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Living Generously #1: The Gospels According To The Dead Sea

The Gospels According To The Dead Sea Everything You Thought You Knew About Generosity All My Begs In One Asking Living Generously: The Gospels According To The Dead Sea Acts 20:25-35The great Apostle Paul is on his way to the city of Rome, where he will be put to...

The Gospel According to the Dead Sea

The Gospel According to the Dead Sea Acts 20:28-37 Pray with me, please.  Now, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, Oh, God, for You are our rock, and You are our Redeemer. Amen. Many of you will be aware of the fact...

Some Things Never Change

Some Things Never Change Acts 2:43-47 My great friend, Dr. Leonard Sweet, recently reflected on some of the alarming changes which are happening in our world today. To document his concern, Dr. Sweet shared some statistics from a California Department of Education...

The Sound Of Hammering

The Sound Of Hammering Acts 2:22-24 Whatever else is to be made of it, the cross of Jesus Christ is a dreadful fact—as black as a splash of ink upon the record of human history. How did it happen—this appalling act? What sudden orgy of insanity overwhelmed the usually...

What True Presbyterians Believe #5: Sola Gratia

Sola Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Sola Gratia Sola Ecclesia What True Presbyterians Believe: Sola Gratia Acts 16:25-34For four generations now, members of my family have served in the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. For nearly forty years...

To Know Christ And To Make Him Known

To Know Christ And To Make Him Known Acts 1:15-26 Maybe I can get away with this joke. I mean, after all, I’ve been here for several years now and you haven’t run me off yet. So maybe I’ll take a chance... It’s the story of a little boy who was pulling a wagon along...

Ten For Our Time #2: When Tolerance Creates Trouble

When God Is God When Tolerance Creates Trouble When Profanity Takes Precedence When The Sabbath Is Kept Wholly When Family Comes First When Pro-Life Becomes Principle When Marriage Is A Many-Splintered Thing When Robbery Seems Respectable When Honesty Takes A Holiday...

Why I Believe #11: Why I Believe In The Holy Spirit

Why I Believe In The Incarnation Why I Believe In Angels Why I Believe In The Virgin Birth Why I Believe In Jesus Christ Why I Believe In God Why I Believe The Bible Why I Believe In The Church Why I Believe In Heaven Why I Believe In The Atonement Why I Believe In...

A Provocative Church #8: Courageous At All Costs

Embracing In Spirit Focused On The Truth Teaching With Boldness Holding Fast To Hope Centered On The Savior Undaunted By Difficulty Saved By Grace Courageous At All Costs A Provocative Church: Courageous At All Costs Acts 6:12-15, 7:54-8:1When we think of the names of...

A Provocative Church #7: Saved By Grace

Embracing In Spirit Focused On The Truth Teaching With Boldness Holding Fast To Hope Centered On The Savior Undaunted By Difficulty Saved By Grace Courageous At All Costs A Provocative Church: Saved By Grace Acts 16:25-34The Bible is a treasure chest of great stories....

A Provocative Church #5: Centered On The Savior

Embracing In Spirit Focused On The Truth Teaching With Boldness Holding Fast To Hope Centered On The Savior Undaunted By Difficulty Saved By Grace Courageous At All Costs A Provocative Church: Centered On The Savior Acts 4:1-12I suspect that most of the people who...

A Provocative Church #3: Teaching With Boldness

Embracing In Spirit Focused On The Truth Teaching With Boldness Holding Fast To Hope Centered On The Savior Undaunted By Difficulty Saved By Grace Courageous At All Costs A Provocative Church: Teaching With Boldness Acts 28:23-31(I believe that we are called to become...

A Provocative Church #1: Embracing In Spirit

Embracing In Spirit Focused On The Truth Teaching With Boldness Holding Fast To Hope Centered On The Savior Undaunted By Difficulty Saved By Grace Courageous At All Costs A Provocative Church: Embracing In Spirit Acts 9:10-22(Oxford University Professor Graham Tomlin...

Finishing The Unfinished Symphony

Finishing The Unfinished Symphony Acts 2:43-47Giacomo Puccini is widely regarded as one of the great music masters of all time. He wrote “Madame Butterfly”, “La Boheme”, and “Tosca”—all incredible operas with fluent melodies and dramatic harmonies. In 1922, Puccini...

How To Be Up On Down Days

How To Be Up On Down Days Acts 3:1-10One of our Florida highway patrolmen spotted a potentially dangerous situation on the interstate highway up in Volusia County. A small black car was driving down the highway at such a slow rate of speed that other cars were...

The Church Of My Dreams

The Church Of My Dreams Acts 2:38-44 I can tell you today that First Presbyterian Church of Orlando is the church of my dreams, and I can tell you that I spend practically every waking moment trying, with your help, to make this, the church of my dreams, into the...

The Gospel Of The Second Chance

The Gospel Of The Second Chance Acts 9:1-19Three of my friends—Elicia Beasley, Theo Kaffenberger and Charlotte Selzer—unbeknownst to each other, have delivered to me a wonderful collection of bloopers which have actually appeared in church bulletins. Here’s a sampling...

The Holy Spirit Is The Wind Beneath Our Wings

The Holy Spirit Is The Wind Beneath Our Wings Acts 2:1-4It was fifty days after Easter. The disciples were in the Upper Room waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. Jesus had promised them that they would receive power when the Spirit came, but so far nothing had...

