Reboot Series "Commit to Scripture"

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Psalm 119:105

We spent a wonderful and relaxing week down at Indian Shores beach for the last week of summer vacation, but we had to get out of vacation mode fast when we got home because school started on Monday. Even though I used to complain about it as a kid, I always kind of liked it when school started again because it was a chance to make a fresh start, and to this day, even though I’m not starting a new school year, I always feel energized and excited at this time of year because it feels like a mini New Year that brings a chance for a fresh start on things. This is what I had in mind as I thought about the sermon series that we are starting today. We’ve had summer vacations and we’ve taken some time off from some of our regular church programming, but now after a break and some rest time, it’s time to reboot the system and get things running again in our lives.

In my own life, one of the systems that I tend to have difficulty maintaining is my spiritual life operating system. By that I mean, I tend to have difficulty keeping up with spiritual disciplines and habits that feed my soul and keep me close to Jesus and in a position to more easily receive his grace. I find that I must commit and recommit again and again to keeping up on daily practices because busyness, and tiredness, and other distractions become reasons that they get neglected. I’m sure no one here can relate. So, over the next 5 weeks when we find ourselves at sort of a natural new starting point with the beginning of a new school year and program year here in church, we’re going to be looking at 5 basic building blocks of discipleship – 5 things that we can commit or recommit to practicing and focusing on in our individual lives and in our life together as a faith communitySee full sermon here

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Luke 7: 36-50

One of my very favorite hobbies and please don’t judge me is to collect autographs. Especially Scottish football players. When I was a wee boy, I would stand outside football grounds and collect autographs when the players came out. I never outgrew it; when I go back to Scotland I usually go to the stadium and pick up a few. In fact, when we were back over there in March, after a game, Brennan, my brother in law and my nephew all patiently waited while I collected autographs. Eventually they said, we’ll wait in the car. One thing I don’t do very often is buy autographs, you never know if it’s a fake or not and usually they are overpriced. I did break that rule for this though. This piece of paper has been folded, it’s not in great shape but it has the signatures of many of the Celtic team that were European Champions in 1967. That is the only year Celtic have won what is now the champions league, so these guys are legends and a few of them have passed away. So, this was a big deal to meSee full sermon here

Sowing and Reaping

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text Galatians 6

On this day 11 years ago, I had my first baby, Virginia Catherine. Back then, I did what a lot of eager new parents do. I bought and read parenting books. Reading parenting books is a good idea, but I naively thought I could just follow the instructions in the books and then my child would just give me the result that the books told me they would if I followed them. Well, I found out that trying to follow the instructions in a parenting book ends up being a lot less like Martha Stewart baking a perfect cake and more like an episode of that show Nailed It where people try their best to recreate their own versions of professionally made cakes that come out looking pitiful and hilarious. You read the instructions and do your best, but it doesn’t always work like they say it’s going to in the bookSee full sermon here

Christian Freedom

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text Galatians 5:1 and Galatians 5:13-26

It is good to be back with you this morning. I missed you while I was away and was thinking of you and praying for you last Sunday morning, but I have to confess to you that while you were here in worship last Sunday, I wasn’t worshipping in another church as a visitor. I admit to you that while you were in worship, I was watching the US Women’s Soccer team play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final. This confession is not, by the way, the equivalent of me giving you permission to miss worship so you can watch sports, but I was on vacation and it was a big game so I gave myself over to World Cup fever and watched the game. Of course, the US women won, and this week the news has been filled with stories about the team and the players and interviews and public appearances and speechesSee full sermon here

Paul's Gospel

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text - Galatians 3

If growing up here is anything like growing up in Scotland, I am sure many of you have experienced picking teams. All the kids line up and the top two become captains and pick the rest. You stand there waiting to be called. Pick me, Pick me. You wait until you find your place in the order of things, just praying you are not the last one picked. There is satisfaction in being picked early and a little embarrassment in being one of the last picked. I have experienced both.

This morning we will continue with our journey through Paul’s letter to the Galatians. This morning we will take a look at what’s going on in chapter 3. Much of what we read in based on the early church picking teams and deciding who fits where in the grand scheme of things, and how Paul responds to thatSee full sermon here

Apostle to the Gentiles

Sermon Text: Galatians 2:15-21

Today we are looking at Galatians chapter 2 in our What’s in Galatians? sermon series. Last week we learned that a problem had come up and there was some confusion in the churches and Paul’s reason for writing this letter was to clear up the confusion. His big point as he opens the letter is that he is a trustworthy teacher, and he makes the case that the gospel that he first preached in the churches in Galatia and the gospel that they had received through him was the true gospel as opposed to the teachings that had been introduced and were causing confusion since his departure. Today, we’re going to find out exactly what the big point of contention wasSee full sermon here

