I Am the Good Shepherd (I AM Part 2)

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." (John 10:11)

In the first message of the I AM series, we heard Jesus declare His power and His divinity.  In this message, we heard how Jesus plans to use that power and divinity - that is, to lay down His life for us.

In a world where power corrupts even the best of people, come see how Jesus uses His power for the sake of His sheep.

I Am the Resurrection and the Life (I AM Part 1)

"Who do you say that I am?"   Jesus asked a lot of questions during His time on earth, but none more important than that.  The answer to that question will impact both your life on this earth and your eternity.

That's why we started a new series yesterday called I AM.  The series will look at 5 of Jesus' I AM statements and we'll use Jesus' own words to help us answer the question of "who is Jesus?"

Here is the first message in the series - based on John 11:25 - where Jesus said "I am the Resurrection and the Life."

There's Gotta Be More Than This (sermon video)

Powerful message yesterday about "life" - not the life that so many are living, but rather the life that God designed us for.  We don't realize it but there is another option out there.  Life doesn't have to always be full of confusion and frustration and shame and guilt.  There's gotta be a better way.  There's gotta be more than this... Good news...THERE IS!  It's the life that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10 when He said "I have come that they may have LIFE and have it more ABUNDANTLY."

Want to know more about that abundant life?  Check out yesterday's message from The Well.

BOLD Part 1 - The Call to Evangelism

I'M BACK!  I know I've been offline for a couple of weeks now, but I am back now and more on fire than ever.  God has really really been speaking loudly and clearly to me and I can't wait to get back on schedule (now that house is sold, Pascha week is over and week in Florida is done) and share all the good things God is doing.  

So if you thought you got rid of me....YOU WERE WRONG!

And the first thing I want to share with you today is the first message in a brand new series that I started yesterday.  It's called BOLD: All Things to All Men.  Can you guess the topic?  It's all about "evangelism" - the word that means different things to different people - and what our role is with regards to evangelism.  Trust me, it's not what you think.

Being an evangelist isn't what you might think it is.  It is something much simpler and in this message I answer the "who, what, where, when, why and how" questions with regards to evangelism.  You can check it out below.  And tomorrow, I'll resume my regularly scheduled blog posts as before.


Pascha Week is Here

Just wanted to let my faithful readers know that I won’t be blogging at all this week because this is the week that we in the Orthodox church celebrate Pascha Week (aka Holy Week). 

And during Pascha week we have pretty intense schedule of services so therefore I’ll be offline till next week. However, I wanted to share a message which I delivered last night (the first night of Pascha week) over at St. Mark’s church.  Something important to keep in mind throughout this week…

Preparing for Holy Week (sermon video)

I'm back online!  Sorry for being out of touch all last week.  We were getting our house ready to be put on the market for sale - so I was wrapped up with that all day, every day, last week.  

But now, thanks be to God, we're done and I am back and more pumped than ever!  Lots of stuff I can't wait to share with everyone out there in the blogosphere so stay tuned... But for today, I wanted to share the video of the message that I delivered yesterday: PREPARING FOR HOLY WEEK.

NOTE:  if you're not Orthodox and you're wondering why we're preparing for Holy Week now, it's because we are on a different calendar than you.  You celebrated Easter a few weeks ago; but we don't get to it till May.  So you can look at it as we are a month behind the rest of the Christian world, or as I prefer to see it, we are about 11 months ahead. :) 

Either way, check out the video and hopefully this helps get you in the right frame of mind - regardless of when you celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.


Part 4 in the Crazymakers series.  This week is all about BOUNDARIES - what is my responsibility and what isn't?  Should I help every person in need?  Should I help no one in need?  Where do I draw the line? The answer to these questions might surprise you.  One of the things that I said in the message is that our goal is NOT to aim for equality - the goal isn't to treat everyone the same way.  That wasn't what Jesus did surprisingly enough.

So what should we be aiming for?  You'll have to listen to find out!


Crazymakers Part 3 - RESOLVING CONFLICT

It's one of the most important things to learn in life - yet it's something that's very rarely ever taught.  HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICT - that was the topic of yesterday's message in the Crazymakers series.  In it, we looked at both the strategy (mindset) and the steps (what to do) to resolve the inevitable conflicts of life.

Such an important message for everyone.  Unresolved conflict hurts everyone and just sucks the life right out of life.  As I said in this message, we need to figure out a way to walk hand in hand, even when we don't see eye to eye.

Hope you enjoy!

Crazymakers Part 2 - WHO'S PUSHING YOUR BUTTONS?

How do you respond to anger?  Are you a Machine Gun?  A Mute?  A Martyr?  Or a Manipulator? That was the topic of yesterday's message.  It was Part 2 of the Crazymakers series, titled "Who's Pushing Your Buttons?"  In it, we looked at some of the different ways that we usually respond when angry and then saw four Biblical principles of how God wants us to handle anger.

An important message for all.  Why?  Because whether you realize it or not, you do have a problem with anger and you might be the only one who doesn't see it.  Just because you don't explode (those are the Machine Guns), doesn't mean that you don't have an anger problem.  It just means that your problem is hidden and that makes it even more dangerous.

Fasting & Discipline - Hungering for God Part 3

I'll be taking a break from blogging for the rest of week and probably through New Year's (everyone deserves a break during the holidays right?).  Till then, I'll leave you with yesterday's finale in the HUNGERING FOR GOD series - Fasting & Discipline.  A good one to listen to as you prepare to make those new year resolutions.

Have a blessed Christmas and New Year's and God willing, I'll see you all in 2013!

Responding to Tragedy - sermon video

Our hearts are all broken over the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  Yesterday I preached a message about how we can respond to the inevitable tragedies and disasters of life.  

May God comfort the hearts of all those who are mourning this tragic loss and may He once again make light to shine out of the darkness of this world.

Hungering for God - Fasting Part 1

"Usually I start a new series by telling you guys that I am really excited about what we're going to talk about.  But today I have to say that I am NOT AT ALL excited about what we're going to talk about.  Why?  Because our topic is FASTING."

That's how I started my message yesterday - the first message in a new series about fasting.  Fasting may not be what we want to hear about, but I believe it is what we NEED to hear about.  God has a lot to say about fasting in the Bible and I invite you to delve deeper by listening to Part 1 in this series on Fasting, titled HUNGERING FOR GOD.

Stay Pure - For Better or For Worse Part 4

Yesterday's message is such an important one for every single person to hear.  It speaks about the plague of our era - sexual immorality - and the devastating effect it has on both single and married alike.  

It's the 4th part of the series we're doing right now called FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE - 5 commitments to fail proof your marriage. Take a look at the message below and may God help you (and me) to keep this important commitment to Stay Pure.

Not Even a Hint (sermon video)

It’s 5:23 am and I am sitting at the airport waiting for my 6:20 am flight to start boarding.  I’ll be travelling for the next couple of days so I’m sure if I’m going to get a chance to write a blog post – at least for today.  So instead I’m posting a video of the sermon I gave last week at STSA – the first installment in our newest series called NOT EVEN A HINT.

This series is inspired by a verse that I wrote about last week:

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”  Ephesians 5:3

You can watch the rest of the videos in this series as they become available by going to our website, www.STSAchurch.org, weekly.

For discussion: I’d love to hear any thoughts, comments or feedback on the sermon if you have any.