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Live Like Who And What You Are!

Live Like Who And What You Are! Philippians 1:12-21Back during the days of the French monarchy, the children of the royal family were always taught by hired tutors. Now given those circumstances, you can imagine that sometimes it was quite difficult for those tutors...

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...

A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

A Mother's Worst Nightmare John 19:23-27 It had to be a mother’s worst nightmare… The Bible says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother...” Note that please. His mother was there. It was a ghastly, hideous, terrible thing for her to see. She had brought Him into...

The Story I Never … #2: The Story I Never Tire Of Telling

The Story I Never Tire Of Hearing The Story I Never Tire Of Telling The Story I Never Tire Of Telling John 20:1-18Easter is a lot like Christmas. It is not a time for learned discourses or complex theology. Rather it is time to tell a story—a story that is so simple,...

God Is Up To Something So Good!

God Is Up To Something So Good! Mark 14:17-25 A story. A song. A symbol. Now, let’s see if I can weave them into a sermon. A story. A famous lawyer was being honored by his colleagues at the American Trial Lawyers Convention. He was asked to reflect on some of the...

Cross Words #6: A Dying Word And A Living Faith

You Can't Step In The Same River Twice Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart The Very First Christian God's Light In Dark Times A Staircase To Heaven A Dying Word And A Living Faith Cross Words: A Dying Word And A Living Faith Luke 23:44-49During these weeks leading up to...

Cross Words #4: God’s Light In Dark Times

You Can't Step In The Same River Twice Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart The Very First Christian God's Light In Dark Times A Staircase To Heaven A Dying Word And A Living Faith Cross Words: God's Light In Dark Times Mark 15:33-39In the Cathedral at Dijon, France at...

Soul Tsumani: Changing Fear Into Faith

Soul Tsumani: Changing Fear Into Faith Mark 4:35-41 Tsunami. That word is now indelibly carved into all of our minds and hearts by the tragic events of recent days. On December the 26th, a massive earthquake, registering 9.0 on the Richter scale, occurred more than...

The Most Beautiful Song In The World

The Most Beautiful Song In The World Psalm 23 Two men were arguing over which one knew the most about the Bible. One man said to the other, “I’ll bet you don’t even know the 23rd Psalm.” The other man replied, “I’ve got ten dollars that says I do.” The first man said,...

Why I Believe #12: Why I Believe In The Trinity

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...

Walking A Lonely Road

Walking A Lonely Road Luke 24:13-35 Have you ever been to Emmaus? I do not mean literally, of course. I do not mean the specific village, which we are told in Scripture, was seven miles from the city of Jerusalem. In fact, you cannot go to the literal Emmaus. It has...

Why I Believe #8: Why I Believe In Heaven

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...

Why I Believe #5: Why I Believe In God

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 Prayer for Christmas #1: Joy Of The Angels

Joy Of The Angels Eagerness Of The Shepherds Perseverance Of The Wise Men The Peace Of The Christ Child Obedience Of Mary And Joseph LUKE 1:26-38Last Christmas, at Westminster Abbey in London, the worshipers gathered there prayed this prayer, May the joy of the...

A Provocative Church #4: Holding Fast To Hope

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: Holding Fast To Hope Revelation 2:18-29The book of Revelation contains...

Short Memories Make For Shallow Souls

Short Memories Make For Shallow Souls John 5:1-9 Someone has wisely said that “short memories make for shallow souls”. I believe that to be true, and so I want to spend some time today deepening my own soul. For what I have to share with you is essentially by way of...

How To Get Up When Life Gets You Down

How To Get Up When Life Gets You Down Psalm 42We all know what depression is—in fact, we could probably write the book on it. Sometimes we call it “the blues” or “the blahs” or “feeling down and out”. Bunyan called it “the slough of despond”. St. John of the Cross...

Philippians: The Hardest Goal to Achieve

Philippians: The Hardest Goal To Achieve Philippians 4:8-10I have to confess to you that of all the words written by the great Apostle Paul, the words which are the most difficult for me to grasp are these words: “I have learned to be content with whatever I have.”...

Miraculous Moments in Mark #7: Kangaroo Court: Before The Sanhedrin

Let Down By Friends: Paralytic On A Pallet Boat-Huggers And Wave-Riders: Storm At Sea Woman In The Crowd: A Bloody Shame A Dog's Life: Canaanite Woman Saved By A Semi-Colon: Epileptic Boy Eye-Opening Experience: Blind Bartimaeus Kangaroo Court: Before The Sanhedrin...

Preparing For Peace

Preparing For Peace Luke 1:26-38I believe in angels. Don’t think for a moment that I must have lost touch with reality to dare to stand up here in the enlightened, sophisticated age in which we are living and make what some would regard as an absurd statement. But I...

Waiting In Hope

Waiting In Hope Luke 21:35-36There is a wonderful story that comes out of Swedish folklore about a country doctor who went out to a farmhouse one night where a woman was about to give birth. As the woman went into labor, the doctor asked her husband to assist him by...

