Month: October 2020

Sermon Backing on “The Way of Love”

I thought it was appropriate to finish The Jesus Way series on the theme of love. There are few things as important as love. We need love and need to love. When we are not loved and when we are unable to love—that is about as painful as life gets.

While we long for love, we are afraid of rejection (of not being loved) and so many of us hold back from loving and being loved because we just don’t know if it will last.   Which is why this thought from C.S. Lewis is so powerful.

1 John 4:8 tells us perfect love casts out fear. To become a Christian is to connect with the perfect love of God. To grow as a Christian is to grow in our capacity to live in that love and then to live out of that love.

Christianity is NOT unique in that it talks about love. It is quite unique in what it says about love. Here are five teachings of what Christianity says about love. I’ve provided the biblical texts for you to do a little more study if you like.

ONE: Christianity takes to the highest level possible the overwhelming love

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Sermon Backing on John 20:21-23

In John 20:21-23, Jesus defines our purpose as his missional followers. Jesus is sending everyone, everywhere, all the time, to do his work, his way.

I love to find thoughtful quotes and let them inspire me as they illustrate scripture. Here are some I used on Sunday.

Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life (over 50 million copies sold) says this. He is right on. And not only is NO purpose pointless, but wrong purpose and unworthy purpose are not the real points of your life.

And did God ever answer that prayer as MLK committed himself to a civil rights purpose, suffered for it, inspired millions, and launched change that ripples through the years. The harder and more demanding the purpose, the more we need the life of Jesus.

Helen Keller is uniquely positioned to give us this perspective and it sounds a lot like the words of Jesus: Those who have eyes but who do not see. What purpose do you see that God has given to you?

Parents, once you have done the hard work of getting the child born, one of your great parental missions is to, year by …

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Life Coaching at Living Word

The Counseling Center at Living Word recently added coaching services. Our three certified life coaches—Rebecca Rice, John Hilliard, and Gordon Carpenter—sat down this week to discuss what coaching offers and who would benefit from working with a life coach.

“Counseling is when you hit the difficulties of life; coaching is when you have an area where you want to see focused improvement,” said Rebecca Rice, director of the Counseling Center.

John Hilliard comes to coaching from years at a Fortune 100 company. While mentoring others and helping them navigate challenges at work, his mentees would often want to discuss issues outside of their jobs, like balancing family, work, and their own expectations. Women often wanted to discuss, “How do you manage a business that has lots of requirements and have your own life, too?”

Gordon Carpenter comes from a background in teaching and spiritual direction. “There is something about working with people one-on-one and being a companion. Part of coaching is that you are a companion during transitions.” He brings a spiritual element into his coaching sessions with great emphasis on spiritual disciplines. “For me, it’s always been [about] spiritual tools that help us to deal …

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Jesus’ Mission to Tell the Truth (Sermon Backing)

I’ve been hearing from a number of people that they appreciate the sermon recap and additional thoughts that are added here. So, here we go with this week’s sermon backing for Sunday’s sermon.

Here is what we say in a court of law if we are on the witness stand:

I swear by Almighty God that I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And here is a version without reference to God:

I solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Imagine if we instead said, “I am going to spin things the way I want them to be and whether you agree with me or not simply does not matter.”

Wedding vows typically have strong statements of commitment. Whenever I perform a wedding ceremony, I always talk a bit about the meaning of binding commitments, where two people, in the presence of God and their family and friends, make an unconditional commitment for lifelong fidelity.

Imagine if couples instead said, “I am going to stay in this relationship as long as you meet my needs and I get the benefits …

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