Paul's Passion

Sermon Text: Galatians 1:1-21

Today we are beginning a new sermon series called “What’s in Galatians?” which will be a study of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia. One of the reasons for preaching through this book at this time is because we are in the season of Pentecost, and it was after Pentecost that the gospel began to spread beyond Jerusalem into places like the province of Galatia and the non-Jewish people living in those places accepted the truth of the gospel and became part of the new and growing Jesus-community. So, I liked the idea of preaching during Pentecost from a letter that Paul wrote to people who were part of the expanding new church, and in this letter, we get some insight into some of the growing pains that the new church experienced. A second reason for preaching “What’s in Galatians?” is because what’s in Galatians is good news- a lot of good news- and not only do I like preaching good news, but it is to our benefit as Christians to know and understand the good news that this letter contains. In this series we are going to go through all 6 chapters of the letter- not verse by verse, but we will get the picture of the book overall and we’ll look at the key ideas and some key passages that are in Galatians. As we go through this over the next 5 weeks, I invite you to take some time with the book on your own, too. We won’t read every verse here in worship, but you can follow along and read through the whole book at home in whatever fashion works for you- maybe read through it once a week on Sunday evening, or read a chapter a day, or read a chapter a week. It’s a short book so I think you’ll find that reading through it is not an impossible challenge, and with that said, let’s get started on finding out what’s in GalatiansSee full sermon here

The Perfect Dad

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Luke 15: 18-24

One of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid was Happy Days. It used to be on Sunday afternoon, which was also the day the kids on my street played football. I vividly remember us all stopping the game at 2pm and running home to watch Happy Days and then ½ an hour later resuming the game. Of course, like every other kid back then I loved The Fonz. He was not only the coolest guy on the show, he was the coolest guy on the planet. Or was he? There was one other person on that show that I thought was great, and that was Howard Cunningham or Mr. C as The Fonz called him. The middle-aged dad. Mr. C. always seemed to get it right. He had the wisdom, the humor, the advice, he almost always solved everyone’s problems, and always had the respect. Even the Fonz listened to and respected him. And when Happy Days finally ended after 11 seasons, it wasn’t Richie or even The Fonz that had the final farewell monologue, it was Mr. C. I remember thinking it would be cool if he was my dad. Because he was the perfect dad. If only all dads could be like Mr. C. Of course, Mr. C. was not even like Mr. C. I saw an interview with Tom Bosley who played Howard Cunningham. He was asked how he felt playing America’s favorite father. His response was it was wonderful because he had great scriptwriters, the problems started when he went home and had to adlib being a real dad. He had as little clue as everyone else.

Father’s Day is a day of great celebration for manySee full sermon here

VBS Sunday - Life is Wild, God is Good

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Nahum 1:7

Today we have two things converging that make this kind of a special Sunday. The first is that it is Pentecost Sunday. I love Pentecost because I love the Holy Spirit, and I love talking about Jesus, and I love the church, and Pentecost Sunday is the day we remember how the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and they proclaimed the news about Jesus’s life, and death, and resurrection and the church was born when thousands of people responded to their message with repentance and faith. I’m not going to read the whole story this morning, but here are a couple highlights. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” After this Peter stood up and preached to the crowd and at the end of his sermon Luke tells us that they were “cut to the heart” and asked what to do. Peter told them, “’Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” It’s such an exciting story and you can read the whole thing in Acts 2. The second thing that is special about today is that we are celebrating the completion of another wonderful week of Vacation Bible SchoolSee full sermon here

Alive in Christ - United

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 17:20-26

According to the church calendar, we have reached the final Sunday of Easter which means we have also reached the final message in our Alive in Christ sermon series. The goal has been to think about how our lives really are different because of Jesus’s resurrection than they would be otherwise if we remained dead in our sins. The new life is marked by all kinds of things that we’ve talked about – a mission, freedom from our past, a secure future, our personal transformation, and a relationship with Jesus in the person of the Holy Spirit. Today we are looking at one final thing that we receive when we are raised to a new life with Christ, and that is our spiritual family. When we are joined to Christ through faith, we aren’t just joined to Jesus. We’re also joined to all of the other people that are part of him, too.

Being part of God’s family can feel like one of the biggest blessings in our lives, but sometimes it can also leave us feeling like Kevin McCallister feels at the beginning of the movie Home Alone. The house is full with his brother, and sister, and parents, and aunts, and uncles, and cousins, and after being picked on, and overlooked by, and in trouble with his family he’s fed up and he shouts, “When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone!”See full sermon here