Note: I wrote the following book review for the Foothills Presbytery blog. The review was published in February 2019.
At first glance, there seem to be two competing narratives about the prevalence of digital technologies in our society. One perspective holds that the incredible advances and benefits offered by modern technologies are evidence that such products are inherently “good” for humanity. The other perspective, citing troubling statistics of increased isolation and adverse health risks, render such technologies as “bad.”
The reality, as with virtually everything else in postmodern society, falls somewhere between the either/or binary these two perspectives would suggest. Suffice it to say that modern technologies – like all technological innovations that have come before – can be used both for the wellbeing of society and for evil, destructive purposes. (For just one example, the same social media product that helped to fuel a democratic uprising in several oppressed nations also provided the platform for outside forces to influence democratic elections in our own nation!).
I relish the opportunity to explore creative forms of preaching, so I was excited to preach a dialogue sermon with my friend and Presbyterian clergy colleague Rev. Patrick Jinks. Together, we preached a sermon entitled "Love is the Answer" based on the Apostle Paul's famous words from 1 Corinthians 13. For the sermon recap video, Patrick and I sat down to discuss the passage (and, perhaps, to sing a certain well-known song...)
Note: I wrote the following book review for The Presbyterian Outlook. The review was published in January 2019.
“It was a life-changing trip!”
So goes the all-too-common refrain of those returning home from a short-term mission experience. Perhaps the trip has challenged paradigms or broadened perspectives. Maybe it has suggested a need for shifting priorities or reallocating financial resources. Regardless, the rush of the post-trip enthusiasm tends to fade quickly upon reentry to the daily grind of life, and often, this reversal leads to the painful realization that what was once described as life-changing ended up changing far less than imagined or hoped for.
A major theme of the Apostle Paul's first letter to the congregation in Corinth was on spiritual gifts (or more literally 'spiritual things'), as this seemed to be a primary source of division and discord among the fellowship there. Paul's overall argument includes the well-known argument about Christ's body being made of many parts ("the eye can't say to the hand, 'I have no need for you.'") and the even more famous passage of love as the greatest of spiritual gifts (a passage we know well from weddings!). He begins his discussion of spiritual gifts, however, with the passage we examined in worship yesterday morning: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Here is my recap video of that sermon.
Here's a recap of the sermon I preached on December 30, 2018, entitled "Rushing Things" based on the gospel lection for the day, Luke 2:41-52. As a bonus: at the end of the video, I also offer a bit of a fact check on myself. :-)
My beloved little city of Greenville falls geographically right along Interstate 85 in the upstate of South Carolina - a marker that also seems to serve as the "rain/snow" line for many a winter storm. The usual result, for those of us who like to see a good snowstorm every now and again, is disappointment; a forecast calling for a couple inches of snow in our area usually winds up being nothing more than a cold rain. (By the way -- all of this makes it very tricky for us to make a decision to cancel worship! Safety is our top priority, but there's always a touch of skepticism about the forecasts in our area!
A quick scan of my past sermons shows that I haven't dipped into the letter to the Hebrews too often, so I took the opportunity to preach from Hebrews 10 when it appeared in the lectionary for this Sunday, November 18. Here is a recap of my sermon, which was entitled "What, So What, Now What." The scripture text for the sermon was Hebrews 10:11-25, which you'll find below the embedded video.
Throughout October, Jennifer and I have been preaching through the gospel lection that takes us through the tenth chapter of Mark. My sermon on Mark 10:46-52, entitled "Calling Out in the Dark," concluded this series. I tried something new (for me) with my sermon yesterday, opting to write the entire sermon in the voice of Bartimaeus himself. While I can't say whether or not it was particularly effective, I can definitely say that I had a lot of fun in its creation. Alas, I didn't foresee any easy way to do the recap in that same style, so I'm simply recapping the major points of the sermon as I normally would. The scripture text follows the video below.
Our preaching series on the New Testament letter of James continued yesterday with a sermon on James 3:13 through James 4:8. The sermon title printed in the bulletin was "Humble, Wise, and Content" - which is an admirable title! However, had the bulletin been printed after my sermon had fully come together, and with apologies to the band Switchfoot, I think the actual title would be "We Were Meant to Live for So Much More." In any event, here is a recap of my sermon, along with the text of the morning's passage.
Jennifer and I are preaching through the New Testament letter of James throughout the month of September, in a sermon series we're calling "Faith in Action." I kicked off the series on September 2, with a sermon entitled "Being Doers of the Word" based on James 1:17-27. Here's a recap of that sermon.
I'm a husband, a father, a news junkie, a theatre enthusiast, an amateur foodie, a wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) currently serving as Associate Pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral, FL.
This blog is maintained personally by me and does not necessarily represent the views of the Faith Presbyterian Church congregation or any other congregation I have served. Every effort is made to give proper attribution for quotations, images, and other media used on this page.