The Heart of a Champion #6: Serve Others

Be Strong! Keep Faith Stay Loyal Have Courage Share Christ Serve Others Go Deep The Heart of a Champion: Serve Others Acts 3:1-10I wonder why they called it "the Beautiful Gate". Did you hear it mentioned in the reading of the story from Acts 3? Listen again. "One day...

The Heart of a Champion #5: Share Christ

Be Strong! Keep Faith Stay Loyal Have Courage Share Christ Serve Others Go Deep The Heart of a Champion: Share Christ Acts 8:26-39A certain mother was having guests for dinner...you know how it is when a mother has guests for dinner. Everyone gets drafted for the...

Bored To Tears Or Bold For Years?

Bored To Tears Or Bold For Years? Acts 4:5-12Just recently, a friend who teaches kindergarten told me about how she was teaching her children the "Popcorn Song". It's an action song which required the children to assume a squatting position and then at the appropriate...

A Song Written In Our Church And Sung In Our Hearts

A Song Written In Our Church And Sung In Our Hearts Acts 2:1-4One of my favorite hymns is one I first learned when I was a boy. It's called "Spirit of the Living God" and it has these poignant prayer words: Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on meMelt me, mold me,...

What To Do When You Don’t Know What to Do #1: Believe It Or Not

Believe It Or Not Eyes Cleansed By Tears See More Clearly Sticking Your Toe Into A Sea Of Joy Jesus Died Of A Broken Heart The Man Who Came Last The Day The King Cried An Easter Symphony In Four Movements What To Do When You Don't Know What to Do: Believe It Or Not...

Is Your Face Like The Face Of An Angel?

Is Your Face Like The Face Of An Angel? Acts 6:12-15Of all the great artistic masters, Rembrandt Van Rijn painted more pictures of himself than did any of the others. We have more than 1200 canvases by Rembrandt. They are found in most major museum collections in the...

Every Time I Feel The Spirit

Every Time I Feel The Spirit Acts 2:1-4In his book entitled Healing Grace, Dr. David Seamonds tells about a farmer who had fallen on hard times. He went to see the manager of his bank. He said to the banker: "I've got some good news and some bad news. Which would you...

Untied We Stand!

Untied We Stand! Acts 2:22-24One of my favorite stories is perfect to share with you on this Easter Sunday. It’s the story of a little boy who was afraid of the dark and he would never step into the dark alone. One night his mother asked him to go out on the back...

The Kind Of Church I Want

The Kind Of Church I Want Acts 28:17-30Occasionally in magazines or newspapers you will find a list of towns in our country which have strange, humorous, or unusual names. Like Sweetlips, Tennessee...or Sandy Mush, North Carolina...or Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky...or...

On Recommending Our Religion

On Recommending Our Religion Acts 2:37-42On Sundays, I stand here with a Bible in my hand, a sermon in my head, the love of Jesus in my heart, a prayer on my lips, and thirty minutes on the clock. I then give my best to do my best to say something which will convince...

The Promise Of Pentecost Power

The Promise Of Pentecost Power Acts 2:1-4This past week, I received a letter from a lady in Eustis, Florida who watches "The Certain Sound" on television. In the letter, she shared some of the struggles she is facing and she indicated her need for more power in...

Watch Your Conscience

Watch Your Conscience Acts 24:10-23No one ever said that living the Christian life is easy. That was certainly true for the great apostle Paul. On more than one occasion Paul landed in trouble with the authorities because of his faith. The incident which is before us...

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

What Must I Do To Be Saved? Acts 16:25-34What an incredible day this is in the life of this great church! Today we have witnessed the spirit-inspired spectacle of 78 young men and women professing their faith in Jesus Christ, committing their lives to Him, receiving...

Eyewitness Good News

Eyewitness Good News Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-8On April 15, 1920, two people were carrying a payroll in Braintree, Massachusetts. They were robbed and murdered, with $16,000 stolen. There were three eyewitnesses to the crime. While they agreed that two men had committed...

The Dead Sea And The Living Christ

The Dead Sea And The Living Christ Acts 20:28-37I managed to be the first one on the bus. It was just after dawn one day this past July yet even at the early hour one could sense that Jerusalem was in for another blistering hot day. I quickly secured for myself a seat...

God’s Fantastic Arithmetic

God's Fantastic Arithmetic Acts 2:37-47Let me say a word today about God's fantastic arithmetic. God does not know how to subtract or divide. He only knows how to add and multiply. Here's what I mean. Once upon a time there was not a single Christian on the face of...

Why Isn’t The Church Accomplishing More?

Why Isn't The Church Accomplishing More? Acts 4:5-12Yesterday, Presbyterians made front page headlines in newspapers all across the country. We are now part of a new denomination, The Presbyterian Church U.S.A.—and I am excited about that. For I believe that God can...

My Dream For The Church

My Dream For The Church Acts 2:38-44Today I want to share with you "my dream for the Church." Now, I must admit from the outset that this dream is not at all original. It’s as old as the Book of Acts. You see, I cannot hope or desire for more than that powerful,...

I Was There – Were You?

I Was There - Were You? Acts 2:22-24We have sung those words which you know by heart: "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" But I have a question for you: Have you ever heard of a song which goes like this: "Were you there when they handed the cup of poison to...