relearning is pretty beneficial. It removes slowly growing errors while reminding us of the true intention of what we need to do.

That’s exactly what is going to happen in the passage that we are studying this Sunday. We are going to return to Zechariah’s song surrounding the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In doing that, we are going to see how the celebration of the birth of Jesus is really a good time to do a good bit of relearning. With that in mind, let’s try to answer this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question: How is Advent a time to relearn what so many have forgotten?

Last week, we spent some time talking about Zechariah’s song surrounding the birth of His son, John the Baptist. In that song, Zechariah sang about how the advent of Jesus signified the absolute defeat of the people of God’s enemies. Sin, death, hell, Satan, and the grave are all defeated. Practically, in addition to all of those things, we talked about how fear and shame are defeated. Through the work of Jesus, God does not intend for His people to live in fear or shame ever again. God does not intend for you to feel shame about what you have done or what has been done to you because the work of Jesus is that powerful. This week, we are going to pick right back up in Zechariah’s song in verse 76.

76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

Can you imagine singing this about your child at their birth? The angel, Gabriel, made several promises Zechariah nine months prior about his son, John. He promised that
• John would be great before the Lord.
• John would set himself part by his lifestyle.
• John’s ministry would lead to the return of many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God
• And then get this one. Gabriel promised that John would live and serve God in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Now what does that look like? What would it look like for John to serve in the power and spirit of Elijah? Well, the first thing I will tell you is if John has a ministry like Elijah’s then that means counting success very differently than the world counts success. That’s a lesson to us all in the church. So many of us talented in the work place, and in school, and in athletics. But we cannot count success like the world does: numbers and noses or money and people.

Look at Elijah’s ministry. Elijah’s ministry was marked with ups and downs. Yeah, He righteously opposed the idolatry of the day ultimately challenging the 850 prophets of Baal and God came through. Yes, Elijah was used to raise the Widow’s son back to life. But as soon as Jezebel threatened to kill him, he ran scared or as we used to say in Johnston County, “scart”. Without the preserving power of God, no one would have believed from Elijah’s ministry, but fortunately, 7,000 did. At the end of his ministry, the whole world would have looked at him and said, “You started well, but you didn’t finish well.”

John’s ministry will have similar success but in the world’s eyes may not be too impressive. You know why? In the end, John was beheaded by the very people that He called to repentance. The world wouldn’t see that as very successful. This is the promise of John’s ministry from God though. It will be like Elijah’s and God determines what true success is.

Zechariah says…John’s ministry is going to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. John’s ministry is going to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just And John’s ministry is going to “make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Now folks that is some mission. John’s ministry is going to make father’s better parents. His ministry will lead people to true repentance. And his ministry will as verse 76 says, “prepare the ways for Jesus.” That should sound a lot like what we are doing in this season of Advent but also what the church should do in and out of season. That would be a helpful reminder of something that is so often lost. These should be things we strive for in 2010.

SK needs to be equipping our men to train their children well. I want to see a more developed training through Fight Club, both from me and your elder candidates, and I also hope to be equipping parents better through a future teaching time prior to the worship services. Can you guys imagine a teaching time for adults and kids? I can envision a SK University and a SK Academy to do just that in the next year. Not a full blown school, but I easily see an intense training and teaching program for our parents so that they will be better equipped to teach their kids. Part of that could about before we get a new building, and it could flat out explode when we get a new building.

SK needs to be about turning the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. The foundational beginnings of SK started with investigative Bible studies at the now defunct Bushiban Coffee Shop. These studies that were populated with all strata of folks with the intention of introducing Jesus to them. I want us to regain the enthusiasm for taking the message of the Gospel in similar ways to areas like Swift Creek Coffee, Wake Tech, and the other places where the social tribes gather in our area. I would love to see our CE Groups lead the charge of investigative Bible studies in places where people gather.