ICTC

ICTC Philippians 4:10-13I came across a little piece entitled “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” a collection of humorous insights into the faith from the lips of children. Here is a sampling from that collection: Bouncing out of her first day in the nursery class at Mt....

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...

Songs of Faith – Sermons of Grace #9: Who Do You Say That I Am?

The Leadership Style Of Jesus Jesus Is Coming Soon-Look Busy! You Can Fail And Still Not Be A Failure The Cross: Stumbling Block Or Stepping Stone? Carpe Diem-Not A Fancy Name For A Fish Dish! Stop Stewing And Start Cooking Getting Back On Top When Life Gets You Down...

A Journey With God #4: Cross Prayers

That’s What Friends Are For A Tale Of Two Sisters Love Means Saying "I'm Sorry" Cross Prayers The Gift You Won't Want To Return A Journey With God: Cross Prayers Luke 23:32-49I want to tell you about two men, each of whom rode into a city to die and each of whom...

A Journey With God #2: A Tale Of Two Sisters

That’s What Friends Are For A Tale Of Two Sisters Love Means Saying "I'm Sorry" Cross Prayers The Gift You Won't Want To Return A Journey With God: A Tale Of Two Sisters Luke 10:38-42Have you ever noticed how often the New Testament sets two personalities in contrast...

This Church Is In Your Hands

This Church Is In Your Hands Matthew 28:16-20Some years ago, there was an older man who lived all alone up in the hills of eastern Kentucky. He was something of a recluse, but he was known throughout the region as “the wise old hermit of the hills”. Everybody talked...

No Vacancy

No Vacancy   December 24, 1996 | First Presbyterian Church OrlandoMy name is Eliazor Ben Yakkov, but I suppose that's not so very important. The year is 34 A.D. The place, the little town of Bethlehem. That is important. I am an innkeeper. I operate a small hotel...

Peace By Piece

Peace By Piece John 3:1-17One of my favorite "Peanuts" comic strips is the one where Lucy decides that her brother, Linus, has got to grow up and learn to live without his security blanket of his. So while Linus is asleep, she slips the blanket out of his hands, takes...

The Heart of a Champion #3: Stay Loyal

Be Strong! Keep Faith Stay Loyal Have Courage Share Christ Serve Others Go Deep The Heart of a Champion: Stay Loyal Revelation 3:7-13People said it was a record that would never be broken. It was called "the Iron Man" record. It was Lou Gehrig's string of playing in...

All Stressed Up And No Place To Blow

All Stressed Up And No Place To Blow Matthew 11:25-30If you are a member of our congregation here at First Presbyterian, you are aware of the fact that my partner-in-ministry, Dr. Jim Cook, and I are enjoying a lively, loving, light-hearted competition with each other...

Christmas Dreams #2: Banishment

Embarrassment Banishment Postponement Fulfillment Christmas Dreams: BanishmentDecember 11, 1988 | First Presbyterian Church Orlando | Matthew 2:13-16It actually happened in a church I know… A worried mother phoned the church office on the afternoon before the Sunday...

Saul #4: A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem

Saul: Living Like A King's Kid Saul: You And God Are A Majority Saul: A Tale Of Toil And Trouble Saul: A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem Saul: A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem I Samuel 31:1-7I know it is hard to believe, but it is true… Every four...

Saul #3: A Tale Of Toil And Trouble

Saul: Living Like A King's Kid Saul: You And God Are A Majority Saul: A Tale Of Toil And Trouble Saul: A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem Saul: A Tale Of Toil And Trouble I Samuel 28:3-7I want you to sit back and be very quiet. I want you to be aware of the...

Saul #2: You And God Are A Majority

Saul: Living Like A King's Kid Saul: You And God Are A Majority Saul: A Tale Of Toil And Trouble Saul: A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem Saul: You And God Are A Majority I Samuel 13:5-14Until his death in 1977, Dr. Loren Eiseley was one of the most...

Cross Road #2: Blind Justice

Agony In A Garden Blind Justice In The Fox’s Den No Exit Human Cruelty And The Gentleness Of God Cross Road: Blind Justice Mark 14:53-65Like the wildly popular television series entitled "24,” the last 24 hours of Jesus' life were filled with intrigue, conspiracy,...

Why Christ Came

Why Christ Came Matthew 1:18-23Have you ever wanted to cry out: "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen"? But then when you tried to express your feelings in words, something down inside of you said: "Oh, what's the use? No one can really understand." Have you ever felt...

The Greatest Strains Come From The Greatest Strain

The Greatest Strains Come From The Greatest StrainSeptember 21, 1986 | First Presbyterian Church Orlando | Romans 8:26-39I remember reading about the epitaph which marks the grave of a man named John Breshear and his wife, Phoebe. John Breshear grew up in poverty and...

Minor Men With a Major Message #12: The Man Who Was Most Like Jesus

The Man Who Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory The Man Who Wanted Somebody With Skin On The Man God Marked The Man Who Died With No One's Regrets The Man Who Chose The Wrong Friend The Couple Who Paid The High Cost Of Low Living The Man Who Put Profits Before...