preach-itSermon Archive

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December 2018

Parenting Tips From the Christmas Story

As Christians, We worship a God who is so much higher and bigger than us that we, as His followers, have to become very comfortable with mystery. And there is a lot of mystery surrounding the Christmas story, and perhaps the most mysterious moment of all is when Mary’s God came to be conceived in her womb.

The angel, Gabriel, in a few short words, broke into the normal, unremarkable life of this girl and dropped some unbelievable news on her. And Mary, to her credit, doesn’t disb

Building on the Wrong Side of Eternity

Throughout the month of December we will be studying different aspects of the Christmas story at State Road Church, and in this message we will turn in our Bibles to Matthew 2 to do a character study on the life of Herod the Great. Sometimes we learn from witnessing the good example of others and other times we learn from people like Herod who demonstrate by their persistent wickedness the consequences of living one’s life in opposition to God. Most of the characters in the Christmas story

What’s In a Name?

As the song says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” From my office window the pine trees across from the church are covered in a sugar dusting of snow, and my spotify playlist is playing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” I love this time of year! Special food, special music, special gatherings, special traditions, and, of course, special times of worship. Between now and Christmas we will be studying different aspects of the Christmas story. This Sunday we’ll study the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The chapter begins with a long list of names and finishes with a focus on just on name, “Jesus.” Come join us as we see that Jesus’ family tree was a Christmas tree!

November 2018

Marks of a Delivered People

Vincent Van Gogh, of course, is one of the most famous painters of the nineteenth century, and arguably one of the most famous painters of all time. At the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam they have on display many of Van Gogh’s best-known masterpieces. In the basement of the museum, however, there is an interesting display of sketches Van Gogh did in advance of particular parts of his final masterpieces. So, for example, on the first page of one sketchpad, there is a pencil sketch of

Building a Theology of Church Membership

We will be take a break from our Esther series this Sunday. Instead, we pose the question, “What’s the deal with church membership?” This study will coincide with the announcement of our next round of church membership classes. If you are not already a member of State Road, please prayerfully consider whether or not God is leading you to become one.

Some people think of membership as a dry formality – a hoop to jump through. Still others point to the fact that it is nowhere mentioned

Building Your Own Gallows

I love watching westerns —Unforgiven, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Tombstone, High Plains drifter, Fistful of Dollars, Pale Rider— I love them all! My favorite scene in just about every western is the climactic when the hero confronts the low-down, dirty bad guy. Westerns always have a showdown scene, Right? The hero is usually some kind of mysterious ex-gunslinger who is just trying to leave his past behind him, but he can’t outrun his past because he gets involved with the innocen

Going to the King

One of my favorite things about this time of year is costumes. I like the funny and creative ones best. I admire folks who make their own homemade outfits, but as a father of five I definitely understand why most will opt to just pick one up at Walmart instead.

The appeal of costumes seems obvious to me. Who hasn’t ever dreamed of being something or somebody other than who we are? Even for adults it’s fun to imagine and pretend.

I thought of costumes recently when I read Judge

October 2018

Such A Time As This

In this message, as we continue our study through the book of Esther, we dive into what is arguably the most commonly quoted chapter of the book, Chapter 4. As news of Xerxes’ edict, which has condemned all the Jews to death, spreads Mordecai mourns bitterly, and Esther becomes aware that she is uniquely well-positioned to act on behalf of her people by protesting to the most ultimate human authority in all the realm, her husband, Xerxes himself. There is a problem though, she is reluctan

A Certain People

In this message the plot will thicken as we continue our study through the Old Testament book of Esther. In our study of chapter 2 we witnessed the unlikely rise to prominence of Esther, a Jewish orphan girl who is chosen by King Xerxes to become the next Queen of Persia. God had a lot to say to us through His Word as we studied chapter 2 together. In this message, as we study chapter 3, we will witness the rise of another person in Xerxes’ court. Every great story needs a villain, and in

Beauty and the Beast

In the previous message we dove into the book of Esther by unpacking chapter 1 together. In some ways that chapter reads like something that happened long, long ago in a kingdom far, far away, but in other ways it seemed ripped right out of today’s headlines and our own life experience. There was much more to explore in the chapter than we had time last message, but I am grateful for our small group ministries providing a place for folks to dig deeper into some of the ideas that the chapt