SK also needs to be preparing the way for the Lord and His Second Advent. What that means is that we need to recapture an urgency for the work of the Kingdom. We can’t assume that there is someone else to do the mission. If you are in earshot of my voice, you need to assume the work of creating and engaging community is yours. God has blessed us immensely this year, but He is never going to bless us to the point that He does not call each and every one of you to work with all your might to the efforts of the Kingdom.

These things can be so easily forgotten if we are not careful. The promises sung in these songs are clear reminders to us to make sure that does not happen. Look at verse 77.

77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

One of the specific purposes of John the Baptist’s ministry was to proclaim the Gospel – the good news, the knowledge of salvation to the people that God has called to Himself. In that knowledge, God’s people will find forgiveness for their sins. When it comes down to it, people have to hear the truths of scripture in order to know how to be forgiven. The words that need to be proclaimed are about the tender mercies of God. John was to proclaim light and hope to those in darkness and the shadow of death so that people would have a guide for their feet.

Now practically what does that look like? When I think of John the Baptist, I think of a crazy looking man telling people to repent and making people so angry that they wind up chopping his head off. But one thing learned from the life of John the Baptist and this passage is that the only people who are going to respond to His message are those who are called to be God’s people. To those God called to be His people, they responded with repentance. Everyone else responded to John with hostility. That’s why His ministry was successful. Those called by God believed and those who weren’t didn’t. John was just faithful in the proclaiming.

As we consider John’s work, we should ask how we walk in that kind of ministry now in light of both John’s and Jesus’ ministry being complete? You know we cannot forget that this same mission is what you are called to, what your family is called to and what this church is called to. We own a ministry just like John’s. Now definitively, we are not John the Baptist. Our circumstances and our context are vastly different. But if we spend a few minutes looking at the scriptures, we will be reminded that the ministry of Sovereign King Church and you in particular is incredibly similar to Johns. I think that mission for us is expressed pretty well in 2 Corinthians 5.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.

Verse 16 talks about how through Christ, we should have a new set of lenses by which we view the world. We aren’t to look at things as the world does. To look at the world through the flesh is to look at them in one way: personal gain. That’s what lust is and greed is and selfishness is: viewing others for personal gain. Lust says you only exist for my pleasure. Greed says you only exist for my benefit. One reminder for us this year is that we need to refocus our we view God, ourselves, and each other. You are a new creation so do not regard things according to the flesh.

Now when it comes to thinking about Jesus, we are thankful for Jesus but we should not look at Him for personal gain. Yes we are thankful for what Jesus has done on our behalf through His life, death, and resurrection. But Jesus is to be worshiped for who He is first and foremost: the son of God by which all things have been made. That is an incredible reminder to all of us. We should praise Jesus for His wonderful work. But Jesus deserves and demands our praise for who He is. A goal for 2010? Praise Jesus for who He is before praising Him for His benefit to you. It will change your worship and your devotional life. This is possible because of verse 17.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

If you have faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, then the old you has passed away and you live as a new creation.

• You now have the ability to praise God.
• You now have the desire to serve God.
• You can actually perform a righteous act.
• You can think Godly thoughts.
• You can resist temptation.
• You can look at people without selfish intent.
• You can call out to God and in His mercy, He hears you.

We don’t do that all the time because sin remains, but we must reminded that we are made new through faith in Jesus Christ. All of this enable us to have a ministry like John the Baptist’s. Look at verse 18.

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

God reconciled and repaired the broken relationship between you and Himself. He did it through Jesus Christ. And in addition, God has given you the privilege and the responsibility to be a part of the ministry of bringing others to reconciliation with God. That is everyone single believer’s privilege and responsibility. That is in verse 19, Christ who is God repairs the relationship with the world to himself. He doesn’t count people’s sins against them because He took the payment of sin on himself by living and dying for sin. And He has given you that message. The message you are to deliver day in and day out is that Jesus repairs the broken relationship with God.

Imagine how many messages you deliver each day. Husbands, make a joke about your wife’s appearance and you send the message that you don’t think she is pretty. Wives, insult your husband and send the message that you don’t appreciate how hard he works. Kids ask their parents to play with them and parents say they are too busy reading emails and they send a message to their kids that email is more important.

