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Showing posts from November, 2019

Which Criminal Are You?

Recently, I had a member of our church ask me: “So was your father a criminal?” This person had heard me tell my father’s story of working in organized crime, but apparently it hadn’t dawned on him until that moment that my father was actually a criminal. I said, “Yes, my father went to jail twice. So, he was indeed an ex-con.” Some people find that shocking. I don’t. It’s been a fact of my family life for my whole life, so it doesn’t seem unusual to me. It’s part of my normal! But I realize that for some, the question posed in my sermon title is shocking: which criminal are you? I invite you to ponder that question as we read Luke 23:32-43. Listen for God’s word to you… Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not kno

How to Face the End

I recently saw Bob Botsford of Horizon Christian Fellowship in California use this illustration… He had a large vase of water on stage with two oranges. He dropped the first orange into the water, and it floated to the top. Then he peeled the second orange, dropped it in the water, and it sank. Then he drew this comparison: when we have Jesus as our covering, we float to the top. Without Jesus, we sink. I think that is a perfect illustration of our Gospel reading for today. I have entitled this message, “How to Face the End”. But it might better be titled, “How to Face What Seems to be the End”. Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 21:5-19… When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be