The Hard Truth

In this second-to-last part of our series, Hard to Love, we finally have to come face-to-face with a hard truth. I said last week that the goal of this series is twofold: To help us understand how to love the hard to love people in our lives, and to give us the motivation of the wonder of God’s own love for us to give us some impetus for loving them. We’ve taken care of the first part. In these final two installments we’re going to tackle the second. But, before we can marvel in wonder at the love of God, we have to understand why it’s so wonderful. That’s not so easy. But, it’s absolutely essential. So, take a deep breath, and keep reading. You won’t want to miss this because it’ll make next week even better.

The Hard Truth

Have you ever heard of “face-palming”?  It’s typically used as a humorous expression of shock or exasperation at something that strikes you as surprising or, more often, idiotic.  Just so we’re all on the same page here, for a proper face-palming you start with your hand open wide.  You then bring your hand up and your forehead down simultaneously such that your palm smacks audibly on your forehead.  This is followed by slowly moving your hand down the rest of your face as if wiping something off of it.  The expression has become commonplace enough in our culture that there is a face-palm emoji, and if you were to do a YouTube search for “face-palming,” you could actually find quite a few entries.  I know this because I did it…and found this little gem from the movie Naked Gun 33 1/3

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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. 

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Passing the Torch

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and if you have a mom in your life, I hope you celebrate her with gusto. She deserves it. We celebrated moms in our own way here at First Baptist Oakboro including this conversation about how we can structure our families in such a way as to make the passing on of the faith from one generation to the next a safer bet than it sometimes is. Keep reading to find out how.

Passing the Torch

One of the national highlights when a particular country gets to host the Olympic Games is the Olympic Torch.  Each Olympics, the climax of the opening ceremonies is the lighting of the Olympic Torch.  The main flame is always lit by a smaller torch that has usually been on a journey across the host nation.  It has been passed from runner-to-runner, hand-to-hand, until it arrives at the Opening Ceremony and accomplishes its intended aim.  The journey the torch takes, though, is not one that any single runner could accomplish as a solo venture.  It must be handed off or it will eventually fall to the ground.  Our lives are a little like that.  We can only carry ourselves and the things that are important to us so far before they have to be passed on to someone else.  If we don’t, everything we count as dear will eventually fall to the ground and be left there where it will eventually be trampled and forgotten.  Now, just because we have designs on passing what’s important to us on to the generation that follows doesn’t guarantee a smooth or easy passing, but making no such plans guarantees that nothing will happen.  

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Job One

This past Father’s Day I issued an encouragement and a challenge to dads.  If we take the Scriptures at face value, we are the ones primarily invested with the responsibility of passing on our faith to the next generation.  In what follows, I talk about how exactly to do it.  Thanks for reading.

 

Job One

As most of you know, I am a Kansas City Royals fan.  I know…this has been a tough summer.  But three years ago, it wasn’t.  Three years ago was the best summer to be a Royals fan since…well…the summer before (there’s even a children’s book about that one that is on the shelves at home).  But before that you have to go back 1985 to find one of comparative excitement.  As for the summers in between, I’ll be honest: They were pretty rough.  There were four seasons when we lost more than 100 games (for my non-baseball fans that’s a notable mark of having had an exceedingly bad season)…three of which were back-to-back-to-back.  There were many more when we were just generally bad.  The badness occurred at pretty much all levels from the top of the organization to the bottom. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Joshua 3:8

“And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This has always struck me as one of the more remarkable stories in the Exodus narrative.  Here were Joshua and the people of Israel ready once again to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land.  The bounty of God’s provision and promise lay ahead of them.  The only thing that stands in their way is the Jordan River.  But, this should present no real trouble to them.  After all, God had already parted a whole sea for them.  What threat does a river pose? Read the rest…