My Sermons, Pastors, Preaching, Sermon Illustrations, Sermons and Sermon Series Ideas, Uncategorized

What Is Love? (Baby, don’t hurt me…)

This is the first sermon from the series I’m currently teaching at One Church, Love.Sex.Marriage. It’s entitled, “What Is Love?” (Sing it with me: “Baby, don’t hurt me…”)

During the sermon I quote from two great marriage resources, The Zimzum of Love by Rob and Kristen Bell and Love to Stay by Adam Hamilton.

My Sermons, Pastors, Preaching, Sermon Illustrations

Marriage Resources


During the sermon series Love.Sex.Marriage., I’m sharing relationship resources with the One Church congregation.

Two excellent marriage resources are The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell and Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment by Adam Hamilton.

Zimzum contains study questions in the back of the book, and Love to Stay has a companion DVD curriculum and study guide.

I think either resources would make a great small group study or would help any couple have a closer, richer marriage.

My Sermons, Preaching, Sermon Illustrations, Sermons and Sermon Series Ideas, Uncategorized


Love Sex Marriage Bling 960

Today, I started a new sermon series at One Church entitled Love.Sex.Marriage.

There are three big “back to church” times of the year- 1) Christmas Eve/January, 2) Easter-Mother’s Day, and 3) August-October (Back to School).

These are natural times of the year for unchurched and dechurched people to visit a church service. To give new people extra incentive to visit during these three times of the year, I schedule a sermon series that appeals to a top-of-mind felt-need.

For this January, I scheduled the series Love.Sex.Marriage. The series will last 7 weeks, longer than usual for the sermon series I create, but the topic is always relevant. One Church has a more holistic approach to sexuality than many of the churches in our area, so hopefully those who hear the sermons will gain a new, refreshing take on sexuality, guilt, dating, making a marriage work, etc.

One Church sermons are available for free download at

Leadership, One Church, Pastors, Sermon Illustrations, Uncategorized

Give Up Your New Years Resolutions

I gave up on making abstract New Years resolutions.

Instead, I set a few realistic, measurable goals that I can accomplish fairly quickly. One goal completed leads to another, then another, then another, etc. I gave a sermon about it on Dec. 29, 2013 called “Peace in 2014” where I talk about four categories of goals. You can watch or listen at

My goal for my inner life is to reread Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. Here is a quote:

“By presence I mean attentiveness to the blessings that come to you day after day, year after year. The problem with modern living is that we are too busy– looking for affirmation in the wrong places– to notice that we are being blessed.”

– Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved, 79

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Ten Things Conservative Christians Got Horribly Wrong

A friend sent this article from Salon to me. Salon is a left-leaning publication, so Evangelicals will be suspicious of it. The author is generally correct, however, in her assessment of the role of Evangelical Christians in American history.

Most troubling to many current Christians is the connection Jerry Falwell (the leader of the so-called Moral Majority, pictured here) had to segregationist politics in the South.pjerry-falwell

The current Religious Right and its predecessors have found themselves on the wrong side of history many times in ways that propagated bigotry and other evils to which it leads.

This is a sobering call for Evangelicals to think deeply about the way they interpret the Bible regarding current events and social movements.

Read the article here.

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Why I Welcome People Who Are Gay (Part 4)


There are many passages in the Old Testament and several passages in the New Testament that very few Christians in the United States or in the larger Developed World interpret as binding for all time.

Here are only a few examples of social customs found in the Bible:

  • God commands Late Bronze Age Israelite soliders to commit genocide (Deuteronomy 7v1-2, Joshua 10v40, Joshua 11v18-20).
  • Paul instructs women/wives to wear veils in worship services as a sign of male authority or “headship” over them (1 Corinthians 11v-16).
  • Paul instructs slaves to obey their slave masters or remain content in their slavery (1 Corinthians 7v21-24, Ephesians 6v5,)
  • Both the Old Testament and New Testament state that those who are gay deserve death (Leviticus 20v13 , Romans 1v18-32)

If I showed you a map of the world (like the map above) and asked you to point to a country you associate with the social customs I listed, you would point to a country like Saudi Arabia, Iran or a similar nation.

The above social customs are still at home in some parts of the Middle East and Africa today. This should come as no surprise, as the above social customs were informed by Ancient Middle Eastern and Greco-Roman cultures in which the biblical books were written.

The map of the world at the top of this post shows the current status of gay rights on earth. The countries shaded in brown and red either execute those who are gay or impose sentences of life in prison for being gay! The nations in light blue, blue or dark blue (The U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, France, Brazil and many others) grant basic human rights to those who are gay.

The above social customs are certainly not at home in the 21st century United States of America or in the Developed World. This fact should cause thoughtful Christians to seriously consider how we interpret the Bible and what passages we interpret as binding for all time.