THE FAMILY

(Ephesians 1:3-14) I grew up in a wonderful family (and I’m not just saying that because two of my three siblings are probably watching this right now).  God blessed me, and my brother and sisters, with parents who were strict but fair and raised us with a deep faith in God.  I thank God regularly…

GOD UNITES

(2 Samuel 5:1-5; 9-10) Last summer we saw several “Occupy” events – for lack of a better term – pop up around the country.  Most of these attempted to mimic the Occupy Wall Street movement of late 2011 – with varying degrees of success.  The occupiers in 2011 were angered by social and economic inequality,…

GOD SAVES

(2 Samuel 1:1; 17-27) The Celts had a saying that, “Heaven and earth are only three feet apart.”  They also believed that in “the thin places” that distance was even closer.  Grief is one of those “thin places” to me.  In that darkness is a reminder, for me, that this world is not our home…

GOD LEADS

(1 Samuel 17:32-49) Few stories capture the imagination like the story of David and Goliath. We have two armies facing off.  They put forth their most fearsome warriors for battle that will decide which side will serve the other.  Honestly, the bad guys put forth their fearsome warrior – a giant.  The good guys put…

GOD SEES

(1 Samuel 15:34–16:13) For those of you who missed last week’s service (or find it a little “fuzzy”), I’m going to summarize a little background of the story that took place earlier in the book of Samuel – and fill in some gaps – before we get into the section of the text for today.…

GOD RESPONDS

(1 Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20) Mediation.  For those who remember raising children or are now watching your grandchildren being raised, this can feel like it is the main task of parents.  Even those with only one child, and I speak from experience, spend a lot of time in negotiations.  So, I have great respect for all…

GOD CALLS

(1 Samuel 3:1-10; Psalm 29) [A portion of my faith story up until the Session Retreat in Pacific Palisades.]  At the time, I would have said that I was puzzled.  A truer word to describe my situation would have been: Awe. When a long-accepted explanation of how the world works breaks down or is shown…

UNIVERSAL CHARGER

(Acts 2:1-21) Tesla.  Chevy.  Nissan.  Porsche.  Audi.  VW.  A dozen major car-makers are now building electric vehicles, and the market is expected to grow. But there’s a problem: The charging ports are all over the cars. When you go to a gas station to fill up your gas-powered car, you can be pretty sure that…

SPACE X

(Acts 10:44-48) Jesus led His disciples to the town of Bethany and blessed them.  Then He withdrew from them, says Luke, and “was taken up into heaven” (Luke 24:51). Christ went up into heaven like a rocket.  You could call Him “Space X.” No, He did not ride in a Crew Dragon spacecraft on top…

WHEN JESUS INTERRUPTS

(Acts 10:44-48) This is the last Sunday in our series “Belong, Believe, Become” – which is the opposite order in which outsiders have been traditionally incorporated into the community of faith.  Typically we require people to believe and become (or behave) like us, and then they can belong; they become members and join in the…