Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Labor of Love" -- Sermon is Online

What is it like when the deceiver is deceived?  Listen to my recent sermon on Genesis 29:15-28.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The lonely place...

"Don't let the loneliness of a random place make you think that God has abandoned you."  Hear more in my recent audio post and listen to "Jacob the Dreamer."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Great time at the beach...

I am so thankful for a wonderful time at the beach last week with my family.  Two of my favorite pictures are included.  We spent the week in Panama City, FL, and the four of us really enjoyed our time together.  The Fughs are thankful for the wonderful family that let us spend some time in their place at Edgewater Beach Resort.

One of the best things for all of us to do is to take some time to rest and refocus our attention on God and family.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rescue - Part 1 - Romans 7:15-25

What a difficult passage to preach on!  Over the next couple days, I am going to share some thoughts about this sermon that I preached on 7/3/2011.  You can listen to it in its entirety by click here.

I like what NT Wright says about this passage: “There is no denying that this passage is extremely convoluted.  It goes to and fro in a manner which, at first glance, seems quite bewildering.”

Because of the convoluted nature of this text, I’ve got to be vulnerable for a moment.  Studying this passage this week has been quite a task just because of its complex thought pattern.  Some have looked at this passage and hailed it as a profound insight into the human condition for everyone – about who we all are on the inside.  Others have dismissed it as muddled ramblings by Paul.

What we see here in this passage is Paul baring his very soul; and he is telling us of an experience which is of the very essence of who we are.  He knew what was right and wanted to do it; and yet, somehow, he never could.  He knew what was wrong and the thing he wanted was not to do it; and yet, somehow, he did.  He felt himself to be a split personality.  It was as if two men were inside the one skin, pulling in different directions.  He was haunted by this feeling of frustration: his ability to see what was good and his inability to do it; his ability to recognize what was wrong and his inability to avoid doing it.

Paul was not alone in his first century situation.  Lucius Seneca was Rome’s leading intellectual during the middle of the first century and he talked about “our helplessness in necessary things.”  He talked about how people hate their sins and love them at the same time.  Ovid, the Roman poet, had penned the famous tag: “I see the better things, and I approve them, but I follow the worse.”

[More later...]