Remember OUR Baptism

January 12, 2019

I was baptized by Cecil Beaver. But, I don’t remember much about it. I do remember wearing a white robe and I remember Cecil dripping wet in his suit pants and dress shirt once we got out of the water. I vaguely remember conversations in his office and a little booklet we went through together. I remember my brother asking me in the parking lot afterward if I “felt like a new man.” I don’t remember what I said. I do know that I wasn’t really a man to begin with and that I didn’t really learn to sin until well after I was baptized. Continue reading “Remember OUR Baptism”

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How God Does . . . (Advent 2018)

Luke 1:39-45 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading “How God Does . . . (Advent 2018)”

Friends of Jesus

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. – John 15:9-17

 What does it mean to be Jesus’ friends? Continue reading “Friends of Jesus”

Let’s Talk About Eunuchs (“Intact Males”)

April 27, 2018

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an invitation to get to work. When we look at what happens in the Bible we see that the resurrection inspires activity on the part of God’s Kingdom. It is not long after the resurrection that Jesus’ disciples go and “start” the church; empowered by Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do so.

One thing that the resurrection is not. It is not an invitation to watch more Netflix. Not that it’s wrong to binge here and there. It is clear however, that the resurrection did not inspire Jesus’s earliest followers to go on permanent vacations. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Eunuchs (“Intact Males”)”

The Look on Jesus’ Face

Preached on Maundy Thursday 2018 at Friends University Chapel.

For some time now, I have used Jesus’ face as one way to help me understand what Jesus is saying. Maybe that seems strange. The Bible really doesn’t tell us anything about Jesus’ face other than the fact that it was human, Jewish, and ordinary. His face was nothing spectacular. Jesus was not the best-looking guy in Jerusalem. Nor the worst.

Many years ago, CBS put out a series on the Bible and of course they had to pick someone to play Jesus. Karen, the wife of one of my closest friends, remarked that she could not watch this mini-series because Jesus was way too good looking. She said “it just felt wrong to be attracted to Lord in such a way.” I hope we all find Jesus attractive—but not like that.

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Awe-fully Human

Preached at Northridge Friends Church ~ March 18, 2017

Dexion and Rufus

Imagine with me, for a moment, a 2nd Century Roman man named Dexion. In his day, about 100 years after Jesus resurrection, Roman society was marked by deep class divisions. Dexion is a member of the Equestrian class. This means that he is a business owner and has money but he’s not super rich. He is respected among his peers, and, like many Romans of his day, he owns slaves. In Dexion’s case his small number of slaves consider him a good and generous master. Dexion is a good man in the eyes of Rome and in the eyes of all who know him.

Rufus is one of Dexion’s slaves. Rufus’s father belonged to Dexion too, and Dexion was fond of him. The father served his master well but the son . . . not so much. Rufus, known for being lazy and inattentive, ran away when he was a kid. With the aid of his aging father he was brought back into the household but his master never trusted Rufus again.

Continue reading “Awe-fully Human”