"What Has Become of the Joy?"
Text: Galatians 4:8-20
I’d like to share with you one of my earliest experiences at theological seminary. During our orientation, one of the professors preached a sermon as part of the opening convocation. He began his message by making the curious statement that seminary for a Christian is one of the most perilous places to be.
The Risk of Faith
Romans 4:13, 18-25
There’s an ancient Buddhist parable from the Far East about two seeds lying side-by-side in the
fertile spring soil. The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the earth
beneath me, and thrust my sprout through the earth’s crust above me.
"Not A Rose Garden, Minus The Thorns"
Text: Acts 2:1-13
Back in the late 1980’s, the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation was going through a difficult period of labor disputes which were threatening to close the company’s doors. Over a three-year span, there were five walkouts. In one instance, production ground to a virtual halt, forcing key customers such as General Motors, Westinghouse, and Peterbilt to seek the flat-rolled steel they needed elsewhere, including offshore. During those three years, Allegheny Ludlum recorded losses in excess of sixty million dollars. It lost almost a quarter of its customer base. And labor and management couldn’t even be brought to the same table.
"Moving Off Square One"
Text: Luke 12:11-12, 22-31
Psalm 55:1-7, 22
In the four years leading up to my entering theological seminary, I experienced perhaps the greatest period of anxiety in my life. As I tried to accept the fact of God’s claim on my life, and wrestled with God’s call for me to pursue Christian ministry as my primary vocation, I worried about every possibility and implication of God’s claim and call.
"The Lord Had Blessed Us Reeeaaaal Good!"
Text: Revelation 5:1-14
Brother Dave Lombardi, pastor of Trinity Gospel Temple in Canton, ends all his radio broad- casts with these words: “The Lord has blessed us reeeeaaaal good! Amen, and amen!” While Brother Dave and I have our theological differences, on this Founder’s Day 2017, I must echo his words and sentiments: “The Lord has blessed Central Presbyterian Church reeeeaaaal good!” And to that, we can all add a hearty “Amen!”
"What Can We Learn from Rahab?"
Text: Joshua 2:1-21
Hebrews 11:1-3, 30-31
Here’s what I’ve been told of my pedigree. On my dad’s side of the family, my grandfather Lawrence was born in the village of Pacentro in Central Italy. My grandmother Margaret was born in America, but her father immigrated to the U.S. from the city of Sulmone, just a few miles from Pacentro. On my mom’s side, things are a little less clear.