Dying to Live: A Sermon

Preached on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri. Click here to listen to the audio.

Luke 9:18-27

We are launching a new sermon series today titled “Because of Christ, everything has changed.” This series is the second in a series of sermons related to our Setting Sail visioning process. Over the past two years we have prayed and dreamed together about what God is calling us to be and do and now we are launching out in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit, setting sail in obedience and anticipation of God’s dreams for us.

Today we begin our focus on Life-Changing Faith. Our preferred future is that First Baptist Church leads every person to follow the Way of Christ, discover their giftedness, and experience continual life transformation. All generations are rooted in a Biblical, hope-filled faith and experience the joy and significance of service.

In short, we follow Christ.

And because of Christ, everything has changed. Well, most of it has changed. I mean, a good percentage has changed.  Okay, well maybe not a lot has changed but way more than Susie or Ted. I mean, talk about zero change. 

Continue Reading »

From Surviving to Thriving Spiritually

The following is my sermon from Sunday, January 31, 2016, at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri.  We concluded a four week series on Overcoming Spiritual Burnout. You can read below or listen here.

Text: Acts 18:5-11; Romans 12:11-12

Survivor. It’s not just a reality show on television. Most of us today feel like we are trying to survive.  And to be honest, we feel like we’re failing at it.  One of my favorite Christian bloggers, Jen Hatmaker, tapped into this feeling a couple of years ago with a blog she wrote about being the worst end of school mom ever. I want to share a small part of that blog post with you this morning. Jen wrote this in late April near the end of a school year.

We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t. Cannot. Can. Not. I can’t look at the homework in the folder. Is there homework in the folder? I don’t even know. Are other moms still looking in the homework folder? I don’t even care.

I feel like any sort of school energy required at this point is pure oppression, like the universe is trying to destroy me. I’m so tiiiiiiiiired and I have five kids and that is just too many to educate well. I can only handle around two, so I’m going with Sydney and Caleb because they both like to read and the other three are just going to have to enroll in Life Skills Class one day and develop a trade. We were awesome back in October; don’t you forget that. We used to care, and that counts for something. 

 Jen’s blog post went viral.  She ended up on the Good Morning, America show and a bunch of other things happened as a result of this little blog post that I imagine was written late at night in the throws of exhaustion and surrender.  It resonated with millions because they (like so many of us) were limping, exhausted and just trying to survive. 

Continue Reading »