16 May 2012

Celebrating Senior Sunday at St. John's

This is a video of my sermon for May 6, 2012.

Here is the mindmap I used for the sermon for this sermon. Click the "+" button a few times to make it bigger so you can read it or use the other buttons to adjust the view.

This was the Sunday when we recognize our graduating high school seniors. Here Mary and I are pictured with the 4 young men who are graduating high school at the reception in their honor after the service. I was a bit dismayed to find myself looking up to these guys. I remember them when they were just starting Junior High. They were my first confirmation class at St. John's. Now they are graduating high school. Wow. Time flies.

It was a bittersweet day as we congratulated our graduating seniors and sent them forth into the world to prepare for greater service in the world.

Your sending and sent friend in faith,

08 May 2012

Let the Sea Roar

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 

          the world and those who live in it. (Psalm 98:7)

Who wouldn't want a family beach vacation this summer? I would. Wouldn't you? It would be nice to smell the musty, salty air and feel the gentle breeze of fresh ocean air. It would be nice to walk along the beach and hear the rush of mighty waves time after time.

TheBlu is  a new social screensaver. It is billed as the world's first social digital ocean to download, explore, and share.  You may download it for free here. TheBlu is the work of thousands, possibly tens of thousands of artists around the world. It is a digital representation of the sea.

The original sea was created by God. You may envision God creating the sea over millions of years through evolution or however you wish. The Bible is not so concerned with the how question as with the why question. According to the Bible, the reason God created the sea and all the life therein was to provide a place, space, and opportunity to express God's creativity and to enjoy fellowship with God's creation. 

According to the Westminster Confession, the chief purpose of humanity is to love God and enjoy God forever. We do that as humans when we create digital representations of the ocean and when we visit the sea and put our toes in the cold salt water. We humans are creative in many clever ways. We are like our Creator in our inclination toward creative expression. 

Yet is it not just the sea that is called to praise God. Everything in the sea and the world and those who live in it are called to acknowledge the glory of God. To love God and enjoy God forever. That is the chief end of humanity. How will you do that today? Perhaps you may take some lessons from the sea. Notice how it changes yet seems to remain to the same. The sea will show you how to go with the flow. It will demonstrate how to work around obstacles. It will make you wet with new life. Let's go for a swim. 

Your looking forward to the beach buddy,

07 May 2012

Life as a Love Lab

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:9-12

God's love is perfected in us as we love one another. Think of life as a laboratory for learning to love. Focus today on getting better at loving others. See what kind of energy that gives you. 

Which persons are the most challenging ones for you to love? Consider them your master teachers.