The Shield of Faith

Why Your Family Tree Needs It

Many sermons on the Shield of Faith (Eph 6.16) spend most of the time talking about the physical description of a 2,000-yr-old Roman shield. 

  • How big was it?
  • What color was it?
  • Did everyone have the same kind of shield?
  • Could they link them together for more protection?
  • On and on the descriptions go…

While I’m a history buff who finds that kind of stuff interesting, I’m often left asking, “So what? Why does this matter to me?”

Paul seems convinced that we’re in the midst of a dangerous battle (cf. Eph 6.11-12), so I want to do more than just read about a shield and hear people talk about weapons.

I want to carry some myself.  And, I want to know how to use them at a moment’s notice.

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How Does Salvation Work?

Two Short Videos on How God Saves Us

Ordering coffee at Starbuck’s is a complex process packed with a bunch of micro decisions–each of which requires a level of coffee knowledge far beyond anything our grandparents possessed.
Still, millions of people successfully do it every day.

There’s a spiritual lesson there: if we can train ourselves to navigate the Starbuck’s counter, then we can also train ourselves to use a few theology words properly.

If I could pick only three words every Christian needs to have in their theological vocabulary, those three words would be: Salvation, Justification, and Sanctification.

Salvation = Justification + Sanctification

Be Ready. Stay Ready.

Wearing the Armor of God's Righteousness

Everyone has had some version of that awkward dream where you show up to school or work without any clothes on.  It’s horrifying–for you and the people in your dream!  Psychologists tell us the dream is about vulnerability.  Our psyche is reminding us to properly prepare–lest we show up to algebra class without pants.  I don’t know much about dreams or psychology, but I do know I dislike being unprepared.

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I recently had the honor of leading our chapel’s Ash Wednesday service. If you know me well, you probably realize how much of a stretch this was for me. No theological barriers–just something I’m not used to.



[confession: I had to do quite a bit of research about the litany of Christian holy days leading up to Easter. Coming from a guy who forever thought the Easter Bunny was the King of Spring, I’d say I’ve come a long way. Regardless…if you, too, need assistance sorting out the myriad duties Christians feel obliged to perform now that Jesus has freed us from the Law, feel free to check out the final 3 minutes of this video. It’s got a summary rundown of everything I now know on the topic.  I’m also working on a stand-alone video addressing Easter FAQs.  It’s certain to become an overnight sensation.]

Historic cross hanging at the front of our chapel

I don’t preach nearly as much as I used to–nor half as much as I’d like. But I think William (my 10-yr-old minion mastermind) and I devised a way to capture future messages with both video and sound.  So, to the both of you who haven’t yet grown tired of my voice…well, I’ll try to post more often.  Admittedly, today’s post is probably one of my more somber (perhaps even dry?) messages.  It’s hard to preach Psalm 51 on Ash Wednesday with a bounce in your step.

Going forward, I’d appreciate your feedback about this new video format. I’m experimenting with adding on-screen notes and Scripture references throughout the sermon’s entirety.

  • Is it worth it?
  • Does it pose more of a distraction?

Honest evaluations are cordially requested.

Audio-only version available below.

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Prince of Peace

 

The world Jesus entered had a problem Roman Law, Greek philosophy, and Jewish religion couldn’t fix. The “Roman Peace” was not able to give people true, internal peace. Only a Savior could do that. The “Prince of Peace” Isaiah predicted came to give us peace WITH God and also the peace OF God.

Many of us are carrying problems and burdens God never intended us to carry. Listen to this message and learn how to accept the peace Jesus died to give us.

 

Audio Only Version

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You Need a Bodyguard

 

How do we protect ourselves from slowly becoming the kind of person we hate?  This message teaches us the importance of setting good boundaries in our life–boundaries that will keep us as far from sin as possible this side of Heaven.

 

Audio Only Version

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“Death & Taxes”
by Pastor Bill

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

Death & Taxes
Nov 24th, 2013

(se.13.41-2) Let's Build Something - Death & Taxes

At this point in the story, Nehemiah and his leaders pause to answer, “how are we going to pay for all of this?”

Today, we’re told everyone has to “die and pay taxes.”  What if we thought of supporting Jesus’ church in the same way?  Imagine a church full of members who joyfully funded the Great Commission with the same regularity and proportionate giving they had when paying their taxes!

This sermon is based on Nehemiah 10:28-37

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A Theology of Prayer

Does every prayer get answered?  Does every prayer even get heard?  What about the prayers of non-Christians?  This 20-min video takes a brief look at Nehemiah 9 to pick up on some essentials for the kind of prayers that honor God:

  1. Prayer needs to be grounded in the Bible
  2. Prayer needs to be to the God of the Bible
  3. Prayer needs to be honest about our sin

 

Audio of the Entire Sermon

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Repentance Gives us Hope

 

Repentance does give us hope, but only if we repent God’s way. This is a quick look at what repentance is NOT, followed up with the powerful healing we can hope for when we truly repent to God and then lean on one another for help and healing.

This is a clip taken from a sermon on prayer and repentance.

 

Audio of the Entire Sermon

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The Most Unpopular Message in the World

 

Jesus wasn’t crucified for healing or helping people. Ultimately, he (and his cousin John the Baptist) was crucified because he refused to stop calling people to repentance.

Repentance is a decision to turn from our sin and turn to Christ. It’s the mission of every Christian until Jesus comes back.  And, it’s the key to a better life.

 

Audio of the Full Sermon

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