There are also functional messages that we send every day. Those include vm’s, emails, texts, letters, tweets, facebook status, DM’s and the like.

We send positive messages each day as well. Fathers, tell their daughters that they are smart, pretty, and Godly and send the message to them that they don’t have to get that affirmation from the first boy who gives them a kiss. Children, obey your parents happily and send the message to your parents that you are maturing and might be able to handle greater freedoms.

Everything you do sends a message. Even when you are sending a message, you are sending a message. You might be as quiet as a church mouse but that sends a message to people as well. This passage speaks to the message that we have to proclaim. You should be reminded that if you called on the name of Christ and claim to be a Christian, you are a new creation, called, equipped, and responsible for the proclamation of the good news that Jesus reconciles sinners to Himself. You don’t get to hope that someone else is going to do it. 2010 is about your being reminded of this beautiful privilege. Look at how that privilege is details in verse 20.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Listen to verse 20. You are an ambassador for Christ. God makes His appeal to the world through you and you and you and you. I implore you as Paul does. Be reconciled to Christ. Call others to reconciliation with Christ.

Read verse 20 to yourself. Read it in the first person. “I am an ambassador in Christ.” “God makes His appeal to the world through me.” Here within this community, God makes His appeal in so many places.

• God makes His appeal in the legal community through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal in the school system through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal in the computer world through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal to students through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal in the financial world through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal to the grocery stores through the work of SK.
• God makes His appeal to the police and EMS through the work of SK.
• If you are a stay at home mom, then God makes His appeal to all the stay at home moms through the work of SK.

In every relationship you have, your mission is to at some point and time to declare this. I implore you on behalf of Jesus to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, became sin so that in Him, sinners might become the very righteousness of God. Folks, here is what I think the scriptures want to remind you of today. God has given you the very righteousness of Jesus Christ. You cannot be loved less by God than you are right now and you cannot be loved more by God because of Jesus Christ. You are made 100% perfectly acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. God doesn’t hold your past against you because He has loved you from eternity past before you even had a past.

Because all of these things are true, you are God’s ambassador. God makes His appeal to the world through you. Every circumstance and relationship of your life is intended to be a platform by which you declare, “Be reconciled to God.” We can do these not because we are so righteous and perfect, but we can do them because God has make you a new creation and His righteousness has been given to you.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab – Sermon Preview 12/13/09

Often, when an athlete injures them self, they have to relearn how to do the very thing that they were good at in the first place. You read these stories or see interviews on TV about athletes spending an incredible amount of time working out or relearning how to do certain skills because they have been injured. Now, none of us are professional athletes, but I’m sure many of us can relate to the whole re-learning process.

When I broke my right hand playing softball, I had to relearn how to hold a pencil without it causing me pain. And you know what? My handwriting did not get any better.

When I injured my knee playing football in college, I learned that my running style was incorrect, and so I relearned running so as not injure myself anymore.

The hardest relearning came when I hit my head and injured my shoulder diving into a swimming pool. I had to relearn how to sleep. My entire life, I had slept on my left side, but that was not possible anymore because it was my left shoulder that had to be repaired. Sleeping on that side meant I would wake up in excruciating pain. So I had to relearn to sleep on my right side.

Now, most of us need to relearn something at some point and time. And this relearning serves a couple of purposes. We relearn things because something is keeping us from doing them properly. And in the relearning process, we discover often that we had forgotten to do them correctly a long time ago. Relearning is pretty beneficial. It removes slowly growing errors while reminding us of the true intention of what we need to do.

That’s exactly what is going to happen in the passage that we are studying this Sunday. We are going to return to Zechariah’s song surrounding the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In doing that, we are going to see how the celebration of the birth of Jesus is really a good time to do a good bit of relearning. With that in mind, let’s try to answer this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question: How is Advent a time to relearn what so many have forgotten?

December 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments