However You Want It

This past Sunday we continued in our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm. In this fourth part we looked at a story that’s hard, not because of something God does, but because of how utterly depraved we are. What do we do with a disturbing story that ends in a hopeless place like this? Keep reading to find out.

However You Want It

Film makers are creative folks.  They are artists.  Some of them cross the line over into being artistes.  Usually those are the ones who give us films that nobody goes to see unless they consider themselves fellow artistes.  The rest of us just like movies.  But, because they are generally artists, they are creative.  They don’t like making the same movie over and over and over again if they can help it.  But, when the culture likes a certain type of movie—superhero movies at the moment—they have to make the films that will attract the dollars that will allow them to make more movies.  Occasionally though, someone will get an idea that goes well outside the box of the norm while still within the general parameters of what people will pay to see. 

Read the rest…

Strange Fire

This past Sunday morning we continued our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, with what I think is about the hardest story in the whole of the Scriptures. I didn’t want to write this sermon. But if all Scripture is God-breathed, then we need to be able to deal with this part of it too. Check out what makes it so hard and what we should do with it below. Thanks for reading.

Strange Fire

I didn’t want to write this sermon.  Can I say that out loud?  I didn’t want to write this sermon.  Have you ever felt that way?  I mean, probably not about a sermon, but maybe about something else you’ve done.  You did it.  You had to do it.  It needed to be done.  But you didn’t want to do it.  Maybe you were helping somebody out and you knew it was going to wind up being a lot of effort for you for a little gratitude from them.  Perhaps you were given some task at work that you knew was just not going to be a pleasant undertaking—and you were right, by the way—but the boss asked for it and you were stuck with it.  You may have experienced this kind of feeling in yet some other way.  I don’t know what your experience was.  All I know is that I didn’t want to write this sermon. 

Read the rest…

The Cleansing Flood

This week we continued our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, by looking at one of the most well-known stories in the whole Bible. What could possibly be problematic about a story that every knows and is used in baby nurseries all over the place? When you look more closely, a whole lot. But, when we look more closely, as before, we’ll find that there’s more here than meet’s the eye. Keep reading to see how this all unfolds.

The Cleansing Flood

Have you ever gone back as an adult and watched a TV show you remembered from your childhood only for it to seem like a totally different show than you remembered? Over the years with our boys I’ve tried a few times to take them back into my childhood with some of the cartoons I loved to watch. Some of these have been enduring classics like Looney Toons or Tom and Jerry. Scooby-Doo was a hit for a while with them. But on occasion, as I have tuned into something with them, I’ve been left wondering what my parents were thinking letting me watch this or that. More probably they just didn’t know I was watching it.

Read the rest…

You Want Me to Do What?

This past Sunday we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm. If you are the kind of person who believes the Scriptures should have some kind of a place of authority in your life, you are left with a thorny problem: There are some stories in there that are just downright uncomfortable. If they are there on purpose and for our benefit, what are we supposed to do with them? In this series, we’ll explore several of these hard stories and begin to see that all Scripture really is for our benefit. Even the hard stuff.

You Want Me to Do What?

Have you ever watched or read something that just wasn’t good?  It’s not necessarily that it was bad, it just wasn’t good.  You just didn’t enjoy it.  I remember watching Adam Sandler’s Punch Drunk Love when I was in college.  If you’ve never heard of it, you’re better off for that.  It’s a dark comedy about a socially awkward guy falling in love.  It was awful.  The credits rolled and all of us gathered in my friend’s living room watching it looked around at each other and as almost the same time said, “We can’t have that two hours of life back.”  I remember reading Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court when I was growing up.  A book combining science fiction and medieval adventure should have been an easy winner.  It was all I could do to not put it down and find something better to read.  If I wasn’t such a perfectionist about finishing books I probably would have.  The thing about reading a book or watching a movie that isn’t good is that you can always just walk out.  There are some stories, though, that are harder to ignore. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 19:22

“As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door.  And they said to the old man, the master of the house, ‘Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

For Israelites who were later being told this story as part of their people’s dark past, these words would have been chilling even before the narrative of what comes next.  This whole situation would have left them shuddering in terror.  This would have been a story you didn’t tell your children, but waited until they were a bit older and could handle it.  Even now, this isn’t somewhere I’d point my boys to read just yet. Read the rest…