"Of Wild Goose Chases and Imaginary Elephants"
1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
John 1: 1-5, 10-14
Most of us have been on what’s called “a wild goose chase?” In other words, we’ve wasted our
time and energy searching for something that couldn’t be found. Have you ever been on a wild elephant chase?
1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:6-16
"Set Apart, Not Set Above"
Some years ago, there was a short tongue-in-cheek article in a publication called Pastor’s
Manual. The story featured a Labrador retriever named “Sadie” belonging to the Charles Thurber family in Terra Linda, California. As we know, California folk sometimes have a tendency to be on the cutting edge of things, leading the way in introducing the rest of us to unusual and even strange practices. Well, this one just about takes the cake.
"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.