in between bites & sips ...

thanks for stopping by! here's where i put various thought, quotes or stories. most will be brief, some may be extended - but all will be somehow connected to my world. enjoy your stay!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The 4th point of the sermon.

I preached on 'Nothing' this morning. As soon as its available online, I'll add the link so you can hear it if you like. But, as I was getting up to the 4th point of the sermon, I really felt like I was done, so I ended the sermon.

There still is a 4th point - and it's a good one - so, I thought I'd post it here.

1. do NOTHING our of selfish ambition - Phil 2:3
2. worry about NOTHING - Phil 4:6
3. there is NOTHING God can't do - Luke 1:37

and ...

4. halfhearted Christians accomplish NOTHING - Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3 deals with the message to the church in Laodicea. This church was famous for being 'lukewarm'. Another word for lukewarm is halfhearted. Basically, if you only 1/2 your heart into anything (especially related to God-things), then NOTHING is accomplished. In the referenced verse, the Laodiceans thought they had need of NOTHING, when in fact God tells them that in reality they are wretched, blind, etc, etc, etc - essentially, that they have NOTHING.

As Christians, we need to realize that God gave His ALL for us when He sent Jesus - so is it any surprise if we need to give Him our ALL? We can't be playing both sides - we need to choose to be on the Lord's side. Anything less is meaningless and worth nothing at the end of days.

Otherwise, we will be among those who say to God one day, "but I helped the sick & visited the lonely & cast out demons", and He will say "depart from Me, for I never knew you". We need to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord (or - to keep with the theme - do NOTHING that we only put 1/2 our heart into!).

Today's sermon was fun, yet important. We need to embrace the absolutes God has given to us - there is NOTHING we should worry about, there is NOTHING that is too hard for God, there is NOTHING we should do for selfish reasons & there is NOTHING we should do halfheartedly for the Lord.

Click on the link to be directed to the audio of this sermon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sermons, Sermons & More Sermons!

I had the opportunity once again (3rd year running) of being a judge for the National Fine Arts competition - this time in Orlando, Florida.

Basically, for me this means sitting in a chair from 9 am until 6 pm for 3 days with only a 1 hour break for lunch at noon, listening to a little more than 50 5 minute sermons per day.

Now, you'd think after listening to over 150 sermons in 3 days, that I'd learn a little something, like perhaps how to preach a 5 minute sermon (keep praying ... but I don't think it's going to happen!) or even get a couple good outlines that I could use myself in the future. But no.

It's a frenzied few days that builds and builds with pressure as you end up being one of 3 judges to decide who was the best (or the best of the best) of what I believe was over 400 short sermon contestants!

Thing is - the competition (or festival, if you prefer) isn't really at all about the poor plight of a whiny judge. The competition is all about the students. It's so wonderful to listen to hundreds of kids 'preach the Word'. It's so encouraging to see so many do an incredible job of bringing life to the Scriptures.

I know that even a few days removed from Orlando, most of the names and faces are a blur in my memory, there are a few that remain. These few will represent all to me as I pray that God will continue to use and bless these students and that the Word of God they have hidden in their hearts will NOT return void, but rather bear fruit and be a blessing to them for the rest of their lives.